Upholsterd Headboard

I’ve got a special treat for everyone today!  A guest post from my sister-in-law Amy, who will  walk us through how to create a stylish upholstered headboard.   Don’t let Amy fool you with her claims of non-craftiness.  I’ve seen some very resourceful projects from her in my day especially if there’s an opportunity to use duct tape, hot glue or power tools.    So while she’s not your typical crafter (and would cringe at the reference), she can keep up with the best of them in her own unique way.  Personally, being a perfectionist, I’m quite jealous of her laid back approach to projects and ability to tackle them with minimal stress (even when things go wrong).  In the end she’s always able to create something beautiful and functional in record time.   

Now without further ado….enjoy this practical and often funny tutorial!

Upholstered Headboard: A(nother) Tangedahl’s attempt at Crafts & Saving $$

 For those who know me, know that I am a very concrete type person. My only artistic outlet is photography and fashion (mostly reading about it). So arts and crafts are not really my thing. I always got a little ticked when, as a child, on family trips my brother (known here as “the Hubs”) always got to go to the sporting events while I got to go crafting… SERIOUSLY??!! Well, every once in a while I try. And truly, with a sister-in-law like Janna, how can you not at least attempt something from her stunning influence. Well my endeavor was a headboard. I had been talking to her about it for some time. I mean how hard could it be?

 Here’s the before photo. Disregard the paint samples on the wall. They are from the previous owner, and that’s another project in itself.

Step 1- Walk into extremely large home improvement store and panic a bit. Reason being that I have no idea what to ask for, and there is no way I’m letting some guy know that I have no idea what I’m doing or what I need.

 Step 2- Go home and plan. Many lists and web surfing involved. I finally decided on a plan from this website

 Step 3- As my time is ridiculously valuable (HA!!), I decided to “call ahead” for my lumber order. Yep, call ahead, like take out. Looking back, this was not the best decision, but at the time, I thought it was pretty slick. I called and requested the type of lumber, sheet of ¼ inch plywood cut to the dimensions I had pre-measured to fit my bed. Well… there are a lot of choices for ¼ inch plywood, I went for a cheap one, because hey, no one is going to see the wood.

 Step-4 Go to fabric store. Side note: Why do these places smell so funny??!! I thought I was nervous in the home improvement store, I was TOTALLY lost in this store. It was blatantly obviously so a nice employee showed me to the appropriate type of fabrics for my project. I picked out two-inch foam to match the size of my board exactly, which took a couple of pieces. I also picked out 1” batting allowing for the extra to fold around the edges as specified, 12” added to exact size for both length and width.

 Step 4a- Go to a second fabric store (that smelt even WEIRDER) because they did not have the fabric that I wanted at the first. Through text with Janna, got talked down off my velour ledge that seemed like a good idea in the store. I finally settled on some nice gray faux suede.

 Step 5- Go to home improvement store to pick up wood. Yeah, it looks like crap, but it is pre-cut, and who’s really going to see it anyway?

 Step 6- Go home and start assembling the goods.


Now, another caveat into my “crafting skills;” I do these projects like they are a race. Again, my time is valuable (read as: I am extremely impatient and do not believe in measuring twice, it will look ok in the end). So, all of this was getting done in one night no problem (1 ½ hours to be exact).

 Once I had everything laid out and the glue gun heated up (yes, I have a glue gun. Another craft project attempted to be simplified and gone wrong), time to assemble.

 Step 7- Fix the foam to the board using hot glue. This made it easier when I was shifting things around trying to get stuff to fit in future steps.

 Step 8- Lay batting on top of the foamed board centering at best.

 Step 9- Repeat step 8 with your fabric.

 Step 10- Flip. And in my case, flip over again, repeat steps 8 & 9 and flip more gently.

 Step 11- Pull edges of fabric and batting around board and fixate with staples. I needed to cut of some of the extra batting in the corners to help make it lie flat. I figured this would also help by minimizing excess on the back for when it came time to mount the headboard.

Step 12- Prop up (after yelling repeatedly at the dog to quit stepping on the project) and admire your handiwork. Proceed to move the project up to the bedroom.

Step 13- Decide where you are going to mount the board. I chose to put three flush mounts toward the top of the board. I measured their locations on the board and their corresponding locations on the wall. (Note- please refer back to the impatient comment, measure once… yeaaaaaahhhh) Fixate each corresponding flush mount to wall and headboard using drill and screwdriver.

Step 14- Attempt to hang the headboard and realize that only one of the mounts is going to match up. Fixate the sides of the headboard with your side tables to accommodate single fixation point issue and push mattress snug against headboard.

WAAAAA- LAAAAA!!! Headboard done. Bam!Missionaccomplished. Thank you Janna for your inspiration.


  • Wood- $14.99
  • Flush Mounts- $6.58
  • Fabric stuff- $98.26
  • Total- $119.83


Pretty amazing isn’t it?  I love the dark grey color she chose (I’m totally into grey’s right now for decorating) and the classic headboard shape with its crisp lines.  I’ve been wanting to tackle an upholstered headboard for a while now but of course am dragging my feet with shapes, colors and sizes.   But Amy’s project has motivated me to get back on the decision-making train and try to tackle this for our guest bedroom soon.  I mean, think of the possibilities here….you could do a fun curved headboard or add buttons to tuft the fabric….they’re endless.  Thank you Amy for such an inspiring project!  Your headboard turned out fabulous and looks great in your space.



  1. Nice work Amy! How crafty of you. :)Janna, I can’t believe you want to get rid of the white wicker funiture, it won’t be the spa room anymore?! How disapointing!

  2. Thank you! I was actually going to REQUEST a post about this! I’m still fretting over the wall mounting but most if all the transporting of the king sized piece of wood in my teeny tiny car!

    1. Ha ha ha….I can see you now Liz with that plywood on the Audi….driving through San Fran. It’s quite a funny vision. (Sorry). I’m excited for you to make one of these though! When you do, send me some pics and I’ll do an update to this post!

  3. Love the guest post. Love the project (and the on-the-fly modifications to make it all work!) I think Amy T. has some serious skilz in the crafting department and potentially the blogging department. :)

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