How to make a fabric headboard

DIY upholstered headboard

If you have ever watched any of the home design shows on television you have seen them create a fabulous headboard for next to nothing with fabric. This offers the most design options of any headboard and for a mere pittance you can create a headboard that just screams designer. It does not take any special skills and with just a few items you will get great results.


Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to buy a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood. These are for sale at most lumber yards and also at big box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. The sheets are quite large so you will have to consider how you are going to get this home. A truck or a minivan should be large enough to handle it. Some lumber yards will cut the sheet for you so if you are concerned about the size, ask.

Step 2

A trip to the fabric store is in order and you can purchase your fabric, the foam and the batting there. Take your time making your fabric choice. You want a material that is durable, will not be stained by hair oil if someone happens to touch their head to it and something that won’t fray or fall apart if it is stapled. Buy more fabric than you think you might need, coming up short will ruin your project.

Step 3

You need to decide what shape you want for your headboard and to trace it onto the plywood. Place the plywood on a secure surface, such as between two sawhorses and cut out the pattern you have drawn. A SKIL saw is good for this job. Use a light sandpaper to sand down any rough edges or splinters caused by the saw. You are now ready to begin the assembly.

Step 4

The piece of foam should be bigger than the size of the headboard or you may need to use more than one piece of foam depending on your headboard design. Lay the foam on the plywood and trace the design so that you can cut the foam to the exact size of the plywood. An electric carving knife works well for this job.

Step 5

Take the piece of fabric and lay it face down on a secure surface. Place the batting on top of that. Take the foam and lay it on top of the fabric and batting followed by the plywood. Get your staple gun and begin pulling the fabric tight up over the foam and batting to the back of the plywood and staple it. Move your way all around the headboard making sure to check the front for any wrinkling in the fabric.

Step 6

Your headboard is now ready to embellish or just attach to the wall. You can add studs, buttons or other design elements, it is up to you. Your headboard can also stay just as it is and for a first time project this is fine. There are several ways you can attach it to the wall. You can add a wire picture hanger and hang it like a picture or you can put hooks into the corners. You can also use flush mounts that interlock, these are a good design to choose because they will make your headboard the most secure and less apt to move and bang again the wall.

Things Needed
• Fabric
• 2 inch foam
• Batting
• Staple gun
• Electric carving knife
• 1/4 inch plywood
• Skill saw
• Pencil

Tips & Warnings
• Choose your fabric wisely, it should be beautiful as well as practical.
• Wrap the batting tightly and evenly around the foam and plywood.


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