How to Upholster a Headboard

Create a stylish headboard out of your favorite fabric!

Why spring for a pricey fabric headboard when you can custom-make one yourself? This whole job will be done in a day.


  • Heavy-duty paper
  • 1/4" plywood
  • Upholstery fabric
  • 2" foam
  • Fiberfill batting


  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Circular saw or handsaw
  • Portable jigsaw
  • Utility knife
  • Staple gun


1. Figure out the size of what you'll be upholstering or reupholstering. Make sure you have enough foam, batting, and plywood.

2. Create a template using heavy-duty paper. Attach the paper to the headboard using tape; the pieces can be taped together. Press the paper down near the edges; then mark using a pencil. Carefully cut out the template using scissors.

3. Place the template over the plywood and use tape to secure it. Trace the edge of the template on the plywood and cut the plywood. Use a handsaw for straight cuts and a portable jigsaw for curves.

4. Make sure you have plenty of fabric to cover your headboard. You'll want some overlay so you can cover the headboard and edges.

5. Get ready to cut the padding. Put the plywood you cut on top of the foam and cut with a sharp utility knife.

6. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the backside facing upward (the side you won't show). Once in place, layer with the batting, foam, and then the plywood backer.

7. Put the headboard on the plywood. Fold the fabric over the back of the headboard and then staple in place. Start stapling in the center and proceed every 2" to 2.5" intervals for extra security.

8. Trim extra batting and material with scissors.

9. Hang the headboard 4" from the top of the bed (go higher for more drama).

Get more DIY project ideas from the experts at The Nest