Steph's Pick - DIY Fabric Headboard

May 26, 2009

Like most first time mom's - I've spent a decent amount of time thinking through what I'd like the nursery (and in our case nursery/guest room) to look like. Early on in my pregnancy I started formulating a list of things that needed to be done before our little peanut comes into this world.
In April we were fortunate enough to have my parents come down for a week to visit AND they were eager to help us with all of our projects around the house. They were so helpful - thanks Mom and Dad!!!
One of the projects we completed while they were in town is a fabric headboard for our guest bed. This isn't the best picture of it - but it will give you an idea of what it looks like. The best part about this project is that is was sooooo easy!! Some DIY (do-it-yourself) projects aren't all that easy, but this one really was. So I thought I'd share my step-by-step instructions so you can do this yourself.

1. Assemble Tools and Materials.
Here’s what you’ll need:
8-foot tape measure
plywood for the main fabric-covered area (the cheapest grade is fine since no wood shows)
plywood for 2 legs: about 30” x 4”
roll of upholstery batting or cotton batting
a beautiful piece of fabric for the cover
a power drill (if you have one)
a staple gun (preferably an electric one!)
Optional: cording, braid, or other trim

2. Decide on the shape and size.
First measure the width of your bed and decide how high to make the headboard. Remember that the box spring, mattress, and decorative pillows will cover up part of the headboard, so you may want to add more height to compensate. I recommend having the bottom of the fabric-covered wood headboard start at the top of the box spring Total height of this top section (not counting the legs) will be about 36 inches.

3. Cut the wood for the headboard and legs.
If you don’t want to cut it to size at home then ask the salesperson to cut it to your measurements. At less than a dollar per cut it’s money well spent. Also have them cut 2 pieces about 30” long by 4” wide. These will be attached as legs at the end of the project.
If your headboard will be rectangular then you can proceed to covering it with batting.

4. Cover the wood with batting.
Lay the batting over the wood frame, adding 2" all the way around. Staple the batting to the back of the frame where it won’t show.

5. Secure fabric with staples.
Iron your decorative fabric and smooth it face-down on the work area. Set the covered headboard, face down on top of it. Cut the fabric the same size and shape, adding about 4” extra to wrap around the back of the headboard.
Starting at the center top, begin stapling the fabric to the back, making sure that any pattern on the fabric is properly centered and straight. Pull it just enough to get a smooth front side, but not so much that it puckers.
Once you have about 12” of the top stapled, switch to the bottom edge. Smooth the fabric around the wood and staple several places on the bottom edge. Continue working in sections along the top and bottom. This might be a good time to lift up the headboard and check your progress before stapling the sides.
If everything looks good, set it down and begin to secure the fabric to the sides, folding over the outer sides and staple the fabric to the back. Make sure the corners (if you have any) look neat and tidy from the front.
Staple lining fabric onto the back of the headboard, covering all the raw edges of fabric and batting.

6. Attach the legs and secure to the bedframe.
Cover the 2 leg pieces of wood with lining or decorative fabric, stapling to the back of the leg.
Place the headboard, face down, on a flat surface. Determine the desired height of the finished headboard, and attach the legs to the headboard, about 2” in from the side edge.
Now drill holes in the legs and attach them to the frame of the bed.

That's it!!! It's a great (and cheap) way to add another great decorative dimension to any bedroom.


Janel said...

WOW! Are you for hire? It looks great!

Bambina Babe said...

Okay so I might try to do this. How did you attach the wood legs to the headboard piece? With screws?

Thanks for the super great idea!

shopgirl said...

I've been wanting to do this diy for a while, but haven't been brave enough yet....I'm working up the courage!

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