We hadn’t spent much time decorating our bedroom, and after renovating our bathroom I was in the mood for an easy, high-impact project. I have had “make a headboard” on the to-do list ever since we moved into our house a year ago, so I finally got my butt in action. My two requirements? I wanted this DIY headboard to be upholstered and cost less than $100.
Here was our bedroom before. Looking pretty sad, huh?
I knew I wanted to do an upholstered headboard, so I waited for a sale day at my local fabric store, and went on the hunt for some yellow fabric. Sometimes I have no luck, and then other times I hit the jackpot. This was one of those jackpot moments. I came across this pretty gray and yellow ikat fabric by Richloom. The original price tag was just over $25/meter, but sale day meant 40% off.
I thought I had seen the fabric somewhere before, and realized when I got home that Sherry and John posted about on Young House Love quite a while ago…
Annoying I don’t think they carry the yellow version anymore (I couldn’t find it online), but I found others from that same Richloom line. FYI the fabric quality is amazing. Heavy weight and gorgeous.
Here is the orange version (Richloom Ikat Marlena Orange Home Decor Fabric):
Another style but in the same gray and yellow colours (Richloom Kashan Lemongrass Home Decor Fabric):
And this other in blues (Richloom Ikat Django Turquoise Home Decor Fabric):
Anyway, once you get your fabric you also need batting.
I grabbed some hypo-allergenic extra thick batting. I didn’t want to shell out for foam AND batting (some people use both for upholstery projects), so I made sure to grab the really thick double-ply stuff. I couldn’t find an online source for the same batting, so I’d recommend hitting up your local fabric store and checking out what they have in person.
For the actual headboard, I went to Home Depot and got some 1/4 inch plywood. They are able to cut it to size in the shop, so we brought our measurements with us and walked away with a piece ready to go. Definitely do it this way – saves a lot of time and hassle. Plus, it means you don’t need any special power tools.
Step 1 //
After laying the batting out on my tabletop, I put my sheet of plywood on top. You then wrap the batting around the plywood and start stapling it down with a staple gun.
Make sure to check the depth of your staples before you start. You don’t want to use ones that are too deep and stick out the other side of the headboard.
Just staple your way all around the board. Super easy.
Step 2 //
Once the batting was all secured, I laid out the fabric with the patterned side down. I gave it a quick ironing to get out any wrinkles before starting.
Now it was time to start stapling the fabric. I started off by doing the two long sides. I made sure to pull it tightly as I was going so that it wouldn’t be too loosey-goosey in the front.
The corners are the part you want to be careful with. My technique (and I’m not sure if this is the “right” way or not, but it worked) is to approach it like I was wrapping a present. I get one side stapled, and then fold it in to the un-stapled side. Then I bring that piece up and pull it really tightly and staple along the seam.
It takes a bit of practice, but I would just do it a few times until I got the perfect seam and then staple ‘er down.
Here she was all stapled and ready to go.
Step 3 //
Now came the tricky part of actually hanging it.
We wanted to attach it directly to the wall rather than to our bed, so we went through a few different options.
We could have hung it using heavy-duty picture hangers, but we worried about it being wobbly and un-level.
So we searched around and finally came across a heavy duty E-Z Ancor french cleat. It’s 18 inch and holds up to 200 pounds. I couldn’t find the same brand on Amazon, but this OOK Hangman French Cleat is the exact same in terms of dimensions and weight as the one we used (just a different brand).
You attach one piece of the cleat onto the back of the headboard, and one piece onto the wall. Then you slide them in together – they have grooves that fit into each other and snap in firmly.
Level and snug on the wall, that baby isn’t going anywhere.
We’re really happy with how it turned out. The colours are just right and it’s nice to bring another textile into the room. Plus, it makes our basic bed look about a million times nicer and more expensive.
The budget breakdown? Considering upholstered headboards usually run a couple hundred dollars, this DIY version definitely saves a bundle of moola by coming in at under 100 bones.
- 3 meters of fabric + batting: $70
- plywood: $15
- staple gun, staples: $0 (already owned)
- French cleat for hanging: $13
Grand Total: $98
If you want to more DIY projects like this one, head on over to the Project Gallery!
What about you guys? Any DIY headboards under your belt? Or any other upholstery projects? I think the best part is picking out the fabric. I’m like a kid in a candy store at the fabric shop.
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