There I was, on Pinterest, pinning image after image of beautiful bedrooms. That's when I noticed that they all had one thing in common– a gorgeous upholstered headboard with nail head trim. I found a beautiful one on the Pottery Barn website but of course it came with a hefty price tag….
Yikes….and that wasn't even the most expensive one I found. One thing was for sure– that headboard was not in my bedroom revamp budget. So, I decided I wanted to make my own to save costs.
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Later that day I was chatting with my best friend Katie. Come to find out she had actually been dreaming about the same kind of headboard. We decided to dive into this DIY project together.
–Staple gun and staples
-Batting (you'll find this at the fabric store in huge rolls–buy the thickest batting you can get). It will need to be wide enough to cover your entire headboard.
-2 wooden posts
–Nail heads (also called decorative tacks)
****Make sure your nails and your nails heads are not long enough to poke through your board all the way***
-Canvas drop cloth (you can find this at the hardware store). We used a 9 x 12 drop cloth and it made 2 queen sized headboards with some to spare.
*More on why I LOVE canvas drop cloths here.
First, You'll need to measure how tall/wide you want your headboard to be. I made mine 40 inches tall at it's highest point and 63 inches wide. Your headboard will go down just below your mattress. Your wooden posts will be used to hold the headboard up. They will go from about halfway down the headboard to the floor.
When you go to the hardware store you can have them cut your board and wooden posts to the dimensions youwant (though you'll need to do the curvy cuts on the board yourself).
Next, you'll need to choose what shape you want your headboard to be. I went with a curvy design while Katie went with this simple, rounded corner design so that it wouldn't compete with the rest of her bedroom decor.
Before using the drop cloth you'll want to wash it with tons of fabric softener (I'm talking multiple caps full). Then you'll need to Iron the drop cloth (don't skimp on this part–it needs to be perfect).
Next, you'll need to cut your headboard. To do this we marked the middle point, drew the curves we wanted on one side using varying sizes of bowls as our guide (first in pencil, then in sharpie once we got it perfect), then cut out that one side. Once it was cut out we traced the cut side onto cardboard and used that to mirror the design on the other side.
Next, you need to cover the headboard in batting. Do this by wrapping your batting around the edges a bit, and stapling it about every inch on the back side. It helps if you have one person holding the batting steady and the other person stapling because you need the batting to be TIGHT. If you're cut job wasn't absolutely perfect you can help cover any imperfections by taping a little extra batting over those areas using packing tape. Then you'll cover the board in canvas just like you did with the batting making sure your canvas goes on smoothly and is straight on the grain. You want the canvas to be tight but not so tight that it pulls unevenly in some places. We had to remove a few staples and adjust before we got it perfect.
Then it's time to put on your nail head trim. The key to a professional looking finished product is to space your nails heads evenly (don't just eye ball it–pull out that tape measure). You can choose how far apart you want to space them depending on the look you are going for. I did mine 1 inch apart.
You want to make sure that you hit your nails in straight on the first try otherwise you'll pull your canvas weird, break your nail head, or ruin your perfectly spaced hole. I was having trouble getting them in perfectly with a hammer so my brother (who has much stronger hands than I do) just pushed the nail heads in for me by hand. If you do have to use a hammer put a sock over it so that you don't dent your nail heads. I also found that my nail heads actually helped perfect the rounded outer edges that I didn't get absolutely perfect when I was applying my canvas.
Lastly, you just need to nail your two posts into the back of your headboard so that it has something to stand on (one on each side). I nailed them in a few inches so that they'd be sure not to show.
…And VOILA! You have an upholstered headboard 🙂
Happy DIYing! Also, there are some good priced headboards I just found on Amazon that you can also check out (not as inexpensive as DIY but way better priced than the Pottery Barn ones I originally found)!
Do YOU have any pointers for a DIY upholstered headboard?!?!