Make a Wall Mounted Upholstered Headboard

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This is a great headboard to make for any bedroom.  It takes just a little wood working skill and the use of a staple gun, batting and fabric.  Mix in about 3 hours of your time and you’re done!

The headboard is two units (counting the 6 top layer panels).  The back headboard is covered with fabric alone and the six top layer panels are covered with extra batting for thickness and then the fabric of your choice.  For our purposes we constructed a headboard to fit a queen size bed, but this project can be used for any size bed.  The steps to construct your own upholstered headboard are below.

Materials List:

  • 3/4 inch plywood (large enough to be cut to the size of head board – ours for a queen headboard measured 42 inches by 63 inches)
  • 3/4 inch MDF (medium density fiber board panel (for front head board panels)
  • Package of high loft quilt batting
  • Fabric to cover back board and front headboard panels
  • Circular saw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Staple gun with staples
  • Hammer
  • Upholstery tacks
  • 1 1/2 inch drywall screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil and marker


1. Cut the head board to size. Because of our queen sized bed, I cut the plywood to 42 inches high by 63 inches wide.  Cut it using a circular saw and always use a guide to ensure straight cuts.  Also, sand the edges after making the cut.

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2. Use a staple gun to cover the entire front face of the head board back piece (the ¾” plywood) with the fabric of choice.  The back piece only needs one layer of fabric.

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Tip: If the staples don’t lie flat, give them a gentle tap with a hammer to secure them flush to the plywood.

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3. Cut the front panels out of the MDF to the correct size for your size bed.  (Ours were 21″ x 21″ square for a queen.)  Use a circular saw to cut the MDF and always sand the edges after making the cut.  Refer to the finished headboard photo to see the placement of the panels.

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4. Staple several layers of batting over the 21 inch squares.  The more layers, the thicker the panels and the more “cushion” for the headboard.  Just remember when stapling you may need to tap the staples down flush with a hammer.

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5. Apply the top layer of fabric over the squares using the staple gun.

Tip:  When stapling the fabric and the batting, make sure you work from the center out, spacing the staples several inches apart while also making sure the fabric stays stretched and tight.

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6. Wrapping the fabric around the corners is like wrapping a present, start in the corner and pull the fabric tight.

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Then, fold the sides over and staple, checking to make sure the corner looks neat and sharp from the front where everyone will see it!

7. To attach the top panels to the back head board, we used 1 1/2 inch drywall screws secured from the back side of the back headboard panel into the back of the front panel squares.

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8. We found it helpful to lay out the panels on the back of the back head board to locate where the screws need to be place.  Use a marker and a ruler to lay out the guide.

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9. Drill pilot holes through the back and through the fabric.  Take your time when drilling through the fabric, it could snag the drill bit and pull the fabric.

10. Attach each square to the back head board starting in one corner and working your way across the top and then do the bottom row.

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11. Once the panels are secured, use upholstery tacks and outline the edge of the back head board with tacks, spacing them out about 1 inch apart.

12. Secure the head board to the wall using heavy duty mirror hanging hooks attached to the back of the head board.  Draw a light level line at the height where the hooks will be located on the wall.  Use self anchoring molleys in the wall and insert screws into the molleys.  Hang the head board in position.

This project took Shari and I about 3 hours total, but add to that the time it takes to shop for and select the materials.  You should be able to start this project in the morning and be able to watch the Tonight Show that night leaning against your new upholstered head board.


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