A headboard from drapery?  You betcha!  Does it remind you of those scenes from Sound of Music and the drapery upcycled into clothing?


I started with a pair of drapes I purchased especially for this project.  I wanted something with a very organic look since we had already bought a tree to go over our heads (you’ll see in a moment what I mean).  You can see the brown on brown pattern to this fabric.

We started with a 3/4″ piece of MDF board (or you can use plywood) that we cut to the width of the bed, and the preferred thickness of foam (in this case 2″), which we also cut to the exact dimensions as the board.  Because I wanted my finished headboard to have nailheads showing, I opted to go this route instead of wrapping the foam around to the backside of the board.  Next, lay them both flat and glue the two together using either a wood glue or E6000.  This step ensures that the two won’t move while you fit the fabric around the board.

Turn over your fabric so the back side is facing up and carefully lay the  board/foam over the top of it.  If you have a patterned fabric that’s either horizontal or vertical, take care to make sure your lines are straight.

Using a heavy duty stapler, staple the fabric to the board so that its’ snug, but not tight.  You don’t want to pull the foam down.  The picture shows a corner that was wrapped so the folds are evenly spaced.  It really won’t matter what the back side of your headboard looks like because it will be against the wall in most cases.

Once the fabric was stapled down and looked how I wanted it, I got to work on getting those upholstery tacks (or nailheads) in place.

Next, I measured the top portion of the board where I wanted to use the nailheads.  I cut a 3/4″ strip of paper and measured and marked 1″ between each mark.


This was a good space for the width of my nailheads…yours may be different depending what size nailhead you choose.  I also drew a horizontal line to mark the middle of my paper which in turn, is the middle of my board’s width.  Where these two lines intersect is where you’ll place each nail.  Lay the strip of paper right over the fabric on top of the board.  Feel the edges with your fingers to be sure you get it right on top. You can tape the paper in to place while you do the next step.

Next, center the nail on top of the hash marks you created earlier.  If your spacing doesn’t look right, don’t go any further.  Remove the paper, flip it over and make a new set of spacing marks.

Pound the nailheads in with a rubber mallet so as not to damage the nail.  Don’t pound them in ALL the way yet!  Just lightly tap to keep them in place.  Then remove the strip of paper and you can pound away.

Next, you’ll probably want to attach some legs to the headboard unless you were able to figure out a way to cleanly attach it directly to the wall.  We were not.  So we cut some legs of the same 3/4″ MDF board and used a simple bracket to hold them together.  Using a heavy duty bolt and washer, measure twice and screw each leg into the wall securely so it doesn’t have any movement.

Move things back into place and you have yourself a DIY headboard.

We shaped our headboard to resemble a hill for our tree to sit atop of.