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Hello Gorgeous! The Story of our DIY Headboard



I have been on the hunt for the perfect upholstered headboard to DIY for our master bedroom for months now.  If we were going to go to the trouble of making our own, I wanted it to look custom.  Finally, I ran across this image on Centsational Girl:

{ Image via here }
Done! Now to build it... "Honey!?!?"

I was nice enough to draw it out for him :)
I scoured the blogosphere for the best DIY headboard tutorials & we took bits & pieces of each one to make our own.  { These were the tutorials we found most helpful: Southern Exposure & Addicted 2 Decorating }All I want to know is... where are y'all getting your wood?  Every post I found was cut out of one sheet of plywood or mdf.  We got the largest they had at the Depot & had to attach another one.  Apparently we are making the largest headboard ever!


After gluing & attaching brackets to make our base SOLID, we added a second layer of wood around the perimeter.  This added thickness to the headboard, as well as a place for our nailheads to eventually sit pretty.

The hubs cut out my design with a jigsaw... No Problem right?!?
Side 2... He got a little too jiggy on this side.  Clipping a corner & cutting another piece too narrow.  Liquid Nails to the rescue.  Seriously, no one will ever see this.  Structural Integrity is intact!

Hello Tropical Storm Lee & your Tornado Warnings!  This moved everything inside.  Bare with the photos...space was limited at this point!

Foam is expensive!  I wanted our headboard to be plush so I added an egg crate mattress pad as the first layer.  This filled in the wood perimeter. 

I then added a layer of 1" thick foam with a few staples.  If you are adding nailhead trim be sure to leave a border!  Your nailheads will NOT go through the foam.
Cover the entire board in batting.  I used a Extra Loft Queen Size Quilt batting.... I told you I wanted this thing thick!
Next, FABRIC!  Center your pattern (if you have one) and just staple away.  If you have a curve, this is the way "Real" upholsters do it.  The tabs allow for more movement.
Everything was going so well until I hit the inside corner at the top... (Yes, I cursed!) there was no way I could figure out how to make this work.  So not pretty.  Think. Think. Think.

Stay with me... I pulled out my trustee StichWich & created a long band to cover the entire edge of the headboard.
Hallelujah!  This is the point where I fell in love.  This band created a really finished "factory" look.  To attach it I literally added StitchWich to the front edge of the headboard & ironed it around the edges.  The rest I pulled & stapled in the back. 
Now it was time for the nailheads.  I was lucky enough to score 1000 for $10 on e Bay! To start this process I created a line to follow.  My scale (ruler) was the perfect thickness I needed. 

{FUZZY} To create the curve, just measure your thickness around and make dots to connect.

Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, repeat.... Make sure you use Needle Nose Pliers & a Rubber Mallet.
Break for a snack your hubby makes you!  (I'm so lucky!)
Continue to hammer & then TADA!


Here is a detail of the nailhead trim.  
It was time consuming, but I am so happy I went with the individual nails vs. the strip.  
(Doesn't that "mistake" look good?!?)



We attached our headboard to a standard metal bed frame by screwing bolts through the headboard.  When drilling your holes be sure to cut small holes through your fabric & batting first.  No one will ever see this. 

I called a local upholsterer to get a quote on the inspiration headboard... $1200!  For less than $200 we are beyond thrilled with our first attempt!  I'm still working on the pillows, dust skirt & artwork... but our bedroom redo is well on it's way!

Thanks for stopping by & be sure to follow me using the links on the sidebar!

Cheers- K

Top 25 Projects of 2011


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62 comments:

  1. holy guacamole, that is one AHHHH-mazin' headboard...and a load of work, too. you rock, fer sure, chick! (and kudos to the hubby for that fab "snack"!)

    i'm a-followin' you now!

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  2. I LOVE this! I too have been dying to make our own headboard..Was yours for a King bed, is that why so large?! I absolutely love the shape and nailhead trip, and the fabric! Do you get, that I love it all! haha Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

    Kelli @ www.theinspiredcollection.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks ladies! It's actually only a Queen Bed!?! I used the overall dimensions from an Ethan Allen Bed I've seen in person. I knew the dimensions felt right.

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  4. Gorgeous! You did an excellent job with this! My girls are about to get twin sized upholstered headbaords, so you've inspired me to get going on that project. Thanks :)

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  5. I love this headboard! On my list of things to do - have the fabric and everything. The hardest part is getting started and drawing it out. You made it look easy. Thank you for sharing this great tutorial.
    www.projectqueen.org

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  6. You did a really nice job. sometimes homemade headboards look like just that. I'm ready to try after seeing this.

