fabric-headboard-tutorialIn my master bedroom, I wanted an extra large headboard that would make a statement.Here are my instructions on how to make a fabric headboard…not just any fabric headboard...you’ll see.

Step 1: Find fabric that you love! I found this fabric at my favorite fabric store called Home Fabrics and Rugs. It cost 5.99 a yard, and I bought 10 yards. (I still have some left over, but we’ll just play it safe and say it cost me $59.00 for the fabric. One of the main reasons I chose this fabric was because it was neutral in color. I like to change the colors in my room every year or two, and this fabric will allow for that. Sidenote: think of how cheap this would be if you got fabric at Home Fabric’s $1.00 a yard sale!

Step 2: Measure your space. We wanted ours to take up basically the whole wall. :) Go big or go home right!?!?

Step 3: Divide your space into squares. You can decide how big your squares will be. BUT…an important part of this is to make sure that your fabric pattern is large enough to make enough squares with the exact same pattern.

Step 4: Buy 2 sheets of thin backer board and cut them PRECISELY the right size. Thanks to my hubsters, I didn’t have much to do with this part. The boards we bought cost approx. $6.00 each so with both of them we spent $12.00. Sidenote: your second sheet of the board will be used to mount your squares to.

Step 5: Buy some foam and cut it into precisely the right size. We used mattress toppers. We bought one at Wal-Mart for $7.00 and bought another at a yard sale for $2.00. The foam we bought was 1 inch thick. Total for foam: $9.00.


Step 6: Cut the fabric. You need to add 1 1/2 inches on all four sides to allow extra fabric for upholstering. Sidenote: make sure you have a sharp blade on your olfa cutter or a sharp set of fabric scissors. I ended up cutting them all by hand because my olfa blade was not working.

Step 7: Upholster every square.

I’m not going to lie, this part was very frustrating. We found that the boards were not easy to upholster to because the boards were very hard to get the staples to go into. So, LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE…make sure you buy a board that staples will go through.

We had to HOT GLUE to fabric onto the boards and then the staples would go through. This added a few steps and a lot of time to the process.

We also made pencil marks on the back sides of the boards to use as guides of how far to pull the fabric. We wanted each square to look the EXACT same to make sure the patterns weren’t messed up.

Step 8. Prep your space. In our case we wanted the headboard to be a contrasting color to the wall, so my cute hubby painted it charcoal gray. (Update 5/19/10: I do not have the exact color of paint because it was an OOPS paint from Home Depot and the oops paints are not tinted correctly. I would give you the color if I knew it).  I knew that most of the wall would be covered with the headboard and only a few feet on each side would show of the gray, so I was not worried about the color being too dark.
Step 9: Lay out your squares and decide on their position. It will be to your advantage to decide on the exact place of your squares ahead of time. Although we tried our hardest to make sure that each square was precisely the same size, we still moved squares around because some fit better than others.

Step 10. Mount the squares on the backer board securely.

UPDATE (May 19) I wanted to answer some of your questions about the mounting process. We (my husband and I) decided to mount the individual boards to one larger backer board so that it could be hung as one piece. We used liquid nails and short 1/4 inch wood screws to secure the upholstered boards to the backer board.

After all 17 boards were secure, we used two D-ring hooks to hang the headboard. Important: We had to install the D-rings in precisely the right place on the back of the headboard. The hooks were aligned for studs in the wall since the headboard was so heavy.


Step 11: Hang your headboard. (Make sure your hardware is secured to studs in the wall).


Step 12: ENJOY!

Comments

  1. Valerie says

    I love this tutorial!

    Gives me confidence that maybe even I can do the project I've been dreaming of for so so long!

    Thanks!

  2. says

    Great job! I love it! I just picked up that black and white damask pillow at Target! Don't know where I am putting it but I love it and it looks so nice on your bed.

  3. Sarah says

    So how did you mount the squares onto the board and then how did you mount it onto the wall? Maybe I should know how to do that but my brain isn't figuring it out…

  4. says

    Wow! This is great! Thank you for posting such a wonderful tutorial!

    By the way, I noticed your lovely bedspread. I have one similar. May I ask, where you got yours? Mine has a smaller pattern, but I love the bigger pattern.

    Keep doing great things!

    -Amy

  5. Comfort Joy Designs says

    LOVE this! I'm so wanting to make a fabric headboard for me and my honey of a husband. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Deborah
    comfortjoydesigns.blogspot.com
    comfortjoydesigns AT gmail DOT com

  6. DrMom says

    Using a mattress topper is absolutely BRILLIANT. SO much cheaper than buying foam from the upholstery store.

  7. BeautifulYoungHome says

    Wow! I love your head board. It is absolutely beautiful!! I love how it looks perfect.

    Amazing blog! I am your newest follower!!

  8. says

    This looks so good! Great job! I'm curious how you attached it to the wall too and what color did you paint the walls? I might be painting soon myself. Thanks!

  9. says

    omg i think i am in love with this headboard concept! thank you so much for sharing! i may do this instead of the regular type of upholstered headboard that i was planning on making.

  10. Barbora says

    Wow!!!I always wanted to do this in my bedroom but i didnt know how!!Thank you so much,I think that because of your tutorial Im ready to do it!
    Greetings from Czech Republic

  11. says

    I have to say I love your blog and love the look of what you've done with your room. Like a couple others, I'm also super curious where you got your comforter from, I haven't been able to find anything like it. Please divulge your secret. I love the gray and yellow colors together!

