Impress Guests with a Christmas Headboard


Sew up a lovely velvet slipcover for a headboard to give any room a fresh change – and the holidays are the perfect time to give it a try.

This project doesn’t have to be for Christmas, but it certainly is the time of year when we pay special attention to the décor in our homes.  Creating a red velvet slipcover for your guest bedroom headboard is a great way to “kick start” the holiday decorating for visiting family and friends.  Continue the red theme with toile bedding red and green accent pillows, a few strings of white twinkle lights in glass vases and you will have created a cozy holiday retreat for anyone who visits.

Materials List:

  • A piece of red velvet about 3” larger than the headboard all the way around
  • A piece of matching red cotton canvas the same size for the back
  • Coordinating braided trim measuring the perimeter of 3 sides of the headboard plus  two inches
  • Sewing machine
  • Rd thread
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick
  • Tailor’s chalk



1. Cut the velvet to the size and shape of the headboard making sure to add 5/8” seam allowance around the sides and top and 2” along the bottom edge for a hem.


2. Use tailors chalk to make a mark on the backside of the velvet to note the top and the bottom.  The top is determined by the “nap” of the velvet.  To determine which way the “nap” is going, run your hand up and down the velvet along the selvage edge.  In one direction it should feel smooth; in the other direction it is rough.  When the “nap” feels smooth, you are running your hand from the top to the bottom, so mark the velvet accordingly on the back.


3. Cut red cotton canvas to cover both the back of the headboard and the side and top edges.  So, it will be the width of the velvet plus twice the thickness of the headboard.  The height will be the same height as the velvet plus the thickness of the headboard.  (I like to add an extra ½” to the height and 1” to the width so the slipcover will go over the headboard a little easier.  When you use exact measurements it’s pretty tough to get the cover on.)


4. Sew corners of the red cotton canvas so that they are mitered to the thickness of the headboard plus seam allowance.  You can see my chalk lines in the photo. I’m pointing to the seam allowance, then our headboard was 1 ¼” thick, so those markings go along the top and sides of the cotton.  I have folded the cotton so the side edge is lined up with the top edge, right sides together to create this triangle shape.  Then, stitch along the line forming a triangle to miter the corner.  Repeat on the opposite corner.  Clip excess seam allowance.


5. Pin braided piping along the sides and top edge of the right side of the velvet.  Line the piping fabric edge right along the edge of the fabric with the actual piping to the inside.  Start the piping up 2” from the bottom edge and end 2” before the bottom edge bending 1” of extra piping to the outside of the velvet top. Stitch in place using your zipper foot attachment.

6. Next, pin the right side of the red cotton canvas to the right side of the red velvet, matching corners and encasing the braided piping.  Again, use the half-foot or zipper foot and you may have to adjust the tension on your machine because you will be sewing through quite a few layers.

7. Hem along the bottom edge by turning the fabric up 1”, then 1” again and either machine stitch, blind hem stitch, or hem by hand.


8. Turn right side out and grab a partner to help you pull it over the headboard.

Once your beautiful holiday guest room is set up, make sure to spend a night in there yourself to enjoy the fruits of your labor!!


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