How to Make a Padded Headboard

Dress up your bed with this simple, soft padded headboard.

This headboard is designed to offer a cushy place to lean against for reading or watching TV. The padded, hard surface sticks out from the wall allowing you to wrap a fluffy cushion around it. You can easily remove and wash the case as needed.

Padded Headboard

Padded Headboard

Learn how to create a padded headboard

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Our instructions are for a twin size bed, but you can modify for a queen or king bed. Keep in mind, that upholstery fabric is not generally available wider than 54", so you may have a seam in the center of your headboard and/or cushion cover. It is necessary to position the hanging supports centered on the headboard and far enough apart for the cushion to fit between them.

Materials Needed:

  • (2) 1x2 x 8' pine board
  • (1) 2x3 x 8' pine board
  • saw or table saw
  • (2) 2’ x 4' particle boards
  • 1" wood screws
  • quilt batting
  • staple gun and 3/8" staples
  • 4-1/2 yards upholstery fabric (54" width)
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • (4) 2-1/2" L brackets
  • drill
  • (8) 3-1/2" wood screws
  • iron and ironing board
  • thread
  • fabric scissors
  • sewing machine
  • down or down alternative duvet filler or comforter
  • pencil
  • level
  • wing nuts

Cost: $$
Level: Intermediate
Time: one day

Assemble the Frame

Cut 1x2 boards into four pieces of 21" each and two pieces of 48" with a table saw (Image 1). Cut the 2x3 board into two pieces of 17". Lay the 1x2 pieces on one 2' x 4' particle board with the two long pieces along the long edges. Place the short pieces between them and distribute evenly with the two outside pieces flush with the short ends of the 2' x 4' particle board. Attach them with 1" screws (Image 2). Lay the other piece of particle board on top of the frame, and attach with 1" screws (Image 3).

Cover the Headboard

Wrap the headboard with batting and staple in the back with 3/8" staples (Image 1). Trim away the excess with scissors. With the board on a flat surface, attach fabric along the long edge at the bottom (Image 2). Wrap it around the bottom and around the side that is facing down. Next, wrap the fabric over the sides of the headboard and tuck in the corners. Staple the sides in place. Bring the remaining fabric over the side facing you, and fold the outside edges in to match the short sides of the headboard. Fold the bottom (loose edge in), and pull it tightly to match the bottom of the headboard. Place one staple in the bottom corners to hold the fabric in place. Run a bead of hot glue under the side edges and press them in place (Image 3). Pull the bottom fold tight, and hot glue in place. Note: This will be the back side. Alternatively, you could staple the sides and bottom in place or stitch them in place using a ladder stitch.

Attach the Hanging Support

Place two brackets on each of the 2x3 boards, one inch from the top and bottom. Mark the spots where the holes are on one 3-inch side of each board (Image 1). Remove the brackets, and drill holes for the bolts to be added later. Place the 2x3 boards on the back of the upholstered headboard. Place the boards 3" in from the side edges and 3-1/2" from the top and bottom. Attach the boards using 3-1/2" wood screws (Image 2).

Sew the Cushion Cover

Create ties by cutting 10 strips of fabric, 2" x 10". Fold each strip in half lengthwise, and press with an iron. Fold the long sides of each into the center crease, and press in place again (Image 1). Fold the two sides in half, and sew along the long outside edge. Sew across one end to close it up (Image 2). Cut the fabric into two pieces of 40" x 53". Fold one short end of each of the pieces at half an inch. Press in place. Fold each fold over again a half inch, and press in place. Pin and sew the folds close to the edge of the fold (Image 3). Lay the pieces face to face (with the folds facing outward), and pin them together on the two long sides and the bottom short side without the folds. On the bottom end, add one tie strip between the two layers at each corner and at 13 inches and 26 inches (four total). The ties should be sandwiched between the two layers and pointing inward (Image 4). Pin the ties in place. Sew the sides and bottom with a half-inch seam allowance (Image 5).

Attach Ties

Attach four strips to the fold of one side at the corners and at 13 and 26 inches using pins on the top end with the folds (Image 1). Sew them in place with backstitching. Cut the remaining two ties into four lengths of 3". On the opposite fold, curl the pieces over to form a loop at the spot that corresponds with the ties attached to the other fold. Pin the loops in place, and sew them with backstitching (Images 2 and 3). Cut the down or down alternative duvet filler to 39-1/2" x 52". Fold in the cut edges by half an inch, pin, and sew. Insert the duvet filler into the fabric cover (Image 4).

Install the Headboard

Draw a line with a pencil and level on the wall at that height you want the headboard minus 3-1/2". Attach the brackets to the wall pointing toward the center and 40" apart from each other (Images 1 and 2). Attach the second set of brackets 14-1/2" below the bottom of the first set. Insert a bolt into the holes of the boards on the attached 2x3 wood pieces. Press the headboard against the wall with boards on the back positioned on the outsides of the L brackets. Push the screws through the boards and the brackets. Secure them with wing nuts (Image 3). Wrap the covered duvet filler over the upholstered headboard with the ties at the bottom and the open end of the cover at the back. The fabric loops should be closest to the wall. Run the ties on the open end through the loops, and bring them to the front. Tie each with the corresponding tie from the front of the headboard (Image 4). Push the bed in place.

Padded Headboard

Padded Headboard

Learn how to create a padded headboard

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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