  12. Allison says

    Okay, so I am not handy or creative at all but I am going to learn for the sake of this project. It's just beautiful!

    Just so I get an idea of proportion, it looks like you have a king size bed right? What size were the squares?

    love, love, love your blog!

  13. Sam says

    Hey! I loved this idea, so I decided to use it for my dorm room! Seeing as how I have no money, though, I needed a cheaper alternative. I used black t-shirts from the goodwill for fabric, cardboard instead of backboard, and plactic grocery bags instead of foam. I'll post a picture soon! It looks fantastic! Thanks for all your help!

  14. Tia Ném says

    Olá, que ideia fantástica! Amei!!! Coloquei um post hoje, que aceito sugestão de cabeceira para quarto do meu filho quaaaaase adulto, quero combinar com criados que fiz pátina.
    Gostaria de obter sua opinião sobre o assunto.
    Vi seu blog através do blog da Soraya e vim conferir, rsrsrs.
    Bjos:

  15. says

    Followed a link posted on another Blog and it brought me here. Your Headboard is absolutely astounding and beautiful. Love your fabric choice.
    -Brenda-

    P.S: Years ago (and I am talking many) I made one similar but for the squares I used acoustic ceiling tiles rather than cutting them myself. Application of the foam and fabric was basically the same method however I attached my squares directly on to the wall using stripS of commercial (heavy duty) velcro.

  16. says

    Okay would it be wrong if I TOTALLY COPIED YOUR WHOLE BEDROOM???!!! I love it and yellow is my favorite color and to pair it with gray is brilliant!!

  17. says

    That headboard is truly awesome – it was hard to tell what it was going to look like with everything else but in your final photo it looks like a very expensive posh hotel room! love it and thanks for the inspiration!!! :-)

  18. says

    Hi, I see that you posted this well over a year ago, so I hope you check this from time to time. I would love to make this for my guest room. We rent our home, so my question is would using the nail glue damage the walls? I thought about just velcro-ing the squares to the wall, but it might damage them and would they really stay up when someone is leaning up against them. Would appreciate your input.
    Erin erinandvictor@yahoo.com

  19. says

    Wow how pretty! I love that idea. I was wanting to do something like that for my daughter as a Christmas gift. She lives about an hour away so the idea that this could be easily transported is really nice! Thanks so much.

    Michele

  20. says

    I love the headboard, it is a totally different take on a fabric headboard than I have seen before! I am in LOVE with the yellow duvet/comforter!!!! GORGEOUS!!!

  21. says

    Thanks for the instructions. I've been looking to update my bedroom for the new year. However, since I don't want to drill into the concrete wall of my apartment, I think I will use hook-and-loop to attach each piece to the wall. Wish me luck!

  22. says

    I did one for my 18 year old daughter…i tufted each square…that was very hard! then attaching the boards to a plaster wall. I had to do some creative thinking on how to apply them to the wall. I ended up with heavy duty velcro. I first tried "regular" and with my daughter leaning up against the boards they would slide down, so i switched it up to the heavy duty. Not looking forward to the day i need to take them down.

  23. says

    I did one for my 18 year old daughter…i tufted each square…that was very hard! then attaching the boards to a plaster wall. I had to do some creative thinking on how to apply them to the wall. I ended up with heavy duty velcro. I first tried "regular" and with my daughter leaning up against the boards they would slide down, so i switched it up to the heavy duty. Not looking forward to the day i need to take them down.

  24. says

    Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures and linked back to you. If that's a problem let us know and we'll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

  25. Bonnie says

    Your headboard inspired me to make my own. I just started this project and my squares are 16″ x 16″ each. I am using french script fabric (black lettering with tan background). I have two squares done so far and it took me approx 1/2 hr to do one. The second one was easier because I learned a short cut from doing the first. thank goodness for the heavy duty staple gun! I’m very excited to complete this project and I hope it looks as awesome as yours. Thanks for the inspiration! I would love to post pictures of mine when I’m done :)

  26. Christy P says

    Very clever. This reminds me of a project Vern Yip did on trading spaces about 7 or 8 years ago, maybe longer. He made a whole wall of covered fabric squares using wood and foam. Did you get this idea from him?

    • Brooke says

      I loved trading spaces!!! And I love Vern Yip, but nope I don’t remember that project. I will have to look it up!

      • Christy P. says

        I thought about doing a wall in my TV room for a sound barrier and because it looks so beautiful. Anyway, you did a great job. I love the fabric and the scale of the headboard. You have a real eye for design and I love your blog.

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  33. says

    OMG! I was searching Pinterest for tufted headboards and came across your idea! Soo glad I did! You are so creative, I’m happy to have found your blog! Wonderful!!

  34. Brittany says

    Of all of the diy headboards on the web, I love yours the most! Will most definitely be my inspiration when I make mine here in a week or so. Keep up the beautiful work!

  35. MFW says

    When you say backer board–are you meaning MDF Panel? Just want to be clear in terms of what type of boards you were using to a great headboard.

    • Brooke says

      No it’s not MDF. At my Home Depot it’s called backer board. It’s kind of like MDF, but it’s darker in color. It’s the material that is used on the back of furniture. It’s really thin. If you can’t find it, other materials would work too.

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