Design Project: How to Make a Padded Headboard


Learning how to make a padded headboard is easy. They can make a big impact with a small investment. This padded headboard was made by my cousin Judd and his new fiancée Estee (way to celebrate an engagement, guys!). All that’s required is a few yards of “Sea Creature” linen (they got theirs from Britex,, some liquid nails, plywood, and egg crate foam. Here’s how to make your own headboard:

Upholstered Headboard
 – For a queen-sized bed (55″ x 70″)
by Estee and Judd

1. 4 ½ – 5 yards of 55” – 60” wide fabric

2. 25 – 11” by 15” wooden panels

3. 1 – 4’ by 5’ hardboard (as backing board)
4. 1 – 4’ by 5’ piece of foam such as egg-crate mattress pad

5. Staple gun and small staples (to avoid sharp staples from poking through front of board)
6. Glue such as Liquid Nails
7. 100 – ¼” screws (4 for each panel)
8. Screwdriver

9. Scissors
10. 2 – D-rings and D-hooks

Make It:
1. Cut fabric down to size (large enough to wrap around board and foam), approximately 16” by 20”. Cut a piece of test fabric first to make sure the size is sufficient.

2. Cut foam down to the exact size of the panels

3. Place foam (egg carton side down) on panels and wrap the fabric around the panels.

4. Staple fabric into the back of the panels, starting in the center of each side and working outwards. Be sure and keep the fabric evenly taunt.

5. Place the large backing board on the floor. Arrange individual panels in the configuration you desire, paying attention to design and color

6. Glue the panels to the backing board using liberal amount of liquid nails, and lining panels up as straight as possible.

7. Allow liquid nails to dry overnight (we weighted the tiles down with heavy books and magazine in order to help the glue adhere to the tiles)

8. Carefully flip over entire headboard. Using 1/4″ screws, secure the panels to large backing board.

9. Hang on the wall using two D-rings and D-hooks. Look for the studs in your wall when mounting the headboard.

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