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  7. I was so concerned it would look homemade. I think the trick is time... Be patient with the entire process. We are so proud of this project! So happy that it's inspiring others.

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  8. K, this turned out phenomenal!! I love the fabric and the shape! You are so right about needing patience for one of these, especially those stinkin' nail heads! :) I'm actually getting ready to start my fourth upholstered headboard project as soon as I can find the right fabric so hopefully it will go as well as yours did! I'm really excited to try out your stitch witch trick with the fabric along the edge, I've always wondered what the best way to do that was. Thanks for the awesome tutorial and I can't wait to see what your next project is! I'm loving your blog by the way, you're such a natural at this!

    Hope we can meet up for lunch one of these days, would love to catch up!! :)

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  9. simply gorgeous...makes the bedroom!!

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  10. Thank you so much!!! My husband and I started making our headboard in April or May. It's almost the exact same shape except ours is a half circle on top. Anyway, it has fabric on it and we stapled, but I had the exact same problem with it ripping in that same corner. I almost gave up and was going to have a professional finish it until my sis-in-law showed me this post. Thank you!!! Never even heard of stitch witch (or however you spell it). I'll have to show you the finished product soon. Can't wait!!!

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  11. Hey Amy. Glad to hear I wasn't the only one with that inside corner problem :) Please do send photos of the finished product! I would really love to see it. Also, if you don't want to use Stitch Wich you could also use a fabric glue to attach the strip.

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  12. How do you connect the headboard to the bed frame?

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  13. We attached the headboard to the bed frame just like any other headboard. We aligned the headboard with the metal bed frame, made holes corresponding with the bed frame, inserted & fastened with nuts & bolts. If our headboard was against a wall we probably would have secured it to the wall, but have had no problems with it connected the way it is.

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  14. WOW, this looks great. SO chic! I am your newest follower!

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  15. That is so FABULOUS I can hardly stand it! Thanks for sharing at Overflowing with Creativity! I’m excited to continue being inspired by you in 2012!!! XO, Aimee

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  16. This is fabulous! you did such a great job and your tutorial is so well done. Your hubby sure makes one gorgeous snack yum.

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  17. You did such a good job on this! It looks professional! I love the fabric you used as well. Very chic. I'd love if you linked it up to my party going on!

    http://daysofchalkandchocolate.blogspot.com/2011/12/latest-and-greatest-friday-12-features.html

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  18. Wow this turned out so beautiful and it really does look like a $1200 bed. Beautiful!

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  19. It is gorgeous!! I love the fabric you chose too!

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  20. Love this! Where did you get the fabric?

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  21. Thanks for all the new comments! Haley, the fabric is P Kaufman's Slick Grey I got mine with a Scout Mob deal @ www.lsfabrics.com but you can also find it here... http://www.buyfabrics.com/p-13592-slick-grey-contemporary-drapery-fabric.aspx

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  22. Just saw your feature on Tatertots and Jello and LOVE your headboard!!!

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  23. Beautiful! Our master bedroom needs an update, so I'm dreaming about headboards. Pinning yours now...

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  24. Isn't is great when mistakes turn in to something terrific? This is so fabulous! I've been wanting to do something with the "slick" fabric and I love how you used it. Beautiful!

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  25. This is incredible! I am absolutely in love with everything about this headboard... the shape, the fabric, the nailhead, everything. You did a great job and should be so proud. The most important question I have is, can your hubby mail me some of that caprese salad??? holy crap that looks amazing right now...

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  26. Well, look at you and your mad DIY Skillz!

    Well done, girl!

    You did such a great job paying attention to all the little details, and the fabric you chose is just div.ine!


    Would also love if you stopped by for a visit!


    ~Abbie (www.fivedaysfiveways.com)

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  27. wow! i would love to be this ambitious. Perhaps you just inspired me!

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  28. Where did you seam the fabric together? I' noticed you laid your fabric out where the selvage was top and bottom. Was the seam below the mattress line? And after all the tutorials I've read on this - yours is the best! Thanks for taking the time to put it up for all of us! And that fabric? Dreamy. That's very close to what I've been imagining that I will use - so thanks for doing the legwork on finding the fabric, too!! :)

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  29. This is AMAZING! And the step by step instructions, with "what not to do" lessons are genius and most helpful! Can't wait to see the next DIY!!

