As newlyweds, my husband and I are in the process of decorating our first place as a married couple! Although we love buying new furniture, we also have the DIY bug and decided to embark on our first project together – an upholstered headboard with nailhead trim. The headboard turned out fantastic and has already made our work-in-progress bedroom look more put together! Below is a complete how-to for those who want to spice up a bedroom without spending much time and money.
The following list of supplies can be found at your local fabric and home improvement stores. Most of my supplies were purchased from JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s to take advantage of their weekly 40% off coupons! Note: The following suggestions are geared toward a queen size headboard.
Essential Project Supplies:
- Staple gun and staples
- Piece of plywood (1/2 to 1 inch thick)
- 2 1/2 yards of 1/2 inch-thick foam
- 1 bag of batting
- 2 yards of fabric
- Rubber mallet
- 1 nailhead trim pack
- 2 French clip packs
- Needle nose pliers
- Fabric spray adhesive
- Flat head screwdriver
Other helpful tools:
- Stud finder
- Jigsaw (or handsaw)
Measure your existing mattress to determine the appropriate width of the headboard. I recommend allowing no more than an inch on either side of the mattress; however it’s up to personal preference. Keep in mind that the foam and batting adds to the width of the finished headboard. The height of the headboard should be no less than 36 inches to ensure enough room for decorative pillows and allow the bottom of the headboard to drop slightly below the top of the mattress.
Once you determine the dimensions of your headboard, visit your local home improvement store to have a piece of plywood cut to size. After I brought the plywood board home, I sawed off the edges for a more custom look.
Cut foam so it covers the entire board up to the very edge (depending on your shape, you may have to piece the foam together). Once the foam is cut, spray adhesive onto one side of the board and attach foam.
For a queen size headboard, you will need two yards of upholstery fabric that is easy to work with and durable. The fabric I used was heavy and similar to canvas. Because it is tightly woven, I know it won’t stretch and bag after years of sitting against it. Make sure to iron or steam your fabric prior to stapling to avoid permanent wrinkles. If your fabric choice is patterned like mine, you must identify the “center” of the fabric prior to stapling it to the board.
If you choose to use a non-upholstery size fabric (e.g. shower curtain, bed sheet, etc.) make sure you have enough to cover the entire board with about six inches to spare on each side to staple.
Place your fabric on a large flat surface, face down. Next place 1-2 layers of batting on top of the fabric. Finally, place the board foam side down on the batting. Begin to staple fabric and batting to the board. The first staple should be at the top center of the board, about 2-3 inches from the edge. Then continue to staple the entire top portion, followed by the bottom. Leave the sides and corners last to prevent the fabric from skewing. Make sure to check the fabric periodically to make sure it’s straight. Once the fabric and batting is attached to the board, trim the rough edges for a cleaner look.
Using a rubber mallet, begin to hammer the trim around the edges of the headboard. Nailhead trim saves a ton of time over attaching individual nailheads and requires only hammering in a nail every five spaces. If the trim starts to go off track, you can readjust by gently pulling up the nail using a flathead screwdriver.
We chose to use a french clip to secure our headboard to the wall because they are easy to attach, have a built in level and can hold a fair amount of weight. Attach one part of the clip to the headboard approximately a quarter of the way down from the top and the other clip to the wall. Make sure that the clip that is attached to the wall is drilled into a stud for extra security.
Nailhead Trim Pack: $20.00
French Clip Fasteners: $16.00
Total Project Cost*: $137.00
*The remaining supplies we already had on hand.
And there you have it! Our high-impact headboard cost a fraction of the price of a new one and only took an afternoon to complete. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!