How to Make a Padded Headboard for a Bed


Creating a custom padded headboard is a great way to add personality and character to a room. It's a relatively simple process and can be easily customized to your needs.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2" Foam (39" x 63")
  • Measuring tape
  • Black marker
  • Yard stick or other straight edge
  • Scissors
  • Plywood (40" x 65")
  • Hot glue or spray adhesive
  • Batting (slightly larger than your board)
  • Fabric (also slightly larger than your board)
  • Staple gun
  • (2) 1" x 4" x 58" wood boards
  • (2) 1" x 4" x 20" wood boards
  • 22 wood screws
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • 3/4" decorative nailhead trim
  • Drill with 1/16" bit
  • Rubber mallet 

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Step 1

Start by gathering your supplies.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 2

Lay out your foam and mark where you want to cut it. You will want to cut the foam slightly smaller than the plywood to allow room for your nailhead trim -- a one inch border on the sides and top is all you'll need. The foam for this headboard was cut down to 39" x 63". When marking your foam, it helps to use a straight edge, like a yardstick, to ensure your line is even. Regular scissors will work for cutting half inch foam. However, if you are cutting thicker foam, an electric knife will make the process much easier.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 3

Adhere your foam to the plywood, making sure it is centered on the sides and flush against the bottom edge. A little hot glue in the corners should hold it in place. You can also use spray adhesive to adhere it, either will work well.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 4

Lay your fabric out on a large, flat surface with the wrong side up. Then, lay your batting on top of the fabric. Finally, lay your plywood piece, foam side down, on top of the other two layers.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 5

Staple your batting and fabric to the back of the plywood. You can staple both layers together or separately, pulling them taut as you go.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 6

To create the headboard's supporting legs, attach the two 1" x 8" x 20" wood boards to the two longer 1" x 8" x 58" boards using wood screws. You'll need two screws at the top of the 20" piece and two at the bottom. Make sure the boards are flush on the sides and bottom.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 7

Attach the wood boards to the back of your headboard with the shorter side facing forward. Make sure the shorter board is pushed flush against the front of the headboard. Two screws at the base, two at the top, and one in the middle should secure it in place.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 8

To create a finished look, cover the bottom portion of the 1" x 4" board with fabric. Wrap the fabric around the board and staple it on the back side. Folding the top edge before stapling will give you finished edge where the headboard meets the wood board.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 9

Measure and mark where you want to attach your nailhead trim. This nailhead trim was spaced two inches apart. Pre-drilling a small hole with a 1/16" drill bit will ensure the nailhead trim goes in straight.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 10

After you've pre-drilled your holes, gently tap your nailhead trim into place with a rubber mallet.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Step 11

Attach your headboard to the frame using wood screws and either a drill or phillips head screw driver. If you have trouble getting the screws to go in, pre-drill your holes and try again.

(Image: Bethany DeVore)

Once your headboard is attached to the frame your project is complete. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the finished product!

(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)
(Image: Bethany DeVore)
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