DIY Headboard

I have been drooling over Pottery Barn’s upholstered headboards for some time. There are so many options I can’t even name a favorite! Not wanting to shell out $900-$2,000 I decided that I would make my own! I gained the confidence to take on this project by reading how easy the steps were from other blogs (Young House Love and Sixty-Fifth Avenue and a great video by Design Sponge). THIS WAS SO EASY PEOPLE!

Over a few days I looked online and visited Joann to check out fabric options. I took home some scrap fabrics from Joanns to see how they would work against our new paint options for the walls, our rug and the decorative pillows.  I loved the linen look on Pottery Barn’s website, but with our Peyton drapes and linen covered lamps it would be a bit much! We choose a gorgeous fabric that has a light blue linen background with gold woven throughout.

To start, I measured the bed and wall to figure out what size of a headboard I would be making. I wanted to make sure that it went higher than our pillows and that it would extend lower than the top mattress. The ending measurements were 78” x 40”. For fabric, I figured that I wanted to get 10 extra inches so I can stretch it around the foam, batting and staple to the back. To make it easy, I asked for 90”x 50”. I waited to complete the project this weekend because Joann had a HUGE sale this weekend on fabric, foam and I used a 60% off coupon on the batting. SCORE!! For the look I was going for I purchased one inch foam. You can get whatever size you want, just make sure that the thicker you go on the foam, the more fabric you will need to pull over it! I had to buy two large pieces of foam to equal the height I wanted. This is okay because the batting will go over the foam and you will not see any lines from the different pieces. With the help of an employee I choose Soft n Craft High-Loft Batting (72”x90”). This was a thicker and better quality batting. I also picked up spray adhesive to adhere the foam to the wood (I used a 40% coupon on this). Total spent at Joann with tax: $127.67

Next up was Lowes for the wood and materials to mount to the wall. We started with a thicker wood that was suggested from a helpful worker. The guy cut the wood to our measurements and we were on our way to hardware to figure out how to hang this thing. The longer we sat in the isle and both took turns lifting the wood we realized that it was just too heavy and we weren’t comfortable with hanging it on our wall. Ugh…we felt so bad walking back to the wood section and asking for new wood. With no problem the same polite employee helped us find a much thinner option (1/4”). I am so glad Mike and I went with our gut feeling on this. The first wood piece with the foam, batting and fabric would have been so heavy that marriage counseling would have been necessary after the guaranteed disagreements on how to hang it properly! With the new wood ($21.97) in tow we picked up The Hillman Group’s d-ring hanger kit with screws ($2.58) for the back of the wood and the anchor by 2 in 1 that can hold up to 200 pounds (2 @$5.98 = $11.96). Total spent at Lowes with tax= $39.06.

Step one was to lay out the foam with the wood to mark off the excess. To cut the foam I used our electric knife….yep the same one that cuts the Thanksgiving turkey!! This is a GENIOUS idea picked up from the lady at Joann’s. It sliced through the foam like butter!! A black sharpie was used to mark the foam in lieu of an ink pen to see the line better.

Step two is to spray the foam and wood with the adhesive, then apply the foam to the board. This step took place in the garage because one blog said the smell was really strong. Well I guess I got the wrong adhesive because there was no smell and the foam did not stick! Surprisingly I didn’t agonize over this. To finish this project, Mike and I brought the wood with foam topper inside to get out of the Florida humidity.

For step three I laid the batting out on the floor and the flipped the wood over so the foam was now on the bottom and touching the batting. This is where I worked on getting the foam even with the wood and didn’t fret over the wimpy adhesive. Once the batting was pulled over and stapled, the foam was fine.  I started on one side pulling the batting over the wood and used my staple gun to secure it in place. I did this all around the board and made sure to fold the corner edges neatly. To finish this step I cut off any excess batting after I was done stapling it.

Step four was to iron out any wrinkles in the fabric. To do this I just laid it on the ground and brought my iron out to the hallway! After all the wrinkles are gone lay the “almost headboard” on top with the wood facing up.

Step five is to staple the fabric like you did in step three with the batting. The only thing I did differently was that I added an extra row of staples just to be sure it was nice and tight!

That’s it. Only five steps! It was soooooo easy! And hanging it was just as simple!

