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Tips & Techniques > How To Make A Padded Headboard

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Posted by: JenniferThoden

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Member since: 12/14/05
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Posted on: 6/9/06 2:57 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
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Learn how to make your own padded headboard with step by step instructions and detailed diagrams. You'll be reading against it tonight!

You're about to learn how to make your very own padded headboard. This is a terrific way to give yourself a new bed without paying thousands of dollars.

This project is super easy and it's amazing how good your bed will look with a padded headboard in the fabric that matches your decor.

So lets get started!


1/4" plywood board measuring the width of your bed x 48" (have your hardware store cut it for you)
(4) 5-foot 1"x3" boards (For a twin and queen bed, you can get away with 3 boards)
1" flat head screws (I used #6 screws)
4 yards of face fabric
high loft batting (you want a piece larger than your plywood measurements
1/2" - 1" thick foam (the same dimensions as your plywood... you may need 2 packages)
1 roll of 1/2" wide Steam-A-Steam2 double adhesive tape.
Staple gun and staples
Iron and ironing board
Sharp fabric scissors
Measuring tape
Adhesive (Ask you hardware store for an adhesive to stick foam to wood)
Utility knife (to cut the foam)
Collect all your supplies. Once you have all of your items, you can easily have this project done in a couple of hours.

** You can find Steam-A-Steam 2 at**

Make the Frame

First we're going to make the wood frame of your headboard. Once we finish this, then we'll move on to covering it with your fabric.

Step 1. Lay your 1" x 3" boards side by side on the ground

Step 2. Lay the plywood onto the boards

Step 3. Align the top edges of the 1x3s with the top edge of the plywood

Step 4. Align a 1x3 along each side edge of the plywood and center the other 2 (or 1)

Step 5. Using a 1/8" drill bit, drill a hole through the plywood and 1 x3 boards 2" from the top edge

Step 6. Drill another hole 2" from the bottom edge of the plywood

Step 7. Drill a third hole in about the middle of the 1x3 boards

So each 1x3 board should now have 3 holes.

Step 8. Using your drill, screw a flathead screw into each drilled hole... securing the plywood to the boards.

Upholster the Frame

You can put all your tools away now. The big stuff is done.

Now you're going to add the padding and cover the frame with fabric.

Step 1. Cut your foam to fit the plywood. You may need 2 pieces of foam... if so, place the foam edge to edge. Use a utilitly knife to trim off any excess foam.

Step 2. Remove the foam temporarily, and apply your adhesive to the plywood. Lay your foam back down onto the plywood. Align all your edges... make sure if you have 2 pieces of foam, the edges are right up against each other.

While your glue is drying, lets go piece your fabric!

Step 3. Roll out 60" of fabric (Panel A). Trim off the selvege edges. These are the side edges of your fabric. If you don't trim them off, your fabric will not lay flat.

Step 4. Fold under the side edges 1" and press well.

Step 5. Roll out another piece of fabric 60" long (Panel B). Trim off the selvege edges.

Step 6. Lay Panel B to the right of Panel A.

Step 7. Peel off the steam-a-steam adhesive strip from the roll and stick it to the left edge of Panel B. Now if you have a pattern to match, you may want to lay Panel A's folded edge on top of Panel B and match the pattern before sticking the adhesive strip to it.

Step 8. Peel off the paper backing on the adhesive strip.

Step 9. Press the folded edge of Panel A onto the adhesive strip on Panel B. Press with high steam.

Step 10. You can probably trim off a good width of fabric from Panel B and use it for the other side of Panel A.

Repeat the steps to adhere the 2 panels together. You will have one full fabric width as the center and 1 smaller panel on each side.

You want this pieced fabric panel to be at least 6" longer on each side than the plywood.

Step 11. Lay out the batting so that it is smooth on the floor.

Step 12. Lay your frame with foam onto the batting... foam side down... board side up.

Step 13. Pull the batting over the edges of the frame to the back and staple in place with your staple gun.

You'll need to cut the batting around the legs at the bottom edge. There's no wrong way to do this, just be neat.

Step 14. Lay your pieced fabric on the floor wrong side up. Measure across your Panel A and mark the center at the top and bottom edge.

Step 15. Measure across your frame and mark the center at the top and bottom edge.

Step 16. Lay your frame with batting on to the fabric... board side up... matching the center marks.

Step 17. Pull the fabric over the edges of the frame to the back and staple in place.

Now slide your headboard against the wall at the head of your mattresses. That's it!

And now you know how to make your own padded headboard...

Happy Upholstering!

Jennifer Thoden
Visit to see detailed diagrams for this project.

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AllieMac said... (6/21/06 4:12 PM) Reply
Thanks for the instructions! I've been wanting to try a padded headboard but didn't know where to start.
lornakismet said... (6/10/06 12:14 PM) Reply
Thank you for the tip and the link, which I have bookmarked. :-) -LornaKismet (Lorna A.)
martinanne said... (6/10/06 2:49 AM) Reply
Wow! This project sounds easy and fun!
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