Guest Room: Getting Down to Brass Tacks

As promised, we’re back to share the finishing touches on the headboard we showed you yesterday. One of you guessed the final addition would be nailhead trim, and once again there’s no foolin’ you guys!

Headboard with Trim Ready

This nailhead is the reason it took us so long to finish the headboard.  In an effort to cut costs, I shopped around town for a strip of nailhead trim like in the photo below rather than ordering it online.  I’d seen 20′ rolls of this stuff online for like $20, but after adding $10 in shipping I thought surely we could find a better deal!

Why this particular trim?  Instead of having to hammer individual nails into the headboard to create a boarder, I wanted to use this stuff which actually only needs to be tacked down every 5th nail.  See those holes in the trim where tacks go?  I think the strip-style trim also creates cleaner, straighter lines if you’re an amateur like me.

Nailhead Strip Tack Supplies

I tried craft and fabric stores like Hobby Lobby and Hancock’s with no luck.  By sheer coincidence, one day last week I googled “upholstery” in Fayetteville, AR and came up with a phone number for TS Custom Sales.  I figured maybe it was an upholstery shop and called the number.  Turns out the owner, Tom Simmons, crafts custom motorcycle seats for a living, but just so happens to have been in the custom furniture business years and years ago.  He also just so happened to have a gigantic roll of nailhead trim in exactly the finish I was looking for that – get this – he said he’d sell me AT COST.

Seriously?  If we were into motorcycles, Tom would be our go-to guy for anything motorcycle related.  He was so easy to work with and gave me such a great deal that it’s no wonder he has clients all over the US!

So what did Tom charge me for 30 feet (probably closer to 40, the way he measured it) of trim and tacks?  Ten Bucks Baby!


Fun stories and great deals aside, we still had to attach the trim.  I was nervous I’d mess up all our hard work, but I couldn’t stall any longer – I wanted that headboard done. Luckily the tacks were the perfect depth to secure the trim and not poke through the back of the MDF of our headboard, so that was one step in the right direction!

Tack height

After I decided how far from the edge of the headboard the tacking strip should be (1.5″ in case you’re wondering), it was as easy as adding a tack to the trim every place there was an empty hole.

Adding Tack

Since we didn’t have any special hammers for delicate work like this, I thought I would need a piece of felt to protect the nails from my heavy-duty hammer.  Turns out the felt just got in the way and the hammer didn’t do any damage to the tacks, so after the first tack I just hammered away!

Hammering Tack

The corners were a bit tricky, but the trim was actually very flexible.  Once I knew where the bend in the trim should be, I was able to create the correct angle in the trim just by bending it with my hands.  In this photo I’m pointing to the tack I hammered in place just above the bend in the trim.

Location of tack

Once all the tacks were in, here’s another look at that corner.  Seamless, right?

Closeup of Nailhead corner

I kept working, using my ruler to measure from the edge of the headboard every time I added a tack to make sure my border was the same thickness all the way around.

Adding trim

Another tip I found useful was to bend the trim in the direction it would go several inches ahead of where I was working.  That way I wasn’t fighting the trim as I hammered it into place.

Adding trim to curve

As I finished the last curve, I let out a sigh of relief.  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected it to be!

Nailhead almost done

Here’s a close up of how I finished the trim on the left side.  The next hole for a tack was about 1 tack too far over the edge, so I just bent the trim and nailed the last tack in the bottom edge of the MDF.

Ending nailhead trim

Finally the headboard was done!

Headboard Complete

Although the guest room is far from complete, I couldn’t help but make up the bed once the headboard was in place.  Gotta love that pop of teal!


I love how our brass library lamp works with the brass nailhead trim.

Headboard4 Lamp detail

Like I said, we still have lots of things to do in this room, but it’s getting cozier with every project!

Headboard right

So what do you think of our finished headboard?  Are you a fan of nailhead?  Do you think I’m crazy for choosing brass?  (I’ve been slowly overcoming my fear of brass for awhile now …)

I hope you like it and once again, a huge shout-out to Tom Simmons of TS Custom Sales for the nailhead hookup!  See y’all tomorrow!

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Show and Share Day at Just a Girl

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51 Responses to Guest Room: Getting Down to Brass Tacks

  1. You’ve done a great job! I admit, I never would have chosen that bold teal but I’m happily proven wrong. It really was the right choice – the color plays perfectly with your curtains and the accent pillows are just right. Nice work!