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  30. This is just gorgeous! You did an amazing job, I love the style you chose, and the fabric is really beautiful! And thanks for the great tutorial :)The stich-witch trim is ingenious, it does give it such a finished look. I soo want to try this, but we only bought our bed like 9 months ago, so it'll have to wait awhile :)

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  31. Gorgeous!! I've Pinned your project and can't wait to see if I can talk the hubs into making this for us! Gorgeous wedding ring by the way. I found your blog via Pinterest for your lovely Bergere Chair Reupholster project. :)

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  32. AMAZING! We did our first headboard a few months back ...boy do I wish I would have seen your beautiful design first. :) I love the shape and the fabric. Megan

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  33. Wow, Kristin! You did a fabulous job, it's truly gorgeous, and my favorite part is your little accident! You're right it makes it look so professional!

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  34. One of the best I have seen. I have never understood those nailhead strips. This is so much better.
    Jackie B

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  35. Beautiful!!! What size Upholstery Tacks did you use? (I found some on Ebay that are 7/16'' heads with 1/2''Shank) Thank you!

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  36. How many yards of fabric did you use? I'm thinking of buying the same fabric four my headboard project.

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    1. I bought 2 yds & had some left over.... Good luck in your headboard!

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  37. simply amazing! thanks for sharing!

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  38. Looks gorgeous! Just found you via Infarrantly Creative on Facebook. New follower!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

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  39. This is so, so awesome!! I just saw Infarrantly Creative's version on hometalk.com, http://www.hometalk.com/446537/painted-fabric-stenciled-headboard, and now yours. So inspiring. :)

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  40. Kristin, can you give me a ballpark of how many nailheads you used? Was yours a queen size? I'm shopping and am only seeing packs of 50...no idea how many to buy. :) Thanks, Jennifer

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  41. This is absolutely gorgeous. You have great taste! Thank you for having your husband draw out the design as well, my husband said it was exactly what he needed to make sure I got what I wanted.

    Approximately how many nailheads did this require? Where is the horizontal fabric seem? If most fabric is one yard wide, 36in, and your headboard it 61in high...we couldn't figure out where you hid the seam or if there was a way to do it without a seam anywhere.

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    1. My drawing... You wouldn't want to see my husband's sketch :)

      I believe i used around 300 nailheads... I bought a box of 1000 on eBay & had a lot left over.

      I railroaded the fabric (54"w) & had a seam right above each one of the legs.

      Hope that helps!

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  42. Hi there...I just came across your blog and I am totally inspired! My husband and I bought all the materials to make our own headboard as well and my husband even has the frame made, however we got stuck on the fabric! In fact, we have been "stuck" for a year. Where did you get your fabric, and how much did you purchase? We have a king and are having a hard time finding fabric to cover the whole thing...any suggestions? much appreciated.

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    1. I bought the fabric at Lewis & Sheron Fabrics here in Atlanta ( www.lsfabrics.com ) & purchased around two yards. Your best bet will be to find a fabric you can railroad & not have to seam down the middle. Good Luck!

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  43. I love it! I can't do it though. Im looking for one now maybe you guys should go in business. Can you make me one?

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  44. Great job! Glad you included the obstacles, it makes it much more realistic, and funny.

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  45. Hi Kristin, I just wanted to let you know that I featured your headboard in a blog post of my favorite DIY headboard roundups at this link: http://www.lilikoijoy.com/2013/04/15-favorite-diy-upholstered-headboards.html
    Thank you for inspiring me. I love how your bedroom turned out! Sharon

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  46. Amazing, I love the fabric you choosed, the motif and colors. Upholstered headboards are my favourite

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  47. Hi! Love this tutorial. May I ask you how thick the egg crate mattress was and where you purchased it?

    Thanks!

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  48. Kristin - do you recall the name of the fabric you used? Thanks!

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  49. What size is this headboard? Queen or King? Gorgeous! thanks :)

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  50. Hi I was searching for the blogs for many times, now I have reached at the right place.http://plus.google.com/112458942571457568265/posts

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  51. Could you show close up pics of where you attached the headboard to the metal frame?

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  52. A typical sheet of plywood or MDF is 4'x8' which should be plenty big to make one headboard. Home Depot and Lowe's always has plenty.

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  53. Hello! i have been planning to make a headboard for quite some time now however, i couldn't quite find the right type of fabric. The type that you used is the exact type of fabric that i have been looking for. Could you tell me what type of fabric it is that you used??

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  54. Just wondering how you did the corners for the "trim". (Where two pcs of fabric meet) mine is fraying :S

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always love feedback on what my lovely readers { like you } are thinking. Feel free to ask any questions or you can always email me at thehuntedinterior@gmail.com

K