Saturday, February 14, 2015

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

We recently moved into a new house; which meant our kids each got their own room! I think I was more excited than they were, since now they beg to sleep with each other every night. Oh well, I know that won’t last forever!
Anyway, I had been dreaming of how I would decorate each child’s room during the whole building process, and we’re finally completely done with my youngest daughter’s room!
Today though, I’m not going to show you the whole room. Bummer, I know! (You’ll have to check in next month for the grand reveal!) I’m just going to show you the SUPER EASY, SUPER AFFORDABLE headboard we made. I’m not kidding when I say you could complete this whole project in about hour!

Here’s what you’ll need.
An MDF board from Home Depot ($15, we only used half for this project.)
Heavy duty upholstery fabric (I used leftover fabric, so it’s basically free.)
Batting ($7 for the amount we used.)
Nail head trim ($25 from the local fabric store.)
Here’s where you start. Decide how wide you want your headboard to be. This headboard was going on a single-sized bed, so we just measured the width of the bed. It turned out that the MDF board that we bought was already the perfect width, so we didn’t have to make a cut.
Next, we decided how we tall we wanted the headboard to be. We weren’t super technical about this. I just wanted it to sit higher than the pillows. We marked it and Mike, my hubby, took out to the garage and cut it straight across with a skill saw.
Now comes the decorative part. Like I said, we’re not super technical, which is why this project is so easy. We tied a string onto a pencil, measured the length we needed for each circle, and used it as a guide to trace a circular pattern on the corners. Just hold the end of the string on the corner, and make sure your string is tight, and trace with the pencil. Repeat the process on the opposite corner.  We cut the circles with a jig saw.
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Measure your fabric and lay it right side down onto your work surface. We literally had just the right amount of fabric leftover from another project, so we just went with that. Make sure you have at least 4-5 inches of overhang, so you have something to work with.
Measure your batting to the same size as your fabric. I just used the thickest batting I could find at the fabric store.
Lay your cut board on top of the fabric, right side down, and the batting.
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You will definitely need a helper for this project at this point. Have one person on each end of the board. One to pull and secure the fabric while the other staples. This way you will have a straight and smooth surface when you’re done.
Using a staple gun, fold the top of your fabric and batting over the board and secure it with staples  all along the top. We placed ours less than an inch apart. 
Then, on the opposite side, pull the fabric and batting as tight as you possibly can, fold the fabric over and repeat the process of stapling like a mad person. The more staples the better, in my opinion.  Repeat on each side.
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The corners are the most tricky part of the process. We cut the fabric in strips (as pictured above)in order to get the fabric to follow the curve of the board as tightly as possible. Just go slow and pull tight!
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If you wanted to, you could be done now! It just depends on what look you’re going for. We decided to add some nail head trim around the edges. This is super easy to use. It comes in a roll from the fabric store, and you simply use a hammer to pound in every 6th (or so) nail. So easy!
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We used  our level to measure along the board. We know, we’re super technical!  
Twisting it around the curved edges was also a little tricky, but the strip bends really easily, so you just have to make sure your measuring before you hammer it in.
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          How easy was that?! You’re done!

I can’t wait to show you the whole room when it’s my turn to share next month! Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments!
Jessica :)


  1. This is so cute! Love these headboards.

  2. This looks so amazingly easy, and I am in need of a new headboard!

  3. This looks so amazingly easy, and I am in need of a new headboard!

  4. This is soooo cute!!! Love the chevron!

  5. Love a good decorating DIY that's done in a short time but looks like $$$! Great job. Pinning:)

  6. Adorable!! I can't wait to get up the guts to make one for our king sized bed :)

    1. Do it! It's so easy, you won't be disappointed!

  7. That looks SO easy and the results are beautiful! I need a headboard--might have to try this!

    1. It really is so easy. I wonder sometimes why people pay so much for furniture when it's so much cheaper to do it yourself!

  8. How on EARTH did I not ever know that nailhead trim CAME ON A ROLL LIKE THAT?!!!! Oh my word. You just made my life so much better. I always wondered HOW people got those so straight. I buy a pack of 300 at the dollar store for a buck (of course!) And then try to make them straight and can't! I just did a project with them on Saturday and was like, oh well, the lack of straight lines will give my project.... whimsy. Ha. Thanks for sharing this over on Kammy's Korner.

    1. Oh man! I can't imagine trying to hammer 300 in individually! You're a rock star! You definitely saved some money that way though, so that justifies it right?!

  9. Beautiful headboard! And OMG that trim! I had no clue it exists on a roll. Makes me want to start a new project, lol. Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things!

  10. Super Cute!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope you come back tomorrow and share some more stuff!! Pinned!!

  11. That is an awesome headboard, and awesome fabric! (I am making some aprons using that same fabric ;) You nailed it with that trim (sorry, I couldn't help myself). Seriously, great job! Thanks for sharing this and your handsome groom cake and homework tips at What We Accomplished Wednesdays! Have a super week!
    Blessings, Deborah

  12. How does it attach? Do you hang it on the wall?