It’s been a while since we’ve had time to work on our master bedroom makeover (let alone share any of it with you), but we were finally able to tackle one of our biggest (and most exciting) projects– our DIY upholstered headboard. We were inspired by this gorgeous headboard by tenth avenue south. I love the warm neutral tones of the canvas and the soft curves of the back.

We followed tenth avenue’s design fairly closely, but we switched up the plywood for 1/2″ MDF on the frame of the headboard because all of the 1/2″ ply at Home Depot was as wonky as a wave pool in an earthquake. The cost between the two was similar and the MDF was FLAT. I cut our template from a brown paper bag, just eyeballing it until I came up with curves that I liked.

Using a black Sharpie, we traced the curves onto the MDF and cut it out using a jig saw.

We were cheered on in our efforts by our enthusiastic (though drooling) studio audience.

We were able to get all of the necessary pieces out of a single piece of MDF (although it took some serious calculating and finagling and we only have a few scraps left). As tenth avenue suggested, we cut extra pieces to double up all of the edges as well as the legs. We attached them using 3/4″ particle board screws.

Next, we cut 2″ foam (scored 1/2 price from Joann’s) to fit the headboard. None of the foam was large enough to cover the entire headboard (which was 5’x4′-ish), so we piecemealed it, labeling each piece before attaching them with some wicked strong spray glue. As always, we had our feline supervisor there to make sure we stayed on track.

Finally, we upholstered that sucker. We had originally planned on using a drop cloth (we even bought one), but after getting it out of the package we weren’t happy with it’s gray, dingy color (you can see it above under the headboard). Instead, we bought two yards of natural duck canvas from Joann’s (also 50% off). We used a single layer of batting and 8mm staples in our handy dandy staple gun.

This is where the pictures get skinny. I’m not going to sugarcoat it; upholstering this guy was a pain in the derriere. The legs were challenging and the curves, well, let’s just say we pulled out more staples than we put in. And because we were so consumed with fighting it, we didn’t take manyย  any pictures of the actual stapling process. Yeah, we’re bad bloggers. I did snap this photo with my iPhone and send it to my mom.

And to make bad bloggers worse, I don’t have a good pic of the finished product. You’ll just have to live with this instagram photo I took on Sunday. And yes, that’s a sippy cup on my nightstand. And yes, it’s for me. I tend to flail around at night and knock glasses off the table. Cleaning up glass in the middle of the night = grumpy Jess in the morning. Oh, and I haven’t made pillows for the bed yet, so don’t judge the I-only-pulled-the-covers-up-for-this-photo look.

So there you have it. Our finished (or almost finished) DIY upholstered headboard. I have to admit I’m loving it. It’s comfy to lead up against and really brings some warmth to the icy blue walls. I can’t wait to tackle some pillows and curtains for this room.
What projects did you complete this weekend?

Posted in DIY

20 thoughts on “Headboard

    • Jessica, It was almost exactly $100. That includes the MDF, screws, foam, cloth, batting, and spray glue. It doesn’t include staples because we already had those. We did go with the 2″ foam and the duck canvas, both of which are more expensive than the options that tenth avenue south went with, but because we had coupons to Joann’s we got them 50% off.

      It was a good bit of work and took most of Sunday, but it really turned out great!

      • We just made one inspired by the tenth ave south one as well (no blog to share my finished product, but it looks GREAT!). If you put the nailhead trim on, expect to add another $100 to the cost. Also, make sure to get a JoAnn’s coupon. Foam is EXPENSIVE!

      • The foam was very expensive. Luckily, the lady at Joann’s turned us onto their app for the iPhone! It has all their current coupons on there; they just punch in the code at checkout and Viola! Instant coupon!

  1. Nice work – and congrats on getting those curves covered and without wrinkles! We did ours about a month ago and now I’m debating nailhead trim. Some projects are just never “done”

    • It took some doing to get the wrinkles out! It’s a good thing I have an extremely patient husband!

      We’re debating the nailhead trim, too. I think it would make it look a little more polished, but I’m not sure I’m okay spending another $100.

  2. That is the exact shape of the headboard that we are planning to make! We bought the 1/2″ plywood just last Thursday. ๐Ÿ™‚ MDF was a good idea!

    • Oh and I was planning on nailhead trim for ours, and was curious about the other comments about it costing $100 (which seemed high to me)– you can get 10 yds of the nailhead for dummies stuff (the kind that comes in strips versus individual tacks) for $45 at Joann, and with a 50% off coupon it would obviously be half that. And I haven’t looked, but I am willing to bet you could find some for a decent price on ebay. Just thought you might want to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I was commenting specifically on the nailhead trim they used in tenth ave south. I bought the DADS brand nailhead trim. If you go with the cheaper option you mentioned, then it would me much less expensive. Also, I made my headboard beefier with 2×4 (because that’s what we had on-hand and we have a king size bed that needs a bigger headboard) so my nail head trim was about twice the size of the specific one from tenth ave south, so mine might have been slightly more expensive. Nice nailhead trim is not cheap though! With the narrowet headboard, you can get away with some smaller trim and therefore might have some less expensive options than the DADs brand stuff! GOOD LUCK!

  3. What a beautiful headboard!! Must have inherited a talent from someone in your past!! Oh wait, I shouldn’t say that I am your Mamaw after all!! I’m at Aunt Jan’s house in Kansas. She is recuperating from back surgery so I came to help her. Your bed looks great! I love your little house big heart blog.
    It’s so cute. Love you, JJ and KK too!

  4. I would agree with your Mamaw, that u must have inherited your talent, that is very obvious in the outcome of that beautiful headboard, from someone in your past. However, I believe that it came from a different source than she proclaimed!!!! You and your hubby did a fantastic job and I wish u were closer to Indiana so that you could get your talent on at your Mommy’s house that is also getting some updating and renovation!!!!!!!

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