DIY Upholstered Headboard with a High End Look!

My favorite projects seem to be the ones that take inspiration from high end stores or magazines.  It is such a fun challenge to see if I’m able to recreate the look for much less, so when my mom had her eye on a tufted headboard at one of our favorite stores we knew we had our next project on our hands.

Don’t let the finished look fool you.  This project is much easier than it may seem, and in the end you are going to have a beautiful upholstered headboard!

DIY Upholstered Headboard

This is the third room that I’ve helped my mom with!  She originally asked me to help her with the grandkid’s room and then called me back in to help with her bright and bold living room!  Now that we’ve made our way into the master bedroom, I’m thinking I’m officially hired!  And it works out perfectly since I take her babysitting as proper payment!

I first shared this project over at Remodelaholic and can’t wait to show you all how easy it was. We used pegboard as the frame backing to make this project really simple.  It makes it so easy to add buttons since the holes are already there!  Let’s get started.

How to Make a Tufted Upholstered Headboard Using Pegboard


How to Build the Headboard Frame

Building the frame may be the most intimidating part of this project especially if you don’t have or know how to use power tools.  Don’t worry.  Most hardware stores will make the cuts for you right in the store, so you leave with everything cut and ready to assemble.

The size of your headboard frame will depend on the size of your bed.  We made this headboard frame the same width as the bed frame.  The height is up to you.  A good idea would be to tape it off using painters tape to get a feel for how tall you want it to be.  Once you know how high you want it, measure from the top of your bed frame to the tallest point on the wall. Whatever measurements you come up with will be the size that you have the peg board cut.  Then you will frame it on the back side with 2 x 4’s as shown below.

how to build a headboard frame with peg board

Once you have your frame assembled, you will want to plan out the placement of your buttons.  We had 5 buttons across and 3 buttons down.

Buttons going across: We divided the width of the pegboard by 6 (however many buttons you have going across + 1) and using a measuring tape we marked the width of each section on the back along the top.

Vertical buttons: First we subtracted the space that the mattress would cover before beginning.  So, take the height of your pegboard – the thickness of your mattress.  Now take that number and divide by the number of vertical buttons + 1. (We have 3 vertical buttons, so we divided by 4 to get 4 equal sections as shown below.)  Then measure down from the top (where you made your first mark for the buttons going across) and find the closest hole. Repeat moving down and mark each hole, then move across until you have all of your buttons marked.

vertical button measurements

We marked ours on the back side with a circle around each hole.  You may want to mark the front too, just so you have a visual of where your buttons will be on your finished project.  Better to find any mistakes now, versus later!

marking the holes

Attach the foam and batting

We had a 1 inch piece of foam cut at our local upholstery fabric store.  This way it was one big piece with no seams.

Line up the foam with the edges of the frame, lay the frame flat (front side up), and apply the foam to the front of the frame with spray adhesive.attaching the foam to the headboard frame

Once the foam is attached, lay out your lightweight batting and lay the frame on top with the foam facing down. Trim your batting so that when you wrap it up and around the sides of the frame you can attach it on the back side of the frame.  Staple it in place using a staple gun, making sure that the corners lay flat (like you are wrapping a present.)attaching the batting to the headboard frame

Adding the fabric:

Lay your piece of fabric out flat with the good side facing down. Again, lay the frame face down on the fabric. Then, fold the edges of the fabric up and over the frame and attach with a staple gun.

My best advice is to start with the sides, making sure that you pull the fabric tight, and then do the top and bottom of the frame.  The corners will take a little bit of practice to get them to lay nicely, but just play around with them until you like what you have, and staple them in place.  Keeping the seam along the edge of the frame will give it a really nice finished edge.

upholstered headboard

Adding the buttons:

On our first attempt we had upholstery thread and a big fat needle.  It didn’t work.  What did work was trellis wire! (Who knew?)  Any wire that is easily bent, but not too soft so that you can poke through the foam and fabric will work.  You will also want to be sure that your wire is not too thick. You will need to be able to pass it through your button holes.

Once the fabric was on we set the frame on its bottom edge and started adding our buttons.  This is a 2 person job.  I cut a piece of wire, then poked it through the headboard where we marked our holes.  When the wire came through the front, my mom added the button, and then bent it and pushed it back through the fabric close to where it originally came through.  You may have to poke around a little bit to find the hole again.

upholstered headboard with buttons

Once it came back through to me, I pulled the button tight by spreading the 2 pieces apart in opposite directions.  My mom was eyeballing the tufting as I pulled to make sure that the creases that were created were the look she wanted, and even from one button to the next.

I stapled each side of the wire in place and then pulled them back together and twisted them to keep them in place.  Then we repeated this process until all the buttons were on!

attaching the buttons

And this is the result of our DIY efforts!

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Hanging the Headboard:

We hung the frame on the wall so that the bottom was just above the bed frame using these large picture/ mirror hangers.  The easy instructions were on the package and it made the headboard solid against the wall.

hanging the headboard

Not too shabby for an afternoon’s work huh?

DIY no sew upholstered headboard tutorial

Between the pattern on the wall and the new headboard this room is off to a great start! The main focal point is in place and she says she smiles every time she walks into the room. I’d say that’s a job well done!

blog post signature

About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

50 thoughts on “DIY Upholstered Headboard with a High End Look!

  1. Kelsey says:

    I love the idea, is it possible to do on a headboard you already have?? I have an old one from my sisters old place and I want to fix it up. Do you think its possible to do something like this to it?


    This looks awesome! I am sure it cost much less to make than to buy. I am going to do this!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Woot! Hope yours turns out fantastic, Nicole!

