DIY recover a headboard

Updated November 21, 2016

A padded headboard is a comfortable luxury to have when lounging in bed to read or watch television. With constant use, it can get warn as the fabric begins to wear and tear. Sometimes when you redecorate and put out brand new bedding, it can make your old headboard look faded and shoddy. New padded headboards can cost a lot, but if your headboard is still in solid shape, there is no reason to toss it out and buy a brand new one. Recover your old one.

Remove the headboard from your bed. Lay it facedown on a flat, solid surface. Remove the staples or nails holding on the previous cover and strip the old cover off.

Check the padding and reuse it if it is in good shape. If it's crumbling, misshapen or lost its springiness, dispose of it. Purchase a new piece of foam padding, measure it to the size of your headboard and use an electric or serrated knife to cut it to size.

Measure your headboard, and cut two sheets of batting so they are 12.5 to 25 cm (5 to 10 inches) taller and wider than your headboard, depending on how thick your padding is.

Stack the layers of batting on the floor and lay the headboard face down on the pile. Fold the batting over the top edge of the headboard and staple it in the centre, then fold the bottom edge over and staple it in the centre. Fold each side over, and staple them midway down.

Staple the batting to the back of the headboard on all sides, working from the centre staple outward to the corners. Pull it taught, but don't overstretch it, and check the front of the headboard as you go along to ensure there are no wrinkles or creases.

Cut your fabric to be about 5 cm (2 inches) larger than the headboard. Lay it on the floor, face down, and place the headboard, batting down, on top of it. Fold the fabric over the edges and staple the top centre, bottom centre and the two sides, midway down.

Lean the headboard on the wall and pull the fabric taught, without overstretching it. Staple it to the back, working from the centre staples out to the four corners. Check frequently to make sure there are no wrinkles or creases on the front.

Trim off the excess fabric and batting that extends more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) or so beyond the staples. Cover the back, if desired, with a piece of fabric that is cut slightly smaller than the back of the headboard. Hem the edges, lay it over the back of the headboard and staple it into place.

Re-attach the headboard to the bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Foam padding in desired thickness
  • Electric or serrated knife
  • Cotton or polyester batting, 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) thick
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Staple gun with staples
  • Fabric
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