DIY Upholstered Headboard

My friend Christy moved into a new apartment about a month ago. She’s gotten all of the basic furnishing she needs but now it’s time for the fun part…adding layers and color.
We started the process a few weeks ago by recovering the chairs from the dining set handed down from her grandmother. Read more about that here.
Besides the dining room set,  most of Christy’s furniture and decor is white or light colored. She wants to start adding pops of color to liven up the space, so we headed back to Mary Jo’s Fabric Store this weekend for an easy and affordable project I’ve been wanting to try for a long time.
A few Christmas’s ago, Christy’s parents gave her a beautiful bedding set from Pottery Barn. It’s the matine toile bedskirt and pillows in sprout along with the pearl embroidered duvet in thyme. So, she had the mattress, frame and bedding but no bed or headboard. We bought along pillows from her bedding on our trip to Mary Jo’s so we could find a coordinating fabric to make an uphostered headboard.
She purchased 3 yards of material, a sumptuous, yet affordable, green velour.  She also bought 4 yards of 1 1/2 inch foam, queen size roll of batting and spray adhesive (to adhere the foam to the wood).
After leaving Mary Jo’s, she went to Lowe’s to have a piece of plywood cut for the headboard. We went with 58 inches wide by 38 inches tall. The plan was to use picture hangers screwed to the back of the plywood to hang the headboard on nails secured to studs in the wall over her bed.
The first step in our process was to hoist the massive piece of wood up a flight of stairs…ugh.
Next we rolled out the foam to determine placement. We’re planning to add nailhead trim about two inches from the edge of the perimeter so we wanted our foam about 2 inches from the top and sides. The bottom will be behind the bed and therefore doesn’t matter. We used spray adhesive on the wood to adhere the foam to the wood so that it wouldn’t slip out of place.
Next, we placed the batting over the foam, making sure to leave enough on each side to wrap around the board and staple.
Next, we placed the fabric over the batting and cut to the size of the batting. Did I mention this fabric is sumptuous?
After cutting our batting and fabric, we flipped eveything over so the fabric was face down, then the batting, foam and finally the wood was on top. At this point, Christy pulled the fabric taut while I used the staple gun to staple the batting and fabric into the wood.
We stapled all four sides, making sure the fabric was tight. Here is the completed headboard (minus the nailhead trim).
You can see where the foam stands away from the headboard. The nailhead trim will go to the right of that line. We checked 5 stores and no local stores had the nailhead trim kit we were looking for. I finally found them online at Beacon Fabric where Christy ordered them. We’ll add the trim once they come in but we were too anxious to see what it would look like on the wall.
Speaking of hanging on the wall, this step was probably the most time consuming. I’m so glad Christy’s mom popped in for a visit because we really needed the third brain and hands.
We used a stud finder to located the studs over Christy’s bed (insert your jokes here). Once we found the studs, we (Christy and her mom) held the headboard up to the desired location and I marked the placement on the wall.
Next, we used a nifty little trick I found on Pinterest. We placed toothpaste on the wall where we marked the studs and then pressed the headboard against the wall so that the toothepaste would place a mark on the back of the headboard, telling us where I hangers should be screwed. (Note: Use a BIG dab of toothepaste for it to work).
After screwing the hangers into the back of the headboard, we nailed heavy duty picture hangers into the studs and hung the headboard.
Here is the before with with no headboard.
And here is the after.
I’ll provide an update and more pictures when we add the nailhead trim. This was an easy, affordable project that took less than 2 hours to complete. And for the cost breakdown…
4 yards foam:           4 X $8.49 = $33.96
3 yards of fabric:     3 X $8.98 = $26.94
Queen Size batting                     = $13.99
Spray Adhesive                           =  $4.79
58inch  X 38inch plywood       =  $11.84
D Ring Picture Hangers           =  $ 2.58
100 lb Picture Hanger Nails    =  $ 1.18
Nailhead trim (+shipping)      =  $28.00
TOTAL Project Cost                  = $123.28 (+ tax)
Considering this Pottery Barn version costs $599 (not including tax and shipping), I’d say it was a worthwhile project.

potterybarnraleighheadboard DIY Upholstered Headboard

image via Pottery Barn

Have you made an upholstered headboard before or thought about making one?

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31 Responses to DIY Upholstered Headboard
  1. Cameron
    August 1, 2011 |

    Yall did a GREAT job!! Love it.

  2. Mindy
    August 2, 2011 |

    The first thing that went through my head when I saw those bedroom pics was, she must be single with no children. LOL The room is SO PRETTY!!!! I love the headboard. It’s another one of those ‘maybe someday’, thoughts in my head.

  3. Angela
    August 2, 2011 |

    Crystal, This is so awesome!!! You did a great job! It makes such a difference to your bedroom already! It helps your bedding really stand out! I love it, love it, love it!

  4. THOUGHT about making one . . . yes! Ever acted on it . . . no! Ha Ha. This looks so great & professional. Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle

  5. Michelle
    August 3, 2011 |

    Gorgeous!! Love it! I am visiting from Not JUST A Housewife and I am a new follower!! I hope you have a great week and that I see you around soon!
    Michelle
    http://www.delicateconstruction.blogspot.com

  6. the cape on the corner
    August 4, 2011 |

    fabulous! and great tutorial-i’m thinking of tackling a small scale version of this behind my bed, for the space above the bed, but below the window. i think i could do it! thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Kristin
    August 5, 2011 |

    I’ve always wanted to do this but have never had the chance. Thanks for the inspiration–you did an amazing job!

