DIY Upholstered Headboard

JUL 1, 2014 updated Jun 4, 2021

Emma Jeffery of Hello Beautiful visits the Spoonflower blog today to share a custom upholstered headboard tutorial, a project made gorgeous, unique and comfortable in custom printed faux suede*. This simple and quick home DIY will make a big, personalized impact on your space!


Spoonflower’s new faux suede is the perfect fabric for making a statement piece like this upholstered headboard. I used a dramatic print from the Spoonflower marketplace by Jennifer Flannigan. This is a no-sew project and is simple in its construction. And whilst I’m more at home in a fabric store than a hardware store, this headboard requires more industrial supplies than you can find at your average craft store. I’ve tried to list my supplies as accurately as possible so that you can easily find what you need to create your own. Getting the foam and plywood cut in store really helps keep this project manageable if you don’t have access to or inclination to use your own power tools.

*Spoonflower’s Faux Suede was retired in the spring of 2018 but Celosia Velvet™ is a great alternative for this project! 

A word about yardage. Our king size bed is 76” wide and the depth of the foam I used for the headboard is 3”. Allowing extra fabric to wrap around to the back of the headboard, 3 yards of Spoonflower’s faux suede (54″ or 137cm, printed) was a comfortable amount and left room for centering the pattern. Check your bed’s dimensions and depth of your foam before estimating your required yardage.



  • Foam – I used a 3” thick foam which was 2 ft wide — the perfect height for a headboard — found at the craft store. I had measured the width of our bed and asked the assistant to cut a length of foam exactly to my dimensions.
  • Wood board – 7-ply, ¾” plywood. Again, I asked the assistant at the hardware store to cut the plywood exactly to my dimensions. I highly recommend using at least a 7-ply plywood that doesn’t bend, as you don’t want a headboard that bows in the middle.
  • Adhesive – I used a Vinyl Composition Tile Adhesive to glue the foam to the wood board and applied the glue with a trowel.
  • Heavy duty staple gun with 6mm staples.
  • 2 planks of wood measuring ¾” x 2.5” x 4ft.
  • Drill and 4 wood screws and 4 nuts, bolts and washers

Start by adhering the foam to the plywood using the trowel to spread the adhesive on to both surfaces, then glueing together. We allowed a couple of days for our glue to dry thoroughly and for any adhesive smells to dissipate. (Sidenote: the glue we used is solvent free and low in VOCs).


I had a pattern on my fabric that I wanted to align to the center of my headboard, so I marked a center line on the foam and positioned the fabric accordingly.


Starting from the center and working out towards the sides, I stapled the fabric to the back of the plywood along one long edge of the headboard. Then I flipped the headboard over and stapled the opposite side of the fabric to the back of the headboard, pulling the fabric taut as I did so.


Next, I worked on the short ends of the headboard and concentrated on getting neat folds at the corners, before stapling the fabric down.


The width of Spoonflower’s faux suede is the perfect size (54” wide) to cover the entire front and back of a 2 ft high headboard. I stapled the fabrics together at the back, along the overlap, for a neat finish.


To attach the headboard to the bed, we screwed two planks of wood to the back of the plywood. You could also cover these planks of wood in your faux suede first, if you want to make the sides of the planks less noticeable.


How you attach the headboard to your bed will depend on the construction of your bed. On our box spring bed, we were able to simply bolt the ends of the two wooden planks to the bottom of the bed frame. We raised the headboard off the mattress slightly, by propping it up on pieces of wood, before securing the ends of the planks to the frame. This will prevent the headboard getting in the way when changing the bedsheets.



Of course, I had to complete the look with a few new throw cushions made using some coordinating prints. I used Pillow Talk in grey and white by Jennifer Flannigan and Skyscraper bathed in Light by Elizabeth Vitale.



About Our Guest Blogger

Emma Jeffery, Spoonflower guest bloggerHi! I’m Emma, and as well as working on the Fiskars Design Team, I blog over at

I’m an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they’re not absolutely perfect. And though I’m no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.

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