diy: upholstered headboard

This one’s for Colleen 😉

We have a full size bed in our guest room that has just your basic bed frame on wheels…you know, the kind that mattress stores usually throw in for free when you buy a mattress and box spring.

This was fine when we were in our apartment, but in the room that it’s in now and with the current setup, the mattress has been leaning on the blinds behind it which just wasn’t working for me. So this past weekend, I decided to build a headboard:

1st stop: Home Depot

I had measured the width of the frame and added 2 inches so we’d be slightly over on each side, then measured from the ground to the top of the mattress and added 20″ for the height. This gave me a measurement of 50″x56″. Scott and I agreed on a 3/4″ thick piece of oak because we were afraid of warping, and took it back to the guy by the saw in the lumber section to cut to size.

I also bought a package of black tacks (they looked like this but I’m not positive this is the exact product I bought, all I know is they were in the same aisle as the nuts and bolts):

Also needed: 1 1/2″ bolts and nuts to later secure the headboard to the frame.

2nd stop: Joanne Fabrics

I chose a black faux suede for a rich look which matched the black Ikea dresser Scott put together a month ago perfectly. I had them cut the fabric adding 10 inches to the height and width so I knew I’d have enough to wrap around all the edges of the wood. I also picked up 11 black buttons and 2 rolls of this batting because it was wide enough to fold in half and still cover the width of the board:

Once I was home, I unrolled the batting and refolded it so that it was a uniform thickness. I did this with both rolls, laid one on top of the other, then pulled them across the wood and stapled around the back on the top and the sides. I wasn’t concerned about getting it to the bottom since that part would be behind the bed.

Once the batting was secure, I laid the fabric face-down on the floor, laid the board on top, padded side down, then pulled tight and stapled the fabric around all 4 sides of the board. I then flipped the board over, found my middle point of the part that would be visible above the mattress, and hammered in a tack. I measured 12 inches to the left and right of the center tack and hammered another 2 tacks, so 3 in all in the middle row. From there, I measured 5 inches up and 6 inches over from the middle and started my next row. I continued to do the same adding another row below the middle one. So my pattern looked like this (measurements will obviously be different for different sized beds):

Once all the tacks were in place, I used a hot glue gun to secure the buttons to the tacks.

From there, we picked up the board, placed it against the frame, and marked where the holes should be drilled. We pre-drilled to make it easier to get the bolts through, then we attached the headboard to the frame with the bolts:

It looks exactly how I pictured it 🙂

The things I would do differently if I could do it over again are 1) use bigger buttons because these ones just kinda disappear (although to my credit, it was really hard finding a button that they had 11 of), and 2) when attaching the batting, do not put it where your bolts will be drilled in. I made this mistake and when Scott was drilling, the bolts got so hot that they actually melted the batting as it was going through it, causing me to have to pull out the scissors and cut away the melted and hardened batting. Not fun and totally avoidable.

Happy DIY hump day!



Filed under DIY, home

9 responses to “diy: upholstered headboard

  1. Colleen

    Thanks for the totorial! I will definately be making one in the next month or so. How did you find fabric that was wide enough? I didn’t really think that it would have to cover the entire board!

    • Luckily the fabric I picked happened to be wide enough one way – I unrolled it first to make sure – I think the lady said that it was 2 yards wide which came out to 72″ and we only needed 66″.

  2. Jane

    Wish I could have a head board. I sleep on a futon, and in couch-mode, it just wouldn’t look right with a headboard. I think I’ll get some of that fabric, though, and build some curtains for my room– I love the way black looks with my Jimi Hendrix and Grateful Dead posters. But the gold frame on the picture of a fairy that my boyfriend got me is really bugging me.

  3. an upholstered headboard in #1 on our list for when we buy a new bedframe. we have a headboard now, but now upholstered. i dream of sitting up in bed and reading. sigh. awesome job–i’m so impressed that you took this on!

  4. Colleen

    We have a king size so I don’t even know if the wood will fit in our SUV! Maybe I will have to get two slabs and put them together.

  5. Colleen

    I finally conquared this project today!
    I should have added more fluff in mine because really, it is quite flat. I can probably just cover a Snapple bottle lid covered with fabric as a button cause i’m not gonna get that couch cushion looks anyways.

  6. Pingback: Reverb10: Made | Quarter Life Confused

  7. Pingback: 80 Headboard DIY | Rilane - We Aspire to Inspire

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