DIY Upholstered Headboard

The headboard is FINISHED!  Bamboo shades and silk lampshades are up!  Let me start this off by saying I could not be more pleased with what $100 and a little sweat can get you.  I also want to mention that I did most of this project well before I even thought about blogging so I will try to be as clear as I can.  I wanted to make mine as professional looking as possible {and I use that term loosely because up close it does look a little homemade, but you have to be UP close} but there are easier ways to go about it and I will try and interject shortcuts. 

welt cord makes it look finished

Bamboo shades UP!

Lux silk lampshade + Target lamp =  happy Jessica
fabric covered legs attached to the frame

*Pillow my Mom made with a Schumacher printed velvet!  Knife edge with zipper closure- thanks Mom*

To start off I knew I wanted a THICK headboard.  I think this keeps mine for looking too DIY.


½ inch plywood cut at your home improvement store


Staple gun & staples

Poster board to make your template if you are doing a shape


2x4's (quantity depends on your shape)

Tape measure

Bread knife

2 inch thick foam {This goes on sale all the time at Hancock Fabrics and you can you use the smaller sizes and pieces them together if it cuts down on cost.}



Wood glue

Spray adhesive




Decide how you are going to attach it.  Will it be hung on the wall?  Or to the bed frame?  I selected bed frame.


Decide on your design.  I cannot stress to you how much easier a rectangular shape will be!!!!  If you decide to have curves {you will need lots of beer} then make your template with poster board.  If not, have your home improvement store cut the plywood to your specifications.  {I have to say that we strapped this to the TOP of Matt’s Accord, rolled down the windows and held on – such rednecks.}


We traced the stencil onto the plywood with a sharpie {flipped the stencil over so both sides were exactly the same so it mirrored} and then cut it out with a jigsaw.  Matt’s first time using a jigsaw.  He felt manly - I am certain of this.


Next, we attached the legs - so one 2x4 to the left and one to the right with wood glue & staples.  And then one to the top and one to the bottom to give it support and that thickness I wanted.  If you decide on a rectangular shape you are ready to attach foam. If curves, then keep attaching 2x4’s horizontally until your curves are covered.  {See photo}  Then once the wood glue is dried, jigsaw around the curves.

Trace the stencil on the foam and cut it out with a bread knife.  Attach the foam with spray adhesive & then cover with batting which you attach by using the staple gun.  You really can piece this together and the you will not see the seams.


Fabric time!  I cut out all my pieces and sewed together with a welt cord I made.  This was tedious but welt cord is something you can’t skimp on with a headboard. Some curves didn’t look as good once I placed in on the headboard, so I used fabric glue to kind of fake it.  I attached the finished shell with a staple gun.  I covered the legs separately by just folding the batting and fabric around the legs.  Matt just drilled through the fabric to attach the headboard.


Everything minus the sewing only took a couple of hours.  This really is only a two weekend project. 



  1. Wow I have been wanting to a headboard like that...I would do the rectangle style. I may attempt this....you explained it so well., that I almost think I could do it...okay maybe with Heathers help...nice job. You inspired me to attempt it.
    Nice thing about it is that you could change the color of the headboard later if you wanted to go with something different !
    Is that a queen or king..hard to tell in picture, seems to be a queen though.
    Love it

  2. the ending to this post was so perfect.

  3. Thanks Susan! It is a queen - good luck!!

  4. Oh and Alex, if Matt ever opens a bar that is what he wants to name it...haha