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DIY Headboard: Step By Step Guide

Happy Monday!

This weekend, Alice (@alicemaughaninteriors) & I very much enjoyed running our first @myhomestyleseries workshop of the year on Saturday at Liv's in Solihull, helping some lovely ladies define their interior style. We are running the same workshop at Jaspers Of Hinckley on Saturday 21st March so if you would like to come along to that one or any of the other workshops in the series, you can head to our Eventbrite page for tickets and more information.

Now, the reason I'm mentioning our workshops (I promise it wasn't just a shameless plug!) is I was having a chat with one of said lovely ladies, also coincidentally called Alice, about her rental property and how she can't find a headboard she really likes so I suggested she had a go at making her own!

I definitely don't claim to be a good or even average DIY-er but this is actually an area I have some experience in! Last year I decided to make my own headboard due to the awkward pipe-boxing behind the bed* which meant a shop bought one wouldn't quite do the job.

So after some internet searching I managed to get a rough idea of how I could do it, but there wasn't a very straight forward guide anywhere so I thought I'd create one!

*My particular headboard was therefore wall hung rather than attaching to the bed base, but this method can be applied to all sorts of beds - you may just need to adjust your measurements slightly!

What You Need

  • Wooden Board(s) - I used chipboard which worked well (cut to size at B&Q)

  • Upholstery Foam (cut to size) - I got lucky and Dunelm made them the perfect size for what I needed!

  • Wadding

  • Fabric of your choice (this is a Clarke & Clarke fabric bought from Eden Fabrics)

  • Fabric Scissors

  • Staple Gun with plenty of staples

  • No Nails Glue

  • Wooden Battens

  • L-Brackets & Screws

  • Wall Hooks

  • Ideally a wonderful helper for the stapling section (my Mum was a big help!)

Step By Step Guide

1. Measure, measure & measure again! Figure out how big you want your headboard to be (width, height and depth) and decide if you'd like panels or squares, and if so, how many (or alternatively one large headboard!) - for the purpose of this guide I'll stick to three panels like I did.

2. Draw up your plan to work out how large your panels need to be, and how much wadding and fabric you'll need - remember if your fabric has a pattern repeat you need to look at how your fabric will match up at the joins, and also allow enough to wrap around the sides plus go around the back to staple on securely.

3. Once you have all your materials, you'll need a large flat area to lay everything out. First of all you'll want to glue your upholstery foam onto your wooden boards. As I mentioned, my foam was already the right size, but if you need to cut yours, I believe a Stanley knife is the best way to do this or there are websites where you can order the foam with your exact measurements.

4. Next up comes the wadding. I rolled out enough wadding to go around the board & foam, then lay the board (foam side down) on top of the wadding and cut to size. Then flip the board the other way up (with the wadding) ready for step 5.

5. Fold the wadding around the sides, top & bottom and staple to the back of the chipboard. At the corners we gathered the wadding until it looked pretty flat and stapled it in several places but you could also use a hospital corner sort of approach too.

6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 on all panels.

7. Similarly to the wadding we laid out the fabric (pattern side down), with the board on top (foam/wadding side down) to work out how much fabric we'd need. The fabric I chose had a very small pattern repeat so I didn't have to worry too much about that, but it also meant that I had to line them up carefully so the panels looked like they blended together well. This stage is very important to get right as you don't want to cut your fabric for it to be wong so perhaps pin it in place to check it'll work before committing to the cut!

8. When you're ready, repeat the same method as with the wadding, stapling down the sides, along the top & bottom, and at the corners use whichever technique gives you the neatest finish. We folded one side down, stapled and then folded the other side on top which worked well.

9. Now you have three beautifully upholstered panels. I found it helpful to lean them against the wall in position to work out which order looked best. Of course, if you're feeling fancy you can add buttons at this stage but I liked how mine looked without, and steps!

10. Next you'll want to fix the panels together. For this I bought three wooden battens cut to size at B&Q as well as some small L-brackets and screws.

11. I put one at the top, one in the middle and one at the base - measuring all the way across to ensure they were level. I also had a plug socket behind the headboard to work around so I made sure I left enough room for that (confession: my first attempt just caught the bottom of the plugs so I had to redo it!)

12. Secure the battens in place with the L-brackets - top tip: put them all in position before screwing them down to ensure you have enough!

13. Depending on how you're attaching your headboard, this step may not be relevant to you! I placed my headboard on the pipeboxing to work out where I'd need the wall hooks and marked them up on the top wooden batten, and on the wall.

14. I screwed one side of the hooks onto the wooden batten, and held the headboard up again to check my wall marks were correct.

15. Lastly, I drilled the holes in the wall for the other side of the wall hooks and fixed them on the wall ready to attach the headboard. And voila!

Definitely let me know if you try making your own headboard, I'd love to see your creations!

Thanks so much for reading,

Jess x

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