A Cheap Way to Make an Upholstered Headboard


Upholstered headboards add a cozy and elegant feel to a room and make the bed a more inviting place to snuggle into with a good book. If you’ve researched purchasing an upholstered headboard, you will have realized that the price of a nice upholstered headboard can be prohibitive. Making a do-it-yourself upholstered style headboard is not only much cheaper than buying one, but it also gives you the freedom to customize it to your decor.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 planks 2-by-2 lumber, 56 inches
  • 2 planks 2-by-2 lumber, 36 inches
  • Saw
  • Wood screws, 3 inches
  • Drill
  • Plywood sheet, 1/2-by-36-by-56 inches
  • Finishing nails
  • Foam batting
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery fabric or other thick fabric
  • Iron
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • 1 plank 2-by-2 lumber, 51 inches
  • Drywall screws, 4 inches

Trim the ends of the 36-inch and 56-inch lumber to a 45-degree angle. Then form the planks into a rectangular frame for the start of a double-bed sized headboard. The angled ends of the planks will mate to form 90-degree corners. Or use a store-bought frame, such as those used by artists for canvas paintings, if available.

Drive a wood screw through each corner to secure the frame together. Then place the plywood sheet over the top of the frame and nail it in place with finishing nails around the perimeter of the plywood into the frame.

Unroll foam batting so that it is flat on the work surface. Then place the frame with the plywood side down on top of the batting. Pull the batting up over the sides of the frame and staple on the back. Put one staple in the center of each side first so that the pull on the batting is even. Then work your way outward, alternating sides for each staple.

Lay out the chosen fabric for your headboard and iron it flat. Place it face-down on the work surface. Then place the frame, batting side down, onto the fabric.

Pull the fabric up over the sides of the frame and staple in place. Do the center staple of each side first, then check that the fabric is sitting as desired on the front of the frame before completing the rest of the stapling. Trim off any excess batting and fabric from the back of the frame with scissors.

Find the wall studs above the bed and mark their location. Measure up 34 inches from the bed frame and mark a level line at this point. Place the 51-inch plank just under the line and screw it in place with drywall screws through the points where the wall studs are. This is the hanging cleat for the headboard.

Center the headboard over the cleat. Then drive a couple of wood screws through the top of the headboard frame into the cleat to secure it. Push the bed right up under the headboard to complete the project.

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