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Fabric Headboard

Updated: September 21, 2015

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.

Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim
Fabric Headboard with Nailhead Trim

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

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