  2. Allison H says:

    wow!! looks great! i love the color scheme!! a+!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    LOVE the teal! I made a navy blue nailhead trim headboard and was a bit nervous about the color but ended up loving it! I think a pattern would be amazing as well. You can find my blog post about it here:
    I too had trouble finding the nailhead trim.. it wasnt in any stores! so frustrating I ordered off of ebay for about $15

  4. nicki says:

    Love it!! Teal might be my new favorite color~

  5. The nailhead trim took it to a whole new level! Looks SO great, and the color scheme is fun and cozy at the same time. I’m a brass fan, too, but my husband still needs some convincing . . .

  6. This is flippin fantastic! Great job I adore the teal and brass combo.

  7. Morgan says:

    Yay! It looks awesome! You did a wonderful job and it goes perfectly with your curtains. And yay for Tom for giving you guys such a good price on the trim. =)

  8. Nora says:

    Amazing amazing! I love it! I literally gasped at how pretty it turned out! So jealous! I’m usually a brass hater (blame it on brass outlet covers, and basically every brass accessory in our current house) but I love how this looks. Silver wouldn’t have looked as good with the peacock pillows.

  9. Stephanie says:

    That looks amazing! I really love it. You did a great job and it looks so neat and pretty.

  10. Ellie says:

    I love the headboard! It looks professional and expensive!

  11. Nikki says:

    Wow! I’m so impressed! Absolutely gorgeous and looks like a super-expensive headboard.

  12. Alana says:

    Just as the room gets cozier with each project, I get more jealous with each project. I absolutely adore the teal + brass + peacock pillow! Beautiful!

  13. cassie says:

    awesome- the brass pops against the turquoise!

  14. Casey says:

    Good job M! I’m still scared of brass but I like everything you do with it. I’m sure brass will be all the rage by the time I finish changing out my doorknobs!

  15. Kristal says:

    OMG! I love this SO much! If you don’t mind me asking…how much did your headboard cost in total? You can private message me if you want.

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Kristal,
      I definitely don’t mind you asking about the cost. I want to figure that out anyway, so once I find my receipts I’ll let ya know! I might even have to post about it. 😉

  16. Holly says:

    Love it! I’ve been wanting to DIY a headboard and I think you’ve given me the courage!

  17. jenn says:

    Beautifully done! I LOVE the turquoise, and I think the brass is a nice touch. That room is going to be such a nice retreat for guests :).

  18. Candace says:


  19. Jenny B. says:

    It looks great! Awesome score on the nailhead trim!

  20. WOW! That’s all I can say. Honestly gorgeous. The color, the nailhead, the perfectly straight line, the curves on the headboard. You are a genius.

  21. Meredith, This turned out AWESOME! Will you please come make me a king sized one now??

  22. Janet Lawson says:

    WOW is all I can say..Beautiful..You did a great job..I love the brass border you did all around the outside edge..Can’t wait to see what ya come up with next..Have a great weekend..

  23. Kari says:

    This is absolutely beautiful!

  24. Oh wow, this is beautiful! I love it! 🙂

  25. New follower here!!!…I love this project!! perfect color! I can’t wait to see more!! 🙂

  26. Wow – what an amazing project. I love that you used brass – it looks perfect with the teal.

  27. P.S….i LOVE the peacock pillow!!!

  28. Jessa says:

    I love those colors together – it turned out awesome!

  29. Marci says:

    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing the details. I love the color combinations you chose for this. Brass is slowly growing on me too. Of course now that I’m in a house with none of it.

  30. aubrey says:

    I love the color….and the brass nailheads are awesome! 🙂

  31. shelley says:

    I cannot get over how gorgeous this is! The shape, the color, and of course the trim are just perfection!!

  32. I can’t believe how great your headboard looks!!!! What a score on the roll and tacks. I’m going to check out my neck of the woods to see if anyone sells the rolls. It looks so much easier than having to hammer in each tack separately.

  33. Terry Moore says:

    You have really done an outstanding job on this headboard. The nailhead trim looks great and don’t you just love how easy it is to use and looks so expensive.

  34. Bromeliad says:

    OK. Where did you get the peacock pillow?

    • Meredith says:

      The pillow is from a store started locally here in Northwest Arkansas that has been expanding across the Southeast part of the U.S., called IO-Metro. They have a website where you can order some items online:
      I got the pillow around Christmas, so I’m not sure if they still have it, but if you don’t see it online, you could always call a store and see if they can track one down!

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  41. Marilyn says:

    As a very particular craftswoman and someone who also works with their hands and does many, many different things, I have to say that I am quite impressed! You did a FABULOUS job! Very professional and I like the gold even though it’s not very popular right now but then I have a house over 100 years old and gold just fits it better. Keep up the great work Meredith! Diving in there is how you learn!

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  47. Grace says:

    What size bed did you make this for?

  48. Maya Namaste says:

    I rarely leave comments but I need to say that this was the most amazing time saver I’ve seen in a while!! Thank you!

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