DIY Upholstered Headboard

DIY Upholstered Headboard: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Are you looking to give your bedroom a stylish makeover without breaking the bank? A DIY upholstered headboard might be just what you need! This beginner-friendly project can transform your bedroom and add a touch of luxury to your space. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating your very own upholstered headboard. So, let’s get started and turn your bedroom into a cozy retreat!

An upholstered headboard is a padded and fabric-covered board that sits at the head of your bed. It not only looks great but also provides comfort when you’re sitting up in bed reading or watching TV. Plus, making one yourself can save you a lot of money compared to buying a ready-made headboard.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before we dive into the process, let’s gather everything we need for our DIY upholstered headboard project. Here are the supplies and tools you’ll need:


1. Plywood or MDF board (cut to your desired headboard size)

2. Foam padding (2-3 inches thick)

3. Batting

4. Fabric of your choice

5. Buttons (optional, for tufting)


1. Measuring tape

2. Pencil

3. Scissors

4. Staple gun and staples

5. Electric drill (if attaching to bed frame)

6. Screwdriver

7. Spray adhesive

8. Safety goggles and gloves

Now that we have everything ready, let’s move on to the next step!

Choosing the Right Fabric

Picking the perfect fabric for your DIY upholstered headboard is crucial. After all, it’s going to be a focal point in your bedroom. Here are some popular options:

1. Cotton: Affordable, easy to clean, and comes in many patterns and colors.

2. Linen: Gives a natural, relaxed look but wrinkles easily.

3. Velvet: Luxurious and soft, but can be tricky to clean.

4. Leather or faux leather: Durable and easy to clean, but more expensive.

When choosing your fabric, consider your bedroom’s color scheme and style. Also, consider how easy it will be to take care of maintain. Once you’ve picked your fabric, it’s time to move on to the next step!

Measuring and Cutting the Wood

Now, let’s prepare the base of our DIY upholstered headboard. First, measure the width of your bed. For a queen-size bed, a headboard typically measures about 60-62 inches wide. The height is up to you, but 48 inches is a good starting point.

Once you’ve determined your measurements, it’s time to cut the wood. If you’re not comfortable using a saw, most hardware stores can cut the wood for you. Remember, safety first! Always wear safety eyewear when partnering with wood.

After cutting, sand the edges of the wood to prevent splinters. Now you have the base for your headboard ready to go!

Adding Foam and Batting

This step will make your DIY upholstered headboard soft and comfortable. First, lay your foam on top of the wood. Cut it to match the size of your wood base, leaving a little extra around the edges.

Next, spray the wood with adhesive and carefully place the foam on top. Press down to ensure it adheres properly.

Now, it’s time for the batting. This layer goes over the foam and helps smooth out any bumps. Lay the batting over the foam, leaving enough to wrap around the edges of the wood. Staple the batting to the back of the wood, pulling it tight as you go.

Upholstering the Headboard

Here comes the fun part – upholstering your DIY headboard! Lay your fabric face-down on a clean, flat surface. Place the mattress (a foam side down) on top of the cloth.

Start by pulling the fabric tightly over one of the long sides of the headboard. Staple it to the back of the wood. Then, do the same on the opposite side, making sure to pull the fabric tight.

For the corners, fold the fabric neatly (like wrapping a present) and staple it down. Finally, staple the top and bottom edges, again pulling the fabric tight as you go.

If you want to add tufting, now’s the time to do it. Mark where you want your buttons, push a long needle through from the front and secure the buttons at the back.

Attaching the Headboard to the Bed

You’re almost done with your DIY upholstered headboard! Now, let’s attach it to your bed. There are several ways to carry out this:

1. Wall-mounted: Use brackets to hang the headboard on the wall behind your bed.

2. Bed frame attachment: If your bed frame has holes in a headboard, use bolts to attach it directly.

3. Freestanding: Add legs to your headboard so it can stand on its own behind the bed.

Choose the method that works best for your bed and room setup. If you’re unsure, ask for assistance at your local hardware store.

Tips for Maintenance and Care

Congratulations on your new DIY upholstered headboard! To keep it looking great, here are some care tips:

1. Vacuum regularly to remove dust.

2. For spills, blot (don’t rub) with a clean, damp cloth.

3. For deeper cleaning, use an upholstery cleaner suitable for your fabric type.

4. Consider using a fabric protector spray to prevent stains.

With proper care, your DIY headboard will look fantastic for years to come!


You’ve done it! You’ve created a beautiful DIY upholstered headboard that adds style and comfort to your bedroom. This project not only saves you money but also gives you the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands.

Remember, the key to success with this project is patience and attention to detail. Take your time with each step, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Now, step back and admire your work. Your bedroom has been transformed, and you did it all yourself! Why not share your creation with friends and family? You might just inspire them to try their DIY projects.


Q: How long does it take to make a DIY upholstered headboard?

The project typically takes about 4-6 hours, depending on your experience level. And whether you’re adding extra details like tufting.

Q: Can I use an old headboard as a base instead of plywood?

Absolutely! An old wooden headboard can be a great base. Make sure it’s sturdy and clean before you start upholstering.

Q: What if I make a mistake while stapling the fabric?

Don’t worry! Staples can be removed with a flathead screwdriver or staple remover. Be careful not to tear the fabric.

Q: How much does it cost to make a DIY upholstered headboard?

Costs can vary, but typically range from $50-$200, depending on the size of your headboard and the materials you choose.

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