Easy DIY Upholstered Headboard With Nailhead Trim

I have dreamed and imagined a DIY upholstered headboard with a nailhead trim for a very long time. Finally, after almost 4 years of dreaming, I finally have it and I am in love! Check it out! Make an upholstered bed with nailhead trim with this step by step tutorial to build the frame and upholster it!

So, here is the story – 6 years ago, we bought our first grown up “non-ikea” bedroom set. It was a matchy-matchy espresso colored sleigh bed, dresser and nightstand… I could try to find an old picture to show you but I will spare you that…

Then, I discovered upholstered headboards…. and woodworking…. and I so yearned to make one for ourselves. But what to do with that big huge bedroom set that we owned?

2 years ago, we decided to move… we were moving to a town where houses were older and much smaller and there was no way that set would fit in any room – I was so delighted the day we put it on craigslist! It sold in about a week.

We slept with the box and mattress on the floor for a few months before buying a bed frame. And this is what we had for about 2 years…

Master bed - before

There are a lot of things missing and the to do list is pretty long, including throw pillows, nightstands etc… but first things first – the headboard!
There are a bazillion tutorials on creating an upholstered headboard on the internet. I happy to add one more to the growing list since it is a cross between all the tutorials I have seen on Pinterest. The main ones I referenced were by Just a Girl and her Blog, Centsational girl and Sarah M Dorsey design.

I had some grey fabric already and put it up to see what it would look like. Also, it gave me an idea of the dimensions I needed.
Trial for DIY Upholstered headboard with nailhead trim

Since its a Queen bed, the width was 60″ and the height I wanted was 34″ from the top of the box spring and 54″ from the floor.

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Materials needed to build your own DIY upholstered headboard with nailhead trim

The grand total is $57.07! With enough material leftover for another project!

How to make an Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Trim –

Step 1 – Cut out the corner shape for  your headboard. I wanted some visual interest on the top edge so, I drew a curve free hand. When I was happy with the shape, I cut it with the jigsaw.How to build the frame for DIY upholstered headboard

Step 2 – Using the piece that is cut out in step 1, trace the curve on the other side and cut that out too to get s symmetrical design.How to build the frame for DIY upholstered headboard

Step 3 – Thicken up the edges to get a uniform thickness equal to 1.5″ all around the edges. I added layers of misc. scrap boards. Gluing them all together gave a nice sandwich to match the height of the 2×4. I also put some 1 1/4″ spax screws in for good measure. 
How to build the frame for DIY upholstered headboard

Step 4 –  Attach the 2×4’s using glue and wood screws. Make sure to cut off the 2×4’s appropriately to account for the  length of the “sandwich” part. Here is the finished back side.

headboard construction

Step 5 – To add more support, add a 2×4 support 6″ from the bottom. I made pocket holes (at 2 1/2″) and screwed them in with the pocket hole screws. headboard bottom

Here is the final headboard ready to be upholstered!
headboard construction done

Step 6 – Time to upholster! Cut the Foam to shape keeping about 1″ extra all around. Attach it using spray adhesive with the wavy part of the foam facing inside. Lay it down on the batting.

headboard with batting

Step 7 – Staple the batting around and follow it with the fabric. The round corners were a little tough but cutting the slits in the fabric helped get a smooth finish. Working slowly and carefully, the result ended up exactly like I wanted.

upholstery of headboard

Now a word of caution – if you are like me you might want to save on those staples and use the bare minimum required to hold the fabric and batting down, don’t do it! Trust me, you need all the stapled you see in my picture. If not, the finish on the sides of the headboard looks very sloppy.

Here is the headboard all upholstered and ready for nailheads. How to build the frame for DIY upholstered headboard

Step 8 –  Start adding the nailhead trim at 1.5″ from the edge. I made a quick spacing tool using a masking tape on a ruler to mark 1.5″ point. This went faster than I had expected! It took me about 30 minutes to add the trim all the way around. At the curves, it helped to bend the trim a little in advance to keep it flowing smoothly.

headboard with nails

Here is the final headboard –

nailhead trim on upholstered headboard

Step 9 – Wrap the legs in some fabric so you do not see raw wood when they peek out next to the bed.How to build the frame for DIY upholstered headboard The long wait is finally over – our bed has an upholstered headboard! I already love the cozy feeling with the addition of the headboard.You won't believe how easy it is to make this Headboard with a nailhead trim. All for under $60!
Not bad for one afternoon and $60!

Have you upholstered a bed? Share your experiences! If not give it a try! Its so easy, I don’t know why it took me so long to do it!

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I can't beileve home easy it is to make this DIY upholstered headboard with nailhead trim! what a power impact in the bedroom!

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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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  1. You are amazing! I love that you’re building your own furniture that you love. Pinned.

  2. Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for the feature. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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