DIY Headboard: An inexpensive upgrade

Interior design is not my strong suit; our apartment is very IKEA-centric, very white and there is a golf ball collection on our living room wall.  As we grow older our post-college furnishings grow less and less pleasing to our maturing tastes. We have wanted a "grown up bed" i.e. an actual frame for awhile but a) they are expensive and b) our bedroom is too small to allow us to have both a headboard and foot board, so I decided to make us a headboard.  It was surprisingly fast, easy and inexpensive.

For this project you will need:
- 1/2" thick plywood to fit your bed (We have a Queen and used a 48x60" board)
- 5 yards of fabric (I used a herringbone faux suede upholstery remnant)
- Full Size foam mattress pad
- Gorilla Glue/Krazy Glue
- Staple Gun
- Drop Cloth (optional)
- Spray Bottle of water or a dampened rag
- Hammer (optional)
- Another set of hands (I enlisted the help of my friend Royela, aka the one who actually figured out the step-by-step process for this project several weeks prior)

1) Lay your drop cloth down in your work area, prop your plywood against a hard surface and your foam mattress pad knobby side up.

2) Place your plywood on the mattress pad leaving several inches on every side. Roll the mattress pad over one of the wide edges of the plywood (this will be the bottom or top of your headboard), pull it taut and staple the pad into place.  Hammer the staples down into the wood to make sure they are secure. If you have two sets of hands, have one person hold the pad taut and one person wield the staple gun, putting staples every 2" apart.

Royela being liberal with the glue
3) Once the edge is stapled, lift the plywood up and lean it against a hard surface.  One person should thoroughly cover the plywood with glue while the other one dampens the knobby side of the mattress pad with water with a spray bottle or wet rag. You do not need to use much water, just enough to make the pad stick to the glue.  Drop the plywood glue side down onto the mattress pad.

4) Staple the other wide side, i.e. the one opposite of the one completed in step 2 and then the two long sides, add a second set of staples on the last side if needed.  Hammer all of your staples in. Pick up the board and smooth out any bumps in the pad that may have occurred between the stapling and glueing.
You want a smooth surface to staple your fabric to.


5) Remove your dropcloth and lay your fabric, right side down on the floor.  Wrap the fabric over the board/pad, pull tightly and staple into place on all four sides like you did with the mattress pad. Check the front between stapling sides to make sure there are no wrinkles in the fabric.

6) You can add a 50lb wall hanger/bracket onto the back of the plywood/wall to mount your headboard onto your bedroom wall, or you can rest the headboard on the ends of your bed frame like we did.  (We didn't see the need fto put another large hole in an apartment wall we are moving out of this year.)

I never know how to end these DIY posts but Ta-Da!  The headboard took about an hour to make and about $45 in supplies + fabric.  I had a crazy fabric store coupon so my herringbone fabric was basically free.  I love how it turned out, I really think it adds a small touch of sophistication to our bedroom.

Have you made a headboard before or made any interior design changes recently?  I would love to know what home improvements you've made to your own spaces. I hope you had a Happy Passover and Easter, I can't wait to feature more shoes this week, and maybe a new recipe!


Laura Go said...

see, this is what I keep on telling my husband. Headboards are not hard to make! and it's sooooo easy to make a good one!
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights
the shop of worldly delights

Nnenna said...

Your headboard turned out great! Such a good idea to DIY it instead of buying an expensive one! :)

hope in high heels said...

What a fabulous idea! We don't have a headboard either but just subsituted a piece of art hung low and have decided it's surprisingly effective!

Teresa said...

genius! i'm only 5'0 and my bed is twin, but i fit perfectly there as i'm so tiny.. i was thinking of buying a full-size bed, but then i thought i wouldn't have any headboard.. HELLO!? i can make it myself.. thanks for sharing :)


Samantha said...


That is mighty genius!! I'm super impressed with your HEADBOARD making skills!! That is fabulous!

xo, sam

Not Cara's husband said...

I don't see anything wrong with having a golf ball collection in your living room. Personally I think it adds a bit of class.

Bonnie said...

We SO need one of these in our bedroom. We have a crappy, old headboard right now.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Justine said...

OMG!!!!! I have been dying to do this!!! I am so glad I saw that you did this and you like it!! I am going to try this this summer when I move, im thinking of adding little studs around the border!



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