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DIY headboard tutorial - finished upholstered headboard

How to Make your Own DIY Headboard in one Afternoon

Eager to give your room some DIY lovin’? TLC reader and owner of online store Me and Zebedee, Karen Elder, is showing us how she made an upholstered bedhead in no time at all. Check out her DIY headboard tutorial below and get creative this weekend!

The instructions I’ve given below is based on a king size ensemble bed. If you have a smaller size bed you may need to get your plywood sheets cut down to size. Bunnings will do this if you ask them super nicely.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 x plywood sheets – 1200 x 900 12mm thick
  • 1 x Packet of Zinc Plated Mending Plates
  • Foam Underlay
  • Fabric – 1.2m wide x 2 metres
  • 8 x Buttons
  • Drill
  • Staple Gun
  • Hot glue gun
  • Measuring tape

Step 1 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 1:

Start by placing your plywood sheets side by side on the long edges. Grab one of your mending plates and place it so it lays across the joins in the plywood, drill in your screw to secure the 2 sheets of plywood together.

Repeat again with 3 other mending plates so the 2 sheets of plywood are secure, you should be able to stand them up without them bending in the middle.

Step 2 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 2:

Get your foam underlay and lay it down on the floor, the indents should be facing up towards you. Place your plywood sheets on top of the foam underlay so it is in the centre. At each corner, cut a piece from the foam. One cut should be straight up from the bottom edge of the foam to the plywood and the other should be on an inward diagonal.

Make sure not to cut all the way up to the edge of the plywood otherwise when you fold the foam inwards you’re going to have a little plywood corner sticking out.

Step 3 -DIY headboard tutorial

Step 3:

Fold the bottom edge of the foam upwards onto the plywood, get out your staple gun and secure it down close to the edge of the foam.

Step 4:

Fold in the other edge of the foam onto the plywood, it should cover the other edge of the foam that is already stapled down then put in another staple to secure it all down. Do the same thing again firstly on the corner diagonally across from what you’ve just done, repeat on remaining corners.

Work your way around the edges and put more staples in to secure down the foam, you don’t need too many as you will putting more staples in once the fabric goes down.

Step 4 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 5:

Lay your pretty fabric down onto the floor, pretty side down. Lay your plywood & foam sandwich down on top in the centre of the fabric.

Step 5- DIY headboard tutorial

Step 6:

Starting on one corner, fold the bottom edge of the fabric up and secure with a staple. Make sure when you are stapling that you’re holding the fabric and foam fairly taut.

Step 6 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 7:

Make a little fold in the fabric on the remaining edge so it will sit on a diagonal once folded up. Put a staple in to secure it all down then another staple to close the little fabric gap.

Step 7 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 8:

Repeat again on corner diagonally opposite, then on remaining corners. Now go around the edges and put lots of staples in, when you think you’ve put enough staples in go and put some more in. Make sure when you’re stapling the layers down that you are keeping the fabric and foam layers taut.

Step 8 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 9:

Now you need to decide where you want your buttons. Remember that this bedhead will be sitting behind your mattress so don’t put buttons all the way down because they will be hidden.

For my 4 buttons, I measured the total width of the bedhead (240cm) and divided by 5. This will make sure that your buttons are evenly spaced across the width of your bedhead, so they will be 48cm apart from the side edge. Then measure the total height of your bedhead (90cm) and divide by 5, so they will be 18cm apart from the top.

Grab out your measuring tape and measure 18cm from the top edge and 48cm in from the side, make a mark with a pen. Continue on along making a mark along the width every 48cm and then the next row will be 18cm down from the top row.

Step 9 - DIY headboard tutorial

Step 10:

Put a staple in over your mark on a diagonal; make another one on top of that so it forms a cross. Continue on with this until all your marks are stapled.

Step 11:

Put a dab of hot glue onto the backside of your button, press the button into the indent on your bedhead.

Ooh look you made a pretty bedhead, go make yourself a cocktail!

DIY headboard tutorial - finished upholstered headboard

Me and Zebedee - Karen ElderAbout Karen Elder

Karen Elder is the creator behind Me and Zebedee, producing a range of screen-printed homewares. Hailing from Brisbane, Karen loves the satisfaction of being able to create something with her own two hands. She also loves monochrome interiors, watching the Walking Dead and grilled haloumi.



Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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