Croissants and Upholstery

What do those two have in common?

I’ll tell you.  They have everything in common  for two ambitious girls.

Both require multiple steps, can be done in less than 24 hours, and deliver magnificent results!

Back in May, my friend Megan wanted to learn how to make these delicate French pastries and burn her headboard.  I suggested upcycling the headboard (instead of burning it) and making buttery croissants in my 24 hour visit.

To make the croissants, we followed this recipe.  Once the dough had come together, doubled in size, gotten punched down, risen again, and gotten punched down a second time, it was time to beat some butter!  We had so much fun beating the butter, that I forgot to take pictures of this process.  Basically you take a rolling pin and beat a pound of butter into a flat rectangle.  The butter then gets enveloped by the dough to create a dough envelope with a butter letter inside.

While this pastry package chilled, Megan and I started on her headboard.  We started with a dated ugly piece of junk.

She wanted a tufted look with buttons, so we marked grid-lines to drill holes where our buttons would go.

To create a smooth surface and a little extra cushion, we used 1/2 inch foam to fill the panels.  We pre-measured the foam and cut it with scissors.  Thicker foam requires an electric knife, but this was thin enough for scissors to get through it.

With our three foam pieces ready, we sprayed spray adhesive in the insets.  (Note: be sure to cover the areas around the perimeter of the headboard as the adhesive goes everywhere – don’t be like us!)  Press the foam into place and ensure all the edges adhered.

Before moving to the batting step, we ran back to the kitchen to do the first of three turns on the croissant dough.  A “turn” is what creates the layers of dough-butter-dough in the croissants.  Bakeries have machines that perform turns very quickly, but we did our turns by hand.  To complete a turn, we took the dough envelope and rolled it out into a thin rectangle on a well floured cool surface.  Once the dough is rolled out, we folded it into thirds to chill again.  The dough gets two more turns creating 27 layers of goodness!

With a level surface and the dough chilling for its next turn, it was time for batting.  We used two different styles of batting.  The first was a thicker more dense blend.  We laid out the batting and cut it allowing extra to wrap around the edges of the headboard and staple it.

Just like the foam, we sprayed adhesive before attaching the batting.

Before cutting more batting, we performed another turn on the dough and let it chill.  The last layer of batting was two layers of thin lofty batting.  It is fluffy and gives more cushion to the headboard.  We followed the same directions as the first layer of batting for this layer.

Before we stapled all this batting down, we ran back to the kitchen for the final turn of the dough.  After completing the last turn, we let the dough chill again.  To staple the batting, we turned the headboard over to the back.  We used staple guns to secure the batting to the back.  We pulled the batting and stapled it down.  After it was all stapled, we trimmed off excess batting.

TA-DA!  It’s ready for fabric!

The fabric waited as we went to tend to the croissants.  Our chilled and turned dough was ready to become croissants.  To do this, we rolled the dough out long and thin.

The dough was so long that we split it into three sections to make it more manageable.  Working with one section at a time, we cut the dough into triangles.  First, we trimmed the rectangle to be at an angle for the first triangle.

We continued eye-balling and cutting triangles of dough.

With our triangles cut, we made Eiffel Towers by stretching and pulling the triangles.  Working with one Eiffel Tower triangle at a time, we rolled the dough from the widest part to the point using mostly our palms (to avoid having the dough get too warm).  We did this until all of the dough was in the shape of beautiful croissants.

It was important to make sure all the tips were tucked under each croissant so they don’t unravel as the bake.  Here you can see some of the beautiful layers.

The croissants had to rise for an hour before baking.  At this point her mom and dad were starting to question if they would ever get to taste these labor-of-love croissants.

In the meantime, Megan and I got back to the fabric for her headboard.  We laid out the fabric, cut it (allowing extra to wrap around), and stapled all the sides down.

All that was left with the headboard, was to make and attach the buttons.  We used button kits to make the buttons and a long needle to go through the front of the headboard and pre-drilled hole.

On the back of the headboard, we tied the button string tightly around extra batting tuffs.

The headboard was finally ready to be reunited with her bed.

One project down, now we had to finish the croissants.  After they had doubled in size, we put an egg-wash on all of them and baked them.

Unlike our American tendency, the croissants baked until they were a dark golden brown.

Her family couldn’t stand to let hot croissants cool.  They dug into the first batch out of the oven.

Croissants are best fresh and don’t store well.  It’s a good thing her family ate them in one day!

I know that was quite a ride going back and forth between a headboard and croissants.  Let me assure you that the croissants consumed most of our time.  The headboard probably took less than an hour and a half total.  At the heart of all of this hard work was plenty of homegrown joy.

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One Response to Croissants and Upholstery

  1. linda says:

    Great Job……just saw this….you are amazing!…as if I didn’t already know that!

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