DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

Hello friends! I’m so glad you’re here today because I have a great tutorial for you. It’s the first Sunday of the month, so that means it’s time for our DIY Blog Hop hosted by Tarah from Grandma’s House DIY. Our goal for the month of July was to make a DIY project that costs less than $20. You’re never going to believe what I pulled off for about half of that. I was able to upgrade a DIY upholstered headboard for $10.88! If you need the supplies to make the base of the headboard, you can make it for about $40!

Upholstered headboard pinnable image 1000x1000

Supplies for a DIY upholstered headboard:

  • old headboard or a piece of plywood about 5′-5.5′ wide by 3′-3.5′ high (for a queen mattress)
  • screws for attaching the headboard to the wall if you’re making your own headboard
  • batting if you’re creating your own headboard with wood
  • 2 yards of pre-cut fabric: I used a pack of 2 pre-cut yards of fabric by Better Homes and Gardens from Walmart.
  • staple gun
  • scissors

Create/Put Up the Headboard (if needed)

About a month ago we were walking through Big Lots looking to buy a box spring for my stepdaughter’s twin mattress when I saw an upholstered headboard on sale. It was only $70, so I had to snatch it up! They didn’t have any on display, all of them were boxed up. We opened the box a little (I know, bad, but we bought it so it’s ok), and saw some of the print on the headboard. It was pretty ugly, but I figured for that price I could reupholster it! We got it home and put it up, knowing I would change it soon enough.

If you need to make a base for an upholstered headboard, it’s so easy. All you need is a piece of plywood, batting, and screws! This tutorial for making your own DIY headboard says that your plywood should be cut to 40″x65″. I looked up plywood on Lowe’s website and it looks like they come in 2’x4′ or 4’x8′ pieces. You can have the sales associates at your local store cut the wood to the size you need if you don’t have a saw. The tutorial shows you how to make legs for your headboard, but no need to do that if you don’t want to. You can simply mount it on the wall just above the mattress. It will only take you a few minutes longer than using a premade headboard like I used.

Prep Fabric & Add Batting (if needed)

I upholstered the back of my headboard while it was already put together and attached to the bed. You can do it with it up or face down on the ground, whichever is easier for you. I’m going to give the instructions for the way that I did it.

If you’re using a piece of plywood, place the batting on the headboard, wrapping it around to the back of the wood. Staple the batting to the back of the wood at the top center. Pull it taunt and staple it once on each side. Once you’ve got it centered and stapled on each side at least once, continue stapling it every 6″ or so.

Now you need to iron the fabric. I used starch on it as I ironed because I wanted it a little bit stiff since it’s going to stay in one place on the headboard.

Upholster the Headboard

Drape the fabric along the top of the headboard and make sure it can wrap around each side at least a few inches. Two yards of fabric gave me just enough to allow me to staple it in place on the right and left sides about 3″. Tuck the bottom of the fabric down behind the mattress so you can pull it up around the bottom. Please forgive the dark photos and the unfinished-ness (lol) of our master bedroom. We moved in about a month ago, and I haven’t finished decorating every room yet. I’m working on the main living area first. I’ll get to the bedrooms when I can. Having covid and hand issues has slowed me down a bit lol.


Staple the top center about 2″ from the top of the headboard. My little man was helping me with the staple gun because I’m having some strange problem with my left hand. I can only move half of it. It started right around the time that I got covid a few weeks ago. That’s probably not the cause of it I know. Just a strange coincidence. I removed the staple that he put there in the picture below and moved it closer to the edge.

Stapling the fabric on the back of the DIY headboard at the top to reupholster it.


Pull the fabric taunt and place a staple along the left or right side, about 6-7″ or so from the top and 2″ from the edge. You can see the dysfunctional left side of my hand in this picture. Crazy! Repeat these steps on the opposite side. So, you’ll have a staple at the top and one on each side of the headboard.

Pulling the fabric around the side of the DIY upholstered headboard to staple in place.

Now you need to staple the corners in place neatly. Allow the fabric to come down from the top, making sure that section is smoothed out. Pull the fabric from the front side straight around to the back. It will make a nice smooth corner. Repeat on the opposite side.

Continue stapling the top and sides of the fabric on the upholstered headboard every 6-7″. After I finished stapling the fabric down, I cut the excess off. That’s optional. I just thought I might like to have the scraps to use on decor in the room later.

Fabric stapled on the back of the DIY headboard.

Finish the DIY upholstered headboard by stapling the bottom in place.

Once you have the fabric pulled between the mattress and the headboard, cut off extra fabric, leaving yourself with about 5-6″ to staple in place.

Cutting extra fabric at the bottom of the headboard.

Pull the fabric up from the center of the bottom of the headboard. Pull it tight and staple it in place a few inches from the edge then continue stapling the entire bottom.

Fabric stapled on the bottom of the upholstered headboard.

That’s it! Your DIY upholstered headboard is finished!

Can you believe how quick and easy that is? Hopefully in the next week I’ll have our room finished and I can update this with new pictures. It seems like it’s been raining for about a year, so all of my pictures seem to be dark. That’s ok, because I still like the upholstered headboard way better with the new fabric!

DIY upholstered headboard with plum colored fabric with white trellis pattern covering it.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s DIY Blog Hop and upholstered headboard!

Be sure that you never miss a great tutorial for decor like wreaths and signs and other home decor, free printables, crafts, and other fun posts! Enter your email address below to be notified of new posts! Use the buttons below to follow me on social media for other great content. Remember to pin the image below or share this post with the buttons on the left side of the page or at the bottom of the post so you can find it when you’re ready to start your project! Also, follow me on Pinterest for new ideas added weekly!

Upholstered Headboard Pinterest image

On to Our DIY Blog Hop!

Our goal for July is to create a new project for less than $20. I hope that you’ll visit each of the bloggers and let them know what you think of their idea. As I do with all of our blog hops, I’ve linked their blog to their name on the left and to their project with its name on the right. If you missed last month’s hop where the theme was outdoors, you can check out my DIY tire planter here.

Tarah from Grandma’s House DIY | Storage Bench Makeover for my closet – before and after!

Lydia from Life Beyond the Kitchen | Tik Tok Inspired Front Porch Sign

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