DIY Upholstered Headboard

6 Materials
3 Hours

I decided after looking at a lot of different tutorials online that I could probably create my own for quite cheap. This headboard cost less than $100 and only took a couple hours to make. Your cost will depend on the cost of the fabric you choose and if you can get the other materials on sale.
diy upholstered headboard
 We got this giant 5×8 piece of MDF from Home Depot for $5!! Yes only $5. There was some damage to the edges of the piece but since we were cutting out out shape it didn’t matter. I started by by tracing a rectangle and then used a clock to trace out the circular shapes. Measure and trace out your shape then cut it out with a jigsaw.
diy upholstered headboard
Once your shape is cut out trace out your upholstery foam and glue it on with spray adhesive. The foam was the most expensive part of this project. I used 2″ foam. Cover the foam with batting for extra padding and smoothness. Staple it in place using a staple gun on the backside of the headboard. I bought the foam and batting from Joanne craft store.  If you have pets they will think this is a new soft dog bed you created just for them. Ha ha. I couldn’t get Luna off to take a photo.
diy upholstered headboard
The next step is to staple your fabric on top of the foam. I couldn’t find a fabric I liked at the fabric store and I didn’t want to purchase it online either. I actually used a duvet cover from Target! I cut the top layer of the duvet cover off and stapled it in place. I love this pattern. 

To add stability we added legs to the headboard so that it wouldn’t tip over and fall on us while we sleep.

The great thing about this headboard is that I can change it later. If I decide to redo my bedroom I can easily cover the fabric with something new or disassemble it and cut the wood to change the shape or drill holes in the wood and create tufts! 
diy upholstered headboard
Finished product
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Adrienne Carrie Hubbard | Crafty Little Gnome

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Nona
    on May 2, 2017

    Besides the legs, how does the headboard remain standing? Does it need to be propped up against a wall or did you attach it to the bed? We have a split king and the head can raise. Wonder if this would move the headboard around?
    • Leanne Watts
      on Feb 26, 2019

      When I made one years ago, I just attached it to the bed itself. Most beds have a place where you can bolt a headboard on - right on the bed frame itself.

  • Humaira Siddiqui
    on Aug 19, 2017

    What's the difference between 2" regular foam and upholstery foam? Aren't they same?
    • Sandy
      on Feb 4, 2019

      It's all about the density of the foam. Upholstery foam is usually a heavier density so it doesn't flatten out on furniture. Hope this helps.

  • Renee
    on Feb 4, 2019

    Can I use plywood instead of cardboard ?and can it just be fixed to the wall instead of legs added?

    • Leanne Watts
      on Feb 26, 2019

      I used plywood and it was great. With the weight, we added legs and bolted it right to the bed frame.

Join the conversation

2 of 21 comments
  • Andrea Lunsford
    on Feb 17, 2019

    MDF is poison and you're sleeping next to it all night long. Be careful with using cheap materials because of the off-gassing of the glues.

  • Kathy Kovacev
    on Apr 8, 2019

    Super!!!. It's gorgeous. Well done.

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