This headboard features a tufted insert and a mahogany surround frame. I wanted something comfortable, and nice looking and I decided to use a heavy weight linen, a slight angled frame for more comfort and a mahogany surround, with a small shelf on top.
Step 1: Bottom Platform
I decided to make it in two parts, so it would be easier to transport in a car . This is the bottom part I'm working on, and it's basically a platform which I'm going to place the main headboard on top of, this is the same height as the boxes for the bed. So I used scrap pieces of plywood here, that I cut to the same height, and then glued and brad nailed in from both sides. I also re-enforced it with some screws.
Step 2: Constructing the Frame
Now to create those angled sides, I'm cutting up some plywood on the table saw using this tapered jig. And I cut a bunch of these. So now you can see the idea - first I have the plywood for the whole headboard. Then I have several of these smaller, tapered cuts, and I'm going to attach this kind of like a frame on the backside all around, and in the middle.
To connect these pieces to the plywood I'm using pocket screws again, and this jig has really come in handy for this project.
Then it was just a matter of connecting all the pieces together.
Step 3: Covering the Buttons
Now, before doing the upholstery, I picked up a button kit, and with this you can basically cover buttons with the fabric you're going to use, so it matches seamlessly. You just kind of cover one part, and then push in the back piece.
Step 4: Drilling the Holes
The next step was figuring out where the buttons should go. First I basically placed them where I think it looked good, then I marked out how high the mattress is going to go, where the wood surround will be, and then I did some more proper measurements and got some precise locations. And then drilling all the holes.
Step 5: Foam
Next up, foam! I picked up some 2 inch thick foam at my local fabric store. So I measured the foam where the wood surround was going to go, and cut it with an electric knife, and I've found this is a really great way to cut foam, but you could also use a razor blade. Then I pieced the cut off together to attach underneath.
To secure it to the board, I used some spray adhesive, and this is just to secure it temporarily while I do the tufting.
Step 6: The Fabric
OK, the fabric. I'm using a pretty heavy weight natural linen, but the great thing about doing this yourself is that you can of course use any fabric you'd like, and really personalize it.
Now, this next part, it really helps if you have a second person to help out. So one person can stick a long needle through the holes in the back, and then other can mark where the holes are with a marker. Then I used an exacto knife to carve out some foam in the circles, and this is to get a deeper hole for the button to go into, creates a bit more depth in the look.
Step 7: Upholstery
Then I covered the board with fabric, and then inserted the needle, starting in the middle, with a big button on the other side, then pulled it through the fabric covered button, and then carefully pushed the needle back again, into the hole, and sometimes it can be a little tricky to find the same point, so don't drill twoo small a hole, but obviously not too big either. Then secure tightly on the backside, with larger button. And I'm using heavy waxed thread that's meant for leather work here, cause you definitely want something a little stronger and thicker than regular sewing thread.
Then just kind of repeating the process. And the thing here that I have found, that in order to get a really clean look, where the fabric is taught, is that it's important to really stretch the fabric as much as you can, so it's helpful again to be two people, where one pushes the needle through, and the other stretches the fabric, and secures the button.
Step 8: Securing With Staples
Lastly I secured the fabric with a stapler to the plywood, again stretching the fabric, to remove as many wrinkles as possible.
Step 9: Wooden Surround
Next the wood surround!
I'm using some beautiful mahogany wood, and because the boards measure 4 feet and the headboard measures 5 feet in length across, I'm cutting some box joints, to connect two pieces together, and I have a video showing how to build this jig if you're interested.
So this joint is going to be in the center of the main frame, cause I figured, if I need two pieces of wood, I might as well make a nice looking connection since you're going to see it.
Then I softened the edges of the boards with a block plane, and also marked the center of the boards. And that's because the center is where I want to place all the screws of the boards, so I secured the wood all around.
And by placing the wood right next to the fabric here, it also really helps to make a smoother transition, and remove any wrinkles.
Step 10: Wooden Trim
Then I cut up some thin pieces of mahogany, and this is for trim, this is to hide that line of screws on all the boards. I cut it to length, and then just used a pin nailer to secure it in place, and I think this added a pretty nice detail, while also covering up the screws, so that worked out well. Now on the edges I'm also adding trim, and this is the top piece which is extruding a little bit to give a shadow line, and also a small shelf.
Lastly I finished the wood, first with some shellac, and then with some tung oil wax polish to really smoothen it up.
Step 11: Installation
Then to install this bed, I began with putting down the headboard platform, and screwing the headboard to it, all around.
Then I put in a few screws to the wall to secure it in place, and then built the bed from there.
Step 12: Conclusion - Watch the Video
To see the final result and to get a better perspective of the process, make sure to watch the video!