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Bedroom Makeover (Part 2): Upholstered Headboard


This Bedroom Makeover for my 15-year old daughter started off with no real direction…just a bunch of mis-matched ideas that kept changing from one moment to the next.  So before painting or buying new bedding, we decided to focus on the bed itself.  It is, after all, the focal point of every bedroom.  My daughter wanted a day bed, but I knew we could work with what she already had.  Her captain’s bed could easily be turned on it’s side.  The only thing missing?  A headboard.  And, boom, just like that we had our starting point.  Here’s how we made an Upholstered Headboard.


The first thing I did was measure the length of the bed to determine the size of the headboard.  Using a large piece of OSB Sheathing (it’s a little cheaper than plywood), I drew out the design.  I marked the exact halfway point and drew one side first.  I traced over it with paper, cut out the pattern, then flipped it over to make sure both sides were identical.  

pencil wide

pencil paper

Once I was  happy with outline, it was ready to be cut.  I had my husband do this for me because he’s much better with the jigsaw.


I then put the wood over some 3 inch foam, and traced the pattern onto the foam in marker.

trace foam 1

trace foam 2

Cutting the foam was a lot easier than I thought, thanks to my husband’s brilliant idea.  He suggested I use our electric knife…the one that gets used once a year when we carve the Thanksgiving turkey.  It worked amazingly well! 

cut foam

With the foam cut to size, it was time to permanently adhere it to the wood.  I used a can of Foam & Fabric Adhesive and sprayed it on both the foam and the wood before putting them together.  I found the spray at the same warehouse where I bought the foam.  (Incidentally, if you’re going to upholster something, it’s worth your time to find a place that specializes in upholstery foam.  I originally went to Joann’s, but for the size I needed, it would have cost a fortune!  Foam was $45 a yard there.  I needed 3 yards, and the width they had wasn’t wide enough so I would have had to double that and put two pieces together!  I drove a little out of my way to this particular warehouse, but in the end, I only paid $14 for the exact size of foam I needed!  So, I bought everything else for the project there.)

spray foam

pat down

Once the foam was attached to the board, I put it foam side down on top of a sheet of dacron.  (It’s the same as batting for those of you who sew, but if you ask for “batting” at the upholstery shop, they’ll quickly correct  you.)  Pull the dacron around tightly and staple it to the back side of the headboard, cutting off the excess.


staple batting

dacron on

Now you’re ready for the fabric.  I was hoping for something with a graphic pattern in bold colors, but my daughter chose a printed burlap instead.  I never would have thought of burlap, but I actually LOVE it.


I did the exact same thing, pulling the burlap around the front of the headboard and stapling it on back.  The only difference is, I did this part inside so it wouldn’t get dirty out in the garage or driveway.  Had I known how tricky this part was going to be, I probably would have designed a more simple headboard.  Those sharp corners were a nightmare, and the fabric doesn’t give like the dacron does.  

staple fabric

In the end, this Upholstered Headboard turned out great, giving our Bedroom Makeover the jump start it needed.  I’ll show you how we up-cycled the bed in my next blog.  The suspense builds…

photo 1


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Painting children's rooms, exterior murals, exterior paint, faux finishes, interior murals, canvases, holiday canvases, wooden plaques, beds, cabinets, dressers, furniture, party decorations, props, and other DIY crafts!