Padded Headboard Project

January 25, 2012

It’s been quite a while since we have attempted a major home project. I have a bedroom set that I got when I was about 16. The headboard for the bed will hold a full or queen size bed. A couple of years ago we upgraded to a king mattress and box springs (when you have 2 golden retrievers sleeping with you, you don’t have much choice). We could not attach that to the headboard, so we just stood the headboard up between it and the wall, but you could tell it was too small, so it looked a little funny.

The headboard was curvy, with different carvings and panels in it, so whenever I sat up in bed to read or watch TV, my head was against some uneven part of wood. It drove me nuts. Pillows did not do the trick. I wanted a padded headboard. There are some out there, but none of them are in colors I would choose. So, we decided to make our own. This project was actually pretty inexpensive (in contrast to buying a pre-made headboard) and was accomplished in one day.

First we measured how big we wanted it to be. Then we bought fabric, batting, a piece of wood and a big piece of foam. We cut the wood an inch smaller all around than the foam, so that the edges would be soft. We used a spray adhesive to attached the foam to the wood. We covered it in batting and then covered it in the fabric. We used an air compressor stapler gun which makes it quick work.

We worked slowly and carefully because the pattern is linear. The hardest part was the corners. It took some trying, but we came up with a technique that had some very small folds/creases at the corners so it wasn’t too lumpy.

Mounting it on the wall was very easy because Mr. MarthaandMe bought these fantastic self-leveling mirror hangers. You attach one piece to the wall and the other to the back of the headboard. They catch each other and hold the headboard up (each one will hold up to 75 lbs and we used 2). It was easier than I ever imagined.

Total cost: under $300. The fabric and batting were both 50% off at JoAnn Fabric. Wood was from Lowe’s for about $8. The foam was from a special foam store. We would have had to use 2 pieces if we bought it at JoAnn and were worried the seam would show. Mr. MarthaAndMe used to repair office furniture and used to buy foam for chairs from this store. We got a professional discount since they remembered him (it still was not cheap – $78).

It took us most of the day but we kept getting interrupted for other things, so this could really be done in just a few hours.

I am THRILLED with how this turned out. I will be going to bed early from now so I can spend some time reading, leaning against it!


Chicken Vegetable Lasagna

December 8, 2011

I have a recipe for this from the January issue of Paula Deen’s Magazine for chicken vegetable lasagna and I’ve been meaning to try it. My freezer has been looking kind of bare lately, so it’s definitely time to make and freeze some meals so I can just defrost on busy nights (of which there seem to be more and more lately). I made this but changed it up a bit to suit the ingredients I had in the house and to make it a bit easier. I found Paula’s instructions to be too complicated, so I simplified it. Here’s my modified recipe:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

12 baby carrots, chopped

1 8-ounce package of mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

1 tsp basil

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

15 ounces cottage cheese

2 cups grated Parmesan-Romano mix (this is now sold in my store in a pre-shredded package)

2 eggs

1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce (24 ounce jars)

9 lasagna noodles

24 ounces mozzarella cheese

2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 4 1/2 quart baking dish. Soak the noodles in hot water while you prepare the veggies. They will soften and you don’t need to boil them (thank you Ina Garten!).

Cook veggies in the oil until softened. Add salt, pepper, and basil.

Mix cottage cheese with eggs and Parmesan/romano cheese.

Mix chicken with half the mozzarella.

PLace 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan and top with 3 noodles. Layer sauce, veggies, cottage cheese, chicken, and mozzarella. Repeat for next two layers.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until bubbly. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes before slicing.

TeenMartha even liked this and said she was really surprised she did (she doesn’t like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach). It was a big hit. And now I’ve got several meals worth in the freezer from the leftovers. I really liked this – traditional lasagna flavors, but with chicken and lots of veggies!

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