  8. Meg
    August 5, 2011 |

    THat is a pretty big project! I love the green…you’re right, it’s so sumptuous! ;) Great job and I can’t wait to see it with the nailhead trim! I’d love for you to share this on my link party today! http://www.alittleknickknack.com Have a great weekend!

  9. Vanessa
    August 5, 2011 |

    Absolutely gorgeous!! And what a fantastic tip about the toothpaste! All of the fabrics are so beautiful together. :-) You guys did a great job and we are so glad you shared this with us at Inspiration Friday!
    Vanessa

  10. kelli
    August 5, 2011 |

    It looks great! I love your illustration of the nailheads:) And that tip with the toothpaste is great…I need to remember that next time I’m trying to hang pictures!

  11. Tanya
    August 5, 2011 |

    That looks AMAZING!!! I’m planning on doing this for my girls’ room sometime in the next few months. This is making me really excited about getting it done. It’s crazy what a huge difference a headboard makes. Y’all did a great job! Thanks for the tutorial and the toothpaste trick. BRILLIANT!

    I’m visiting from Amanda’s.

  12. Amanda @ Serenity Now
    August 5, 2011 |

    Oh, it looks so much better with the headboard!! I can’t imagine how great it will be once the nailhead trim is on. Great work!

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back-I appreciate that!). :)

  13. Amanda @ Serenity Now
    August 5, 2011 |

    Oh, it looks so much better with the headboard! I can’t imagine how great it will be once the nailhead trim is on. Great work!

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back-I appreciate that!). :)

  14. Carmie of the Single Nester
    August 5, 2011 |

    Looks terrific! Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. Dee
    August 5, 2011 |

    I love the color! Toothpaste… oh so clever. I just did my first headboard last month. Stop by and see how mine turned out. Looking forward to the update the nailheads.

  16. Amy
    August 6, 2011 |

    You are absolutely right- that fabric is gorgeous! The whole thing is lovely.
    xoxo,
    Amy

  17. Beverly {Flamingo Toes}
    August 6, 2011 |

    The color is just gorgeous! I love the way it looks with the bedding. You did a great job!
    Stopping by from TT&J! :)

  18. ColleenwithMurals&More
    August 6, 2011 |

    Just lovely. What a difference! And you make it look so easy! Love the toothpaste trick. Genius!

    Maybe you should consider HGTV’s DesignStar. They seem to have a bit of difficulty with headboards this season ;)

    Dropping by from Addicted2Decorating!

  19. Sommer
    August 6, 2011 |

    That turned out fabulously! I love your bedding too =) I hope you will come show this off at my VIP Party today. http://designergarden.blogspot.com/2011/08/vip-party-22.html

  20. Kristin
    August 6, 2011 |

    Looks great! Love that she chose velvet for her fabric. How cozy and luxurious! Visiting from Serenity Now’s Weekend Bloggy Reading Party- it’s nice to meet you!

  21. Jenn @ Social Salutations
    August 6, 2011 |

    This came out so great!! The fabric really LOOKS sumptuous!! I would love it if you would link this up to Saturday Social! Thanks for sharing the tutorial – I am pinning it for future reference!!

    http://socialsalutations.blogspot.com/2011/08/saturday-social-week-11.html

  22. jalinda
    August 7, 2011 |

    Very nice. I love the green! I too would have been too impatient to wait for the nailhead trim, great job!

  23. Amanda
    August 7, 2011 |

    This looks fab, I really need to make one of these, thanks for the tutorial!

  24. Debbie~refreshrestyle
    August 8, 2011 |

    Love the green and the toothpaste idea! Found you at YHL!
    Debbie

  25. Elyse Ellis
    August 9, 2011 |

    This is gorgeous! You are so talented! We would love for you to share this at our link party and come enter our free digital scrapbooking software giveaway!

    Love,
    The Sisters @ Six Sister’s Stuff

    http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/Strut%20Your%20Stuff%20Saturday

    http://sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-memories-digital-scrapbooking.html

  26. Leigh
    August 9, 2011 |

    Great tutorial! Please share with us on my new blog hop: http://rubybarr.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-hop.html

  27. Tanya Anurag
    August 17, 2011 |

    I want to make a head board but until now I was not sure how to fit it so that it does not fall on our faces while we are asleep. But this post helped me. Now I know exactly what needs to be done. Thanks for sharing. The dining chair looks beautiful too.

    We have a link-up party going on – Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you’d link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/2011/08/tea-time-thursdays-2-and-features.html

  28. Kat
    December 12, 2011 |

    Impressive! The headboard Really warms up the room!

  29. [...] thousands on a fancy new headboard. Headboards can be painted or decals, old doors or even diy upholstered! Don’t assume that when you need or want something new for your space that you’ll have [...]

  30. Anne {Almost Home}
    March 23, 2013 |

    Hi! I just found your blog from doing a search on making an upholstered headboard! (Our bed is desperate for a headboard!) Thanks for providing such a detailed explanation of your process. Your project turned out great!

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