The Easiest DIY Headboard | Young House Love


We’ve made a bunch of headboards over the years and the method shown below is the all-time easiest and most customizable DIY headboard of them all. It doesn’t require any sewing, thread, buttons, or other technical upholstery knowledge. It’s so easy, we even made two headboards for this space. We are making a wraparound daybed-style headboard for our son’s room. It’s gonna turn his basic bed into a cozy nook for lounging, reading, and – of course, sleeping!

Here’s what his room and bed looked like before. It’s pretty bare bones because we just moved in. Update: See how his room looks after 2 years of living here, including the installation of his gradient accent wall.


Before photo of boys bedroom with daybed and blank walls



We know from our beach house bunk room that sometimes the kids hang out in the smallest, coziest rooms. So not only does adding a headboard up the lounge factor, it almost makes it like a big couch to chill in.

Why Make A DIY Daybed Headboard?

Every bed looks better with some sort of headboard, and this wraparound style is great for a daybed. It’s two separate pieces across the head and back wall. We didn’t need a third because we built a DIY bookshelf at the foot. But you could easily add a third panel. Plus you can make them any height and use any fabric that you’d like!

Materials & Tools

Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to make this super simple DIY headboard. This headboard is also super lightweight and easy to install – just another reason we love it! Keep in mind exact supplies will depend on your measurements.

How To Make A DIY Headboard

Here are the basic instructions to follow for this headboard tutorial. We’ll go into more detail for each below.

  1. Build A Lightweight Wooden Frame
  2. Wrap Frame In Batting
  3. Repeat With Fabric
  4. Hang Headboard On The Wall

Step 2: Wrap Frame In Batting

Next, it’s time to wrap the frame – first with batting, then with fabric. Sherry always says: “If you can wrap a present, you can make a headboard.” Just cut your material to size, leaving 2-3″ of overhang on all sides. Then fold it over your frame and staple it in place with a heavy-duty staple gun.


Sherry stapling fabric batting around wood frame for DIY upholstered headboardSherry stapling fabric batting around wood frame for DIY upholstered headboard



Depending on the thickness of your batting and how plush you want your headboard to feel, you may want to double- or triple-up your batting layers. We did two in this case.


Cutting second layer of fabric batting for attaching to DIY upholstered headboardCutting second layer of fabric batting for attaching to DIY upholstered headboard



TIP: Wrap Your Corners Like A Present!

Whenever we share a project like this, people are always curious about how to do the corners. They can be tricky, but here’s a general idea of how we get them to look tidy. We pull the corners together, trim off the excess and then staple the rest down, trying to keep it as flat as possible.


Step-by-step details of stapling and folding corner of fabric batting for DIY headboard projectStep-by-step details of stapling and folding corner of fabric batting for DIY headboard project



It’s not important that they look good, they just shouldn’t be too bulky. This is the back of the headboard, so extra bulk will make it hang less flush to the wall.

Alternate Idea: Glue on Upholstery Foam

If you want an even cushier headboard, try using upholstery foam instead of batting. You may need to add more cross braces to your frame to keep it from sinking through the slats. But it’s fairly easy to adhere to wood using craft glue. Just make sure you buy enough foam to cover your frame.

Step 3: Repeat With Your Fabric

Then you just repeat the process with your fabric. If you’re choosing a fabric with a pattern that needs to stay aligned or level (like a vertical stripe) you’ll need to be mindful of your placement. And if the fabric has a lot of stretch you need to be careful about pulling it evenly around your frame as you staple. Otherwise, you might warp your pattern or create accidental darts. Usually if you choose “upholstery fabric” you shouldn’t have much trouble with stretching.


Batting covered wood frame laid on floor atop fabric prior to staplingBatting covered wood frame laid on floor atop fabric prior to stapling



Again, the corners can be tricky, so just be patient as you figure out the best way to staple it so you get your desired look from the front and side. It’s not unusual for Sherry to fold it around a corner, hold it there without stapling, and flip it over to check that she likes how it looks from the front before securing it with a few staples.


Detail of fabric stapled around corner of DIY headboard for boys bedroomDetail of fabric stapled around corner of DIY headboard for boys bedroom



If you are doing a wraparound daybed style headboard like us, just repeat Steps 1 – 3 for the other sides of your bed. Here you can see the longer headboard we made for the back wall of our son’s bed.


Sherry stapling two layers of batting to second larger wood frame for DIY headboardSherry stapling two layers of batting to second larger wood frame for DIY headboard



Since it was much longer, we added a few more middle supports along the way.

Step 4: Hang Your Headboard On The Wall

Next, hang the headboard on the wall just like you would a picture frame. Heavier headboards typically require hanging with a french cleat (more about that in this post). So bask in the simplicity of this method!

We used our favorite cheap stud finder to locate studs in the wall, then hammered in some long picture hanging nails. You can also use wood screws. Just be sure to use a level to keep your headboard straight. Then you can simply rest the wood frame on the nails or screws.

We didn’t bother securing the two pieces together in the corner – they’re just hung so that they butt up against each other along that seam. And having the mattress wedged against them keeps them fully in place.


Close up of finished DIY headboard on two sides of built-in daybed in boys bedroomClose up of finished DIY headboard on two sides of built-in daybed in boys bedroom



It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the fabric has a subtle diagonal stripe – kinda like corduroy almost. So in person it has a cozy soft feel to it and a nice texture that makes it more interesting than a flat solid sheet of cotton.


Fabric detail on DIY upholstered headboard with subtle blue ribbingFabric detail on DIY upholstered headboard with subtle blue ribbing



We have some other ideas brewing for this bedroom, including some sort of paint, wallpaper, or wall treatment (we’re collecting some ideas to show our son and see which one he wants to go for). So this is just what it looks like about 8 weeks into living here. It’s fun to imagine where we’ll end up.

More DIY Headboard Tutorials

Want more DIY headboard ideas? Check out these other projects we’ve made using the same basic techniques:

Grid of upholstered headboard project ideasGrid of upholstered headboard project ideas

P.S. To follow along with our entire reno of this house, you can see every single update we’ve made right here in this FL House archive.

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