Upholstered Headboard How-to
Upholstered headboards are very popular right now but the price can range from $400 and up for a standard size bed. Here I made two headboards for our master and guest bedroom in a weekend and both together cost less than $250.
1 sheet of 3/4" plywood
4" batting roll
Material (width x height of headboard + 4" on each side of overlap)
button tufting it or nailhead trim kit (optional details)
extra foot of material if tufting
nailhead hammer and tweezers
heavy guage wire
2 D-ring hooks
Start with 3/4" plywood for the backing. The standard measurements for different bed sizes are as follows:
My headboards were queen size. Make sure to add 2-3 inches on each side of the width of the bed for a good size headboard. For instance for a queen headboard I cut the width to 64" wide (60" + 2" to each side). The height I used was 4 feet which is standard for plywood. These headboards are hung on the wall like a picture therefore the height does not need to be right to the floor.
Next lie the plywood down on the floor . If you would like to apply button detailing now is the time to mark where you would like your buttons to go. I measured for four in the top row, five in the middle and four again on bottom. Take the width of your headboard and divide it by the number of buttons you want to add to find out how far apart to mark your holes. Once the placement for the buttons is marked, drill a hole through the plywood for each button.
Spread batting or foam over the plywood. I found the batting at Walmart in rolls and applied it until it was about 4" thick to give a nice cushion for your head. You can use spray fabric glue to hold it in place but I found the batting held well to the rough plywood on it's own.
Next spread your fabric over the batting. Turn the entire headboard over to the back so it is lying on the fabric. Starting in the corners, pull fabric tight and staple to back of the plywood. Continue staping around the perimeter of the plywood, pulling the fabric tight with each staple.
Now it's time for the final details. If you are using the buttons for tufting as seen in the green headboard, follow the directions on the button kit to cover the buttons in fabric. Bascially you cut fabric for the size of button you have which is written on the package, wrap the fabric around the button and clip in place. You'll use the upholstery needle to thread the button and pull it through the hole you made earlier in the plywood, pulling the button from the front of the headboard, through the fabric, batting and out through the hole in the plywood. Staple the button thread tightly on the back of the headboard.
If you are using the nailhead trim, measure along the perimeter of the headboard so the distance is equal (for instance 2" from the edge of the headboard) to place the nailhead trim. Using a nailhead hammer and tweezers to hold each nailhead in place, hammer in going along a straight line around the headboard. The nailhead trim I used you canbuy in rolls and only every 5th nailhead needs to be hammered in making it easier to form a straight line.
Finally, place a heavy guage wire on the back of the headboard using D-rings to hang the headboard similar to a picture on your wall.