Upholstered Headboard on a Budget


Tell me, who doesn’t want one of these?  
Stevenson Nailhead Headboard
I’ve been browsing the Ballard designs catalog and of course– all of the wonderful inspiration in blogland . . .

Brandi @ Don’t Disturb this Groove made an awesome upholstered headboard out of trim and cardboard!

Censational Girl, has quite a few (GREAT) tutorials for Upholstered headboard’s on her blog:

and most recently, I admired Jenna’s at Jenna Lou Loves You:

So I gave it a shot! I got my hubby to dig out some scrap plywood we had leftover from another project and propped it up on my saw horses.


I measured the length of my mattress, plus an inch and a half and cut the plywood to size.


I then looked at my inspiration photo in Ballard’s catalog.  I eyeballed the curve that I wanted and sketched it on the plywood.   


Then I cut the curve out using my jigsaw. I used the cut out piece as a template for the other side, then cut that side with the jigsaw as well.

I was pretty anxious to get this started and I’m cheap thrifty soooooo I simply used one of those egg crate mattress pads that I had floating around—instead of foam and batting.


Then it began to rain, so I brought it to the basement and began wrapping the foam (egg crate side down) around the plywood “frame” and stapled the foam tightly to the plywood.


I then trimmed the excess with scissors.894

Next I folded the corners neatly and stapled the foam being sure to keep it smooth and tight.



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Although you can see the ridges, you can’t see the texture of them from the opposite side.


Once again, because I’m cheap thrifty, I used an extra sheet for the fabric of the headboard, and then repeated the steps that I made with the foam.


My little guy loved it-he said “Nice soft bed mom!”



I then began adding the upholstery tacks, once again, eyeballing the curve.  I would recommend measuring and creating a template of some sort, but I just kinda winged it Winking smile.


I used my hammer and went to town! (With Cayden’s help of course!)


Here I am doing some more “eyeballing” . .  . I’m rather pleased.




Here it is in my room, partially finished because——- I ran out of upholstery tacks, lol! 

 That’s what happens when you wing it folks!



More on this headboard tomorrow!



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  1. Brandi
    November 5, 2011 / 4:11 am

    I love how you are not afraid to pick up a saw to get things done! Your headboard looks just like the one you had in mind from Ballard! And you did a wonderful job "eyeballing" those upholstery tacks! I love how Mr. Cayden was right there to give you a hand! Too cute! Thank you so much for including me in your post Carli!! Hope you enjoy your weekend my friend!

  2. Karen
    November 5, 2011 / 4:21 am

    Ballards got nothing on you girl, your headboard looks fabulous. The tacks look great and I love your bedding.

  3. Anonymous
    November 5, 2011 / 1:25 pm

    You did a great job! I love it. I need a headboard!

  4. Tauja @ Simply Mod Mom
    November 5, 2011 / 4:27 pm

    Great job on the headboard!! You make it all seem so, so easy!! Smile! Gorgeous bedding too-love the colors!!

  5. Rece
    November 7, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    Your headboard looks awesome. I couldn't even tell the difference between your headboard and the one from Ballards.

  6. Gypsy Heart
    November 9, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    I'm impressed! Now…please come over and help me do one…pretty please. 🙂 Seriously, I've been looking through blogland for ideas…I just don't have the saws, etc. I do think I'm going to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and see if they will cut one for me. I know I can cover it!How did you attach it?Pat

  7. Nicole-Lynn
    November 28, 2011 / 2:52 pm

    Love it! You did a great job! I have been looking online for a tutorial and I love that you just kinda winged it and it still looks awesome! 🙂 Loving the shape of yours too. I have seen some without a little curve and I have thought they were missing something.. the curve at the top corners definitely make it! Thanks for sharing!

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