We got a King bed which meant we needed a new headboard! Our house is a 1960s brick ranch with little rooms. Getting a King bed means our room is literally a BEDroom with space for a small dresser, two bedside tables, and the bed. But we’ve wanted a King bed for a while so it’s totally worth it! We don’t have the space for a big bed frame or headboard so we were limited in out headboard search. We decided we needed a simple bedframe with a headboard that wouldn’t stick out too much since space is a premium. I really liked this West Elm Simple Upholstered Headboard priced at $549 and would take 4-6 weeks for delivery and this Target Channel Seam Upholstered Headboard priced at $420. I showed my husband who liked both of them but thought we could easily make something similar for way less money. He was right! Our King sized upholstered headboard cost just under $100 with the help of some Joann Fabric coupons. They had 60% off items so we bought the fabric, foam, and batting all using the 60% off coups, plus $5 off your purchase of $35 or more. Joann has coupons all the time so if you’re trying to do this on the cheap, watch for their coupons!
The project took about three hours from start to finish, though we drank Old Fashioneds and entertained our puppy while we worked so you could probably do it in two hours. I highly recommend doing this with one other person. When it comes time to staple the batting and fabric, you really want to pull it tight and it was nice to have one person pull while the other stapled.
- $15 2in x 24in x 90in Foam Slab
- $10 2.5 Yards Batting
- $17 2.5 Yards Velvet Upholstery Fabric
- Staple Gun (we have an Arrow TruTac and I recommend any DIYer keep one in their toolset!)
- $4 Staples – 5/16 in height
- $18 1/2in 8’x4′ plywood sheet
- $8 1×6 wood board (for the legs)
- $3 Screws
- Electric Drill (we have one and I recommend any DIYer keep one in their toolset!)
- Saw (we used a circular saw we already had but you could use a hand saw at Home Depot so you wouldn’t have to buy one)
- Cut your plywood to the exact size you want the headboard to be. I believe Home Depot will make one cut for you so if you can get them to cut this for you – great!
- We decided to make the headboard 24in x 80in. We went with 24in because the foam slab was 24in wide and it was easier to use a full slab and not piecemeal parts to make a slab. We decided on 80in because our bed is 76in wide and we wanted the headboard to have 2in overhang on each side.
- On a clean surface (living room rug worked well), lay out your piece of fabric with the correct side down.
- Lay your piece of batting on top of it, centering it.
- I wound up using two pieces of batting because I found a spare in our basement from another project I did in the past.
- Lay your foam slab on top of the batting, centering it.
- Lay your piece of plywood on top of the foam slab, centering it.
- Get stapling! Start by stapling the batting to the board. Staple the entire first side, then the other. Don’t be shy with your staples; the more the better. Also try to staple as close to the edge of the board as you can. You’ll later want to cut off the excess batting. The first piece you see if the spare batting I found in the basement. It was just as long as the board. It worked but ideally, your batting will hang past the edges so you can wrap it around the entire board, not just the sides.
- Staple your next piece of batting using the same method you did with the first piece. Make sure you pull the batting tight before you staple it. Staple the long sides first then the short ends. Don’t worry too much about making a neat corner because it won’t show.
- Cut off the excess batting.
- Fold the fabric over the batting and start stapling. I suggest starting with the long sides. This is where it was very helpful to have a second person. My husband stood on the board to squish it down and at the same time pulled it tight. He did that and I stapled it like crazy. We used a lot of staples.
- Once you do both sized, flip it over to make sure it looks okay and isn’t too tight or loose in any places. We had one area that was a tad too tight but decided it could be the bottom and would be covered by pillows so we left it as it was.
- Staple the short ends. This involves folding corners and was tricky to figure out. I’ll try to explain what we did but hopefully the pictures will show you!
- Cut out the excess fabric on the ends so you don’t have so much to work with.
- Fold the corner in slightly and staple them to the 1/2in end of the board.
- Repeat the same fold on the other side.
- Crease the end of the fabric, pull it really tight, and fold it over the board.
- Go to town stapling it.
- Repeat steps A – D on the other side of the board.
- Flip it over and make sure you like the way it looks.
- Cut your legs! We decided to make each leg 38in tall. We wanted the bottom of the headboard to be 26in tall, about 2in taller than our bed. Then we had 12in to hang over onto the headboard to screw into.
- Lay your headboard back on the ground with the right side face down. Lay your first board about 6in in from the side of the headboard with about 12in overlapping the headboard and 26in handing off the edge.
- Screw two screws into the board through the headboard. Make sure your screws are long enough to go through the board but not too long that they’ll poke through the headboard!
- Repeat steps 15 and 16 on the other side.
- If you want to rest your headboard on the ground, you’re done! We opted to drill the headboard into our bedframe so it’d be sturdier.
- Stand the headboard upright behind your bed and center it on your bed. We eyeballed it and it seems just fine. Screw two screws into each leg, securing them to the bed frame.
That was it! The headboard looks great and feels sturdy. In the past, I’ve tried using cardboard rather than plywood for a base but it wasn’t as sturdy and I couldn’t staple the fabric as tightly into the flimsy material. If you have any questions, let me know! I’d love to hear if you make a headboard like this one!