Introduction

How to Upholster a Headboard
Photo: Emily J Followill/Collinstock
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A plush headboard doesn't have to be a luxury reserved for fancy hotels. Hanging one in your bedroom adds an element of warmth without the cost that comes with buying an entire bed frame. And building a headboard yourself is easier than you might imagine. You'll use ¾-inch plywood as the backing and wrap it in 1-inch-thick foam padding to create soft, rounded edges before attaching the fabric. Then you'll finish it with nailhead trim sold in strips, saving you hours of tapping in individual nails around the perimeter. If you'd rather buy a headboard, expect to pay a premium for a tufted design or upscale fabrics. Whether you build or buy your new headboard, position it on the wall so that the bottom lands below the mattress, giving the impression that it extends all the way to the floor.

Similar to shown: Premier Prints Houndstooth Fabric, about $7.50 per yard; fabric.com
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • spring clamp
      Clamp
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • dress scissors
      Fabric shears
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • mallet
      Small rubber mallet
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 1/8-inch drill bit
      -inch bit

    Shopping List

    ¾-inch pine plywood Get one 4-by-8-foot sheet.

    1x4 pine Get one 6-footer. For a fit that's tight against the wall, use a metal cleat, available at most hardware stores.

    1-inch-thick foam padding Get a 5-foot-square piece.

    Fabric Get 3 square yards.

    Cotton batting Get an 81-by-96-inch piece.

    Fast-drying spray adhesive.

    -inch heavy-duty staples.

    Nailhead-trim strips Get 7 yards.

    Upholstery nails

    1¼-inch wood screws.

    2½-inch wood screws.