Over the weekend, the upholstered headboard went through a bit of a color change! The gray fabric that I used wasn’t working with the silvery gray of the comforter and nightstand I painted silver. Something needed to change and the headboard was the easiest option. Here’s how it looks now in white canvas.
We didn’t even remove the gray upholstery fabric. We just removed the nail heads and recovered right over the gray.
So here’s how we made the headboard. (All of the photos are with the original gray fabric.) The basic supplies you will need are:
1 4 x 8 ft. piece of plywood or MDF
3 full/queen sized egg crate foam for mattresses at Walmart
1 package high loft batting (we purchased ours at Walmart)
Staple gun – we have a pneumatic staple gun and it really makes a job like this much easier.
Fabric to cover the headboard
Large upholstery nail heads
One thing to keep in mind when you are purchasing wood or plywood for a project – know what will fit into your vehicle! We got the board in the minivan, but had to duck under it to get inside the van, recline our seats and drive that way home! Here’s a picture of Mark driving with his seat reclined on our way home from Lowes.
The first thing you need to do is measure the width of your bed and cut your board to size. We made ours to be about six inches wider than our queen sized bed. Then, along the top of the board, draw the shape you would like the top of the headboard to have. I liked the Pottery Barn Raleigh upholstered headboard shape, so I mimicked that shape on one side of the board. Mark used the jigsaw to cut along my line. Then we took that piece that was cut off and used it to trace the same pattern in reverse on the other side of the board. This will insure that your pattern is symmetrical. In the picture below, you can see the shape that we cut. It was taken after we had some of the project already completed.
Now, it’s time to apply the foam to the board. We used a high performance spray adhesive on the board and then applied the foam. We pressed the foam down as we went along to make sure it was secured to the board with the adhesive. Once the first layer of foam was attached, I used basic utility scissors to cut around the foam using the board edge as my guide. Repeat these steps to apply the next two layers of foam.
Here’s the cut edge of foam with all three layers attached to the board.
Now, it’s time to add the batting. There was enough batting in the package for us to keep it doubled and still cover the entire board. We spread the batting over the foam and then flipped the board over on top of our work table – so the back of the board would be facing up. Beginning at the top curved edge in the center, we pulled the batting over the wood edge and used the staple gun to apply a few staples to hold the batting. Then we went to the bottom opposite edge and did the same – pulling the batting tight and wrapping it around the bottom edge and stapling to the back of the headboard. We continued to work in this back and worth fashion to make sure the batting was tight all the way around the board. You can see that we used small pieces of thin chipboard to hold the staples in place. With a pneumatic gun, there is sometimes a tendency for the staples to be so tight that the fabric will pull through. The chipboard keeps this from happening. We just cut up pieces from a cereal box. You can see from the photo below how I folded the corner – like you would a present.
The final step is to attach the fabric in the same way you did the batting. I would pull the fabric and Mark would staple and it seemed to go pretty fast. We would take occasional breaks and flip the board over to make sure we were getting a good result. I would say that the hardest part of this is getting the corners to look neat.
For this next step, I didn’t take any photos. I think I was too excited about how it was turning out and just forget to take any pictures. Mark took the headboard to our bedroom and placed it behind the bed and I showed him how high I wanted it to be off the floor. Then Mark made legs to the size needed out of 2 x 4 wood and screwed the legs into the back of the headboard. He set the legs in a bit so they wouldn’t be seen behind the bed frame. Since they won’t be seen, we didn’t bother to cover them with fabric.
I used my tap hammer to add the decorative nail heads. I used a piece of cardboard I cut as a spacer to keep them equally spaced. The second time around with the white fabric, I put the nail heads closer together.
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