diy upholstered headboard

diy upholstered headboard

How to make an upholstery headboard

We are Builders in london, this was something out of our scope however we managed to put an upholstered headboard together so can you to. We were asked by one of our customer to make an upholstered headboard. Once you have all the materials needed it is really straight forward.The bedroom is very personal to everyone is a place for you to relax unwind and get a full night’s sleep a headboard give your room a touch of class. If you’re wondering how to make your own headboard you have come to the right place.

The first thing you going to need in order to create your own upholstery headboard are the following:

  1. Hammer
  2. Staple gun
  3. Staples
  4. Timber 3 by 2 or 2by2 depending on your desired finish 
  5. MDF sheet 18mm x2 depending on the size of the headboard
  6. Joining brackets
  7. Fabric we used crushed velvet fabric
  8. Batting (used to stop the foam going anywhere)
  9. Foam.
  10. Gripfill or contact adhesive we used contact adhesive on the headboard below. 
  11. Screws
  12. Joist finder
  13. Tape measure
  14. Fabric varies depending on your finish. Have a look on eBay for local suppliers and have it delivered.

So without further ado let’s get started. We searched the web in order to make an upholstered headboard however the search results was not showing us exactly what we needed. Most websites were from the USA and didn’t really show us where we can source all the materials. After spending two hours we found the right materials.

The following items we sourced from local builder merchant the list below will show you where we brought our materials from:


2by2 timber

upholstered headboard timber




Construct your headboard frame

Firstly measure the height and width of your bed. Below is a chart of standard bed sizes

Single bed 90cm x 190cm
European single bed 90cm x 200cm
Small Double bed 90cm x 200cm
Double bed  120cm x 190cm
King bed 135cm x 190cm
Super king bed 180 x 200 cm

The first thing you going to need to do is measure your bed and decide the height of the headboard. Measure from the floor up which is shown in the diagram below labeled A to the finishing of your headboard. If you want to add a frame add the dimension of this too. You will now need to measure the width of the bed shown in the diagram which is labelled C make sure to add the headboard frame size to the dimension. if you want the headboard to hang over the side of the bed add a few centre metres to each side of the bed.  Now you have worked out the height and width of your bed you will want to work out the size of the MDF sheet. In our example we made the MDF sheet start right from the floor up, this is personal preference but the general rule is to make sure the headboard extends below your bed. 

Headboard measurements

2.  Find a place in your house to cut timber (handy tip try not to cut on carpet as it makes it harder to hoover). Lay your 2by2 sawn timber down to create a frame. The frame should be the size required for your headboard. 

3. You will need 2 sheet of 18mm MDF Sheets cut these to the required size. Once you have cut these, join them both together with joining brackets and screws (stay away from dry wall screws as this is heavy, you really need stronger screws)

4. Using the foam purchased from Builder Depot wrap the frame with foam leaving an edge which is connected to your MDF sheet clear. The reason for this is because it may create a slight problem when your putting your fabric on. Use a staple gun to throughly keep the foam together.

5.  Use batting fabric which we purchased of eBay staple this on top of the foam on the head board. Below is an example of what it should look like  Batting headboard

6.Once you have stable your fabric to the frame it is now time to hang the MDF sheet and frame to the wall. You will need to use brackets to hold the mdf and the frame together, you can use strong screws or self tapping screws. If your screwing the headboard to plasterboard you will need to make sure you find the joists, in order to this you will need a Joist finder.

Below is a picture of our already cut out frame and mdf sheet screwed to the wall with the desired fabric.

diy Upholstered headboard

Once you have finished this you will want to stick something in the middle, we used cushions which were stuck onto a hard back to help us stick this on. We applied contact Adhesive to the headboard and each individual squares. We allowed the adhesive to dry for 7 mins and stuck it together. The end product looked like this:diy-upholstered-headboard finished


diy-upholstered-headboard side view