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Friday, September 9, 2011

DIY upholstered headboard

During my 10 day crafting extravaganza at our Montana cabin, I managed to whip out a DIY upholstered headboard for a queen size bed in one of our guest bedrooms.  This project took me less than 45-minutes to complete.

4x8 plywood cut down to 4x5 ($6.00 at Lowes, the cutting is free - just ask)
Twin sized foam mattress topper ($9.99 at Walmart)
1 1/2 - 2 yrds upholstery fabric (I used Waverly Small Talk Mint Julep, $14.98/yrd)
3M spray adhesive
Hardware to attach the frame to the bed ($.10 for each nut/bolt) & drill


Spray the back of your mattress topper with adhesive, and attach it to the plywood (textured side down). You may want to let the foam hang 1 inch over the edges of the headboard, in order to soften them.

Cut an approx 10" strip from your fabric, and set aside.  Now, align your fabric on top of the foam, making sure your fabric is long enough to cover the area of the headboard that will be exposed (above your mattress) and that, if applicable, your fabric's pattern is facing the right direction.  If your fabric isn't wide enough to cover the headboard with the pattern facing the right-way (I ran into this problem), get creative.  Stitch strips of fabric along the outside edges to widen, or break your fabric up into thirds and stitch. 

Once your fabric is aligned, start stapling the top edge to the back of your headboard.  Once you have a few staples in, pull the fabric tight and place a few staples along the bottom edge of the fabric (into the front of the plywood).  Continue stapling until the fabric is secure.  Save the corners for last.

To finish off your headboard you'll need to attach the strip of fabric you set aside earlier to the exposed sides of the plywood (near the bottom).  Make sure your fabric is wide enough to cover the area that will be visible, cut to size, and staple.

Attach your headboard to your bed frame.


  1. Cute! So how many projects did you manage to squeeze in your 10 day getaway?

  2. Thanks!
    At least 7: I reupholstered a chair, made throw pillows, hemmed the curtains, painted the bathroom, made 2 x chalkboard headboards, an upholstered headboard, finished painting the kitchen....and more (I was delirious at that point)
    I was happy when our house-guests came, b/c that meant no more projects! (they actually came on day 7, so I crammed all my projects into 7 days)

  3. Wow! Super Crafter! I can't wait to see them all on your blog!

  4. I slept so much better with that headboard on the bed :)

  5. How did you attach the headboard to the bed? I'd love to make my own. Most of the ones I've seen have been wall mounted, and yours is the first I've seen mounted to the bed.

  6. I just lined up the headboard with the pre-drilled holes in the bed-frame, drilled corresponding holes in the headboard, and secured with nuts/bolts. The nice thing is - the headboard has some weight so it keeps the bed in place.