DIY Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Detailed Arms


I keep getting asked, so I'm putting all the links right here. Comment if you have any questions and I'll get back to you ASAP. Good luck! -Lisa

Foam Pad <--so much cheaper than buying custom foam!

Buttons <--(you'll need 30 buttons, so get 2 packs)


Upholstery nails/tacks (smooth finish) <--You'll need 5 packs to get 500 tacks (I used about 480 tacks).

Upholstery Needle

Staple Gun

Fabric (Yep, that's right. I used IKEA curtains. Note: On one side of the headboard, I had less than an inch of extra fabric to spare, so if you're risk-averse, you could just buy regular fabric.) 

It's done! I saw this tutorial for a DIY Upholstered Headboard back in January, ordered all my supplies . . . then proceeded to have morning sickness/lack of energy for the next several months. Plus, my handsome carpenter (hubby) was out of town for months, so he didn't have time to get the initial frame done. But alas, we finally got around to it and it's done!


I thought the tutorial was very helpful (she answered so many questions in the comments, so search there if you have questions), so thank you sarah m. dorsery designs. I did my own thing for the buttons, patterning more after this restoration hardware upholstered bed.


Her cost estimations were pretty close--I spent about $150, although my breakdown was a little different. Wood was more expensive, but I saved other places, like on foam (I ordered this full-sized memory foam mattress pad--worked perfectly) and on fabric (I used IKEA curtains--the same ones I used in my living room). $150 is definitely on the high end for my usual type of DIY project, but we really needed a headboard and similar headboards sometimes retail for hundreds more, so I'll take it.


Some tips I learned along the way that I wanted to pass on to anyone attempting this project:


secured my buttons differently. Sarah and her husband secured the buttons to the back using staples. I found it was easier and sturdier to fold pieces of scrap fabric multiple times and use that to secure the buttons. A'like so:



ironed my fabric before stapling to the board and adding my buttons. Pull the fabric tight, but--especially if you used memory foam--don't freak out if your headboard looks like this (super wrinkly) after adding all the buttons: (p.s. You'll need a staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the board--if you need one, this is a good (and cheap!) one.)


I was *this* close to cutting all the buttons off and starting over with thicker foam and pulling the fabric tighter, but thank goodness I was too tired to mess with it anymore that day because by the next morning, the memory foam had expanded more and helped smooth out the wrinkles. In addition, I used a $2 travel-sized bottle of Downy wrinkle release to help where the fabric was being pulled too tight and consequently puckering.


Adding the arms was probably the most cumbersome part of the project. Definitely clear away little holes for the screws, like Sarah says. And if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. We had to completely unscrew one of the arms and redo it before we got it on right. We found the best method was to put the whole headboard and arm on our kitchen table while we screwed it in.


Then put on a couple chick flicks, mark where you want all the nailheads to go (I did them every 1/2"), and go nuts! Not gonna lie--it was a lot of nailing.




Here is the finished product!


And here it is in our master bedroom. To see more DIY project detail (how we did the wall moulding, sconces, pillows, etc), subscribed and stay tuned--I'll be posting more detail on our Master Bedroom renovation soon.

For more personal finance tips, DIY Projects, and organization, "like" us on Facebook," add our blog to your readers ( or subscribe by e-mail (we post once or twice a month). 


DIY Fail - Any projects you've started lately that you can't seem to motivate yourself to finish?


DIY Success - What would you consider your most successful DIY project to date?





In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.