Introduction: Simple Headboard Using Cardboard Base

About: Artist and Photographer.

Are you tired of sitting in bed against a hard wall? I tried using pillows but they always started falling between the wall and the bed. So I decided to make a simple headboard, that would attach to the wall. Since I wanted to keep it light, going with a cardboard base seemed to be the best idea. Here are the instructions for making your own.

Step 1: What You Need to Start

First you need a piece of cardboard as wide as your bed and around 20 inches tall. You can adjust the height to any size you like. The card board I had was kind of thin, so I took two pieces and glued them together. Ideally you want the piece about as thick as the staple you are using, mine was 5/16th of an inch. You want enough thickness that the staple goes into the cardboard, but not all the way through it. Keep in mind you will also have a little fabric and batting in most spots. My cardboard was left over from a box I got a bookshelf in. But I would imagine one of those garment moving boxes would work. If you want you can use wood (honestly the staples will stay in a lot better) but it will be heavier and therefore more challenging to attach to the wall. I would say if you go with wood, get a light piece that is at least 1/4 inch thick, and use nice sturdy picture hangers on both sides of the top back to hang.

You also need fabric and batting, enough to cover the cardboard, with about 5 inches extra for the fabric, and 3 inches extra for the batting, on each side, so that you can wrap around the cardboard and staple them down on the back.

You need a ruler, scissors, Command strips, fabric glue, staple gun and staples, clips, and some gaff or duct tape (optional).

Step 2: Cut Out Your Headboard Shape

First you need to decide on the shape of your headboard. I went with a simple rectangle with curved corners just on the top edges. I also glued two pieces together for added strength. I glued them with the (grain) going in opposite directions, this helps build strength as well. I clipped it and let it dry overnight.

Step 3: Attach the Batting

Now lay down your batting and position the cardboard in the middle. I used two layers of batting. Starting from the middle, pull it around the edge and keeping it tight staple it down. Note: I put a piece of foamcore down just in case the staple went through. (See note pic 2) I did not want to staple it to my table.

Work from center out and opposite sides as you go. This will keep it nice and even. Clip it down with clips and turn it over and check for wrinkles, adjusting as needed. Once you know it is nice and even you can start stapling it down. Staple about 2 inches from edge and every 3 or 4 inches.

When you do the corners you may need to pull off some of the under layer of batting if it gets too thick. (See note pic 3) Batting is pretty easy to pull little bits off and thin it out where needed. This will help your fabric to lay better.

Step 4: Add Your Fabric

Time to add your fabric. Lay the fabric over the top side of your batting covered cardboard. (Pic 1) Allowing about 5 or 6 inches on all sides, cut it out. Turn the whole piece over and line up. (Pic 2)

Staple to the cardboard starting from to center points and then opposite center points. Then work towards the corners. Gather the corners and staple as flat as possible. I put a lot of staples! Check the front for wrinkles or puckers as you go.

Once you have it all stapled down, trim the fabric and glue the edge down to the cardboard. You can add a few staples to hold the fabric down as it drys. This is an added security, since you are putting staples into cardboard, they don't really hold on that great. So if a few start popping out you also have the glue to help hold it down. The staples tend to pop out if your fabric gets to thick. So you can either thin out the batting underneath or just staple past the batting. Just watch that you don't go all the way through. If your staples are going through, try smaller staples. I did not have any staples go through, so you should be fine.

Step 5: Final Touches

Once you have stapled and glued. Take a look and make sure it is laying nice and flat, adjust if needed.

Next I added a piece of gaff tape to my edge. This is not necessary, but I wanted it to look a little more finished.

Now add your Command strips to the back of your headboard. I put 3 on the top and two on the bottom.

I used the large size which says it holds up to 16 lbs.

Clean your wall with an alcohol swab as per instructions on package, and attach to wall. Do not attach to wallpaper.

Make sure it is straight before you touch the wall.

That's it! Enjoy your headboard.