Dress Up Your Headboard With Embroidery

Trade thread for cord to get this one-of-a-kind look for your bedroom.

Embroidery is taking over the crafting world, and it's only getting bigger. Bigger in size and shape, that is. Take your needle-and-thread hobby to the bedroom with this simple DIY embroidered headboard. Inexpensive and creative, this is a perfect way to dress up your bedroom with DIY flair. Follow along with our easy steps to make a headboard of your own!

Pretty Headboard Decorating Ideas

What You Need

  • Underlayment plywood 
  • Saw: either table saw, jigsaw, or circular saw
  • Drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch Forstner drill bit 
  • Sanding sponge 150 grit
  • 1x3x8 pine boards 
  • Nails or staples
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • Foam roller and tray or brush
  • Cotton sash cord 100 ft 
  • Fabric dye 
  • Large D ring hangers 

Step 1: Prep Headboard

Cut plywood to desired headboard size. (See tip below.) Mark the rope and hole pattern on the plywood using the Xs on the back of the wood as a guide. This will be helpful when drilling holes. 

Editor's Tip: To prevent splintering of plywood when cutting, make a couple of trial cuts to find out which side should be toward the saw in order to get the smoothest cut on the front. It may vary depending on the saw used. 

Step 2: Drill Holes

With a light touch, drill 1/16-inch pilot holes in marked pattern. Drill all the way through. Use 3/8-inch Forstner bit to enlarge holes. Sand sides and edges with sanding sponge.

Editor's Tip: To prevent splintering the plywood when drilling, drill with the Forstner bit a third of the way through the plywood from the backside. Flip the plywood over and finish the holes by drilling from the front side. You will know where to drill on the front side because the pilot holes will be there. Practice this method on a scrap of plywood to get a feel for the correct speed of the drill and the amount of pressure to use. 

Step 3: Attach Headboard Stretcher

Use 1"x3"x8' pine boards set on the narrow edges to build a stretcher for the backside of the headboard. Use a butt joint and nail or staple boards together. It should be smaller than the headboard, sitting about 2-1/2-inches in from each side of the perimeter. It will hold the headboard away from the wall. Glue the stretcher to the headboard and weigh it down until glue dries.

Step 4: Paint and Thread Cord

Paint the front and let dry. The sides of the stretcher can be painted to match the front or the same color as the wall to add to the illusion of a floating headboard.

Dye cord as desired. Tie off and weave cord through holes. For a headboard of the size presented here, 100 feet of rope is required. For ease of weaving, you can use one (12.5' cord) or two (25' cord) vertical rows at a time. To make threading easier, cut the end of the cord cleanly with a scissors then wrap it with tape, allowing the tape to run over the end and form a point.

Step 5: Anchor to Wall

Attach D rings to the backside of the stretcher a third from the top. Hang by nails or screws in the wall. You may need to use a screw with an anchor in the wall.

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