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Upholstered Headboard in bright bedroom. Marco Ricca

One way to up the coziness factor of your bed and make a visual statement in your room is to add an upholstered headboard. While it makes a big impact, it’s not actually as difficult to build as you might expect. All you need is ½-inch plywood cut to size, plus 1-inch foam, batting, fabric, and nailhead trim.

How to Make a Headboard in 8 Steps:

Step 1: Cut Plywood

Illustration of cutting plywood. Jason Lee

Get your plywood cut to size or cut it yourself with a saw.

Step 2: Cut Foam to Length of Wood

Illustration of cut foam on plywood. Jason Lee

Lay the foam on the floor and place the wood over it. Trace the outline of the board onto the foam, then cut the foam with a utility knife.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 with the Batting

Illustration of plywood with batting. Jason Lee

Repeat Step 2 with the batting, adding a few inches on each side so that you can pull the batting over the edge of the plywood when you secure it.

Step 4: Glue Foam and Plywood

Illustration of spray glue being applied to plywood. Jason Lee

Adhere the foam to the plywood with spray adhesive. Let dry.

Step 5: Center Batting on Foam

Illustration of centering the batting on the foam. Jason Lee

Center the batting on top of the foam, then flip the headboard over so that the batting is on the floor. Attach to the backside of the plywood with the staple gun, pulling it tautly as you go.

Step 6: Affix Fabric to Headboard

Illustration of fabric being affixed to the headboard. Jason Lee

Flip the headboard over again so that it's right-side up. If your fabric has any wrinkles, iron it, then center it over the headboard, using clamps to hold it in place, if necessary. Flip the headboard back so that the fabric is on the floor.

Starting at the top center and pulling tightly as you go, staple the fabric to the wood. When you reach the corners, fold the fabric neatly, as you would wrapping paper. Once the entire headboard is covered, trim any excess fabric.

Step 7: Apply Nailhead Trim

Illustration of a mallet being used to apply the nailhead trim. Jason Lee

Flip the headboard right-side up again. Line up the nailhead trim in a straight line, starting from the bottom of one side and working your way up. Tap in the nailheads with the mallet.

Step 8: Secure Headboard to Wall

D-ring shown on back of headboard. Jason Lee

Attach your headboard to the wall by screwing two D-rings to the back of the plywood and hanging them from screws or hooks in your wall.


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