Nailhead Trim upholstered Headboards {make your own!}

The bed is the most important feature in any bedroom and designers often choose an upholstered headboard as an attractive alternative to wood or metal versions.  Upholstered headboards add softness to a bedroom and are an opportunity to add a beautiful fabric to the room.  Upholstered headboards are available in many different designs, and one of the most popular styles is the upholstered headboard with nailhead trim.  The nailhead adds a lustrous texture and an air of sophistication to a simple fabric headboard. 


upholstered headboard nailhead trim 1


nailhead trim headboard bhg


Upholstered headboards with nailhead trim are available at all price points, from several hundred to over a thousand dollars.  However, there is a way to achieve the same look with a do-it-yourself version that will cost far less.    

To make your own nailhead trim headboard, you’ll need a nailhead trim kit, a mallet, needle nose pliers, fabric of choice*, three layers of batting, ¾” plywood cut to size, jigsaw for curved designs, ‘D’ rings or interlocking brackets, and a staple gun. 

*A note regarding fabric: most are 54” in width, so with any headboard larger than a twin, choose any fabric with a pattern repeat that will work when you lay it horizontally on your plywood instead of vertically.


nailhead trim kits

For the width of your headboard, measure the width of your bed mattress and add an inch to both sides. For a simple rectangle shape, have the plywood cut to the width and height you specify at your local home improvement store. 

If you want to add a curve or notch out the sides, that can be done with a jigsaw. The height of your plywood for a rectangular headboard should be at least 36” inches above the mattress so you allow for room to lay your pillow shams up against your frame, but also have it attached to your wall below the top of your mattress. For curved or detailed headboards, allow for 40 to 48” in height depending on your design.  Sketch your design by hand, or create a template with paper to use as your guide.


use jigsaw to cut headboards


Once your plywood is cut to form the design, add three layers of quilt batting on top, and then your fabric of choice.  Attach the layers of batting and fabric to the headboard with a stapler.  Start at the top in the middle, and work your way around to the sides, smoothing the fabric as you go.


three layers of batting


With nailhead trim kits you secure the trim with every fifth nail with the help of pliers and a mallet.  Use the needle nose pliers to stabilize the nail and the mallet to pound it into the wood.  Use a mallet not a regular hammer to avoid damaging the nailhead. 


headboard and nailhead trim


To make turns around the edges, clip the trim and restart, using the same method securing every fifth nail. 


restart nailhead trim


Once you’re done, secure your new headboard to the wall studs using ‘D’ ring hooks or interlocking brackets as shown below. 

d rings and interlocking brackets

In an afternoon you can have an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim in your own custom design.  Plywood will run you between $15 to $25 depending on your region, and the trim kits retail for $20. If you find quality fabric that you love for a reasonable price, a nailhead trim headboard can be yours for between $50 to $100.


centsational girl bedroom nightstand mirror 2


For online stores that sell nailhead trim kits, here are a few sources!  Ben Franklin, Beacon Fabric, Amazon, and Perfect Fit




11 Responses to “ Nailhead Trim upholstered Headboards {make your own!} ”

  1. Where is the bedside table from?

  2. would love to know where the bedding on the last picture can be found

  3. Bedding is Barbara Barry “Poetical” at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Where is the white table lamp from?

  4. Lamp is from Marshalls, spray painted white, the bedside dresser was a thrift store find.

  5. Love this! What fabric did you use? Do you think it would still work with the nailheads if you added a little foam to it for added cushion?

  6. Could you please tell me where the mirror above the bed is from? I’ve seen it in a few pictures, and am in love with it! This bedroom is beautiful! Thank you :)

  7. Where is that mirror from? :)

  8. What is the paint color. I have the same bedding

  9. Please tell me where I can find those gorgeous pillows, I just found that same bedding on clearance in Bed Bath and Beyond and I am obsessed! Need those pillows! :) Thanks so much! Kate

  10. Please tell me where I can find those gorgeous zebra throw pillows, I just found that same bedding on clearance in Bed Bath and Beyond and I am obsessed! I need those those pillows in my life! :) Thanks so much! Kate

  11. I have a chair to upholster and I purchased the nail trim you showed above. The reason was the wood was so hard I could hardly get a tack nailed in. I’m confused about the trim can you help me?

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