How to make your own headboard
Tired of shopping endlessly for a pricey headboard that doesn't mimic your chic domestic style? Try making your own with this simple DIY project and save time and money.
Tools and materials:
Time commitment and cost:
This headboard project can easily be accomplished in one day, and costs as little as $100.
- 1/4- to 3/4-inch-thick plywood
- Durable fabric
- Staple gun or adhesive spray
- Mounting brackets
- Drill and screws for mounting brackets
Making your headboard:
Get some plywood
Purchase 1/4- to 3/4-inch-thick plywood. The dimensions depend on the style of headboard you prefer. A general rule of thumb is to extend the headboard about 3 inches on either side of the mattress and about 24 inches above the mattress, with a total suggested height of 36 inches. Typical king-size beds measure 78 inches wide, while queen mattresses are 60 inches, full beds are 54 inches and twin beds are 39 inches wide.
Visit a lumber or home improvement store and request the wood to be cut the exact length to save you some time and trouble. Or for a contemporary look, cut the wood into three to five equal panels, which will be mounted flush against one another.
Fabric, foam and batting
Purchase 2-inch-thick foam the same size as your plywood, and batting the size of your headboard plus an additional 8 inches on each side.
Choose durable fabric that won't tear easily when stretched. Add 12 inches to each side of the headboard's measurements. For a 60-inch-wide queen bed, you'll need 84 inches of fabric across and 60 inches for the height of the headboard.
Lay the fabric, batting, foam and plywood on a smooth, hard surface (in this order). Using a staple gun, staple the batting to the plywood to secure the foam in place; then stretch the fabric so there is a fair amount of tension, and staple it to the plywood. Include a staple every 2 inches to ensure the fabric is secure, and trim any excess off the edges.
Not so good with a staple gun? Try adhesive spray to affix the fabric to the plywood.
Mounting your headboard
Place mounting brackets approximately 12 inches from the top of the headboard, with the top hitting 24 inches above your mattress. Draw a line on the wall with a pencil to delineate exactly where you will mount your brackets, preferably finding the wall studs. Place one bracket every 18 to 24 inches, depending on the size of your headboard. Then screw the matching side of the mounting brackets in the same location on the plywood. For multiple panels, use one mounting bracket per panel.
Slide the interlocking brackets from the plywood onto those on the wall, and voila! Your own custom headboard! You may also attach the headboard to the bed frame with simple mounting brackets or screws.
Instead of trying to locate wall studs, use molly or toggle bolts to mount brackets directly to the drywall.
More DIY headboard ideas
DIY headboards are all the rage. If this simple upholstered headboard didn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of ideas out there to fit your personal style. Here are nine of our favorite DIY headboards and tutorials to add to your ever-growing home project list.