Monday, April 18, 2011

My DIY Weekend: The Upholstered Headboard

Wanting expensive things sucks, doesn't it?  While N and I could technically afford a $1400 bed or $450 headboard, we're both far too practical to get one when our house needs new carpet and tile.  However, rather than go yet another year with a mattress on a metal frame, we decided to just make an upholstered headboard ourselves and then splurge later on when we upgrade to a king size bed or move to a house where a tall headboard won't block the off-center bedroom window.

We started by reading online tutorials from other bloggers who took care to document every step and measurement.  Rather than make this a tutorial, I'll just point you here and here.  N made us a basic queen size headboard from a sheet of plywood that was already in our garage, but if you'd like to skip that step you could just start with a $49.99 Ikea bed frame like Jen at Organized Design.  (We were going to do this, and then realized that Ikea does not design their bed frames for ultra thick pillow top mattresses and the headboard would not come up high enough.)

From there, I took advantage of a big sale at JoAnn's Fabric and bought two sheets of 2" high density foam and some thick, organic cotton batting that wouldn't stretch out when stapled over the foam.  I also picked up four yards of a dove gray suede-ish fabric and washed it to remove all the wrinkles.

Then, I just went nuts with our staple gun.  I covered the legs and the back of the headboard since I had plenty of fabric left over and am pretty happy with the end result.  (You'll notice I abandoned the nail head trim when I realized the potential for mistakes)

The whole project ran about $65 if you don't count what I spent on extra foam that is going to be made into a bench.  I realize it looks odd to have curtains behind a corner of the headboard, but if we move the bed to the left, there won't be room for N to get out on his side.  I want to find who designed this house back in '64 and punch him... except he's probably dead by now.

I think the curtains will get replaced eventually, but I have yet to find any I like better.  I also need to find a bed skirt and hang some art over the bed and on the other empty walls.  What are your ideas for this space?  I spend a lot of time giving advice on the internet and now I need some of my own.  Help!!

P.S. If you want a upholstered headboard like mine and want to skip the DIY part altogether, you can score some similar styles at a comparable price point here.


  1. I don't know if you rent or own but I always thought Katie B's solution to offset windows was a great one:

    I think something like this would look great in your room too, especially with all the textures and colors :)

  2. Thanks KT!! I'm showing that post to N - I think it could look great in our room. I don't know why I didn't think of just covering the window entirely :)

  3. o fun! i am going to show this to h, we want a uphosted headboard too but didnt want to shell out a ton of money :) xoxo jcd :: cornflake dreams

  4. it looks incredible! great job. love those lamps too :)

  5. looks good! i love upholstered headboards!

  6. Thanks for all the sweet comments :)

  7. I think it looks great! I think you need a pop of color on the wall, maybe bring up the yellow from the bed. Great job!

  8. The headboard looks great! Fab job on a dime :)

  9. Great Job on the headboard and perhaps you can use the savings for a piece above the bed. I'm thinking a black and white or something with a pop of color.

  10. Your headboard looks great. Unfortunatley, I'm not that talented, so I did some shopping around before buying my king bed frame. When you start shopping around for your upgrade, I would recommend checking out Sleepy’s because it was a great resource. They have a wide variety of bed frames and mattresses to choose from, as well as a great deal of information on everything they offer. They were a huge help. They even had fast home delivery and set up, as well as the chance to exchange my bed if I wasn’t happy with it.They were really a big help.



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