Monday, August 22, 2011

My First Padded Headboard

Okay, it's not technically my headboard -- it belongs to my friends Terri and Brian -- but I helped make it, and it was my first attempt at this kind of project, so I'm claiming it! Terri wanted to reproduce the headboard from Julianne Moore's character's bedroom in the film A Single Man. She did a great job of finding identical Ikat fabric and nailhead trim, and her sister came up with a template that almost perfectly replicates the shape.

Here's the headboard from the film:

And here's our finished headboard:

It took less than four hours from start to finish, which I think was pretty quick considering all the detail. For those who are interested, here was our process:

1. Trace the shape onto a piece of 1" MDF (medium density fiberboard).
2. Use a jigsaw to cut out the pattern.
3. Trace the same shape onto 2" foam.
4. Use an electric knife (the kind used to carve your Thanksgiving turkey) to cut through the foam.
5. Use Spray Mount or Tacky Glue to secure the foam to the board.
6. Since we were using nailhead trim at the edges, we needed to bevel the foam so it wasn't so thick there. The electric knife was great for this.
7. Lay out batting over the foam, allowing it to extend several inches past the edge of the headboard, and trim.
8. Lay out fabric on top of the batting, allowing the same extra several inches.
9. Use a staple gun to secure the middle top, bottom and sides first, pulling the fabric and batting taut and stapling into the back.
10. Once that's secure and you make sure it's all even and smooth, continue around the rest of the edges until all the fabric is secure. If you have curves or unusual angles, cut notches in the fabric so it will wrap more smoothly.
11. Add trim if you want (we stapled underneath where the nailhead trip would go to make sure the foam was sufficiently flattened then the trim covered the staples).
12. Mount it to the wall and you're done!


  1. I've wanted to do one for my room for awhile, but I don't want to mount to the wall. My hold up is figuring out how to mount it to my bed so there's no gap between mattress and wall. If you have any ideas, since your knowledge of tools and hardware is clearly well above my own, please let me know.

  2. We can totally do that, Rebecca. I know how to connect it to the bed frame instead of attaching it to the wall.