DIY Network

Creating a Paneled Headboard

This DIY Basic will provide tips on creating a paneled headboard.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

2x4 untreated lumber
4x8x1/2-inch untreated plywood
power drill
1-3/4-inch wood screws
staples and staple gun
sandpaper or orbital sander
electric knife
upholstery foam
spray adhesive
multipurpose glue

Step 3: Sketch the Headboard

Showcase new bedding with a three-paneled headboard covered in a neutral fabric.

Untreated lumber emits fewer VOCs than treated wood, MDF, or particleboard and is safer for use in a bedroom.

Tip: If you decide to do vertical panels, they will draw eye up and make ceiling look higher. Three panels together should be 2 inches wider than mattress and as tall as you like.

Sketch panels on butcher paper and tape to wall to check shape and size.

Step 4: Build the Frame

Trace panels on 1/2-inch plywood and cut out with jigsaw. Sand edges smooth.

Build frame of 2x4s to fit exterior measurements of three panels together.

Use pocket holes to screw together frame.

Tip: Frame sides should extend to floor to form legs.

Step 5: Upholster the Panels

Using spray adhesive, glue upholstery foam to each panel, then trim it to fit with an electric knife.

Tip: When using spray glue, wear paper mask and work in well-ventilated area.

Using spray adhesive, cover foam with batting, overlapping 4 inches around the edges and stapling in place on back.

Using spray adhesive, cover batting with fabric, overlapping 4 inches around the edges and stapling in place on back.

Tip: The thicker the fabric, the less the batting will show through.

Use spray adhesive to glue linen tape over raw edges on back of panels.

Step 6: Attach the Frame and Panels

Lay panels face-down on floor. Position frame on top of panels.

Pre-drill holes and screw frame to panels from back. Use a depth gauge or precision thickness gauge to make sure screws don’t penetrate front of panels.

Attach headboard legs to bed frame with L-brackets or screw them into wall studs.