Picture of 2 Hour Upholstered Headboard!
That title may be a bit 'sensational' but this is a really fast project that takes next to no time. Easy, inexpensive and a great focal point for your bedroom, this is a fun project that you can start and finish in just a few hours.  (Visit my other Instructable for the platform bed to complete the look!)
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Step 1: Assemble your supplies & get started.

Picture of Assemble your supplies & get started.
You will need a 4x8' sheet of plywood (or other sized plywood that fits your particular bed)
A cheap foamy mattress pad from a discount store (about $9 for a twin, I bought a queen for $14)
Fabric, staple gun, staples, scissors, loooooong needle (teddy bear making supplies, upholstery needle, something like that)
Upholstery thread or some other really strong line could work, maybe.
Buttons, cotton batting or felt in a similar colour to your fabric  ( only if you want covered buttons on your headboard)
Disposable chopsticks or bamboo skewers & pair of pliers

I measured my plywood and decided I wanted the headboard to be a smidge wider than the bed. I cut it into a 70"x33" rectangle.

You can get creative here and do all kinds of swoops and curly-cues in your headboard, just be forewarned, this will be a pain in the butt to staple your fabric around and have it look neat, tidy and non-bunched. Don't say I didn't warn you!  A better idea, I think, is to splash out on some spendy fabric. You only need a couple of metres, so you can splurge on something really grand. The stripe I chose has a kind of pearly, organic, nature-y feel to it.

Decide now if you want to put buttons in your headboard. You can add them later, it's just easier to drill before adding the foam. I found the very centre and drilled a hole. I then went out to each side, 8", then made a diamond pattern, adding another row above and below the centre row. More on this later...

Lay your plywood out onto your foam. You may need to trim excess off in one spot and use that piece in another spot. You can see in the second image (at the bottom, right side) where my seam is. I didn't worry about glueing it or stapling it on the front. Overlapping it would leave a visible ripple through the fabric, so I simply butted the new piece up beside the other one. This worked well in the end and you'd never know I had to cut & paste my foam!

The staple job can be somewhat cursory at this point. You want to do a neat job when stapling on your fabric, but at this point, you just want the foam to stay put. No need to overdo it.
rkelley79 months ago

So easy to do and thanks for your post. I'm planning to do this project for our king size bed. I love the softening effect of the fabric for a headboard instead of wrought iron or wood. Glam!

rkelley79 months ago

If your fabric has a particular design such as toile, lay it face up on the headboard first and pin or mark corners and the center. Then you can flip the headboard and on the wrong side of the fabric and know where to lay it out for your design. ;)

rftek1 year ago
Hi, We made a upholstered cushion to mount on the headboard (inspired by this thanks for the detailed instructable.
jreaton1 year ago
Totally just made this. Great tutorial!! One suggestion for anyone else: I did the skewer trick for the first couple buttons but it was driving me crazy. So I took some old oversized wood buttons I had left over from another project and used those as stoppers instead. Basically, I knotted the fishing line (which works fine) into two of the holes of the wood buttons, then sewed them onto the back as tight as I wanted the tufting. Worked slick!

This was a 3-hour project that turned out AWESOME. Thanks!
jessandstavro (author) 1 year ago
More padding would be comfier, for sure. I have a few pillows for sitting up in bed reading, but thicker foam would definitely be plush! We are pretty rural, but if we did have an upholstery shop or fabric store that carried thicker foam, I would say it would be an added bonus. You'd just have to tie those buttons stronger so they don't pop out, but definitely would look richer.
lmno1011 year ago
Looks great, although I wonder how it would look with more cushion/foam. Maybe It might be harder to hold the buttons too.
newroger2 years ago
adorei esta ideai! vou fazer e postar!!!
Maybe you could put a screw through the button and put the fabrics over it and then screw drive it in next time?
bigjohn1a2 years ago
I am still using a plain old sheet of plywood for my headboard and have been wanting to do somthing like this. Now that I see yours I have an idea as to how it would turn out. However, I sit up and read sometimes and even with the pillows behind me, it seems that the buttons would dig into my back and be uncomfortable so, are the buttons absolutely needed? If they aren't would the material hold up good without them?
jessandstavro (author)  bigjohn1a2 years ago
LOL, I sit up and read too, and haven't noticed a problem with them digging in. They are padded, so that may make a difference. I have seen nice headboards without button-tufting. You could add a row of decorative tacks around the edge instead...that would look just as nice!
Excellent job! The buttons really give it that professional look. I bought some material 5 years ago for a headboard project and this makes me want to finish painting and get to work on the headboard. You 'ible will be very helpful.
VERY NICE!! Buttons add an elegant appearance to the project.
sandraellis3 years ago
very cool! I believe I've seen something like that on tv. Very artistic
mikeasaurus3 years ago
looking good!