I get about six weeks off work every year (unpaid), so projects around the home/apartment are a great way to keep from going a little stir crazy. This time, one of the projects was to build a king size headboard from scratch.

There are more headboard styles than I ever realized and, upon settling on the elegant, yet fairly simple “Cleveland” style, it didn’t take long to realize that making angular wood cuts isn’t very conducive to the limitations a small apartment and lack of a true workspace brings. Thus, we decided to keep it simple – very simple – and left the plywood mounting board rectangular, which is the way we had Lowes cut it.

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There are some shops in L.A. that specialize in foam, but the reviews on Yelp made them all seem more pricey than they need to be. As an alternative, we bought two queen size mattress toppers, which can be easily cut up and pieced together as a backing on the mounting board. The other materials – the fabric, batting, and trim nails – all came from a fabric store. Also needed were a staple gun, wood screws, and spray adhesive. The “E6000” adhesive worked only well enough to get the job done.

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To start the labor, we mounted the 2×4 supports to the back of the plywood sheet. One support was attached to the left edge, one to the right edge, and one across the top to keep the plywood from bowing.

The next step was to attach the foam to the board. We found the best way was to roll up the foam and, as you slowly unroll it on the board, spray the adhesive on both the wood and the foam. As previously mentioned, the E6000 spray wasn’t so great, but the foam did stick after letting it sit for a while.

From there, the second layer of foam was cut to size, then held in place while the headboard was flipped over on top of the batting. The batting was then pulled tight and stapled to the 2x4s (and plywood at the bottom).

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We then stood the headboard up to make sure there were no major wrinkles evident and that the foam was looking pretty even. Things were looking good, so the headboard was again laid face down in preparation for attaching the outer layer of fabric. We went ahead and stapled the top of the fabric to the top 2×4, following a point on the pattern across to make sure the fabric would appear straight on the visible side.

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The, the headboard was again stood up in order to double-check that the fabric looked straight. It did, so we proceeded to pull the bottom of the fabric tight, which was then stapled on the back to the plywood. Once that looked good, we pulled the sides tight and stapled those, too.

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What I was expecting to turn into a headache – mounting the headboard to the bed frame – turned out just fine. One mount on the bed frame appears bent, so I was wondering if I could straighten it out, if the wood legs of the headboard would need wheels, etc. It turns out, however, that the headboard is solid enough to stand against the wall, especially since the top of the bed supports the bottom of the headboard.

Headboard DIY

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Having worked on a number of reality TV shows, it was always part of my job to have people who MAY appear on screen sign “Consent to Use Image” forms. On one particular show, it was a rather tricky operation because there was a form for unpaid appearances, one for paid appearances, and two others for, uhhh, some sort of confusing, paid/unpaid stipulation. Ultimately, law can be a pretty murky area, so one photography professional I know always carries around $1 bills to compensate people for incidental appearances. If people happen to show up in video he shoots for commercial use, he gets them to sign the “Image Use” agreement and pays them a buck. His agreement form points out that they were paid – and how much – to further help avoid legal claims.

Another important consideration for these “Image Use” forms is to jot down on the form itself a physical description of the people who have signed these agreements. In the long run, Producers and Video Editors can then determine much easier which people have already been cleared to be used in your production.

The example listed below comes from a show I previously worked on. As I am in no place to dispense legal advice, I am conveying the information below “as is.” In other words, using the information given is at your own discretion, and you should run it by a lawyer to see if he/she has anything to add to it.

 

Consent to Use Image

I was/will be filmed, photographed, or recorded by ____(your company name goes here)____. In consideration of the potential exposure that this production may bring me, I ____(subject fills in name here)____ grant to ____(your company name here)____ and its agents, licensees, productions vendors, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns, the universe-wide, royalty-free, fully paid-up, irrevocable, and perpetual right and permission to (without my approval) use, publish, broadcast, and copyright (whether in digital form or otherwise) my name, nickname, persona, character or characterization, initials, logo, slogan or catch phrase, autograph, facsimile signature, voice, photograph, film, video or new media portrayal, actual, simulated or drawn likeness, images, biographical or historical information, any material provided by or statement made (whether oral or written) by me, and physical attributes including, but not limited to, any material based on or derived based on my likeness.

