How to reupholster a headboard

Written by mary lougee
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How to reupholster a headboard
Upholstered headboards provide comfort when leaning back in bed. (bedroom image by Rido from

Reupholstering a headboard can change your bedroom decor by adding a new colour scheme, or you may want to match curtains and bedding. New material can add deeper texture to the existing headboard. While reupholstering, you can add thicker foam and batting. Headboards mounted on the wall give you a comfortable area to relax and lean back in bed while reading or watching television.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Staple remover
  • Upholstery material
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Foam, 2 to 3 inches thick
  • Batting
  • Utility knife
  • Stapler

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  1. 1

    Remove the headboard from the wall by grasping it on each side and pulling it straight up and out of the flush mounts on the wall. Unscrew the flush mounts from the back of the headboard with a Phillips screwdriver. Each flush mount contains two screws. Remove the screws and set them aside to reuse.

  2. 2

    Set the headboard on a flat surface face down. Remove all staples on the back of the headboard that hold the upholstery onto the wood. Use a staple remover to pull each staple out, then discard them.

  3. 3

    Unwrap the upholstery fabric from each of the four sides of the headboard. Pick the headboard up to reveal the batting, foam and upholstery fabric. Set the original batting, foam and upholstery aside.

  4. 4

    Lay the new upholstery on a flat surface, then lay the headboard on top of the fabric. Trace a line around the headboard onto the fabric with a pencil. Measure an additional 6 inches around the pencil line with the measuring tape. Lift the headboard up and cut the fabric with scissors on the outer line with the 6 inches added, so there is sufficient material to staple to the back of the headboard. Set the material aside.

  5. 5

    Place foam and batting on the flat surface, then place the headboard on top. Trace around the headboard with a pencil. Remove the headboard. Cut through the foam and batting with a utility knife.

  6. 6

    Place all headboard items on a flat surface. Put the fabric face down, the batting on top, then the foam and lastly the headboard, also face down. Center each layer on top of the others.

  7. 7

    Pull the fabric to the back of the headboard on all sides. Staple it to the wood back of the headboard, using a staple gun. Place staples every 2 inches all around the headboard. Start the staples with one in the centre of the top and bottom of the headboard, then one in the centre of the right and left sides. Add staples outward from the centres to the edges, alternating one staple at a time on opposing sides.

  8. 8

    Place the flush mounts in their original location on the back of the headboard. Screw them in place. Hang the headboard on the wall flush mounts.

Tips and warnings

  • To remove and replace large headboards, use one person on each side of the headboard, with each person using both hands on their side of the bed.
  • The original batting and foam may be reusable if it is in good condition, without tears or rips, and offers sufficient padding.
  • You may not have to remove the flush mounts on the headboard to reupholster the headboard, if they are close to the centre of the headboard and do not interfere with the staples.

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