DIY headboard

I got a request this week from a dear friend of mine to do a blog post about upholstered headboards. Unfortunately I made both of mine “pre-blog” and don’t have any pictures of the process, only after pictures. But I assure you, its such a simple process that you really don’t need the pictures. First, you need to decide the shape of the headboard you want. Check out this site for ideas and proper shape names. I went with the “Portman” for the master bedroom here IMG_0011 and the simple “Finsbury” shape for the guest bedroom here
IMG_0007 Next, you’ll need some supplies. And some math. ugh. Thankfully I had my dad and hubby for that part (well lets face it they did the entire thing but I supervised, which is very important!) but I’m sure you can do it on your own if need be. You’ll need…

for one headboard:
large piece of plywood
pencil
tape measurer
scroll saw
sandpaper
foam
spray adhesive
staple gun
fabric
molly bolts
upholstery tacks (optional)

I almost always use outdoor fabric when I’m doing a project. There are many reasons for this; one is that the outdoor fabric usually comes in more colorful vibrant patterns which is right up my alley. Second, because its made to withstand the outdoors, its more durable and even comparable to much more expensive upholstery fabric. Third, it’s almost always on sale at Joann’s. For instance, yesterday I bought 5 1/2 yards of outdoor fabric because I am making an outdoor couch out of palettes and an old mattress (stay tuned, THAT project I will definitely be documenting and blogging!) for our new patio. The fabric, normally 19.99/yd was on sale for 50% off plus I had a coupon for 20% off my total purchase. So what would have cost me $110 before taxes actually cost me about $45 out the door. Cant really beat that! Ok back to the project. I’m just going to give some general step by steps here without all the handyman mumbo jumbo since, again, I was the supervisor. Here goes…
1. With a pencil, trace out your desired shape on the plywood.
2. Spray your adhesive on the foam and apply to the other side of the plywood without the penciled shape.
3. After letting it dry for a bit, take your scroll saw and cut out along the traced shape and since your foam is already attached, you’ll be cutting it as well!
4. Once cut, sand the edges.
5. Place your fabric on too of the foam and carefully flip it over. Lay the headboard foam side down and using your staple gun, tightly wrap your fabric around and staple, checking periodically for folds or creases. This may be extra tricky depending on the shape you chose, so take your time and remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, the more little imperfections the more one of a kind it is!
6. Once completely stapled, apply fabric tacks along the edges for a finished look if you desire but again, totally optional.
7. Time to install. You could use 2×4’s and attach them to the headboard and then to your bed. But if your room is like most, the bed really only goes in one spot so why not just hang the thing on the wall and save yourself some time? Plus when you attach it to the bed it has to go lower and you lose a lot of the height of the headboard. That’s something I forgot to mention earlier too; when deciding how big you want your headboard just remember that there will be pillows up against it as well so you want to account for that and possibly make it a little higher. You could even sit up against the plywood and see where your head reaches when you’re sitting up in bed to say, read a book. We measured it over the center of the bed and using heavy duty Molly bolts and anchors, hung it in the wall.
That’s it, it’s really that simple, and very affordable too. One last thing, don’t forget to scotchguard your fabric, it will last longer!

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One thought on “DIY headboard

  1. Wonderful! I actually already have the headboard (I took my grandmother’s bedroom set), so that makes the process even simpler (more simple?). I’m actually refinishing all her furniture, I’m kind of looking forward to a heavy duty DIY yourself project. But I’m starting with the headboard since this seems the easiest. Thanks again Lor!

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