Fabric Upholstered Bed Headboard




About: Britex Fabrics is an amazing, family-run, 4-story fabric store in San Francisco. Britex sells a selection of our fabrics and notions online, and blogs about textiles at www.britexfabrics.com.

Estee and Judd made this amazing headboard using Britex Fabric home decorating fabric. We love how they utilized our beautifully detailed sea creatures linen.

She said: “I am happy to report that the headboard project went extremely well and we absolutely love the sea creature fabric we chose! This project took us the entire weekend, but we had the headboard installed first thing Monday morning! Judd and I are both crafty and love working on home improvement projects. He had made some readymade-esque items for the kitchen and I have reupholstered some dining room chairs. Other than that, this is our first major project together.”

1. 4 ½ - 5 yards of 55” - 60” wide home decorating fabric
2. 25 - 11” by 15” wooden panels
3. 1 - 4’ by 5’ hardboard for the 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

Step 1: Cutting Fabric for Panels

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

Step 2: Cut Foam

Cut foam down to the exact size of the panels.

Step 3: Wrap Panels

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

Step 4: Staple Fabric to Panels

Staple fabric into the back of the panel, starting in the center of each side and working outwards. Be sure and keep the fabric evenly taunt. Staple carefully, flipping the panels over periodically to make sure the fabric is smooth.

Step 5: Arrange Panels

Place the large backing board on the floor. Arrange individual panels in the configuration you desire, paying attention to design and color. This is the fun artistic part!

Step 6: Glue the Panels to the Board

Glue the panels to the backing board using liberal amount of liquid nails, and lining panels up as straight as possible. If you are feeling wonky, use a straight-edge!

Step 7: Walk Away for the Night

Allow liquid nails to dry overnight. We weighted the tiles down with heavy books and magazines in order to help the glue adhere the panels to the backing board. Here is your chance to put to use those outdated college textbooks, encyclopedias, or your stash of saved oddball magazines.

Step 8: Secure Things

Carefully flip over entire headboard, making sure not to topple over. It is heavy! Using 1/4" screws, secure the panels to large backing board.

Step 9: Accomplir!

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

Think of that octopus' garden beneath the sea and have sweet dreams!



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    12 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Well, I blew it, I think, got 1/4" plywood for squares and 3/4" for backing. Sucker is gonna weigh a ton. Is this still do-able? Help. Have not put fabric on yet. :(


    3 years ago

    Literally in love with this whole thing.


    Looks really comfortable as well as beautiful. Did you count how many staples you used for this? :)


    6 years ago

    Do you have any tips on how to have thus screw into the bed instead of the wall. I was thinking ok making my own couch/futon using a head board as the comfy back support.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Question for you - did you buy the wood panels pre-cut or is that something I would have to do? If they were already that size, where did you buy them?

    Thanks! Looking forward to this project.

    1 reply

    I'm sorry, but the people who made this fabulous headboard are no longer around to answer your question. I believe that they got the wood cut at their local hardware store.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    French Cleats work well for mounting these too.

    If you have a circular saw and can make a cutting guide (basically use the manufactured straight edge as a guide for your saw, you can buy one shelf 12" wide and rip it "close" to straight and then use the good edge as your guide) you can easily cut a French Cleat as a hanger.

    Off set the guide for the width of the saw shoe, angle the blade 45 degrees and rip a piece about 3" wide by about 4" short of the headboard length. Reposition the cutting guide, re-set the blade back to 90 degrees and rip a second piece again about 3" wide.

    Attach one piece to the wall, checking for level, with the 45 degree up and facing the room with counter-sunk screws. Sink the middle (or closest to the middle) one 1st so you can move an end up or down to make it level.

    A decent drill will sink straight shank wood-screws in soft wood without the need to drill countersinks. Or use about a 3/8" bit and drill a hole only as deep as the bit bevel and then sink the screw trough it into the wall. Be sure at least 1" of the screw is in the wall so account for both the wood and dry-wall, so 2-1/2" should be good and screw in it. Found wood will work fine :-) Like parts of an old bed. I came across a curb side Ikea bed at just the right time. Attach the second piece to the headboard with the 45 degree down and away from the headboard.

    About 2" up from the bottom of the headboard attach a piece of wood (or squares) about 2" wide the same thickness as the upper pieces.
    Now all you have to do is hook the headboard over the piece mounted to the wall. Handy for when you have to work by yourself.

    Old hollow doors from a Habitat re-sale or like place work well too.



    8 years ago on Introduction

    Just found this ible again and I still love it. My wall has a window sill on it so I have been reducing the height by one panel to go under it. It looks ok, I think. By the way are the bed covers and furnishings made by you? They are very attractive and I love the colours.


    8 years ago on Step 9

    Beautiful work and the fabric is very french with it's muted colour. I am going to make it with a fabric called Toile . Can't wait, very inspiring


    8 years ago on Step 9

    this looks great! i soo want to try this. I want to involve my little boy over the holidays so i ws thinking we could do the same with his old spiderman doonacover and another solid colour. Ohhh thats it im off too see what i can do... Cheers again.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! I have been wanting to make a padded/wall-mounted headboard for our king-sized bed and this is a good idea. Thanks and good 'ible