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How To Make a Headboard
 by: Olivia Filipetto

What You'll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Paper for Pattern
  • Plywood, Saw, and Sandpaper
  • Upholstery foam and Batting
  • Muslin or sheeting
  • Decorative Fabric
  • Electric Drill, screws, and staple gun
  • Cording, braid or other trim (if desired)
  • Method


1. Measure Your Bed

Decide how tall and wide to make your headboard. Headboards are either equal to, or slightly wider than the width of the mattress. 8 inches of the headboard should be visible, when the pillows are leaning against it.

2. Create A Stencil

Using paper create a stencil of the shape you want for your headboard. Rounded corners are great for a softer look.

3. Cut the Headboard Shape

Lay the paper stencil you just created onto the wood. Trace around your stencil on the wood. Using a power saw, cut the headboard shape.

4. Sand the Headboard

Using a medium-grit sandpaper, lightly sand around the edges of the headboard.

5. Prepare the Foam

Cut a sheet of upholstery foam to the size of teh wood frame plus 1 inch. Lay the foam over the frame and staple in three or four places, then secure with spray adhesive.

6. Upholstery Batting

Cover the layer of foam with a sheet of upholstery batting, cut 2 to 4 inches larger than the size of wood. Using your staple gun, tack the batting to the back of the frame, making sure that the top and side edges are smooth and even.

7. Attach the Sheeting

Cut a piece of plain white sheeting 4 to 6 inches larger than the headboard shape. Staple the sheeting to the back of the wood, making sure all corners are even.

8. Decorative Fabric

Iron your outer layer of decorative fabric and smooth it face-down on the work area. Place the covered headboard face down on top of it. Cut the fabric the same size and shape, adding about 4 inches extra to wrap around the back of the headboard.

9. Staple the Top

Starting at the center top, begin stapling the fabric to the back, making sure that any pattern on the fabric is properly centered and straight. Pull it just enough to get a smooth front side, but not so much that it puckers.

10. Staple the Bottom

Once you have about 12 inches of the top stapled, switch to the bottom edge. Smooth the fabric around the wood and staple several places on the bottom edge. Continue working in sections along the top and bottom.

11. Staple the Sides

If everything looks good, set it down and begin to secure the fabric to the sides, folding over the outer sides and staple the fabric to the back. Make sure the corners (if you have any) look neat and tidy from the front.

12. Linen Backing

If desired, staple a plain lining fabric onto the back of the headboard, covering all the raw edges of fabric, batting and foam.

13. Attach the Legs

Now is the time to attach legs to the headboard if necessary. Set the headboard in place. You may wish to stand the headboard against the wall behind the bed, using the mattress to stabilize it. You can also drill holes in the legs and attach them to the frame of the bed. Or you can attach the headboard directly to the wall behind.

Olivia Filipetto is publisher of bedroomfurniture.com, providing all you need to know about enhancing your bedroom. bedroomfurniture@gmail.com

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