How to make a padded headboard

Written by carmen laboy
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How to make a padded headboard
Adding a padded headboard can add warmth to a bedroom. (bed room image by Stephen Orsillo from

Adding a padded headboard to your bed will create a new look for your bedroom. Or, try adding a padded headboard lengthwise to a twin bed to get the look of a sofa in your bedroom or another room in your home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nail gun with 3/4-inch nails. Use a hammer if a nail gun is not available.
  • Measuring tape
  • Plywood. 1-inch thick. Height and length of wood depends on the size of the bed and how the headboard will be used. Measure the height and length of the area you would like the headboard to occupy and have wood cut to that length.
  • Fabric to cover your headboard (try vinyl, leather, velvet, brocade, etc). Make sure fabric will extend 2 inches or more around all four sides of cut plywood. This provides space to nail the fabric to the back of board.
  • Non-toxic waterproof crafters glue
  • Decorator nails. At least 9 nails. Use more nails if desired.
  • 2-inch-thick foam padding
  • *optional
  • cotton pillow stuffing
  • wall mounting brackets/kit

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    Making your Headboard

  1. 1

    Measure the length and height of the area you want the headboard to occupy. Purchase plywood based on those dimensions. Make sure the plywood is 1-inch thick.

  2. 2

    Cut the foam padding to the same measurements. Apply the craft glue to the wood and attach the foam. Let dry 10 to 12 hours.

  3. 3

    If you want to add more padding, roll cotton stuffing, or batting, over the foam. Carefully cover this with your chosen material and fold it under around the edges. Make sure to smooth out any lumps or bumps before moving to the next step.

  4. 4

    Decide on a pattern before nailing. The diamond pattern is a traditional style that will remain in fashion. Take a piece of paper the same size as your headboard and draw lines on an angle with about 9 inches in between each parallel line. Then draw parallel lines at opposite angles every 9 inches. Place this sheet over your headboard and align it to the edge of the wood. Using this as a guide, hammer a nail in each spot where two lines intersect. When you are done, rip the paper off of the headboard. Use decorator tacks to cover the nails.

  5. 5

    Flip the headboard over. Use the nail gun to secure the fabric to each corner on the back of the headboard. Use the nail gun again to secure the material between each corner. Use nails as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Wall mounting is preferred. Many wall mounting products are available.
  • Make sure that your nails are not longer than your board is thick.
  • Use glue in a ventilated area.

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