  3. Stefanie says:

    Thanks so much for the great ideas! Had such a blast making this project. Am so pleased with the outcome! I even ended up making a matching bench for the base of our bed! So fun! Thanks again

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Wow, kudos to you Stefanie! I’ll bet that bench looks awesome too!

  4. Pamela says:

    I also have a Cali king and would like to do this exact head board! What size peg board did you use and where did you purchase? Thanks!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Pamela, The peg board is as big as you want the head board to be. The best thing to do is to tape off the wall with painters tape where you want the headboard to go and then use it to get your dimensions. I can’t recall where we purchased the peg board, but Home Depot would be my first recommendation. Often they will cut it for you as well. Good luck on your project!

  5. Marina says:

    How much fabric did you use?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Marina, It will depend on the dimensions of your headboard/ size of the bed you’re building it for so I can’t really answer specifically. It will also depend on how wide the fabric is, so it comes down to getting the dimensions of your specific project and doing the math depending on the fabric width. Thanks for your interest!

  6. Melissa says:

    Love this post! Awesome instructions! Made this with a slight variation but it turned out great! Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yay! So glad you tried it with great results, Melissa!

  7. Laura Annacelli says:

    This looks amazing going to try and make it next weekend

    Thanks for posting

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re welcome, Laura! Good luck on your project!

  8. This is so classy! Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Glad you like, Jeff. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I love the look of a padded headboard but they are always so expensive. Might have to use this tutorial to make one for my guest room.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so very welcome, Cathy. I’d love to know how yours turns out!

  10. Kristen Busha says:

    What size peg board did you use?

  11. Lena says:

    Roughly, about how long did it take to complete from beginning to end?

  12. shannon piwonski says:

    Hi there.. first let me say I love the headboard and the night stand too! I decided I could take on the project of creating a headboard for our master bedroom.. so far i have the headboard made and covered, I was going to basically fake tuft it however it looks horrible and I have to pull out the staples very carefully and attempt to try it your way now…. question, where did you get the buttons i wanted something with alittle bling to them! Any suggestions you can give would be great, would love to hear back from you! thank you!

    1. We picked up those buttons at Joann. You might also want to try amazon.

  13. Meka says:

    Hi! How did you attach the 2x4s to the pegboard? Did you nail them to the pegboard?

    1. We used screws.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    What was the rough cost of this project?

  15. Whitney says:

    This is exactly what I’m envisioning for my room!! Can’t wait to make my boyfriend help me make this! Haha also…where did you get those side tables?! Amazing! I see that they were painted but any chance you know where they were actually purchased from and what paint you used?!

    Thank you so much!

  16. Kari roper says:

    How many yards of fabric did you use?

  17. Vanessa says:

    Could bed egg crate be used as an inexpensive alternative to the expensive foam?

  18. Barb says:

    Just wondering what you used to paint the end tables?! They’re gorgeous! Love your work.

    1. Hey Barb. It is silver paint. My mom did them years ago and they have held up wonderfully.

  19. Kathy Miller says:

    How do you attach the 2 x 4’s to the pegboard?

    1. Hi Kathy. We just used wood screws. Just make sure the head is bigger than the holes in the peg board.

  20. Nikeva says:

    I totally love this look. I am in the process of redesigning my master bedroom and would like to do so without breaking the bank. A few questions for you:

    1. How much did you spend on materials?
    2. How much time did this project take?
    3. How many people worked on the project?

    1. I think the materials were less than 200 (but it will depend on the fabric you use.) It took a total of about 5 hours and there were 2 people working on it.

  21. Jordi says:

    What size was the peg board? I am going to make this head board 🙂

    1. Hi Jordi. The peg board is as big as you want the head board to be. The best thing to do is to tape off the wall with painters tape where you want the headboard to go and then use it to get your dimensions. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Definitely send me pics!

  22. Julie says:

    Can you do one for me too lol

  23. debbie says:

    Looks fantastic!! And instructions are easy to follow be trying this, thanks.

  24. Susan says:

    Hello this is amazing may I say! Goodness. Question we want these colors for our room. What material did you get? Thick? Also that dresser what paint is that? It looks beautiful as well with the light fixture. Please share

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  27. Desirae says:

    Love this.. Do you happen to remember the measurements you had the peg board cut and how many yards of fabric you needed for cal king bed?

    1. I don’t. It will depend on the measurements of your bed. And then if you google fabric calculator on google you should be able to turn your measurements into yardage with one of those tools. Hope that helps.

  28. Melissa says:

    Hi, Wonderful Project.
    What size where the buttons?

    1. Hi Melissa. I don’t remember exactly, but I think they are about an inch and a half.

  29. Tiffany says:

    What size bedframe did you make this headboard for?

    1. This was for a Cal. King bed.

  30. Darlene Rodgers says:

    This is great and the use of peg board instead of plywood is pretty dang genius!

  31. It really is surprising how high-end the headboard looks relative to how much work is needed to finish it. Thanks for sharing!

  32. What an amazing job, Corey! I made an upholstered headboard a few years back using a slightly different method, and this makes me want to re-do it..because they really are easier than they seem! And I love everything about that bedroom!

  33. Jody Le Bouton says:

    This is beautiful and just what I want for my bed. I don’t want a foot board cause I like to hang my foot over. I don’t know why but I would like a headboard to dress up the bedroom. This was easy to understand and I will enlist a helper as your mom was. Thanks for another great idea. I never had time to see so many exciting things to make and do. I worked 60 hour weeks. Now I look at one idea, scroll down and find six more. I am so excited to do things myself, It is very gratifying when someone looks at my flag from fence post and says where did you get that.

  34. Allison says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about this bedroom! Great job!

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