DIY Upholstered Headboard

Learn how to make a custom upholstered headboard.

I have been planning on making a headboard for our guest room since we purchased our home last year. After diligently looking at thrift stores and garage sales I finally found one to use as my “base” for only $3! After asking you which fabric I should choose, I ended up choosing the Lovely Lattice pattern from Waverly. The fabric has a “lattice” print in cream on a grass green background. I purchased it from and purchased the foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics site (I found great coupons for both here). All my supplies arrived by the end of last week so it was time to get started!

If you would like to see how I upholstered the headboard or would like to make your on, here’s how!

1. You will need:
– A flat headboard or a sheet of 1/2″ plywood cut to your desired headboard shape.
– Upholstery fabric (for a queen size headboard, I used about 3 years)
– 2″ sheet of foam (I purchased a roll and pieced it together)
– Batting (I purchased a large roll for $9.99 at Jo-Ann fabrics and only used less than half of it)
– Spray Adhesive
– Box cutter (if you have a small hand-held jig saw it would be  perfect for this step, but not necessary)
– Staple gun and staples
– Magic marker

2. Start by placing the foam on the ground. You may need to cut it so it will be large enough to cover the headboard. Make sure the foam is butting the other piece(s) so there are no gaps. Then place the headboard face down on the foam.

3. Using the magic marker, trace along the outline of the headboard. If you were to remove the headboard, you should see a marker path like mine above.

4. Using your box cutter or jig saw, cut along the marker path. It is easier if you remove the headboard while cutting the foam.

Flip the headboard face, or right side up. Using the spray adhesive, spray one side of the foam and adhere it to the right is of the headboard. Repeat until the entire headboard is covered in 2″ foam.

Place the batting on the floor. It should be large enough to cover the entire headboard with about 5″ extra on all sides. Cut a path through the  batting about 5″ from the edge of the headboard. Repeat this until you have trimmed all sides of the batting.

5. Use the staple gun to attach the batting to the headboard. Start in the center of the headboard and work towards the outside. While you staple, be sure to pull the batting taught. This will help secure the foam and ensure there are no wrinkles in the fabric later.

6. Repeat this process until the batting is stapled to the headboard on all sides.

7. Temporarily lift up the headboard and place the fabric, face down, on the ground. Then place the headboard face down on top of the fabric. Just like trimming the batting, trim the fabric to about 5″ all the way around the headboard.

8. Use the staple gun to attach the fabric to the headboard, the same way the batting was attached. Repeat this process all the way around. Be sure to start in the center of the headboard and pull the fabric tight as you staple. If your headboard is curly, you will need to fold the fabric slightly as you staple along the curved sides. If your headboard has any right angles, fold that the same way you would fold gift wrap on the package.

Let me know if you have any questions about this process if you are going to give it a try. This project took me about 3 hours to complete and cost me around $100 total. It’s an easy way to dress up a bedroom and create a unique piece of furniture.

For some great upholstered headboard ideas, visit Happy DIY-ing!


  1. Your blog is great! All of your content is really well done and your photos are clear… I should know, I’m a Web Developer!

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  2. I love your headboard, it look beautiful an easy to do. I have one and i tried to upholstered but it was a disaster the spray adhesive it didn’t work. The problem is that my headboard is kind of romantic stile so the part I want to upholstered is in the center of the headboard. Would you please help me how to do it right. Thank you so much for your help. I don’t know if I can attach a photo, in that way you can see the shape of my headbord

  3. wonderful wonderful job on your headboard. i really love the green lattice fabric you chose. i was wondering… what is the brand or fabric (name) of your bed linens? i have been looking for the “perfect” bed linens for our master bedroom for over 4 (!!!) years… so they apparently do not exist, and i have finally come to terms with that. i have instead decided to just continue my search in finding linens that i adore, even if they aren’t “my very favorite thing in the ENTIRE world”, and have several different “bed looks”. i would love love love to have these linens come into the mix. they are super cute and the perfect colors. thanks in advance!

  4. You did a great job on the headboard, I could only imagine how beautiful that room looks. What do you use with the headboard? Do you use jut metal bed frames or did ou make sideboards as well?

    1. Thanks so much, Francine! I just used a metal bed frame with a mattress and box spring. I put a simple skirt the bed and it looks great. I actually updated the bedding recently. You can check it out here!

  5. I realize this is way long after your post but I’m wondering how you attached this to the frame without making holes in the fabric that might be prone to tearing or fraying. I guess you could just drill through but I’d love to know of any hints! Your piece looks amazing!

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