We took apart our old frame and assembled a new plain metal one ($120). Now the old wood frame would be unstable without both the headboard and footboard. Check out Young House Love’s headboard makeover and how they attached it to their bed here.

Once the box spring and mattress were on the new frame we pushed it close to the wall and brought in the headboard to gauge where we would like to hang it. We made markings on the wall with pencil and laid the headboard on the mattress (this made it easier to make markings on the wood and eventually drill the hangers on). I took blue painters tape and stretched it across the wall using the markings we made at the height we wanted. The tape allowed us to see if it was level. We measured the headboard and then the wall to determine how far in from each window the headboard would go (three inches on each side and again I made markings with pencil).

Using a stud finder I made markings at the four spots on the wall with a pencil. To support the headboard we used the studs closer to the outside of the headboard and not in the middle. I took a tape measure and made a marking 12 inches down where the stud was where we would put the anchor. I used blue painters tape and applied tape from the top of the headboard to my marking 12 inches down. To keep it even I did the same on each side.

I used the blue painters tape coming up from the anchor marker as a starting point to measure to the other marker coming in three inches from the window (where the edge of the headboard would be). This gave me the measurements to drill the hangers on the back of the headboard. Tip: your stud might not be in the exact same place on both sides so measure each side! My left side actually went in three more inches than the right side! Once we used our measurements to mark the headboard we drilled the screws to secure the hangers.

Using the anchor I hooked it on a hanger to measure the distance where the anchor would be once locked with the hanger (two inches). Going back to the wall and using a tape measurer again, I went up two inches from the original marker to where the anchor would be nailed in. Now the hook fits perfectly on the anchor. This was a lengthy description on how we hung the headboard, but it was super easy and quick!!

I am in LOVE with the headboard! Not having the bulky wood footboard makes our room feel much larger! The only think missing is a bed skirt! If you haven’t noticed there are a lot of exclamation points in this post because I am super proud of this project!!! Total project cost: $286.73. We are going to try and sell the headboard on craigslist so the cost will be even lower!!

**update: We sold our bed on Craigslist for $200! So this project ended up only costing us $86.73!!**

Bentley decided to grace us with his presence and quickly made his way to his usually nap destination, on top of my pillow. (Bman recently went to the groomers and looks so handsome.

Stay tuned this week for another giveaway!!

View Comments
  1. Britt commented:
    August 20, 2012 Reply

    Great job! I have been wanting to do this for a long time and you have inspired me to go ahead and attempt it since it seems really easy!

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    August 21, 2012 Reply

    I love it, Amy!!! So inspiring to hear that it was an easy DIY! I think I mentioned on Instagram how much I love upholstered headboards. I’ve wanted one for our bedroom for 7 years!! So, guess what my fall project is? I can’t wait. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 22, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth! I was shocked how easy it really was. DIY headboards are simple, clean, cheap and look great. I’m hooked and will never buy a bed ever again. Now I want to re-do the guest room! How fun making yours and can’t wait to see pictures!

  3. Michelle commented:
    August 21, 2012 Reply

    Great Job Amy… Love it!!! and your right a foot board totally makes the room look smaller, removing it and making that nice light colored headboard did the trick for the eye so I imagine is did wonders for the space feeling as well … kudos!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 22, 2012 Reply

      thanks michelle! You are right the room feels SO much bigger!Can’t wait for you to come to the U.S. to visit….Let me look at that email you sent and check with Mike on his work sched. & see what day works for us!

  4. mckay commented:
    August 21, 2012 Reply

    this looks awesome!!!!!! I need it done for my twin beds. I’ll pay! 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 22, 2012 Reply

      Thanks McKay! I would love to help you make them for your guest room, and no payment needed sista! Just pay for the materials and I’ll do the work! xoxo

    • Rajat commented:
      September 8, 2012 Reply

      Oh my gosh, it looks SO amazing!!!! Love how it all tuenrd out! We plan on doing a door headboard too, how cool is that? I love being able to see it in your room first, now I can get an even better idea of it. Woot! Great job! And I’m cracking up about your hubby’s comment. We are tackling two projects at once right now so I’m sure hearing the phrase, “Is it done yet?” will be in my near future.~Michelle

  5. sixtyfifthavenue commented:
    September 2, 2012 Reply

    Your DIY headboard looks fantastic!! I agree, it really does make the room look more spacious. Way to go selling your old bed on CL. Your room is beautiful!


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