Upholstered Headboard From Scratch

7 Materials
2 Days

We wanted an upholstered headboard to add some colour and comfort to our bedroom but we weren't willing to pay hundreds or thousands for one. We had a foam mattress topper, fabric and batting which weren't being used and just needed to purchase some plywood.

Plywood cut to size
Cutting backing board

We cut the board down to 60 inches wide (the same width of our queen size bed) and the height 34 inches. You can use whatever you have lying around but we chose plywood as it is light and economical.

Hint: if using mattress topper foam you may want to check it's the same width as the bed so you can cut it in half for the second layer. We originally thought we'd make the headboard wider than our bed but the foam and fabric weren't wide enough.

Building up the layers

I cut two pieces of foam the same size as the board and sprayed the board with adhesive glue and attached the first layer of foam flat side down.

I then put 2 layers of batting on it and placed a second layer of foam on top, flat side on the outside. A piece of foam broke away but it was easily glued back in place.

At first I stapled batting to the outside, covering the 2 layers of foam but found it made the headboard too thick so I removed it.

Foam layers
Attaching the mounting block

I had some small pieces of batting and placed them in between the two layers of foam.

Next, lay the fabric on a flat surface and place the whole thing on top of it, foam side down. You will need assistance to do this. Once centred on the fabric get a staple gun and staple all the way around, about 3 inches from the edge.

Covering buttons
Covering the buttons

I had originally planned to add fabric covered buttons. I had marked on the back of the headboard where the buttons were to go. The fabric I was using was thick and the buttons were flimsy. I had some metal buttons and had to purchase more but could only get aluminium and plastic ones. I had made 22 but I gave up in frustration but they kept bending on me.

Corner example
Stapled corners

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the stapling process however, I can show you how I stapled the corner.

Headboard mounting block
Attaching the mounting block to headboard

Because we didn't want to make a trip to the hardware store we decided to improvise. My husband cut 2 strips of plywood approximately 2 inches wide by 40 inches long. Then he cut another 2 strips 4 inches wide by 40 inches long. He glued and nailed the narrow strips to the wide strips and left them to dry overnight. He then centered one on the wall, and using a stud finder checked where the timber wall framing and electric cables were behind the dry wall. After checking the markings were level, he began drilling holes through the timber mounting blocks matching them with the markings on the wall, ensuring the narrow piece was closest to the wall and at the bottom.

He aligned the other mounting block on the back of the headboard, and pre-drilled holes into both the mounting block and headboard before screwing them together.

Headboard wall mount
Attaching headboard wall mounting

Above you see that the double layer of plywood is screwed into the wall. The other piece on the back of the headboard slips over it to hold it securely to the wall.

Back of headboard
Attaching the spacer

We had to add a length of double plywood to the bottom of the back of the headboard so it laid flat against the wall.

Before photo

Above is before photo.

We did this project over several weeks, but think it can be knocked over in 1 or 2 days.

Below is after photo.

Finished headboard
Finished headboard

Here it is.

Thank you for your comments. After reading some suggestions I may put the picture in a larger frame. The picture is upside down as there is no right way of hanging it.

PS. I have corrected my wording errors, too. ;-)

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Anna Anna on Apr 12, 2021

    Why did you make it so narrow...would have looked much better if it had gone out behind the side tables.

  • Ellen Ellen on Apr 12, 2021

    Hi, WOW you and your husband did a Fabulous job!! Very resourceful to use a mattress topper that you already had. Foam is so expensive. I agree, you definitely need a much bigger frame or find a bigger picture.

  • Mspeppercorn Mspeppercorn on Apr 12, 2021

    The buttons could really improve it. Would using long staples to create the “tufting” then hot glue the buttons work?


Join the conversation

2 of 92 comments
  • AndradeTea AndradeTea on Apr 19, 2021

    Looks really good and I like the coordinating pillow.

  • Barbara Dirkmaat Barbara Dirkmaat on Sep 22, 2021

    I love it! The headboard is just the right width, in my opinion. I have never seen a headboard that extends behind the nightstands, as another person suggested. I think your picture above looks nice as well. If you wanted, sometime you could add other pictures ( or sconces) on either side of that picture. Overall, fantastic job!