I also agree to assume all responsibility for and hereby release and hold ____(your company name here)____ and each of its officers, directors, employees, shareholders, agents, licensees, affiliates and subsidiaries, harmless form any liability of any kind or any claim whatsoever (including, but not limited to, claims for personal injury or death, invasion of privacy, defamation, right of publicity or infliction of emotional distress) directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting in any way from my likeness being used by ____(your company name here)____ and I acknowledge that my likeness may be used in and in connection with still imagery, film and audio, affiliated with current and future ____(your company name here)____ projects.

I acknowledge that there will be no compensation to me for being filmed, photographed, or recorded and the rights granted herein except as provided herein and that ____(your company name here)____ is not required to use my likeness. I also acknowledge that all materials produced under this agreement, including any photos, films, or recordings are the absolute and exclusive property of ____(your company name here)____ forever. This agreement shall be governed by and construed under the laws of the State of ____(your U.S. state)____ and the parties hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the courts sitting in ____(your city and state)____.

AT THE TIME THAT I SIGN THIS AGREEMENT, I AGREE THAT I AM EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.

PARTICIPANT

Print name:________________________

Signature:_________________________

Date of birth:_____________________

Today’s date:______________________

 

Once I get my domain website in order, I plan on making the document above a downloadable form that’s already formatted, so stay tuned. For more Reality TV / Documentary resources, check out this post: How to Conduct a Documentary / Reality TV Interview.

 

Finally, as an aside, WordPress provides me with two types of useful stats: page views and how a person landed here. Though anonymous, sometimes I can see search engine terms that linked to this page. For this entry, I sometimes see terms like “can you be on reality tv without consent?”

Well… unless you feel your appearance is exploitative and tarnishes your reputation, don’t be a jerk and try to figure out ways to screw people out of money. There is already too much dumb litigation going on in this society, bogging down the courts and creating animosity between people.

I’m no lawyer or judge, but I have taken Media Law classes that exposed me to real-world privacy cases. Chances are, if you’re trying to figure out if you can exploit people and seek damages for a situation where no harm was done to you, then you’re probably S.O.L. Were you in a public space when you were filmed? If so, you can’t have any expectation of privacy. Were you on film because you were in the proximity of a public figure? Then, you’re not the subject of the video. If you just happened to be in the background, you may – but probably don’t – have a case. Were you on the news? News is public interest. No money for you. If you were in a private space, are you sure there wasn’t a filming notice posted and, by entering the property, you were giving consent for your likeness to be used?

If you were in the background of a show, do what I’ve done – laugh about it, share the exposure with your friends, and fuhgetaboutit. Unless Honey Boo Boo’s family made you look bad (by association), you were caught making out with a high schooler, or Snooki assaulted you, it’s probably not that serious. If it is, get off the internet and take the footage you were in to a lawyer, because you’re not going to get good, free legal advice through a Google search.

As always, feel free to share this page via the social networking links provided below… comments are always cool, too!

To keep a short story short, we recently decided our big, round dining table was taking up too much space. As a replacement, we agreed to sacrifice the beauty of our coffee table in hopes that it would become something greater (you should have seen it before it was sanded and stained… ugh!).

The coffee table originally had a glass top, but that got left behind during our cross-country move. There is a raised edge around the whole table top, so we wanted to add a little something to make the entire tabletop flush. Tile seemed like the best option.

 

Coverting a Coffee Table to a Dining Room Table

 

Rather than the old days of pilfering through a collection of tiles and mixing and matching (I guess that’s what they did back then), tiles are attached to a mesh backing, with enough space between them for grout. If the tile sheets are too big, you can just cut the mesh and eliminate however many rows of tiles you need. They just make it so easy.

