DIY Upholstered Headboard

I was intrigued many moons ago by the many online tutorials to DIY your own upholstered headboard.  It’s a really inexpensive way to get a substantial looking bed (without going to IKEA).

The time had finally come for me to try my hand at it with the guest bedroom updates I’ve been churning out over the past few months.  And perhaps I should start calling it the “downstairs bedroom” now because since it’s been spruced up, we sleep down here all the time.

After being inspired by several examples (here, here, and here), I ended  up following a video tutorial from HGTV Design Star season 5 fan favorite, Dan Faires.  I liked the rustic individual nailhead style he used here, rather than the standard silver or brass nailhead trim.  He suggests using a painter’s drop cloth as the fabric, but I didn’t want mine to be white (or white-ish).  So I found some black canvas at Hobby Lobby for about $8/yard.

My good camera was out of commission last week when I actually made the thing, so I only have Instagram progress pics.

I had a piece of plywood cut to size at the Home Depot, brought it home and stapled down 4 layers of batting followed by my fabric.  I also used spray adhesive in between the layers to make sure it stayed smooth.  Once the fabric was all stapled down tight, I laid it down flat and measured out one inch increments along straight lines 4 inches in from each edge.  On each dot, I nailed in one black carpet tack.


So obviously the nails didn’t all go in at a nice flush angle, but I decided to just go with it and not be obsessive.  Each one is sort of hammered in at a different angle and the carpet tack nail heads are kind of irregularly shaped, so it creates kind of an interesting effect.  Rustic, but almost sparkly because each one reflects light at a slightly different angle.

I was VERY concerned about hanging this heavy ass thing on the wall.  I bought this long bracket kind of thing from Lowes that is labeled as worthy of hanging 200 pounds.  I was still skeptical.  You screw one side of the bracket into the thing you want to hang up, and the other side into the wall.  And when you put the thing on the wall, it kind of catches the lip of the other side and holds it up (supposedly).

Here’s the piece that attaches to the wall:

And here’s how we had the other side attached to the back of the headboard:

Pretty flimsy looking right?

Well, the problem wasn’t the bracket itself.  The problem was that the area directly above the bracket was puffy from the batting, and we couldn’t slide the thing flush with the wall to make it catch on the other side.  So the headboard bracket was just grazing over top of the wall bracket.  [Is this even making sense?  It doesn’t even quite make sense in my head so I don’t know why I’m trying to describe it.]

Take two.  We found some scrap wood in the garage to make a little extra ledge for the headboard bracket to sit on.  Danny had some carpenter-y term for this that I can’t remember.

So this extra girth pushed the bracket out further away from the puffy upholstery, and we got it to catch on the first try.  And the weight of it didn’t rip out a chunk of the wall.  YAY!

Plus, adding those extra layers didn’t push the headboard out too far from the wall. It still looks flush.

And I’m in love with it!  It really makes the bed feel more substantial.  I like that the nailhead trim is subtle, and you almost can’t see it from certain angles.  But it adds a little more texture than if I had just left it plain.

And the best part is that is still came out pretty cheap:

  • Plywood cut to size: $22
  • Black canvas: $23
  • Batting: $18
  • Wall mounting bracket: $11
  • Staple gun: $9 (clearance!)
  • Spray adhesive: $5
  • Carpet tacks: $2
  • TOTAL: $90
So okay, not free.  But still pretty cheap if you compare it to something like this, which is beautiful, but would run you over $450.
This is also very easy.  As long as there is a second (preferably strong) person around to help you maneuver this thing around, it’s a cinch.  And think about how cool it could be with different patterned fabric, or upholstered buttons.  And since they’re relatively inexpensive, you could potentially take it down and cover it differently later to suit your tastes… or make a brand new one!

5 thoughts on “DIY Upholstered Headboard

  1. Pingback: Downstairs Bedroom Updates « escape from brooklyn

  2. Pingback: Simple Large-Scale Painting « escape from brooklyn

  3. Pingback: Bedroom Updates | escape from brooklyn

  4. Pingback: 80 Headboard DIY | Rilane - We Aspire to Inspire

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