Friday, September 3, 2010

DIY Upholstered Headboard

As we move into this long holiday weekend, Scott and I were talking about the home improvement projects we would like to complete... namely, painting more of our condo.  Updating our home and making it our own has been quite a process, but in the end, it is beautiful and satisfying.  (Thanks to his dad for all his handiwork too!)

I have been all about the decor.  The interior decorator in me has come out and is learning a lot, especially where to find good, inexpensive items!  And in some cases, I have found that a little DIY can really pay off.

For our bed, I wanted an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim, but you would never guess how much they cost until you start looking... hundreds of dollars.  In my Google-searching though, I also found some helpful instructions to do-it-myself.  Scott kindly drove me to JoAnn's and Home Depot (no city driving for this girl) and I put my skills to the test.  (I felt pretty cool using a staple gun and rubber mallet!)

Here's the finished product and some simple instructions:

Still on the hunt for bedside lamps...
but loving the tables I found at Pier 1, Crate & Barrel bedding (yay for wedding presents!)
and the new paint color (no more dark brown!)
Home Depot
- 1/2 inch plywood trimmed to size (for our queen bed, 60''W x 34''H)
- picture hangers/brackets to mount on wall
- about 3 yds of 54'' batting (queen-size bag)
- 2 yds of fabric (will lay horizontally, so keep this in mind if you choose a pattern)
- staple gun and staples
- rubber mallet (doesn't damage the naiheads)
- nailhead trim (I purchased about 12 feet of trim + nails off Amazon - get the kind that you only have to nail in every fifth nail, not every individual nail)

1) Iron the fabric so it will lay nicely and place facedown on a clean surface (carpeted floor works well).
2) Place batting (folded in two) on top of fabric.
3) Place plywood on top of batting.
4) First, pull the batting around the edges of the plywood and staple to the back of the plywood.  Cut away excess as needed.
5) Then pull the fabric around the batting-covered edges of the plywood and staple to the back.  Be sure to pull the fabric carefully so it is smooth on the front (I did the top edge first, then the sides, then the bottom).  When you get to a corner, fold the fabric like you are wrapping a present.  Doesn't have to look pretty on the back because no one will see that side!
6) Turn your new headboard over and line up the nailhead trim about 2 inches from the edge.  Start at one side, go along the top and then down the other side (no need to do the bottom edge).  If you get the kind I found, there is a hole every fifth spot where you insert a nailhead and nail it in using the rubber mallet.  Always take a step back and assess your progress every few nails to make sure the line is straight.
7) To mount the headboard to the wall, I used a couple picture hangers on the wall that can support up to 100 lbs each and a couple rings screwed into the back of the headboard (and a very nice, helpful husband).  We nailed the picture hangers into the wall and then held the headboard up to figure out where to screw the rings into the back of it.  Not super scientific, but we did get it on the wall and straight on the first try!

I love how it finishes off our bed and only cost about $100 total.  With some extra time this weekend, maybe this will provide a little inspiration for your own DIY project!


  1. Melissa, this looks fabulous! I love the pattern on the fabric and the contrast with the wall color (what color is it, by the way?? it's perfect!). Your directions are clear and easy to follow - post more "how tos" please! - Sarah

  2. Thanks so much, Sarah! It was a process finding the right wall color - think we tried three different blues before choosing this one. It is Watery from Sherwin Williams. I wanted something that would complement the bedding but not overpower the room. It's so tough to know what paint will look like when you just have a small swatch or sample! More how-to posts to come...

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