Monday, January 21, 2013

diy upholstered headboard and foot board//part 1

our little 22 month old is perfectly happy and content sleeping in her crib.  she goes down perfectly, sleeps 10+ hours a night and has never tried to climb out.  she tries to climb in to play in it, but never out.  in just 9 short weeks our baby will be here and we knew we needed to get wren out of the crib and into a bed well before the baby came so she would be adjusted and not upset when we put the baby in "her" crib.  well this weekend was d-day.
our needs:
-twin bed
-low cost
-something with a foot board
-something safe
-something she would like for years to come
our wants:
-a matching headboard
-a bed low to the ground
-something pretty
out of this came a metal bed frame with a mattress, and diy upholstered headboard and foot board.
for christmas i got a home depot gift card from my work, SCORE!  i already used part of it when i made our DIY painted dropcloth zebra hide rug.  but still had plenty left.  i woke up early saturday morning and headed to home depot.  i purchased a sheet of 1/2" plywood, had them cut it to size, some screws, a 1x4 (had them cut it in half) and spray adhesive.  next stop was walmart.  i picked up some batting, metal bed frame, foam and a mattress pad, then i was headed home.  by this time everyone was awake and i was excited to get started.  
daddy took wren over to papaws for awhile and i got to work.
first, gather your supplies
-1/2"-3/4" plywood  
( i did 1/2", since it was for a twin bed it was plenty sturdy, i had them cut two pieces at 39"wide x 31" tall)
-1" to 2" foam 
( i went with 1.5" foam, you can go thinner or thicker depending on what you want, the thicker the better)
-spray adhesive
(i had home depot cut this in half, they did it for free, giving me 2 pieces at 36" long)
-staple gun
-drill bit
(something durable, cotton or a home decor/upholstery fabric)

i went with a standard size bag of batting from walmart, you just want to make sure you have enough to pull taught around your headboard and foot board(if you are doing both), about 4" extra on each side so you can get a good grip.

 it was cheaper to purchase memory foam than foam in the craft section.  i went with memory foam for a full size bed, twin size would be enough if you were just doing a headboard, but i am doing a foot board as well.

i used 3M general purpose spray adhesive.  if you are wrapping the headboard/foot board with batting anyway, that will ultimately keep the foam in place, but the spray adhesive was nice for added adhesive and kept things in place while i upholstered. 

i purchased this amy butler fabric from fabricworm.  i calculated that i would need 3 yards, if you are just doing a twin headboard, you could get by with 1 yard.  i needed a yard for the headboard and a yard for each side of the foot board.

okay, first things first.
draw your shape onto your headboard and foot board
foot board
being that this bed is for a toddler, and her first "big girl bed" at that, we needed rounded corners.  i kept the foot board simple.  it is rectangle with rounded corners.  you could get more detailed here but i liked the focus being on the headboard, the foot board is more of a safety measure so she doesn't fall off the end of the bed.  i lined up a mason jar to the edges and traced.

i had some help, so it is a little hard to see my trace marks, see image below
the yellow line marks the shape i wanted to make the headboard.
i used standard household items to make the rounded edges mixed with straight lines.  i got the idea for the shape of the headboard from wren's toy box that her papaw made her.  see photo here.

next it was time to use some power tools.  the best way to cut the shape is a jig saw.  make sure you have something to elevate the headboard/foot board on to get it off the ground.  you will need some stability and will need to apply pressure with your "free" hand to hold the board in place.  i used buckets, we are legit around here.  this was my first time using a jig saw, i could not believe how incredibly EASY it was, i felt like super woman.  i even went to the point to tell my husband i felt like a carpenter!  he was quick to assure me that i was not doing things the way a carpenter would:) thanks hubs.
foot board
this is the foot board after the edges have been rounded with a jig saw, most people would sand those edges down, but i didn't.  since i would be applying, foam and batting, i knew it wouldn't matter.

there may be some splintering of the wood, but as long as it is nothing major then the foam and batting will hide those imperfections.  if you aren't doing anything too shapely, you could apply duct tape to the area you will be cutting to avoid splintering, and then remove the duct tape once it is cut.

next lay your foam out flat, and place the boards on top.

then cut the foam

 i just used plain old scissors for this step, again do not worry about perfection, because batting will cover this up.

next, adhere the foam to the headboard and foot board using spray adhesive.  you will want to take this step outside if you are not outside already.
spray the wood evenly all over.  it was an extra windy day so i went back and sprayed the edges as well to make sure they were well coated.  apply your foam and press.  this sticks instantly, you do not need to wait for it to dry

next, cut your batting to size and wrap batting around the foam, apply to the back of the board using a staple gun.
make sure to pull it taught as you go.
then trim away any extra batting



 next i wanted to add some height to my headboard, so this is where those two, 36" 1x4's came in handy.
i measure the height from the floor where i wanted the headboard to be and marked lines on my 1x4's.  i squared them up with the headboard and pre-drilled my holes.  then i put my screws in!

as you can see this is a VERY long tutorial, so i decided to split it in half.
.......stay tuned for part deuce!


  1. This is a fantastic tutorial...thank you!

  2. Please share with me your results if you make your own!!

  3. When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style. upholstered beds