How to cover headboards

Upholstered headboards look luxurious and add personality and charm to your bedroom. Upholster your own headboards to save money, and easily match fabric textures and patterns to the decor of your room. You can transform out-of-date wooden headboards by upholstering them, or create your own covered headboards from fabric, foam and sections of plywood.

Measure the width of your bed to determine the width for your headboard. Add extra inches on each side, as you desire.

Determine the height of your headboard by measuring from the point where the bottom of the mattress meets the wall, up to the desired height of the headboard above the bed.

Cut the piece of plywood to match the measurements taken in the previous steps. Use a table saw to make a simple rectangular piece or use a jigsaw to create a curved, peaked or specially shaped headboard piece.

Cut a piece of urethane foam to match the exact measurements of the plywood piece. You may need to piece smaller pieces of foam together to cover the board.

Attach the foam to the plywood with wood glue and allow the glue to dry overnight before proceeding.

Cut a piece of quilt batting to measure 3 inches longer, on all sides, than the plywood headboard piece. Lay the quilt batting down on your work space and then lay the foam and plywood piece foam-side down on the quilt batting.

Center the plywood over the quilt batting. Wrap the batting over onto the back of the plywood piece and attach it with construction staples placed every 2 to 3 inches along the edges of the plywood. Use staples shorter than the thickness of the plywood, to prevent the sharp ends of the staples from sticking out on the other side.

Cut a piece of fabric to measure 6 inches longer, on all sides, than the plywood piece. Center the headboard on top of the fabric, wrap the excess material around to the back of the piece and secure it with staples placed 2 to 3 inches apart.

Remove the headboard from the bed, using a wrench or screwdriver to loosen any screws or bolts holding the headboard to the bed frame.

Measure the headboard's height and width, and cut a piece of foam to cover the headboard. Measure a piece of quilt batting to measure 3 inches longer than the headboard on all sides and a piece of fabric that measures 6 inches longer on all sides.

Attach the foam to the headboard with wood glue. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Center the quilt batting over the front of the headboard and attach the ends to the back of the headboard. To do that, place tacks or staples 2 to 3 inches apart along the edges of the batting.

Center and wrap the fabric over the front of the headboard. Attach it with staples placed every 2 to 3 inches along the back of the headboard.


Divide the plywood section into smaller pieces and wrap each piece in alternating colours to better match the colour scheme of your bedroom. For the best effect, use an uneven number of pieces.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • Table saw or jigsaw
  • Urethane foam, 2 inches thick
  • Wood glue
  • Scissors
  • Quilt batting
  • Construction staples
  • Construction staple gun
  • Fabric
  • Wrench or screwdriver
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About the Author

Penny Porter is a full-time professional writer and a contributor to "Kraze" magazine. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.