These easy DIY upholstered headboard projects can add just the right finishing touch to your bedroom. We give you instructions for an upholstered headboard that secures to the wall, as well as for a slipcover that mimics the look of an upholstered headboard but uses an existing two-post frame.
DIY Headboard-Project 1
DIY Headboard-Project 1

Michigan artist and designer Jana Bek, whose home was featured in our March/April 2019 issue, made a tropical headboard using a discounted Diane von Furstenberg leaf-pattern duvet (above). Here are two ways to make your own upholstered headboard.

Easy Fabric Headboard

With its soft edges and cushy feel, this is the perfect headboard for those who like to sit up or read in bed.

DIY Headboard-Project 1
DIY Headboard-Project 1

What You Need

1/2-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF)

2-inch foam to size

Fabric of choice to size

Batting to size

Spray adhesive

Staple gun


French cleat

Step 1: Cut Foam

To determine the size of your headboard, add 10 inches to the width of your mattress and at least 24 inches to the height of the bed. Cut 1/2-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and 2-inch foam to size, and attach the foam to the MDF with spray adhesive.

Step 2: Staple Batting and Fabric

Lay batting on the floor and place the headboard, foam down, on top; trim batting so a few inches will wrap to the back of the headboard. Begin wrapping and stapling the batting, starting at the center of one side and pulling it taut on the other side. Continue stapling in the same manner. Cut notches at each corner to remove excess bulk, and wrap batting around the corners neatly like a present. Repeat the process with your selected fabric (see photo below). Secure the headboard to the wall with a French cleat.

DIY Headboard-Project 1

Fabric Headboard Makeover

If you already have a wood headboard with two posts, you can fake the look of an upholstered headboard with a simple slipcover.

DIY Headboard-Project 2

What You Need

Sturdy tension rod

Tape measure

Polyester quilt batting





Sewing machine

Step 1

Install a sturdy tension rod between the headboard's two posts (below). Make sure the fit is tight.

DIY Headboard-Project 2

Step 2

Measure the entire width of the headboard, including the outer edges of each post (the batting will go around the posts, too). Measure the height of the headboard; double it. Cut a swath of polyester quilt batting (buy it at fabrics stores) to these dimensions.

Step 3

Drape batting over tension rod and posts, allowing it to fall evenly over the back side of the headboard. Whipstitch the front and back sides together along the left and right edges to hold in place.

Step 4

To create the slipcover, measure the width of the headboard, again to the outside edges of each post. Add 2 inches to this measurement to allow for 1/2-inch-wide side seams and room for the batting. For length, measure from the top of the tension rod to the bottom of the headboard. Add 2 inches to this measurement for the top seam and hems. Cut two pieces of your fabric to these dimensions.

Step 5

Place right sides of the fabric pieces together; pin along top edge and the two side edges using 1/2-inch seam allowances. Fit the pinned cover over the headboard and tension rod to check the fit. Adjust if necessary. Stitch together along these three edges.

Step 6

Sew a double 1/2-inch hem along the bottoms of the front and back pieces. Turn right sides out. Fit the cover over the headboard and batting. You're done!