Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY: upholstered headboard

I've been thinking about making a headboard myself, instead of buying one, for awhile now. So, I decided to go for it.   
This is where my inspiration came from...

Pottery Barn = $1,500

Crate & Barrel = $2,000
Wowzers. There is absolutely no way I could justify spending that kind of money on a headboard to my husband!  No thanks. 

I've been reading a ton of blogs and getting ideas. Here are some other tutorials that were great: Centsational GirlFreckles Chick, and Jenna Sue Design.
My hubby thought I was insane, but it actually ended up being much easier than we anticipated. And the fact that I just saved us  $1,500 wasn't so bad either!

Here it is...and it only cost us about $100!

Here's the run down:
I was able to get to Home Depot and JoAnn's in one day and grab all of the materials.

  • 1/2 inch plywood, 78x35 for a king size bed (Home Depot - $24)
  • linen fabric (JoAnn's - $16/yard)
  • cotton batting (JoAnn's - 5.99/yard)
  • staple gun (Home Depot - $20)
  • decorative nails (JoAnn's - $21.99)
  • needle nose pliers
  • rubber mallet
First, I measured the width of the bed. For our king size bed it was 78 inches. Then, I measured from the floor to where I wanted the top of the headboard to be. For the height, I measured from about 2 inches below the top mattress to where I thought the top of the headboard should be, which was 35 inches.

I bought the 1/2 inch plywood from Home Depot for around $24. They were super helpful and cut the wood to fit my dimensions.

I decided to splurge a bit on the fabric since I was saving so much money on my DIY headboard. I found a beautiful tan colored linen that I just fell in love with. I love the neutral tone because it's easy to enhance with bright pillows! The fabric was $16/yard and I needed 3 yards to cover the entire piece of plywood. I also bought 3 yards of cotton batting and the nail head trim kit at JoAnn's. Luckily, I had a gift card from my sweet mother-in-law + an online coupon, so the total cost was $58.

When we got home, it was time to get to work!

Start by ironing your fabric if it's wrinkled. Trust me, it makes a difference!

Lay the batting down with the plywood on top of it. Pull the batting until it is smooth and tight. Staple the first side with the staples about 2 inches apart. Move to the other side of the headboard and repeat.

Here is the board once you have completed stapling the batting all the way around:

You'll basically repeat this entire process with the fabric. Lay the fabric face down on the floor and place board with the batting on top. Pull the fabric in the very center over the top and secure it with one staple. Gently work the fabric one side at a time from the center staple to the upper corner, tightening and securing with one staple at a time. You want to make sure there aren't any wrinkles or air pockets between the fabric and batting. 

When you get the to corners, I just folded mine as if I was wrapping a present and stapled away. It doesn't have to be perfect...no one will see it :)

Flip your headboard over and start lining up the nail heads. Now, let me go ahead and tell you...you must have PATIENCE! There was a lot of cursing, correcting, and redoing involved in this step, but I promise it is worth it. Walk your nail head trim around the headboard, gently pounding in the nail heads with a rubber mallet. I chose to use a trim kit that only required a nail every 5 spaces, which made my life MUCH easier. I created a border that was about 2 inches from the edge of the headboard. 

The last step was adding the legs to the headboard in order to stand it against the wall. We bought 2 2x4's that were 2 1/2 feet long from Home Depot. Make sure the screws you use are long enough to secure the 2x4 to the headboard, BUT not so long that you pierce the fabric.

I knew the legs needed to hang about 2 feet from the bottom of the headboard in order for it to be the right height. 

One Sunday afternoon later...TA-DA! The nail heads aren't perfect, but I think that's what I love most about it! I couldn't believe how easy everything was and how much money we saved! 
Total cost: $102

I really want to make one for our guest bedroom...so be on the lookout for another post!


  1. WOW! I can't believe you made this on your own. beautiful!

    1. Thank you! Super easy! Let me know if you want any help making one :)


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