Easy DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

This DIY upholstered headboard tutorial will make you feel empowered to whip together your own headboard this weekend! We’ve included a list of everything you need to tackle this project and update any room in your house!



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! I’m just going to show you the SUPER EASY, SUPER AFFORDABLE DIY upholstered headboard we made. I’m not kidding when I say you could complete this whole project in about hour!


DIY upholstered headboard tutorial

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. Amazon has a better price than my local store, I may get a small percentage if you use this link to purchase… It’s literally less than half the price I paid at my local craft store…you’re welcome!


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.  C

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!


DIY upholstered headboard tutorial


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!

31 thoughts on “Easy DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial”

    1. Quick question, my daughter wants to do this for her dorm room but her bed isn’t against the wall. Any suggestions on what to do on the back side?

      1. Yes, great question. Upholster the front of the headboard as usual, then wrap a piece of heavy duty cardboard (cut to match the shape you choose) with the fabric. You could use fabric glue to fasten it. Then staple it on to the back of the headboard. Use just a few staples in the least noticeable places. Good luck!

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

    1. You can hang it on the wall if you want. Just screw two screws into the back on opposite sides and wrap some heavy duty wire around each to connect them. Just make sure you use an anchor in the wall, and not just a normal nail.

  4. How did you adhere it to the wall — thinking of doing this for a dorm room so it would need to be put on a brick wall. How heavy is it?

    1. I made the headboard just the right height to rest on the floor because I didn’t want any big holes in the wall. You could hang it like a picture frame if you wanted it to hang though. Just drill two screws into the back of the headboard, spanning across the whole frame and then wrap a heavy wire around each screw, connecting the two together, with a little slack in the middle. Then use an anchor in your wall so the weight is supported. This should work for a small headboard, a larger one might be too heavy.

    2. It was just resting against the wall and the floor. I knew that it wasn’t going to be permanent so I didn’t want to put a big anchor and hole in the wall. Just make sure the headboard is tall enough to rest on the floor and still be visible. 🙂

      1. Hi, love your headboard. Instead of resting on the floor is it wide enough to attach to the bed frame?

  5. What are the exact measurements of this headboard? I want to try this but I can’t figure out the measurements for a twin bed.

    1. Twin sized mattresses are typically 38 to 39 inches in width. For headboard design, it’s typical to add at least 6 inches to the width, making it 44 or 45 inches; the extra 3 inches on each side gives the mattress a bit of wiggle room to move.

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