How to Make Fabric Headboards out of Plywood

Updated February 21, 2017

Custom headboards give you the freedom to create a distinctive look for the bed that complements the rest of the bedroom's decor. Because you can obtain fabric in almost any colour or pattern, it is easy to make a headboard either the focal point of the room or a supporting accent. Create an upholstered, fabric headboard from a simple sheet of plywood, a piece of foam and batting. Adding a headboard to a bed brings a feeling of luxury and beauty to the room.

Measure the width of the mattress. The headboard needs to be at least that wide.

Cut the plywood to those dimensions if the lumberyard hasn't done that for you. Sand the edges and corners of the plywood until you remove any splinters.

Place a 2-inch thick sheet of foam on the ground and put the plywood sheet on top of it. Trace the plywood sheet with a marker, and cut out the shape with a utility knife.

Add 12 inches to both the length and width of the plywood sheet to determine the size of the batting. Cut the batting and the fabric to that measurement.

Place the fabric face down on a flat surface, and put the batting on top so the edges line up on all four sides. Place the foam sheet in the centre of the pile, and place the plywood on top of the foam so the edges of the plywood and the foam match. Fold the top and bottom edges of the batting and fabric over the top and bottom edges of the plywood.

Staple the batting and fabric to the back of the plywood. Insert a staple every two inches with a staple gun, working out from the centre of the top edge to the left, then the right. Repeat on the bottom edge. Insert a staple every two inches along the opposing sides, working from the centre up and then down.

Pre-drill one or two holes in the back of the headboard where you want to install the mounting device. Make one hole in the centre or two on either side. Hold a flush mount over each hole and insert a screw into the hole, securing it with a screwdriver.


Purchase a sheet of 1/4-inch plywood that is as wide as the mattress and as tall as you want the headboard.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/4-inch plywood
  • Handsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • 2-inch foam sheet
  • Marker
  • Utility knife
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • 1/4-inch staples
  • Electric drill
  • Flush mount
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.