DIY Upholstered Headboard

Hello friends! We have finally made it to the final project that completes this Murphy Bed: a headboard! I knew that this space wasn’t fully finished until I added this special detail, and I feel like it pulls everything together perfectly. (I’m pretty sure my pups think this bed was made specifically for them!)

When we decided to build a murphy bed into this space, my biggest caviat was the appearance of the structure. This addition needed to be a part of this house, and I still wanted to give a cozy, homey vibe while maintaining the multi- function purpose of this room. I think we have done a pretty stellar job achieving that goal, but when I pulled the bed down, the space just looked…unfinished. So I decided to DIY a beautiful, soft, comfortable headboard! Here’s how I did it:

You can find real-time projects and updates on my Instagram: @theroostingplace


  • 1 sheet 3/4″ plywood (If you want a sturdier headboard, use 1″ plywood. I opted for the thinner so it fit inside the folded bed)
  • 2 rolls of 24″x72″x1″ project foam (you can also use thicker foam and buy it by the yard if you want, I found this was cheapest)
  • Quilt Batting
  • 2 yards upholstery fabric of choice*
  • Staple Gun + 3/4″ staples
  • 29 buttons of choice
  • Super Strong Fabric Glue (Aleene’s or E-6000 work great)
  • 1/2″ hooks
  • Hanging wire or D-ring hangers

The Process

Determine the desired shape of headboard, then draw it out on the plywood. A standard queen headboard should be 62-65″ wide, depending on the amount of hangover. (As for height, I made my headboard 3 feet tall at the highest point, which I feel is pretty standard. You can make yours taller, just keep in mind that the amount of extra material you may have to buy.)

I opted for the “cleveland” style. To draw out a rounded top, use a pencil and attach a piece of string to it. Hold the other end of the string, and pulling taut, use the pencil to create an even arch. I then used a bowl to get the extra curves on my edges. Using a jigsaw, cut out the drawn shape.

Next, lay out and stack batting, then foam, then plywood. Mark out the edges of the headboard giving an additional 2″-this will ensure enough material to wrap over the top of the board and be stapled to the back.

First, staple the foam by pulling the pieces tight over the edges. Start at the “break” between the 2 pieces of foam and staple the sides first to prevent a split in your foam. Then pull the edged tight and staple all the way around. Repeat the process with the batting. (Batting diminishes the appearance of the split in the foam. You can double the batting up if you wish.) Even with my goof split, my batting hid it and paired with the upholstered divets, this isn’t noticable at all.

To create the upholstered look, flip the headboard over to the front, then lay the material over the top. It is important to not attach the edges first to ensure there is enough slack for the divets. Meausure out placement for the first divet- I chose 12″ apart and eyeballed my first placement. Use the stapler to make an X and create a divet. Measure 12″ over and down and repeat until there are enough to make you happy.

Once all the divets are made, flip the headboard back over and staple the fabric around the edged and to the back, pulling the fabric tight to avoid unwanted wrinkles. *(tip: when picking your fabric, check out the sale fabric section! I got 2.5 yards of fabric for 50% off the original price plus most places will give an additional discount for buying the end of bolt*

While you are back here, attach your hangers! Use a level and a measuring tape to screw your hangers of choice into the back of the headboard. ** (I used wire and screws because I didn’t want to go back to the store, but you can also use d-rings to make your life simpler.)

Flip the headboard over again and use the glue to attach buttons. Let the adhesive dry before moving the headboard to a vertical postion to ensure best adhesion. While the glue dries, let’s attach our hooks to the wall!

Because my support board for the murphy bed was a few inches off the wall, I used a stud finder to locate studs and screwed a 2X4 into the wall as an “extender” so the headboard could sit flush. Using a drill bit, first make a small pilot hole, then screw the hooks into the wall. Make sure to measure out the distance of your hangers then place your screws. If you are attaching directly to the wall, skip the 2×4 step and simply insert your hooks directly into studs. **Also, if you aren’t attaching to a 2×4, you will want to locate studs first before attaching the hangers to your headboard.**

Last step is to hang it up and to stare blissfully at your beautiful creation! The end! Mine sits perfectly when we fold and unfold the bed, and gives such an elegant final touch to this space. While it has it imperfections, I’m overall super pleased with the look and cozy feel it brought to this room! Now my guests have a place to comfortably rest, and I hope gives them a home-away-from-home comfort.

Let me know if you make one and if this method works for you!

Talk soon,

xx, Lanna

Leave a Reply