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DIY Upholstered Headboard

Of all of the furniture projects to date, this one was the simplest to complete and it made a massive difference to the look and feel of the master bedroom. We started on a Friday afternoon and had it hung behind the bed a few hours later.

Project Overview

  • Difficulty – Easy (2 people)
  • Time – 3 hours
  • Cost – ~$100
  • Tools
    • Circular Saw
    • Staple Gun
    • Drill / Screwdriver
  • Materials (TBC – this is from memory)
    • 4×8 OSB sheet (we used some 5/8″ scrap from the garage but it does not have to be very thick)
    • Upholstery Fabric (we used 3 yds of Richloom Fortress Clear from fabric.com at ~$8/yd)
    • 2″ Foam (enough to cover the full headboard – we recommend using a high density foam so that it doesn’t collapse over time)
    • Batting
    • Dan Tack 2012 Professional Quality Foam & Fabric Spray Adhesive
    • Staples
    • 2 x French Cleats for hanging on the wall (we decided to use 2×30″ cleats for additional stability)
    • Craft Knife

We decided to match the width of the headboard to our custom bedframe and so cut a piece of 4×8′ OSB down to size using a piece of 2×4 and a 7″ circular saw (we clamped the 2×4 to the OSB and then used it as a guide)

Given that the foam we ordered was 36″ wide and the headboard was 48″ wide we then cut out sections of foam using a craft knife and arranged them like a jigsaw puzzle to ensure that the entire OSB sheet was covered with foam. When we were comfortable that everything was laid out correctly we too the board and foam outside and used some fabric spray adhesive to stick the foam down to the OSB (the fabric adhesive can be very messy).

When the adhesive was dry, we laid out the batting on the floor and placed the headboard, foam down, on top of it. We then pulled the batting tight across the top and bottom of the board and stapled it down to the OSB.

We repeated the batting step using the upholstery fabric, making sure to pull it as tight and evenly as possible. The corners proved a little bit tricky but we played around with hospital corners and present wrapping techniques until we found something that looked acceptable. We deliberately chose a fabric without a pattern so it wasn’t overly important to make sure the pattern was straight / aligned.

Finally we aligned the french cleats about 12″ from the top of the headboard (keep them at least 18″ from either side of the board to allow you some flexibility in moving the headboard left and right along the wall), calculated the correct height on the wall and attached using a combination of drywall anchors and screws directly into the studs where possible. Provided that you don’t place the cleats at the very edge of where you expect the headboard to finally end up, there is some wiggle room in placing the cleats to hit as may studs as possible.

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