Want a great, easy weekend project that can change the look of a whole room? Upholster a headboard:
This is what the headboard looked like before I upholstered it:
I could live with the wicker, but I never really liked it. It was in the guest room, so I didn’t see it every day. I’m just not a big wicker fan.
But when I was spring cleaning, I noticed that the wicker was only attached with screws and a plywood backing.
The wheels started turning…and before I knew it, I had removed the wicker insert.
I had fabric that I knew would work for an upholstered headboard insert, so I just needed supplies.
- 1/4-inch plywood, cut to size
- spray adhesive
- spray paint if needed for the frame
- fabric (I already had).
I went to the hardware store for supplies and had the plywood cut to size there. The big box hardware stores will cut the wood for you.
A word of caution, though: When you have a piece of wood cut at a hardware store, make sure you measure the cut piece before you leave the store. Make sure it’s actually cut to the right measurements.
Because I watched the guy measure the wood and then cut it, and I just assumed he was accurate.
He wasn’t. He cut it an eighth of an inch too wide. And that’s a lot when you need the plywood for an insert into a hard frame.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until I had already upholstered the board and tried to fit it into the headboard. Oops.
I ended up sanding the board down the eighth of an inch I needed and it fit perfectly. Whew. Lesson learned.
OK, back to our upholstering story…
To upholster the board, I first cut foam to the size of the board (I got the foam and batting at a local fabric store). I took the board outside, sprayed it with spray adhesive, and pressed the foam down onto the board to attach it.
Then I brought it inside and laid out the fabric and batting so that the fabric was positioned how I wanted it:
Then I wrapped the batting and fabric around the board, and, pulling it tight, stapled each in place with a staple gun. Staple down the batting first, then staple the fabric. That way, you can smooth out any wrinkles that might pop up as you pull the batting taut.
Here you can see the layers: wood, foam, batting, fabric:
And there it is.
For the frame, I spray painted it with a paint-and-primer-in-one in Satin Black. It took three light coats of spray paint to cover it completely.
Once the paint had dried completely, I attached the upholstered plywood to the frame with the original screws.
And now I love this headboard.
The whole project – minus the sanding down the wood because it wasn’t cut to size properly – took me about three hours, total. It’s an easy way to change the look of an entire room.