Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to make an upholstered headboard

No power tools required! I promise.
(to the tune of Montel) This is how we do it...

1/4'' thick plywood
2'' thick upholstery foam
upholstery fabric
staple gun
picture hanging kit 

1. Measure your mattress and determine how wide you want the headboard to be. Make it 2 - 6'' wider than your mattress. It looks wonky otherwise! Next, determine how tall you want it to be. Write these numbers down, and go shopping.

2.  Buy stuff! The hardware store will cut the plywood to size, and the fabric store will cut the foam and fabric to size. The foam and fabric should be about 6 inches longer and wider than the plywood, so they can wrap all the way around the edges with room to spare.

3. Lay the foam on the floor. Place the plywood on top of it. Center everything nicely, wrap the foam tightly around the edges, and staple it to the back of your headboard. THWONK! THWONK! Use lots of staples and make sure you're pulling tightly. The foam should be nice and smooth on the front of your headboard.

4. Iron the fabric. This step is not optional, sorry!

5. Place the headboard on the ironing board, face-up, and lay the fabric on top. Position the fabric. If you're using patterned fabric, make sure it's not crooked!

6. If it's too long, as mine was, cut off the excess. You only need a few inches of excess fabric on each side. This unflattering picture is here to assure you that YES, the project is so easy that you can do it in your pajamas.

7. THWONK! THWONK! Wrap the fabric around the edges of the headboard, and staple it in place on the back side. Start in the center of one of the longer sides, and work your way toward the corners. It helps to have a partner smooth and hold the fabric while you staple (Thanks, Mom!). It also helps to have a cat give you accusatory looks while you work.

8. At the corners, experiment with the fabric until you've folded it into a pleasing arrangement over the corner of your headboard. This part is subjective; I like the look of two pleats. Staple.

9. Almost done! Take a break and have a glass of wine.

10. Then use the picture-hanging kit to hang the headboard over your bed, as if it's a big ol' framed picture. The picture-hanging kit comes with instructions. But if you need to know RIGHT NOW how to to it, eHow has you covered.

Voila! ...and goodnight.


  1. Jen! You are so not a creepy lurker. I love meeting other bloggers, so I'm so happy you commented. This tutorial is awesome and can I just say that I'm in love with the fabric you chose! Where the heck did you find it?! I want some for my house!

    Wearing It On My Sleeves

  2. That look fantastic! Love the detailed steps and you side commentary is hilarious! Glass of wine? Dont mind if I do! Bookmarking this for if/when I'm in a DIY mood!

  3. I am SO doing this, it looks fantastic. And can I please add that beautiful cat to my collection?! So cute :)

  4. you couldn't have done it without the aid of Cat :)


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