A Secure Upholstered Headboard- Part I

I have finally finally finally tackled my headboard! I’ve been thinking about what to do for a while… Since last summer really. I’ve been loving those rustic upcycled wood headboards, like this one from Jenny Highsmith’s blog:


but I thought an upholstered headboard would be far better suited to my clumsy ways. (How nice will it be to hit my head at night on something padded?!)

Browsing Young House Love one day, I found my solution (see theirs here). Use a simple frame from an arts supply store. Easy!

However, since I got my love of DIY from my parents, I thought I’d see if my dad would make me one. He took my idea and ran with it. I’d love to take credit for his cleverness, but really, I never would have thought of this. He made me a much more secure frame than the vision I had in mind. Here’s what we did:

1. Build or buy your frame. You could easily start with one from an art supply store, but my dad threw one together with the spare pieces of wood he hand in his shop. For a queen size bed, 5′ x 3′ works well.

2. Cut a thin piece of plywood (this would would be about 1/8th of an inch thick?) to the width of your frame, in this case, 5′. Cut the length to a 1/2″ past your frame. If you don’t have the tools, (which I do not) I would guess that your local lumber store, like Home Hardware or Home Depot for example, would cut this to size for you. Keeping the two pieces flush on the top and on the sides, use a nail gun to nail your sheet of wood in place. This should create a “lip” on the back side of your frame.


It’s hard to capture on camera, but you can see the shadow from the lip on the top of my frame.

3. The thing I found especially clever here is that my dad didn’t leave me to hang a frame without any support to the wall. Instead, he built this:DSC_0447

The first piece is the same thickness as the frame. The smaller piece is the same length, but slightly shorter than the first. In fact, the difference is the same as the “lip” mentioned in step 2. We will later screw this piece to the wall, and then snugly hang the frame on top. The thickness of the second smaller piece depends on the thickness of your batting. You need to allow space for the thin sheet of wood (ie the “lip” of the frame), the batting and your upholstery fabric. My batting was quite thin, so this piece of wood sufficed.

Pictures may explain the system more clearly.


Awesome right? All we’ll need to do is screw the extra piece into the wall to hang it. Then, if we need to move it, we can simply unscrew it! Added security = less accidents for this accident-prone girl.

Here’s the back of headboard before upholstery:DSC_0452

To clarify why he added a few extra pieces:

1. We added an another sheet of the thin plywood to entirely cover the  front of the frame. This way, I will spray adhesive to the front before stapling my batting. Both of these steps will help prevent sagging in the fabric long term.

2. The second piece in the back on the bottom is just for added durability of the frame. If you bought yours, skip this step.

I am so excited to show you the reveal tomorrow! It took me ages to decide on a fabric, but I’m pleased with my choice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this twist inspired my Young House Love.


2 thoughts on “A Secure Upholstered Headboard- Part I

  1. Pingback: Upholstered Headboard Part II | L'amour chez nous

  2. Pingback: A Secure Upholstered Headboard Part II | L'amour chez nous

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