We Made a Headboard

For those of you waiting for a thrilling sequel to We Made a Bed…here it is.

DIY upholstered headboard ashandorange.wordpress.com

We made a headboard!

My goal for the bed was this beauty from Restoration Hardware. I like the simple lines and linen fabric. It just looks so relaxing and comfortable. The price tag is anything but comfortable. So I decided I could make something similar with the help of my partner in DIY insanity, also known as my husband.

I looked at a lot of upholstered headboard tutorials online (people love making upholstered headboards), and used some of those tips. Most people make the headboard out of a sheet of 1/2″ plywood cut to size, then some 1″ foam, batting, and finally fabric. I went about things a little differently.

First, we built a frame out of 2×4 lumber. The two vertical posts are 56″, and the three horizontal rails are 54″. This makes a 56″ tall and 61″ wide frame (which works for our homemade queen size bed). I wanted the headboard to have some depth to it that wasn’t just foam. That is why I decided to make a 2×4 frame. You get the 1.5″ depth of the 2×4 plus a little extra from your upholstery.

headboard frame ashandorange.wordpress.com

Next, we attached a piece of 1/4″ plywood underlayment to the frame with brads. (We had Home Depot cut the underlayment to 41.5″ tall by 61″ wide).

headboard frame ashandorange.wordpress.com

And now for the upholstery part…I wrapped the base frame with 2 layers of batting. I did this gently as batting tears very easily. The batting (and all other layers) is secured on the back of the frame with staples. I then wrapped the headboard with a cheap sheet. Wrapping the batting in thin fabric before the final fabric gives a much smoother and nicer look, in my opinion.

To finish it off, I wrapped the headboard in my favorite fabric of all time…canvas painter’s drop cloth. It is thick, soft (after washing and drying), and gives a nubby linen look. I did all my upholstering with the headboard standing up so I could smooth the fabric as I went.

headboard alone ashandorange.wordpress.com

The corners are the most difficult part and my method was basically like a hospital corner when making a bed. I cut away some fabric and then just played with the fabric until I got a smooth and sharp corner.headboard corner ashandorange.wordpress.com

The back isn’t pretty but it doesn’t show. I included a picture to help anyone understand the upholstery job.

headboard back ashandorange.wordpress.com

Once the upholstering was done, we attached our new headboard to the bed using two  3″ wood screws through the leg of the headboard and into the leg of the bed frame.

DIY upholstered headboard ashandorange.wordpress.com

DIY upholstered headboard ashandorange.wordpress.com

It turned out really nice. It is not super cushy but it is soft and feels just fine to rest your head on while reading.

As for cost:

  • 2×4 lumber:  $13.41
  • 1/4″ underlayment:  $13.95
  • Batting:  $6
  • Sheet:  $4
  • Drop cloth:  $11.88

An upholstered headboard for around $50. I’ll take it!


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