How To: Fabric-Covered Headboard

Build a headboard of your own with off-the-shelf materials found at a local home center. Increase the cozy factor of the bedroom by covering it in less than three yards of vibrant fabric with plush padding.


Customization doesn't have to mean pricey. After using basic illustrating software to draw wavy lines, we had Spoonflower.com print the image on upholstery-weight twill for our easy fabric-covered headboard project. If you don't feel like creating your own fabric pattern, browse the remnant bin at your local crafts store to piece together the perfect upholstered headboard.

Materials (for a queen-size headboard):
Two 32-inch-wide hollow-core wood doors without hardware
Tape measure
Straightedge
Circular saw
Sawhorses or worktable
1-1/2-inch wood screws
Two 1x64-inch furring strips
Cordless drill
Repositionable spray adhesive
4 yards 1- to 2-inch-thick batting
2-1/2 yards upholstery-weight fabric
Stapler and 3/8-inch-long staples
18 feet 1-inch-wide wood trim
Finish nails
Nail set and wood filler

1. Measure desired height for your headboard on both doors. Our headboard is 66 inches tall. Mark cut lines.

2. Saw at cut lines to desired size.

3. Line up sawed-off doors, noting location of interior wood framing.

4. Drive six to eight screws through furring strips into wood framing along the bottom edges. Repeat along the headboard's top edge to link the two pieces.

5. Cut fabric and batting 10-14 inches longer than the headboard's width. Spray upper portion of the headboard with adhesive (lower portion of headboard will not be upholstered; your bed will hide the wood). Working with a partner, gently lay first layer of batting in place. Spray on more adhesive and lay on second layer of batting. Press into position. Lay fabric and straighten.

6. Working with a partner, smooth fabric and stretch tightly. Tack fabric and batting in a few spots on the back.

7. Flip over headboard and staple fabric and batting every 3 inches. At corners, remove excess batting. Fold fabric as if wrapping a package and staple in place.

8. Nail on a frame of decorative trim to top and two sides (bottom edge does not need trim). Countersink nails, fill with wood filler, and touch up with paint.

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