do it yourself: simple upholstered headboard

Please prepare yourself for the amazing-ness that is this project. A DIY upholstered headboard has been at the very top of my project list since our move to 816 and now that it’s done, the bedroom feels about 1000% better. That room is a long way from being complete but progress is progress, people.

Pretty much the only decorative item in our bedroom up until this point has been these fantastic graphic curtains from IKEA. We paired these with the sheer curtains from our last apartment to really frame out the window and make that wall look full. The only thing is, with such a huge, graphic pattern demanding the eye’s attention on the wall, I had a really hard time figuring out what would look best for our headboard. Any pattern I pictured clashed and the idea of a completely solid color seemed pretty boring. So, I kind of came up with a middle ground.

Now, there are tutorials for similar projects all over blog land but I will give a brief rundown of ours, you know, since you’re already here.

I picked up a 60”x26” piece of plywood and a large French cleat to hang the finished product from Lowe’s. The rest of my supplies came from Wal-Mart and included a twin-size foam mattress topper, quilt batter, white grosgrain ribbon, and a dark gray, twin-sized bed sheet. I also used a staple gun, a crap-ton of staples, and some heat-n-bond hemming tape that I already had at home.

Honestly, this is a pretty simple project. It took us an afternoon from start to finish.

First, I cut my foam to be the same size as my plywood. I found a steak knife works as good as anything. I didn’t go out of my way to a clean line and cut just a little outside the border of the plywood to ensure the entire surface would be soft.

Next, we wrapped the batting around the foam and plywood, stapling it in place. We got three layers out of the roll of batting we bought.

And then the fabric. The key to this project is making sure that everything you’re stapling down is pulled taught. You don’t want any wrinkles or sagging down the road, so pull that fabric into submission and don’t be afraid to give your staple gun a workout.

Now from here, the headboard is basically done, and the only things left to be done are add decorative touches and hang on the wall.

Since we went with a solid, dark gray fabric, I decided to dress it up with a simple white ribbon accent. The ribbon is fused to the fabric with some heavy duty Heat and Bond tape. The result is simple but more dressy than one solid color.

There are lots of different suggestions for how to hang a headboard like this, but we chose the French Cleat. I picked up this one at Lowe’s for about $10.00. It supports up to 200lbs so I know our headboard isn’t going anywhere. And it is super simple to install! This one even came with a little level to help you keep it straight. One part attaches to the headboard, the other to the wall, and they just sit into each other. (It also helps if you have a math teacher husband to do all the measuring for you!)

And, here’s the finished product! It’s such huge improvement already!

But, of course, the bedroom is far from being complete (for instance the extremely mismatched bedding) and we’ve got quite a few projects coming to pull it together. I want to bring in some more color and patterns for a happier space. What does that mean? Fun pillows, cool DIY art, and probably new bedding. I think I’ll go lounge in luxury with our new headboard now… ahhhhh.

Did you DIY or buy your headboard? Or do you even have one? What are your favorite styles? Share below!

6 Comments on "do it yourself: simple upholstered headboard"

  1. Laurel @abubblylife says:

    I love the color! Great job, it looks awesome!

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