I have a hard time thinking up gift ideas for Natalie. We’ve been together almost 15 years. That’s a lot of gifts. We’ve also decided to cut back drastically on the amount of money we spend on each other for Christmas and birthdays.
This year, as a way to help narrow the field of gift-giving Natalie thought we would try an idea she heard somewhere. We’d each write several gift themes on small pieces of paper, then throw them in a hat. Each person would pick out three pieces of paper, then of those three themes you would need to pick two as your gift themes.
I loved the idea. Anything to help give me some focus around the holidays was ok in my book. The themes I chose for Natalie: 1) Something for the bedroom and 2) Something for night time. When Nat found out I was constructing something she was utterly baffled. What could I possibly be building that would fit the themes? She even asked a few times to make sure I was sticking to the rules.
Fortunately, the headboard idea fit both themes, and since I was making it from scratch I was able to stay close to the budget we’d allowed each other. Over four sessions spread over two weeks (leading right up to a final staining on Christmas Eve), I went over to my parents house with Loren in tow to get to work.
I chose Ana White’s Farmhouse Design, and it turned out great. Her designs are amazing by the way. And super simple. Great blog too. I’ll leave you to her blog for the how-to on the headboard – no use in reinventing the wheel there.
My Dad was supposed to be watching Loren as I put the headboard together. Of course, Dad being a former contractor and all around handyman, once my Mom came home from work he couldn’t help but “let” Mom takeover Loren duties so he could come help me out.
We chose American Chestnut for the stain – a two-in-one poly and stain combo. In just two coats we had the final product. Great time saver.
The final trick: transporting this from my parents garage to my condo. For that I borrowed my dad’s truck. Getting it to the city was a piece of cake. Getting it upstairs by my self, however, was a little trickier. And just my luck, I’d have to battle heavy wind gusts as I carried this heavy wooden sail headboard from the truck to my apartment building.
After some struggling I finally managed it inside and up the three flights of stairs.
Natalie loves it.
One last thing: You’ll notice the strip of detail running near the top of the headboard. As we finished the first coat of stain my Dad turns and starts rummaging through a stack of trim. “I know I have it in here somewhere – you’re gonna love this,” he says, searching away. Finally he pulls about seven feet of this intricately designed trim from the pile. ”What do you think about adding this, say, here?” he asks as he holds it up to the top. Wow. Perfect finishing touch.
The kicker? That little piece of wood has a story and some history. While my Dad was still living at home with his parents (many, many moons ago) he’d bought that trim to finish a fake fireplace he was making. The family didn’t have a place to hang stockings at Christmas, so he decided to make them one. He had this last seven feet just sitting in the garage for years. ”I knew it would come in handy one day,” he said. It sure did.