On Friday my mom and I got talking about how my parents bedroom was very neutral and really needed some color. She also expressed a desire for a new headboard. I suggested an upholstered headboard and within minutes we were on our way to get supplies.
Here's a quick tutorial!
1. Measure the desired height and width for the headboard you want to create. We created our headboard from a rectangle piece of inexpensive plywood with 3 legs for a king size bed. Our measurement was 81” x 35” for the plywood and the legs are 4'10" tall using 1x3x8 boards. Looking back I would’ve used a wider board for the legs. I would’ve used a 8-12” wide board and just used two legs.
NOTE: Keep in mind when you do your measuring that wood measurements are not what you would think a 1x3 is not 1” x 3”. Measure the boards before you do your math for attaching the legs.
Next a shopping trip is in order for upholstery fabric. We went to a local “outlet” type store and bought 3 yards of microfiber suede at $5.99/yard. Upholstery fabric prices can vary widely so shop smartly for best deals. We also bought one bag of batting, the thickest we could find.
3. Buying lumber and screws was the next task. We found the least expensive route was to buy a sheet of plywood for $14 and have the helpful staff cut it to our measurements. We also bought three 1x3x8s and had them cut them down for us. Then we bought a bag of screws. If you are using basic plywood I would recommend 1” screws. 1 ¼” were a little too long and we had to make adjustments.
4. Then it’s home to create! I spread a blanket out in the driveway of my parent’s home to do this and it was great to have the space. Then I cut the batting in half to fit around the rectangle plywood headboard. If I could do it again I would have used both pieces. The headboard looks & feels fine but I think it would’ve been a little more luxurious to be more padded.
5. Lay the batting out on the ground then lay the plywood down on it and center it. Then make sure that the batting is well positioned under the plywood and put one staple in the center of each edge to hold the batting in place. You will need a staple gun to do this, with ½” staples. Once the batting is squarely stapled on each side, go around and staple the batting down around the entire piece.
6. Then trim the batting so that the back side looks nice and tidy.
7. Next repeat the same process with the fabric being sure to cover the batting. I stapled the fabric on top of the batting layer and left about 1 ½” edge so that I could go around and tuck in the rough edge and staple it down so that it looks nice and tidy. It doesn’t matter so much if you do this since no one will see it.
8. Then we took the headboard to their room and eye-balled it behind the bed again just to make sure about placement. Then we screwed the legs into the back of the upholstered headboard. Don’t try to put screws through the fabric as it will damage the fabric. We put in six screws, three layers of two screws in each leg, making sure we’d measured them each so that they would line up when we stood the headboard up behind the bed. The legs work find, but I think I would’ve liked to put a board across all three of them below the mattresses to stabilize them a bit more or used a bigger width of board, then probably would’ve needed only two legs.
9. Then put your headboard in place and push the bed right up against it. Purists will drill holes in the legs and bold the headboard to the bed frame at this point. We didn’t but that may change, depending on my parents’ preferences once they tried it out for a bit.
That’s all it took -- An hour of shopping and two hours of labor. If you make a headboard, email me photos and tell me about your process and I’ll post them on the blog! Happy headboarding!