How to Build a Headboard

Building a headboard is an easy to moderate home improvement project with room for personal creativity and fun. To make a simple headboard, square pieces of ply can be used and covered with upholstery. However, More intricate headboards can be created with patterned designs or recycled materials.

Building an upholstered headboard

Required Tools

  • Pencil
  • Straightedge
  • Safety glasses
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Staple gun
  • Level
  • Needle

Required Materials

  • Polyester batting
  • Fabric
  • Staples
  • Finish nails
  • Anchors
  • Plywood
  • 3/8” plywood
  • Upholstery thread
  • Mirror hangers

Mark and drill the plywood

  1. Mark the centre point of the plywood and use a yardstick to draw a line across the diagonal with a pencil.
  2. Draw an intersecting diagonal and mark the point where the lines meet.
  3. Put on safety glasses and use a power drill with a medium bit to drill holes through all the pencil marked spots.

Arrange the fabric and batting

  1. Pick a piece of upholstery fabric that is 6” longer than the piece of plywood on all sides.
  2. Lay it on a work surface with the right side facing down.
  3. Cut batting a few inches longer that the piece of plywood on all sides.
  4. Place it on top of the face down fabric.
  5. Top it with a similar sized piece of thin batting foam.
  6. Centre the drilled plywood on top of the three layers of material.

Attaching fabric to plywood

  1. Pull all three layers of material snugly over each corner of the wood and staple it.
  2. Do the same to cover the hard edges on the sides of the board.

Hanging the headboard

  1. Hang the headboard with mirror hangers equidistant from the centre of the headboard.
  2. Use very short screws.
  3. Use a level and an anchor if you don’t have a wall stud available.

Making a headboard from recycled items

You may recycle unique wooden items and add your own personal touch to create a headboard. Just follow steps 1-3 under ‘hanging the headboard’ above to hang the customised headboard above your bed. Below are a list of a few recyclable items that can be used:

  1. Surfboards
  2. Old closet doors
  3. Picket fence
  4. Wooden shutters
  5. Boxed panelling
  6. Mosaics of recycled glass, china or tiles
  7. Photo collage
  8. Wooden boat wheel
  9. Trellis
  10. Arched Arbor

Making a traditional headboard

For a traditional headboard you will need to obtain a patterned design from your local hardware store. These patterns contain detailed instructions and specifications for tools and materials.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose the right headboard measurement to correspond with the width and height of your bed. Also measure the space above your bed where the headboard will hang.
  • This article gives you the step by step guide to creating a floating headboard. This headboard is not intended to be attached to your bed. For a more intricate headboard, design plans and patterns may be obtained at your local hardware store.
  • To create intricately carved headboards seek assistance. More intricate headboards require advanced skills in carpentry.