Measure your headboard's width, height and depth to calculate the amount of fabric needed to cover the headboard using 1/2" seams. (If your headboard can be easily removed, then alternatively put the headboard on top of your fabric and trace a pattern around it that includes seam allowances.) Be generous with measurements and round up to be safe, it's better to add more inches and trim it down later. Here was our formula: the top strip of the headboard measured 3" x 67" and will have 1/2" seams on every side, so the final piece measured 4-1/2" x 69". The front/back measured 35" tall x 67" wide, we added 4" to the height to account for the bottom hem plus the 1/2" seam allowance resulting in two pieces at 39" x 69". The tapered sides were trickier because they are 3" wide at the top and 8" wide at the bottom. So we calculated two slanted fabric pieces at 4-1/2" wide at the top, 10" wide at the bottom, and 39" tall.
Cut one piece for the top, two pieces for the sides and two pieces for the front/back. If you're using a patterend fabric, try your best to match the design at the seams by cutting the front piece first, then matching up and cutting the top and sides, with the back last as it is the least likely to be seen.
The piping will need to stretch around slipcover corners which means we must cut piping fabric strips on the bias (bias means cutting fabric at a 45-degree angle where the threads are stretchy). There are two popular ways to cut bias strips. We recommend the following method to minimize the number of seams: Start with 1/2 yard of fabric, or up to one yard of fabric if you desire (more fabric means fewer seams yet more fabric waste; we used one yard). Fold one corner of your fabric into a right triangle, then iron the folded edge and cut off the triangle. (NOTE: It is not necessary to cut strips on the bias when making piping that will only be used on straight edges. However, because the headboard piping curves around two slipcover corners, strips should be cut at a 45-degree angle.)
Calculate the amount of needed piping by measuring the headboard and adding together the two sides plus the top. Ours was 35" (right side) + 35" (left side) + 67" (top) = 137", plus 2" for the hem and round up for safety, so 140" total. Cut fabric strips wide enough to enclose the cord plus seam allowance. The formula is: 2x cord width + 2x seam allowance and round up. For example, for 3/16" cording and 1/2" seams, 3/16" + 3/16" + 1/2" + 1/2" = 1-3/8" — then round up a bit to account for folding so cut enough 1-1/2" fabric strips to make our 140" of piping.
Technically, there is a bit of sewing in this no-sew piping method, it is for attaching the strips together into one long strip. Place one strip right-side up on the table. Place a second strip at a 90-degree angle, right sides together, with 1/4" triangle overhanging above and 1/4" triangle overhanging on the side. The overhang is important to ensure the strips will line up once sewn.
Sew the strips together, right sides facing using a 1/4" seam. Press open and cut off the tiny triangles above and below the joined strip. Continue joining strips until you have one long piece that is the length of your needed piping.
Alternatively, if you want to take a bit more time to match the patterns on your piping, place one strip right-side-up on the table. On a second strip, fold a right triangle wrong-sides together and slide it along the first strip until the pattern matches (Image 1). Carefully unfold the second strip so it's now at a 90-degree angle. Pin from the upper right corner of the second strip at a 45-degree angle and sew 1/4" above the pins (Image 2). Cut the extra seam allowance down to 1/4" and press open.
Now the easy no-sew part! Usually, you would have to sew close to the cording which can be tricky and look messy. Instead, just use easy iron-on hem tape. Lay the long bias strip right-side-down on the ironing table. Place the cording in the center of the fabric, and place the iron-on hem tape just below it (Image 1). Fold over the fabric and iron the hem tape following package directions to enclose the cording (Image 2). Voila! Perfect custom piping with no messy stitches (Image 3). Set the piping aside for a moment.
Pin the slipcover top piece to the two slipcover side pieces, right sides together, to make one long piece, sewing 1/2" seams. Drape the sewn piece onto your headboard to check the fit and adjust if needed. If you need to make adjustments on the top/sides, you’ll need to also take in the front/back accordingly.
Pay close attention to the corners to be sure the piping curves around corners nicely before pinning the layers together (Image 1). Continue pinning. At the hemline, slip the piping to the side (Image 2). This will give you a nice finish by hiding raw cording edges and avoiding bunchy piping.
Switch to a zipper foot, it helps you get closer to the piping. Sew 1/2” seam to attach the front piece to the top/sides piece. Here’s a trick: place a piece of painter’s tape onto your sewing machine at 1/2” to help sew super straight. Once sewn, trim the raw ends of the piping to 1/2” long.
Place the slipcover right-side up on your work surface. Layer the front/side/top piece, right-sides together. Pin and sew using 1/2" seams to attach the remaining pieces. Optionally, finish seams with a zigzag stitch to keep raw edges from fraying.
Try the slipcover on your headboard to double-check the hem length. Then turn up the hem, press and sew (Image 1). For a more professional look, avoid sewing over piping. Just stop at the piping and backstitch, then move your needle to the other side of the piping, backstitch and continue sewing (Image 2).
Slip the headboard slipcover over the headboard (Image 1). Now that you're cozy headboard cover is all finished, pair it will throw pillows or new bedding to match your new look (Image 2).