Thursday, May 17, 2012

DIY Upholstered Headboard

I made this headboard for the EcoRehabarama house I staged for this weekend and now I'm gonna show you how I did it. This was pretty easy to make and it turned out better than I thought it would for just about $100.

The first thing I did was search for my fabric. I bought this fabric from spoonflower and ordered 1 yard of the heavy cotton twill. The size was 58" x 36" which was the perfect size and the chevrons lined up perfectly. I'm glad I didn't mess this up because there certainly wasn't forgiveness having only ordered 1 yard!

Next, I designed and built the frame for the headboard using 1x2's and plywood. After it was built the whole thing got sanded.

Since my frame was a little larger than the fabric, I bought another fabric to sew around the edges. This could be out of anything. I thought about doing a bright, fun color but then landed on something toned down. I bought 2 yards of this fabric so I could cut a strip long enough to stretch along the top. Otherwise it would have to have a seam in the middle.

Next, my mom and I cut 8" strips of the beige fabric (if your padding is really thick you will want to cut the strips wider in order to wrap all the way around to the back where it gets stapled). We then pinned the top on, sewed it, pinned the bottom, sewed it, and then did the sides.

Once that was finished I ironed it really well making sure to press the seams flat so they don't show once upholstered.

I then laid the foam out on the flat side of the frame and cut it to size. I used 1.5" foam from Hobby Lobby. It was much cheaper there than at JoAnn. You can use something thicker if you want but it will make adding the nailhead trim much more difficult. I thought 1.5" felt plenty soft. 

I then used just a regular 'ol tacky glue to glue the foam to the frame.

Once it was dry I laid the sewn fabric on top and lined it up. I was careful to measure each side to make sure it was perfectly even. I didn't worry about the bottom since that would be blocked by the mattress and pillows. 

The next step was probably the hardest part of it all. The stapling. For this part I held it up and kept everything in place while my dad stapled. Start at the top center and work your way out to the edges working wrinkles out as you go. Make sure you pull the fabric the same amount of tightness or else your finished product will look all lumpy.

Once all 4 sides were stapled, we got to the fun part - the nailhead trim. I cheated a bit on this step by buying this stuff by Dritz:

Every fifth "nailhead" has a hole where you put a nail in so you're not actually nailing down every single one.

Here, my dad is nailing in the trim.

Once that was finished I cut off the excess fabric on the backside. The headboard will just hang on the wall by a couple of screws. Make sure you screw into a stud to make it extra sturdy. Another helpful thing to do is use this:

This will help keep the fabric clean - especially the white parts!

Now we're finished!


  1. That looks so good, Laura! I've always wanted to try to do an upholstered headboard but just didn't have the courage. Congrats on a job well done!

  2. Oh, and I love those throw pillows too. Vintage fabric?

  3. That is some kind of fabulous! Love, love!

  4. Love it!!! Amazing job! And the fabric is to die for!

  5. Such a fun project! I love how the chevron pops in the room.

    Cheers, Elizabeth @ The Corner Apartment

  6. WOW pretty! i love the accents of gold with the navy blue! :))