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June 12, 2012

How To Make an Upholstered Headboard With a Drop Cloth

This past weekend I decided to make a new headboard out of a dropcloth I picked up at the hardware store.

I really love the way it turned out, and for about $10 worth of dropcloth, it's a great solution until we can upgrade to a king bed.

DIY Dropcloth Upholstered Headboard - Easy Tutorial!

I got the idea to use the dropcloth on our headboard after doing this project earlier this month.
You remember from my previous master bedroom posts, I already had a homemade upholstered headboard. 
While I loved my first version, I wanted try try out a different shape. So, I enlisted Jesse to cut it down to size for me.

Here's the shape of the template I cut out of some posterboard and then traced onto the plywood. (I forgot to capture a picture of this step, so bear with my sad little drawing!) I simply traced it one one half of the plywood, and then flipped it over to the other side so the headboard would be symmetrical.

Now that you have your plywood in the shape you want your headboard to be, (You can create any shape you want in this step. I kept it simple for Jesse's sake. Don't bite the hand that is willing to help you with your headboard.) the next step is adding the foam and batting.

 I attached some foam padding and old pillow foam (only because I ran out of foam and am super cheap.) using some spray adhesive.

Many tutorials I've seen say to cut the foam in the same shape as the headboard, but I actually chose to wrap the foam over the top and sides and staple it to the back before I added the batting. I'm glad I did too. I did it the other way on my first attempt at a DIY headboard and this one looked so much better! Wrapping the foam around the edges gives it a much comfier and more finished look.

The above picture is after I already had the batting on, but you can see how the foam is wrapped over the top and stapled on the back.

After I had my foam in place on the plywood, I wrapped the batting around the entire thing, pulled it as tight as possible, and stapled it around the back. The batting holds everything down and smoothes it out to give it an even shape. Batting is fairly inexpensive and can be found at most fabric stores usually for about $7-$10/yard.

Here is a picture of the headboard once the foam and batting is on. Since I ran out of foam and had to fill in some spots with pillow stuffing, the batting was very important, as it did a great job of securing everything in place. Hopefully, when you make your own headboard, you'll have enough foam. Plus, that bottom part goes back behind the mattress, so no one would see it anyways.

Now that everything is in place and ready to be upholstered, it's time to bring in the drop cloth! I chose a drop cloth for my upholstery fabric because it's basically a thick, durable cotton canvas and it was the perfect color. And it was $10 for nearly 5 yards.

I cut the drop cloth material to size and wrapped it around the entire headboard, stapling in the back. Since my headboard is hanging on the wall with D-rings, I wasn't too worried about how the back would look.

Basically you just want to pull as tightly as possible and check the other side every so often to make sure everything is even and being pulled smooth. I put a little more care into the edges. Folding them over like the below picture seemed to work best.

Now that the upholstery part of the headboard is done, it's time to affix the nailhead trim. And here's a little secret I've figured out. You can buy nailhead trim by the yard. The nailheads come in an attached strip, and you only have to hammer in every fifth hole. It's so much easier than hammering in a million individual nails, and it keeps them all in a straight line. I know many people prefer the look of individual nailheads, but for me this was such a timesaver!

The secret to easily adding nailhead trim! Saves so much time!

I was able to purchase nailhead trim by the yard really cheap on eBay. I've also seen it at craft stores, but for a higher price.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the sock....I couldn't find my mallet and since I didn't want to scratch my newly spray painted nailheads, so I put a sock on my hammer.
I realize how ridiculous that is.

So, that's it! My DIY dropcloth upholstered easy and inexpensive! And it looks great in our bedroom. 
(For a good laugh, you should see all the decorating mistakes I've made in this room in the past few years here.)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  1. Looks great. I will add this to my "Project list" for sure!


  2. VERY pretty. :o) i've contemplated doing this project for years but never got around to it. you may have me interested in getting around to it now. lol

  3. Gorgeous! I absolutely love it. Y'all did a great job!!!

    {my simple messterpiece}

  4. Just what I need! Its the one thing my room is definitely missing. Very creative and today I realised I need to invest in a jigsaw.


  5. Thanks ladies! Definitely try it's soooo worth it! :)

  6. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL~ Featuring you tomorrow. XO, Aimee

  7. Beautiful job - loved your previous one too!
    Your newest follower- would love to have you visit and follow back :)

  8. Oh wow. I never knew about nailhead trim by the yard..thanks! You did a really nice job. Great step by step, and nice choice of background music too! Salt n Pepa here!

  9. Oh wow. I never knew about nailhead trim by the yard..thanks! You did a really nice job. Great step by step, and nice choice of background music too! Salt n Pepa here!

  10. I would like to use the same drop cloth you used but have some confusion with what you said. Is the headboard fabric made from a drop cloth that came in a package from a home improvement store or did you buy cotton canvas fabric on a bolt in a fabric store?
    Your headboard and room is so pretty and serene.
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

  11. Beautiful! What were the measurements of the headboard and how much fabric did you need? Is yours a Queen bed?

  12. Hi Virginia, how does it attach to the bed frame? I am new to this, so I have absolutely no idea. -Lauren

  13. Brought here by your nailhead trim. Love love love how peaceful and calm your room is. It's like instant stress reliever by walking in. Want to move in there and never leave!

  14. Computer malfunction with my original comment. I want to move in here and never leave. It's so serene and peaceful!! Love!

  15. Great step by step directions...thank you!

    I hae wainscoting on the walls about 4 feet up. How did you hang the headboard?


  16. Where oh where did you find the foam padding? I can't wait to try this.

  17. New to your blog! Did you wash your drop cloth or treat it in any way? It turned out great!

  18. How did you hook the headboard to the wall with the D-rings?

  19. i just found your blog. I LOVE IT! you are a woman after my own heart. Most everything I have is a "reasonable facsimilie". you are inspiring and very talented!!!!

  20. I KNEW you'd done a great headboard and just searched back to find it...! I'm now going to make one myself, but not curved... just a rectangle seems easier for me...! I hope you're all keeping fit and well.... :)


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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