DIY Decor | Re-Upholstering A Headboard (And finally a place to rest my head...)

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Once upon a time, I had a headboard problem.

First, it was pretty ugly.  The wooden frame, itself, is just fine... but the upholstered pad inside it was... not so pretty. It was a combination of off-white-matte with a regal silky pattern on top. Not horrible... but also not fitting of my decor.

Then, I was a klutz. I was sitting in my bed and totally spazzed (happens a lot) and jumped up. My leg knocked a cup of coffee and it fell, in slow motion, as I mooed "NOOOOOOOOO" and fumbled to catch it (but was unsuccessful in that pursuit). At this point, it had become an ugly and coffee stain covered upholstery.

Then, while watching a movie in bed, I leaned back on it... and it sort of... popped out. I think it had taken enough of my verbal and coffee staining abuse and just decided to give up.

So it got a makeover!

We bought this fake leather fabric from Joann's and ended up with almost two yards of it. I draped the fabric over my kitchen table and laid the headboard to rest on top of it. There was a moment of silence in its honor... and then we moved on.

Saving about 3 inches on all 4 sides, we trimmed the fabric and saved the rest (it has ended up in a bow bracelet, a cuff bracelet, and leather coasters so far!).


Next, we flipped the headboard over, centered the fabric on top, and started stapling the fabric. No, we didn't staple into that wood table (but you aren't the only one who was concerned, if that helps). The headboard has about an inch of hard wooden backing (which was covered by the fabulous cream-silk pattern in the first picture). We made sure to send the staples into that wood.

Here's some progress. Notice that the staples aren't all perfectly straight. Chalk that up to human error... and sore wrists. Seriously, that staple gun is labor intensive! I had to jump and wail on it and eventually needed a stronger, manlier individual to take over.

Here's what the headboard looked like once we had stapled around the front on all four sides. See that odd looking, 3-inch flap of fabric on the outside of the staples? Yeah, about that...

We flipped the headboard over and began folding the extra fabric around the back and stapling.

To keep things clean, we tried to fold cleanly on the corners... but there's no foolproof rhyme or reason to it. Just keep folding and pulling and stapling.

And here's the headboard after all the stapling was said and done. That poor thing sure took a beating... but it looks so beautiful now!

But then... for the final set up. This took us months. No, I'm not kidding. We initially just shoved the newly and proudly upholstered piece into the wooden frame... but, not only did it stick out, there was also another problem...

THE STAPLES WERE SHOWING! Dun dun dunnnnn! It's like having your underwear showing... or worse, your snowman socks! Gasp!

Whats-a-girl-ta-do? We considered adding a thin layer of fabric around all four sides... but decided that would be far too difficult to line up and would end up causing the sides to be too think to fit into the frame easily.

So, at my fabulous mother's suggestion, we busted out the cure-all: No, not duct tape. A sharpie! We went around all 4 sides with a brown sharpie.

Yay, sharpie land! Check out the hideous staples pre-sharpie. So... silver and obvious and totally highlighting all of our stapling mistakes (see that one staple that is sooo not in the right place?).

Action shot. Notice those manly digits? Why no, those are not my man-hands. They are the man-hands of a particularly good looking man-friend of mine. Why yes, he does have nice hands. Thank you for saying so. He will be delighted.

Here's the headboard staples post-brown-sharpie. I'll admit, it didn't completely eradicate the problem, but it certainly camouflaged it. You can still see the staples when looking closely, but from afar, there are no silvery staples to be found! Hallelujah. And it was good.

See? No staples. Even with a pretty close view. Overall, I think they're sufficiently camouflaged.

Here's a shot from slightly farther away. See how well the leather-esque fabric goes with the bedding? I also love the design... the angular feel of the braided pattern goes quite well with the pillow shams.

And the far away shot! The wallpaper looks so funky here. In real life, it's not quite as hypnotizing...

So there you have it! The project that took about 3 months to complete! Now, as I fall asleep, instead of leaning back and having my head fall backward, through an empty frame, and hit the wall (yes, it happened), there is some real support for this noggin!  Merry Headboards to all and to all a Goodnight! :)


  1. SOOOO cute!!! and creative too ohmygosh!

  2. thanks for this post, i was looking for a tutorial for headboards - thanks so much and love the blog!

  3. This looks great! Wonderful job, and thanks for sharing!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

  4. This headboard looks great and the braided-like fabric you used.


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