after having enough of our 'master' bedroom feeling like a disaster zone, I spent a little time, and as little money as possible, to put things right. this $25 headboard was the finishing touch and it was SO simple I had to share.
*side note: this is my first-ever tutorial post, so if you have any questions because I mistakenly leave out some vital information somewhere along the way just comment below and I promise I'll respond!
I'm going to try and keep this as short and sweet as possible. the pictures may not be as beautiful as some pinterest tutorials but I had to do the best I could with my totally-not-tech-savy mom taking pictures for me while I assembled the whole thing. so don't mind the awkward angles or blur, you'll still get the point.
Here is what you'll need:
3/4" plywood cut to size
upholstery foam cut to size of plywood
fabric of choice, cut to size allowing 5"-7" extra on all sides
scissors, staple gun, level and tape measure
2 - 100lb heavy duty wall anchors and screws*
*depending on the size of your headboard. you may also need a steel gauge wire to accommodate hanging it from the wall.
Step 1 - source supplies.
I love getting fabrics from estate sales, flea markets, thrift shops, and eBay. that's right I said eBay. I got this amazing vintage barkcloth fabric on ebay for $10.48 - and because it was more than twice the yardage I needed to make this headboard, the materials cost came out to less than $5 for this project.
the 2" thick foam I purchased from A1 Foam & Fabrics in Santa Ana, Ca. It only cost $15 and they cut it on-site in less than 10 minutes. I've bought several pieces of foam from them before for miscellaneous projects. they have the widest selection of upholstery goods at amazing prices. they even have cylindrical foam to make great bolster pillows like the one I made for our bed in the picture featured at the beginning of this tutorial.
with the plywood I was able to save some coin. my dad is in construction and always has extra on hand, so the piece I needed for this headboard was free. plus he cut it to size for me. but don't fret, you too are in luck. a single sheet of plywood shouldn't run you more than $15 on average and Home Depot or Lowe's will cut any untreated plywood to size for you (at a minimal charge that varies between stores). so depending how large a headboard you intend to make, the cost is still extremely reasonable.
depending on how you plan to hang your headboard because of its weight, your plywood may need some prep work. our headboard was fairly light, so I simply drilled two 1" holes about 16" apart and hung the headboard directly onto the screws we had set into the support studs in our wall (Option 1). for heavier headboards, I suggest using a steel gauge wire secured to the back of the plywood that will allow you to hang the headboard from the 100lb capacity anchors or screws set directly into support studs in the wall (Option 2).
Step 2 - get to work.
once you have purchased your main materials, it's time to gather the rest of the supplies you need from around the house - scissors, staple gun, and Dritz fray check. chances are if you do any kind of DIY projects regularly these are common things you will have on hand. If not they can be purchased at any local fabric supply and hardware store.
you'll need to find an area large enough you can comfortably work. I did everything on our queen size bed. seemings how that was the size of the materials I was working with, it was an easy fit.
Step 3 - prep your fabric.
you'll want to iron your fabric before assembling your headboard. you want to remove and wrinkles and kinks in the fabric that will affect they way it lays flat against the foam.
once your fabric has been ironed, lay it out flat (pattern side down) on your work surface. If it is not yet cut to size, an easy way to do that now is to lay the plywood on top of it and cut 5"-7" out from the plywood on all sides; this will give you enough excess fabric to wrap around the foam and staple it securely into the plywood.
Step 4 - start stacking and stapling.
now that your fabric is laid out pattern side down, stack the foam in the middle of the fabric and then set the plywood on top. make sure to keep the edges of the foam and plywood perfectly lined up. at the center point of a long side of the plywood, gently but firmly begin to pull the fabric around the edge of the plywood. fold over an inch of fabric as if to double-side the part laying against the plywood before stapling it down.
once you have finished stapling the fabric down along the first long side, do the same along the opposing side; following the same procedure starting at the center and working out to the ends. remembering to pull the fabric gently but firmly till taut before stapling.
Steps 5 through 7 - wrap it up.
the ends can be where things get tricky, but they don't have to be. the easiest approach is to look at the fabric leftover at the ends like it's the wrapping paper leftover when you wrap the sides of a gift.
begin by drawing 'seams' along the edges of the fabric at the corners of the foam/plywood with the Dritz fray check; these are basically straight lines that extend from the corners along the long edges already stapled. once the fray check has had a minute to dry, with your scissors or fabric sheers cut along those 'seam' lines up to 1/2" from the foam. the fray check will keep the fabric from unraveling or fraying, and by making these cuts the bulk of the leftover fabric is much easier to wrap around the ends.
then from the left or right side, pull the flap of fabric in towards the foam till taut and staple; again making a double-sided fold in the fabric along the plywood before stapling (Step 5). repeat that on the opposing side (Step 6). to finish the end, fold over the remaining panel of fabric making a double-sided flap and staple to plywood, covering the portion of fabric from the side panels already secured (Step 7).
Step 8 - the hang up.
if your headboard is small - moderately sized you can opt for drilling 1" holes in the plywood and hanging it directly from the studs in the wall (option 1, depicted above). support studs typically run every 16" on average, however using a stud finder is always a good idea to locate exactly where they are before drilling holes into the wall. if stud-finding is not your thing, you can opt for the 100lb heavy duty wall anchors and follow the same general instructions.
if you choose to make a large or oversized headboard there are several other options for proper mounting to insure it hangs securely. one of these is the steel wire method used for heavy antique mirrors and large art work (option 2, depicted above). all of these vary slightly so follow the instructions on the package depending on what hardware you choose. it is also a good idea when you plan for a large oversized headboard, that you consider hanging it in a way that allows the bed frame to absorb some of the weight; meaning if you can rest the bottom edge along your bed frame it minimizes the stress of the weight on the wire. if you don't have a bed frame that allows for this, then building a basic leg framework is a great idea; (that looks something like this).
either way, prior to hanging your headboard, you will need to use a level before drilling your anchors/screws into the wall to make sure they are straight. in either approach you will likely need a tape measure also, to make sure you drill/hang things in the right place.
Step 9 - enjoy!
now is the easy part. sit back and admire your hard work in all its glory. and now you have an excuse to go shop for new bedding, linens, and throw pillows. just saying!