Do It Yourself

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




One of the most timeless looks in a bathroom is classic beadboard paneling.  This vintage style wall treatment dates back to the turn of the century when it grew in popularity, and the original millwork’s purpose was to protect the walls in high traffic areas.

Beadboard paneling can be applied to ceilings or walls to cover up minor cosmetic problems or simply to make your space more inviting.  Versatile beadboard works well when installed to the backs of built in bookcases or the fronts of cabinets and it can be left white or painted any color at all.  Beadboard paneling always adds informal charm to any casual or cottage style space.

Beadboard panels are traditionally made of wood or MDF, or come in prefabricated kits, but there is an easier and more economical way to achieve the same timeless look, and that is with beadboard wallpaper.


beadboard bathroom bhg 1

beadboard bathroom bhg 3

beadboard backed shelf bhg


Paintable beadboard wallpaper comes pre-pasted which makes its application easy to complete in just a few hours.  Before installing, it’s important to know how high on your wall you intend to go with the wall treatment.  Opting for somewhere between halfway and two thirds of the way up the wall traditionally looks best.

Supply list:  beadboard wallpaper, flat table to work on, primer (for new drywall, otherwise you can skip primer), large sponge, sharp scissors, level, sponge paint roller, measuring tape, chair rail, brad nailer (or brad nails and a hammer), circular saw, latex paintable caulk, paint color of choice.

1.  Measure the height of your first section and cut it off the roll. Start in a corner and lay your first piece of dry beadboard wallpaper against the wall.  Use a level to ensure accurate vertical alignment and 2.  a pencil to score the edge where you’ll install your first piece.  3.  Roll your paper inside out and dip it in your bucket of water. Once wet, unroll it on your long table with the beadboard pattern on the bottom and use a moist paint roller to spread the water across and activate the paste.  4.  Wait five minutes as recommended then apply your first piece to the wall, using the sponge to smooth out any air bubbles.

how to install beadboard wallpaper 1

Continue applying your wallpaper all around, trimming around any electrical sockets, light fixtures, etc. 5.  Once the paste has had sufficient time to bond with the wall (about 30 minutes or so) carefully trim the bottom of the beadboard wallpaper with sharp scissors.  You’ll want a finished edge on top, so measure you’re the proper length of chair rail and trim with a circular saw.

6.  Attach the chair rail to the wall with a brad nailer or with brad nails and a hammer, using a level on top to ensure it is installed perfectly horizontal.  7.   Decide how you will wrap any turns in the space such as this window. Caulk any seams or corners with latex caulking and fill the nail holes with spackling.   8.  Once the chair rail is installed, paint the wallpaper your color of choice.

how to install beadboard wallpaper 2

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never wallpapered before, this is an easy DIY project that will give you the look of beadboard paneling in an afternoon!  Note that beadboard wallpaper is subject to greater wear and tear due to its pliable texture and therefore not as durable as wood or MDF paneling, so consider that fact when installing in high traffic areas where children or pets may play.

Above the beadboard wallpaper, you can paint with any color of choice, from pale to dramatic.  In my own powder bathroom (below) I chose ‘Seine’ by Valspar, a deep mushroom gray with brown undertones for rich contrast.


centsational girl powder room


A bold patterned wallpaper looks wonderful above classic beadboard and adds yet another layer of interest to the bathroom.


beadboard bathroom bhg 4


If you’re looking for the timeless appeal that beadboard brings, the use of wallpaper is one less expensive option to the traditional wood paneling.  Look for it at home improvement stores, or online at wallpaper sources such as Graham & Brown.


Happy home improvement!

kate signature


There’s no denying the timeless appeal of ferns, indoors and out.  Known for their bright green fronds and delicate stems, ferns are beloved by many for their fine texture and arching lacy stems.  Both verdant and elegant, they are an excellent choice for shady spots in your yard and make wonderful houseplants in pots or terrariums.


Ferns are tolerant plants and in the right growing conditions, make a wonderful house plant.  They add that touch of evergreen to your décor, and every space is a bit more inviting with a living thing on display.


Did you know that you can turn your garden fern fronds into art?  Yes, it’s true, I did it last summer!

It’s a simple process and easy DIY project that will take your favorite botanical right from the garden and place it on the wall as artwork.

1) Gather fern fronds from your yard or snip a few from your healthy houseplant  2) Lay fronds between wax paper and press flat between large heavy books for 2 to 3 days. 3) Lay flattened ferns on paper and affix to paper with a tiny bit of Mod Podge or craft glue, and 4) display behind glass in frames.

If feeling extra crafty, make them look aged by using cream colored craft or tea stained papers, and stamping them with botanical Latin terms.  As an alternative to framing the real thing, you can scan the fronds and frame them as prints for an equally attractive botanical display.

The next time you spy a fern in a nursery, consider bringing it indoors to not only add beauty to your home, but potentially to your walls too!

Happy decorating!

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