Home Swoon Home: DIY Upholstered Headboard

It is completely embarrassing to admit this, but I have not had a headboard on my bed since college.  Inexcusable!  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am in the process of redecorating my home to make the space truly me and a place I truly love.  This past week, I tackled an upholstered headboard.  My friends, it couldn't have been simpler.  And due to some good luck, my out of pocket cost was less than $20.  Here are the details:

What you need:

- thin piece of plywood (I used very thin lauan plywood from Lowes, which I had on hand after using the lauan for walls in my laundry room - more to come on that project!).  You can also use about 3/4 inch plywood.  Make sure it is light, as you'll have to mount it to the wall later.

- batting & 1 inch thick foam (I bought the batting at Walmart for about $4; I got the foam for free at Target because I had a gift-card:  I just used a foam mattress pad and it worked great. I happened to find one on clearance for super cheap.  But you can also get the foam at Michael's or AC Moore)

- fabric large enough to cover the entire piece of plywood and about 2 inches extra on each side.  You want thick upholstery fabric: something durable.  Believe it or not, canvas drop cloths from the painting section of any hardware store work perfectly for this.

- upholstery stapler & scissors

What you do:

(1) Measure your bed frame and figure out how wide and how tall you want the headboard.  I used some blue painter's tape on the wall to figure out how tall the headboard would be.  I just propped up the pillows and saw what height looked good.

(2) Cut (or have Lowes or Home Depot) cut your plywood to size.  Lauan is so thin I was able to use a sharp razor on it and it was fine.  But a jigsaw would have been ideal (hint hint ... Christmas gift anyone?).

(3) place your plywood on a soft, clean surface.  Please forgive my "helper" Coco.

(4) cut the foam to the size of your plywood.  Lay foam on top of plywood.  Then cover the foam with the batting, ensuring there is some overlapping batting on all four sides.

(5) Carefully turn the headboard over and staple the batting to the back - just one or two staples on each side to hold it in place will do the trick. Then, flip it back over and take your fabric (which you should iron before you get started) and cover the batting, again making sure that there is extra fabric over all four sides.

(6) Turn the headboard over again and start stapling. Make sure that you pull the fabric & batting nice and taut before you staple. It is also wise to check your work after every few staples, just to make sure everything looks fine.

(7) Once all of your staples are in, cut the excess fabric and batting from the back of the headboard and turn it over to admire your hard work.

(8) This part is optional:  I knew I wanted nail-head trim around my headboard, so I bought this super cool "trim tacks" from this shop on eBay.   Basically, it is a reel of nail-head looking trim and you nail in a tack every five spaces or so. It is really easy to use, but I warn you: it is sharp.  My fingers look like Edward Scissorhands got a hold of them: I advise working with gloves if you do this.

(9) I used simple "D ring" hooks to mount the headboard to the wall (you can find these in the picture-hanging section of Lowe's -- just ask: I've found the folks at Lowe's incredibly helpful in all my home projects).  I had figured out beforehand where the top of the headboard should be, so I just measured down from the ceiling and figured out where to drill my holes.  I mounted the D-rings on each side of the headboard and then put large screws in the wall:  one side in a stud (lucky me: I happened to find a stud) and the other side in a wall anchor.   Hang the headboard, check if it's level and ta da! done. It took me about 3-4 hours from start to finish (i.e., from cutting the plywood to hanging on the wall)

And the best part? It cost me only $19 out of pocket.  I had the plywood and fabric on hand.  The nail-head trim was $15 (including shipping) and the batting was $4.  Foam was free.  However, even if you have to purchase plywood and fabric and foam, the total would easily run less than $50.  Not bad!

I have to say - I'm proud of my work!  It's very sturdy and doesn't move an inch.  Need any handy-help? Let us know!

See you swoon,

1 comment:

  1. I have those same lamps at my bedside too! they look terrific with your new headboard. the whole effect is very pretty.