Thursday, October 18, 2012

Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

Howdy!  I'm currently working on redesigning our oldest son's room and have several projects in the works.  The biggest one is this upholstered headboard that I just finished up today.  His bed is a full size but it doesn't have a headboard so I spent several days drawing up what I had in my head and then got to work on it today.  It's not ready to go in his room yet but I wanted to share it with you anyway, as well as, the instructions for how I put it together in case anyone would like to make one.

It wasn't hard, just time consuming.  I started by buying a piece of 3/4 inch thick subfloor/plywood at Lowe's.  I was feeling lazy so I asked them to cut it to size for me, which they did at no extra charge.  The size of the plywood part is 53 inches x 3 feet tall.  With the legs on the bottom, the total height is 4 feet.  I bought 3 - 1 x 3's to attach to the back of the plywood as shown in the photo below.

Next, I laid high loft quilt batting on the floor that I bought at the craft store and placed the headboard on top.  I bought the largest size and then folded it over 3 times, so it would be pretty thick.

Without pulling too tightly, I pulled the batting around and began to staple it to the back of the headboard.  You don't want to pull it too tightly or it might come apart.

I continued this all the way around the frame.  Corners are a little bulky and tricky, but here's a closeup of mine.  Not perfect, but doesn't need to be.

To get rid of the excess batting at the legs of the headboard....

I simply cut about an inch off the batting, tucked it under and stapled it behind the headboard.

When the batting is all attached, it will look like this.

Next up, is the fabric.  Because I was keeping cost down, I used canvas painters drop cloth that I already had.  I basically repeated what I just did with the batting.

Take extra care when working on the corners so you don't have a wrinkly mess since the corners will show.  I found that folding it over like you would wrap a Christmas present worked well.  And I also worked on the corners last.  I then cut off all the extra batting and fabric.

And here's the front...

I really wanted nailhead trim, however, I couldn't find that where I live so I used bronze upholstery tacks that I picked up at Lowes.  Very time consuming but I definitely got the look I wanted.  I was actually happy I couldn't find the trim because I really preferred the nail heads being spaced a bit instead of touching. 

To perfectly line them up, I measured inside the corner 4 inches on both sides and marked with a pen, then gently tapped in one tack, but I did not hammer it in all the way in.  I looped a piece of twine around the tack, then did the same thing on the other end and tied the other end of the twine to that tack.  This created a perfectly straight guideline for me to line up the tacks.  When you're finished, remove the twine and hammer in the end tacks the rest of the way.

It took all afternoon, but I am soooo happy with it!  I can't wait to put it in his room. 

I've got a couple more projects to do for the space and then I will put the whole room together and blog about it next week.  I can't wait to get this finished up for him!

Have a great weekend!


  1. love it...along with all of the other projects you do...

  2. I love it. Your blog is such a inspiration to me. I finished a headboard for my room this week. I would love for you to check it out. I posted it on pintrest under Pam Biddle, Our townhouse heaven. Hope you like it.

  3. You are awesome! What a great idea. Just love your creativity.

  4. Thank you so much for the tutorial ~ the headboard looks great!

  5. I love it and the fact that you used a drop cloth. I wonder how well those paint..... I think I might be doing this for our guest room. Thanks!

    1. Helen, they paint very well! I've used it to paint pillow cushions for chairs. That's what my dining room chair cushions are...painted drop cloth. :)

  6. Cute headboard! So, I was reading this in my reader on my phone and I totally misread the title...I read it as "upholstered headBAND"...haha! I was trying to figure out what that would look like.

  7. Nice job - I've seen a few and people don't take the patience to get those tack things super straight - you've done a great job. I can't wait to see more...B:)

  8. I really want to make one for our bed too. How would you attach it to bed?

    xxx Magda

  9. I love it ... and your Blog! :o)


  10. That is awesome and the timing perfect for me, I am about to tackle a king size headboard for our bedroom, you have shared some great tips here, thanks!

    xx Karen

  11. i'm making a headboard very similar to yours for my guestroom...did it very similar to yours. right now it's in the middle of the sunroom floor waiting on me to add batting and yes, painter's drop cloth plus nailhead trim. i got sidetracked when it took 3 weeks to gut a bathroom at my mom's old house we recently rented...just can't seem to get back into the groove to complete the headboard.

    can't wait to see how his room turns out!

  12. Love the tacks! Great tip
    How will you attach it to the bed?

  13. Its good to be here, very nice post, the content is amazing, keep posting friend it will be very helpful for everyone, Thanks for sharing. I really liked it.
    Thanks And Regards
    post property in Lucknow

  14. I just discovered you when searching for a kitchen table that will hold up to kids. :-) I've been wanting to do the headboard for our room. We will be adding my husband's office into our room many of your ideas are just what I needed for inspiration. Thank you!

  15. great headboard and you are a dear to take pics every step of the way. I don't remember from the post, but what was the cost of all the wood, batting, etc? I would love to make one of those for our guest room.

    I love the restoration hardware kids' rooms. I am wondering if that is the look you are going for. A little industrial, but also comfy with denim, etc.

  16. This is so helpful! how did you attach to the bed/wall? Also, what did you use for the bed frame?

  17. Just gave this great post a shout out!


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