Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Hubby and I have wanted an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom at the BDH for awhile. We were very close to purchasing one a few weeks back, but decided to do one of our favorite things - DIY one. As you all know, Ross is very handy and I LOVE crafting. When we had a garage in our Texas house, we spent tons of time in it working on projects together. It's one of our favorite couple pass-times.

{Spoiler alert: here's our finished product}

Long story short, we needed a new bed and we love to DIY, so this project was perfect for us. In case you're interested in building one yourself, here's how we did it, step by step:

1) Purchase materials and gather tools. For materials, you'll need:
-A 4x8 piece of plywood - $25
-Enough foam to cover the size of headboard you want. I got mine at JoAnn's Fabrics. If you don't want a perfectly rectangular headboard, the math gets complicated, but it's doable. This foam is expensive, so make sure you use a coupon. - $45 (AFTER my 60% off coupon)
-Batting - $15
-3M Spray-on Adhesive - we had some on hand, but you can get a bottle for about $6
-The fabric you choose to cover the headboard (again, use a coupon) - $12
-Newspapers (or other paper you can tape together to make one large piece)  - on hand

For tools, you'll need:
-Electric Sander
-Staple gun
-Saw Horses

2) Decide which design you want and trace half of it onto the newspaper. There are so many popular shapes for upholstered headboards out there; you can really do anything.We chose one of the more complicated shapes (of course), a rounded arch. The headboard we almost bought was this shape, so it was our inspiration. Our headboard is king size, so it's 84 inches long. This means I needed to draw a 42 inch left to center half version of it on the paper. You could draw the full design, but it might be harder to maintain symmetry that way. As you can see, it took me several attempts doing it freehand (I'm not an artist), but after enough tries, I got there.

3) Once your half design is drawn, cut it out.

4) Tape your design to the plywood and trace the design onto the wood. Flip and re-tape the newspaper to the other side and trace the design again. Make sure your left and right ends are at the same height from the base of the plywood. Remove the newspaper from the plywood when you're done.
 (please note my pug, Gus, making a cameo)

5) Now that your design is on the plywood, carefully cut along the markings with your jigsaw. For intricate shapes, a jigsaw is probably the only saw that can make the cut precisely enough.

This is what it looked like after Ross cut it:

6) Some of your edges will be a little rough, so use your sander to round and smooth them as necessary. I'm super picky with how things are sanded, so I usually play a role in this step.

7) Now that you have cut out and sanded the design, cut your foam to cover the space. We used a steak knife from the kitchen to cut the foam; it was the only way we could cut it. I've read online that some people have also found success cutting the foam with turkey carving knives. If you choose to do a non-rectangular shape, as we did, you'll have to get creative filling in the curves and angles at the top. Once you're comfortable with the placement of each piece, use the spray adhesive to glue them to the plywood and to each other on their sides.

After we cut the scraps to fill in the angles, this is what it looked like:

8) Now cover your headboard with batting. This smooths out the design, shields the green color of the foam (by the way, if you can, buy a neutral color foam... we were stuck with green because it's all JoAnn had in stock), and covers the plywood edges. We chose the low intensity batting, but regretted it. The green foam showed right through, so we had to go out to get another layer. Anyone who knows where my parents' lake house (i.e. our project site for the headboard) is KNOWS what a task 'going back to town' is. Luckily, and to our surprise, Walmart sells batting now. Whew.

Make sure you pull the batting tight so it traces the shape as accurately as possible. We secured it to the plywood using the staple gun, placing staples about an inch apart. Please ignore hubby's grouchy scowl in this picture.

9) After your batting is secure, iron your fabric to eliminate wrinkles. I'm not a huge fan of ironing, but in this case its necessary. You're going to be staring at that fabric for a long time and this is your last chance to make sure it looks right.
10) Attach the fabric to the headboard in the same way you attached the batting, pulling it tight and using the staple gun. This is totally a two-person job, with one person stapling and one pulling the fabric.

This is what the finished product looks like:

 We're really happy with it! We have the exact headboard shape and color that we wanted, in a fabric that perfectly matches our curtains, we got to do a carpentry project together and we got it all for under $100! That's not bad for king size and custom. Now we just need to find king size bed rails, but I've heard they're under $100.

One more perk to point out for DIY'ing your own upholstered headboard: you can recover it any time with another fabric if you change your mind!

Oh, one last advisory: it might be good to have an additional man on hand for all of the headboard flipping that will take place in this project. My dad and Ross must have flipped this thing 30 times. Although I'm fairly confident that my dad doesn't understand what a blog is, he begged that I put his picture on it and 'make him famous like Kanye West', so here you go:
As always, thanks for reading barbies! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness. The dad comment- too funny! new reader from


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