DIY – Upholstering and tufting a headboard with nail trim

I have been toying with the idea of getting a headboard for our king sized bed in our spare bedroom.  But who wants to spend $600-$1000+ for a bed that will rarely be seen or used except by myself or the dogs? And I will only see it when I vacum the room…not worth $1000.   I couldn’t rationalize the expense, especially to my husband.  I decided it would be best to get an upholstered headboard instead of a wood headboard but those are still really pricey, esp for king size.  So I have waited- until this past weekend I saw one at PB for $499 before shipping etc. This got me thinking….was it possible to make one myself?  We have previously made our own mudroom bench as well as built-in bookshelves for the office, so why not try?  I spent all last weekend googling links to get info on the best way to do it and found out not only was it easy but REALLY inexpensive and produced fabulous results if you did it correctly.  So i notified my husband at 2am Sunday night/morning that this is what I was going to do since I was on vacation the whole next week.  He responded groggily “and why do we need one again?”  Typical.  I have since reminded him we are saving hundreds of dollars and I still get the same response…why do we need one? 

I think it would finish off the newly painted spare bedroom beautifully, so hopefully by the end of this posting, I have some good results to show!

I first started off with a trip to Home Depot to buy a 4’x8′ particle board that I had them cut down to size there.  It ended up being 80″x32″ when we brought it home…just barely fit in the SUV!  So the next step was to design the style and cut it out and sand it.  I never do things the easy way so I had to make it a bit fancier.  I used a large piece of cardboard 40″ wide (half the partical board size) and freehanded the design.  Next I cut it out and traced it onto the board and then flipped it over and did the same on the other side.  I had my husband cut it out since I had no clue we owned a jigsaw or where it might be.  The results were this:


Good but needed a bit of sanding to reduce the corners/flat middle….


Next I went to Target and bought a queen sized 1.5″ foam mattress pad along with high loft batting (72″x90″) at Joanne fabrics.  I first cut the foam down to 80″x32″ and then traced the outline of the board on the foam.  Some websites recommended using a steak knife to cut the foam but I had a heavy duty pair of scissors.   In the end, I want to put nail trim all around the edges to finish it off so I placed the cut foam mattress pad 1/2″ in from the top and side edges so that I had room to put the nail trim.  Next I covered the whole thing with the folded over high loft batting and wrapped it around the edges and stapled. 


It’s coming together now!

Next up – fabric.  I bought almost 3 yards of fabric at the local fabric store.  I draped it over top of what now actually looks like a  headboard…


Can’t staple it around the edges yet because I needed to make this as difficult as possible by tufting it too!  So this is where my husband came in handy.  Measuring…UGH.  Using 3/4″ wood screws along with washers, we put the screws into the board thru the foam and fabric in a diamond shaped pattern.  Every 7″ vertically and every 14″ horizontally in 4 rows.  He started in the middle and worked his way out to the edge.


The washer was the perfect size for the buttons I got at the fabric store.  These were do it yourself type buttons too.  It came in a kit so I could cut out circles of my fabric and then press it into the button cover.  I painstakingly did this for 20 buttons…it didn’t say you needed a hammer but it sure made things faster….don’t try using a heavy pot to hit the button in, you will only break the pot…yes i did this  :\

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So now that I had the buttons made, I used fabric glue to glue them on top of the washer/screw combo…..Then it was time to staple the excess fabric onto the back and trim off any excess.

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Next up…nail trim. 

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5 yds was more than enough thankfully!  Remember that extra half inch we had between the foam and the edge of the board?  That is where the nail trim goes.  If the foam went all the way out to the edge, the nail trim would not have sat so nicely or made the nice rounded edges that I got here.  If you use thicker foam, it might be good to taper the edge of the foam before covering it with batting.  It took a little bit of finesse to get the nail heads into the board, some worked great and others bent quickly.  Fortunately, the kit comes with extra nails.  I definitely do not recommend doing this one nail at a time.  I would have gone crazy (well my husband would have, I held down and placed the trim while he nailed it).

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Now it was time to trim off the extra fabric on the back and make sure to have enough staples on the back to secure it. I may have used more than was needed but I found stapling therapeutic  🙂  Before I hung it, I had to get a sneak peak and see what it looks like on the bed.  I love it!  I spent the last week painting the furniture and walls in that room and I am so excited with the results!

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Once that is done, it is ready to be hung!  We bought a french cleat at Home Depot that was rated to hold up to 200lbs (this might be 15lbs). 


When all is said and done, I spent approximately $150 for the headboard…much better than $1000+!!

Here are a few blogs I used for reference to make my own upholstered headboard.  I think I used a little bit of all of their ideas  and merged them into one headboard…hope this helps!


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