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Fabric Headboard

Recently, I decided to take on the task of updating the guest room in our home. It serves two purposes, my workout space and the guest room. Well, maybe three…

DIY Fabric Headboard
Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Recently, I decided to take on the task of updating the guest room in our home. It serves two purposes, my workout space and the guest room. Well, maybe three if you count a playroom for the kids while I am working in the office. Yeah, we’ll just say three.

Anyway, I wanted to update the space because there was literally nothing in the room. Just a blank canvas…

Guest Bedroom Makeover

It was quite embarrassing to have guests come over and stay with us when the room is so sparse and it looks like we basically just threw them into the kids play area. Haha.

I just gave the workout “corner” a makeover last month and now I think it’s time to finish the rest of it. So I started with the bed headboard and making something that was beautiful and also a statement piece for the room. I’ve always wanted to do a DIY fabric headboard so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Here’s how I did it. Please excuse the ugliness of the “tutorial” photos as I did this in my basement on rainy day, with only one window and ugly overhead lighting.


  • 7/16″ plywood
  • 3 – 2 x 4’s
  • 1 old memory foam mattress or egg crate mattress topper
  • twin size batting
  • 2 1/2 yards fabric
  • Gorilla glue or spray adhesive
  • Nailhead trim
  • #8 1 1/2 inch wood screws

Tools needed:

  • Chop Saw
  • Hammer
  • Stapler and Staples

I started with measuring the width and height I wanted for the headboard with ended up being 60″ wide by 38″ high. Then I headed to Home Depot and had the guys there cut the plywood to that size for me. Then I bought the cut plywood and 3 2 x 4’s that I would need and headed home.

Once I got home I measured how high I wanted the headboard to sit, which ended up being 62″, and cut 2 of the 2 x 4’s to that height with my chop saw. I attached the 2 x 4’s to the back of the plywood with the wood screws. Then measured and cut the third 2 x 4 piece for the top of the bed and attached with wood screws.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Since I used an old foam mattress pad, I had to cut it to fit, and left about 2-3 inches all round. Then use gorilla glue or spray with adhesive to stick it to the plywood so it doesn’t move around on you when you stand it up to staple the fabric on.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Then unroll your batting and lay it over top of the mattress pad being sure that it hangs over and has enough room to go around the sides of the headboard. This was when you put your fabric on you won’t see all the imperfections of the plywood and it will have some sort of padding and look a lot nicer.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Now, you can choose to spray with more adhesive to secure the batting to the foam mattress pad, but I did not and it still worked out fine.

Next you’ll want to lay out your fabric over the batting.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

This is the tricky part, because this headboard will be heavy, you will need to stand it up against the wall to get it stapled and the fabric tight. I tried flipping it over and doing it that way, but it didn’t work out well and I had to stand it up against the wall.

I was also doing this myself, as my husband was sleeping from working an overnight the night before, and it was a little trickier. If you have some help it won’t be so tricky.

Then just start stapling the fabric from the back of the headboard, where the 2 x 4’s are. I would recommend starting with the top row and then working on one side, then the other side, and finishing with the bottom and pulling it tight.

Here’s how I did the corners.

After you get it all pulled tight and stapled the way you would like it, now starts the trim. This is the part that makes it look amazing and like a truly finished piece.

You can find this trim at JoAnn Fabric. Or at least that is where I found mine.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Measure about 2 inches in from the edge and begin nailing the trim head down. Measure every so often so that you end up with a straight line going around the headboard and not a crooked one.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

If you notice, I also covered the legs of the headboard with fabric just to finish it off and make them look nicer. It’s not a necessary step but you might be able to see them once the headboard is up and I don’t think it would look that nice if they were unfinished.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

I absolutely love how it turned out!

Currently, the headboard is freestanding between the mattress/box spring and the wall but before we have more guests come to visit, I am going to attach it to the bed frame with some bolts just to make sure that it doesn’t move and fall over. Alternatively, instead of attaching it to a bed frame, you can attach the headboard to the wall.

Now it’s starting to feel like a finished guest room and not just a bed in a playroom. What do you think??

For the fully completed room, check here for the full guestroom makeover.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

Cost Breakdown:

  • 7/16″ plywood — $11.97 — Home Depot
  • 3 – 2 x 4’s — $1.97 each — Home Depot
  • 1 old memory foam mattress — Free
  • twin size batting — $11.99 — JoAnn Fabric
  • 2 1/2 yards fabric — $26.98 — JoAnn Fabric
  • Gorilla glue or spray adhesive — Already had, but sure just a couple bucks
  • Nailhead trim — $13.19 — JoAnn Fabric with coupon
  • #8 1 1/2 inch wood screws — $4.97 — Home Depot

Total: $75.01

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. What a difference a head board makes! I’ve been wanting to fashion my own fabric head board, but I didn’t realize how easy it is – love this!

    1. Thank you, Sarah! It was incredibly easy… just takes a little time, especially if you do it yourself like I did. Totally worth it and now my mom has a little bit nicer guest room when she comes to visit!

  2. What a beautiful headboard! I might in the future try to do make one myself! The explication is very clear and hopeful I will manage to do so. Thanks for sharing.
    Greets Kat

  3. Oh my! This looks so incredible! Pinned and tweeted. We love partying with you and we appreciate you stopping by! Please take a minute to stop by next week, so we can pin and tweet your new creation. The party starts on Monday at 7 pm! Have a great Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  4. Jennifer, love your headboard. The fabric you choose is stunning. I also love that sidetable but you don’t mention how you change it. Is there a link here on how you transformed it. It’s beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Cleo. The side-table is not the same and is a brand new one. I took the original – which is an antique hand-me-down – and now use it as a side-table in my living room. I purchased new ones for the room when I did the headboard and actually plan on painting them white, instead of leaving them black, to match the headboard.

  5. I love this! We’d love to do something like this for our headboard. Would you mind sharing what kind of fabric you used? Thanks!

    1. Honestly, I don’t remember the exact type of fabric. All I know was it was on sale and it was not the regular clothing fabric, more like an outdoor or curtain fabric.

      1. I don’t understand either lol. Is it across the top lying horizontally? Or is it across the top on the back of the board? I don’t see it pictured. I would love to try this though. Is the third 2×4 even necessary? Thanks in advance. 🙂

        1. Hi Lydia, in the post it state that the third 2 x 4 is cut and used at the top of the headboard on the back (the three are laid like a frame around the plywood). It is necessary or else the fabric will not lay right and will be impossible to pull tight.

  6. Hi! I love this idea and have been searching for a DIY exactly like this and am so excited to surprise my husband with it! But one question, how did you pull the fabric around the plywood where it is already attached to the 2×4 legs? I’m trying to see it in the pictures…

  7. Wauw, Thanks !!!!! Amy daughter is married and now we have a guest bedroom, mostly for her and her husband. Since the summer here in Belgium isn’t great I am painting that room and I will try this bed idea! I am excited.

    1. The trim nails and the “roll of nails” are one in the same – they came in the package together. The roll of nails is the decorative trim and you use the included trim nails to attach the roll.

  8. Hi! I love your headboard! I am going to try to make one in the next few days. I have two questions if you have time to answer.
    #1 Does it matter what loft the batting is?
    #2 Did you wash, dry and then press the fabric before you used it? Or did you just press it some straight from the store?
    Thanks so much!! I’m excited to try this!!

    1. Honestly, I do not remember what loft the batting is. But it shouldn’t matter too much.
      I did not do anything with the fabric before making the headboard – you’re gunna pull and stretch it to fit snug so you won’t see the creases after that.

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