There are some long nights ahead of us with the coming arrival of our baby. Those nights will be spent sitting up in bed, half awake, nursing our little girl. We have never had a proper bedframe, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone by making a headboard that frames the bed and provides some comfort sitting up on those long nights.

I found a great tutorial on Sutton Grace about her homemade upholstered headboard and decided to use that as a guide for making ours. Funny how our motivation for making them was quite similar… We simplified the design by leaving off the buttons since our quilt adds lots of visual interest already. Here’s the step-by-step process we took for this really simple DIY project.

Step 1: Cut a plywood sheet to size.

We were planning to hang our headboard from the wall, so we used thin plywood around 1/4″ thick. It acts as a frame, so it doesn’t need to be heavy duty. Our sheet was cut to 2 feet high (so our backs could rest comfortably) by 66″ long (so it would overhang the bed by a couple inches on both sides).

Step 2: Glue thick foam to the plywood sheet.

We used 2″ foam from the fabric store, which is pricey, but we waited for a 40% off coupon to purchase it. It was already 2 feet wide, so we had the fabric store cut it exactly to 66″.

For glue, you could use lots of options. We actually used clear caulking because we had some leftover from another project. One person laid the caulking while the other unfolded the foam into place. We worked our way down the plywood sheet, caulking and pressing the foam into place.

Step 3: Place batting over the foam so it wraps around to the back of the plywood by a couple inches. Staple into place.

We used 1/4″ thick batting sized for a queen bed, which gave us enough batting to have 3-4 layers folded over the headboard. Our cheap-o staple gun was strong enough to secure it into place.

Step 4: Place fabric on top of batting and staple into place.

Pull taut while you staple (helpful to have a second person here – one to pull while the other staples). Don’t pull tight! Otherwise it might indent the foam.

We carefully folded the corners until they looked neat enough, then stapled into place. Don’t worry about over-stapling or having the fabric look neat from the back – no one will see that.

Step 5: Hang headboard on the wall using picture hanger hooks.

This part took a while because you want to make sure it hangs level. We have lathe and plaster, so first we found the studs and used a small nail to mark them. We then went back and hammered in picture hook hangers on each stud at the same height.

Carefully, we matched the placement of the hangers to the hooks that we screwed into the back of the headboard – same distance apart from each other and same height. Being careful paid off and the headboard hung perfectly.

The finished product looks just as cozy as we hoped! The total cost of the project breaks down as follows and the whole process took about an hour with two people:

  • Fabric – used a thick curtain found at Goodwill, $10
  • Foam – $35
  • Batting – $13
  • Plywood – found at estate sale, $1
  • Picture hanger and hook hardware: $5
  • Total cost: $64

Not too shabby for a simple, comfy headboard. We are officially ready for those late nights in bed with Bug!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson