How To Make A Headboard

By Molly Freudenberg, March 6, 2010

A few years ago,  I was looking for a new bed and realized that I wanted something that was cozy, stylish, and customizable.  I looked at the construction of a lot of the available headboards and beds, and after shopping for a while,  I decided to figure out how to make a DIY headboard.  Most of them seemed to be constructed in a similar way and had three elements: a wood frame, foam padding of various thicknesses, and a fabric cover.  Easy right?  Actually, it wasn’t hard or too expensive either! Here is how to make a custom DIY fabric covered headboard for a bed. Easy to build, lovely to own!

Making a Headboard is Easy!

This is the headboard I made...we have had it for a few years now and think it suits us perfectly!

The frame

I  started with the “width” measurement of the bed which was approximately 54 inches. The height can be whatever you would like — I chose to make mine about a yard higher than the top of my mattress…the same height as a standard piece of foam.

My frame was built using 5 2 x4’s of varying lengths:

  • Two for the height from the floor to the top of my headboard
  • Two for the width minus 2 inches, and
  • One to brace the center…two inches shorter than the height from the bottom horizontal piece to the top one.

small wooden dowel pins, wood glue, a drill with a pre measured tape line to control depth and a small template I made for drilling holes (so they would all be the same.)

The Padding

Next I got my foam which was a 4-5 inch thick foam, and cut it to the size of the frame.  Then I used spray adhesive to carefully to attach the foam to the frame. Easy!

The Fabric and Slipcover

After attaching the foam, I upholstered a cotton duck fabric from front to back with heavy duty staples and a hand staple gun.

I found an upholstery grade fabric I loved at Hancock Fabrics for the slipcover and got a few yards of it plus some cotton cording so I could give dimension to the seams. I cut three pieces…2 narrow side pieces and one long, wide piece of fabric to cover the front, top, and back of the headboard. I wrapped fabric over the cotton cording and sewed it to the edge of the long, wide piece of fabric. Then I machine stitched the side pieces and sewed a 3/4 inch hem around the bottom to it would slip over the headboard like a dress.

My finished DIY headboard is exactly what I wanted and had been a very useful and cute addition to my bedroom. It also cost me about a third of what it would have to buy a new headboard as nice in the store!



One Comment

  1. [...] construction of the frame is very similar to that for making a headboard (See How To Make A Headboard) and uses dowels and wood glue to hold together. I find the dowel pin and glue method both easy and [...]