A Secure Upholstered Headboard Part II

In yesterday’s post I explained how my dad and I built a headboard frame inspired by YHL (see theirs here). Now that we’ve gone over the functionality, let’s move on to the fun part! Scroll to the end of the post to see my (glee-filled!) finished project.

1. Here’s the front of my headboard. To prep for adhesive, wipe it down. (As a little side note, that blanket was used to be my puppy’s. Let me tell you, that smell, mixed with adhesive = very unpleasant!)


2. Lay out your batting and place the headboard on top. Staple a few times on one side using a staple gun.DSC_0548

3. Flip it over. You can see here that only one side is loosely attached to the board. Next, spray adhesive, following the can’s directions, to evenly coat the board. This will prevent the batting from sagging in the future.DSC_0556

4. Flip it over again, and staple your batting in place, making sure that it is taught. DSC_0572

Here’s a photo of one of the corners. Fold it as if it were gift wrap. It can also help to cut off excess batting here to avoid lumps.DSC_0579

6. Make sure the batting adheres to the board by smoothing down with your hand. I decided not to spray the batting, but it might be helpful to do so.DSC_0582

7. While my adhesive dried outside, (I wanted to avoid the fumes of both the adhesive and the blanket indoors), I prepped my fabric.

Tip: cutting in a straight line can be tricky with so much material. To make it simpler, lay your fabric flat on an (rectangular) area rug, and line up the side with the side of the wall. This way, you’ll cut at a 90 degree angle and can use the rug as a guide for your straight line. Cut a straight line

8. Unfortunately, any upholstery fabric I’ve found comes in at 60″, so just a tad too narrow to fully cover the 5′ headboard (since I wanted to keep the stripes vertical). If this is also the case for you, here’s what to do:

Cut two identically sized panels and pin along the sides of your fabric, trying to keep as close to a straight line as possible. I used 7″ wide panels on each side to make sure I had plenty of wiggle room. (Do regular people use the word wiggle? Is this just a teacher thing?)

Here are my pins:


Here’s what we’ll see after I sew it:DSC_0595

Sew your panels to the sides.

9. Following the same steps as you did with your batting, staple the fabric in place.

Extra staple gun tip: You need to put your body weight into stapling to keep them flush to the wood. If this is a challenge for you (as it is for me, mine tend to come out all wonky) just hammer them in a the end so you don’t damage your wall later on. DSC_0612

Here’s the front of my headboard:DSC_0620

Because it’s pulled tight, you can hardly see my seam!DSC_0621

How to hang your headboard:

Lucky for me, my indulgent bf helped me out with this one. Here’s what we he did.

1. Decide where you’d like it to be on the wall, and mark it with a pencil.

2. Measure how far your ledge (the part you’re going to hang) is from the top of your board. Use this measurement to know where to attach your ledge.


2. Screw in one side. Use a level and screw in the other side. (As a side note, depending on how heavy your headboard is, you might need to add anchors to protect your drywall.)


Thanks Shaun!

And… ready for it… Here’s how our bedroom looks now!DSC_0710DSC_0724Headboard

I am beyond happy with it. Just sitting on my bed feels cosier. I can’t believe it took me so long to actually do it! It looks so nice that it makes the photo above it look, well, so so. I may have to switch it out for something more dramatic…

Budget dent:

Fabric: $8 a metre (woohoo for 50% sales at Fabricland!). The sales woman advised I buy 3 meters, but I could easily of gotten away with two.

Batting: $10 (again, half off)

Wood: Free (though I’m sure buying a frame wouldn’t break the bank) To see how much you need, check out Part I of this project.

Total cost: $34 plus tax. Love!

Any projects that you’ve been putting off for a while? Anything you’ve been over-the-moon happy about when you finally got around to doing?


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.