 

Coverting a Coffee Table to a Dining Room Table

 

Another thing that makes this process easy is double-sided, adhesive sheets. The idea is like double-sided tape, but bigger and more heavy duty. In this case, we slapped some of those sheets down on the table surface, laid the tile down on top of that, applied the grout, and voila! There was more time and thought that ultimately went into the whole process than I am probably making it seem, yet it was simpler than originally expected.

Luckily, in this case, the glass tiles didn’t have to be cut. We had to snip some tile rows off by cutting the mesh, but the spacing ended up being nearly perfect. The fit was getting a little snug while putting down the final two tile sheets, so the alignment of the rows is a little off. It still looks nice, though, and gained a ton of character when compared to the lovely but simply stained look the table previously had.

 

Coverting a Coffee Table to a Dining Room Table

 

Next on the agenda is finding a chair set. We don’t mind getting down and dirty and doing a little sanding and staining if we have to. They just have to take up a fairly small amount of real estate. And hopefully we find the right chairs soon, because the size of the chairs will ultimately determine the height of the table.

This past weekend, I was biking around L.A. and made a random stop at a thrift store. I happened to find a set of four stools that seemed to work for the table. Being on bike, it would have, of course, been impossible to get them home. Heading back a while later, what do you know? Someone didn’t buy all of the them… someone bought TWO of them! BLASTED! It was a maddening, yet really funny experience.

So once we get the chairs, for the table, it should just be a matter of cutting the legs to height, staining them, and attaching them to the table. It like we are so close but yet so far…… and the search continues.

 

UPDATE (9/9/12):

I found a chair set on Craigslist that works well with the tables. I wasn’t completely sold on the look of the chair backs, but it was a compromise since my wife didn’t like the saddle chairs I was after. Regardless, the color scheme of the chairs we ended up with go great with the table, and the seat padding is a nice microfiber one.

 

Coffee Table to Dining Room Table Conversion

The legs that are being replaced…


If you are new to woodworking projects, this part is really important:

The width of the coffee table legs were 2″ x 2″, but 1.5″ x 1.5″ wood looked fine at the hardware store, so we brought the lumber home, cut it up, sanded it down, and stained it, only to find that it didn’t look right. Here are the two things we learned from this – 1) If you’re making a table taller, make sure the new legs are at least the same width as the original ones. Otherwise, your table is probably going to end up looking cheap and might be wobbly. 2) If you need 2″ x 2″ wood, you can’t just saw a 2×4 in half because 2x4s aren’t actually 2″ x 4″!!! Rather, they’re in the neighborhood of 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. Strange, I know, and I can’t tell you why…. but it’s true.

We visited three hardware stores, and finally discovered (thanks to the helpful folks at Anawalt Lumber in Hollywood) that we could have them saw a 4×4 board (which is actually 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″) down the 2″ square that we really needed.

 

UPDATE (11/7/12):

So, with the new legs, we’ve finally finished sanding and staining and all that jazz. Ohhhh, what a learning process. But that can’t be bad. In such projects, it’s nice to know what you’ve done wrong, though it would be even better know beforehand that the outcome isn’t going to work!!!!

Here is the latest… I don’t know what wood the tabletop is made out of. Since we went to numerous hardware stores in search the proper size legs, we jumped on the prospect of the lumber store cutting some thicker oak boards down to the 2″ x 2″ size needed. It turns out the tabletop must not be oak because the hue is a slightly different from that of the legs. You can see that in the photo below, but it’s still similar, and the wood grain is really nice looking… so we’re quite okay with the end result.

As a final note, the placement of the legs has also changed. Originally they were about 6″ from either end of the table and also set a few inches inward from the front and back edges. To accommodate extra chairs, the legs are now at each corner of the table, making it all a little more spacious.

 

New Dining Table Legs

 

So there it is, another project in the books. If you have any questions about the conversion, I will be glad to help out. Also, if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it below!