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DIY Padded Headboard

As you may have seen my hints on Facebook, Instagram, and my 4Sleep mattress review from yesterday, I done made myself a padded headboard last weekend.

Well, I made it…with help from Troy and Jack.

Troy is one of those rare men who gives two craps about what the house interior looks like.  He wants to be consulted.  I’d rather just do it and not ask him for input, because we have the exact opposite kinds of taste.  As a result, we’ve had a beige and white home since we’ve been married.  Snoooooorrrrrrrrrre.

I dipped my toe in the “fun colors” pool slowly to try to get Troy on board with some brightness and flair in Bennett’s room.  Shockingly, he has been fine with everything I have suggested.  After a few days of this, I realized he is just relieved that I am containing all the color in to one room and he doesn’t have to put up with it in our bedroom.

And I am going to run with that baton as long and as far as I can.  That’s what she said.

It all started with a $50 plain jane bedframe from IKEA.  Jack and I primed it and painted it a beautifully silvery grey.  Safety first of course.  Which is why I let Jack wear his mask upside down.

Then, we purchased a piece of MDF from the hardware store.

Which we laid over an old twin egg crate foam bed pad that Troy used during the fire academy to stay in a dorm.  I’m sure it is perfectly clean and not gross at all…

And then trimmed the foam around the MDF, leaving a few inches on each side.


If you want to add buttons at the end (you’re a sadist if you do), use this time to measure where the buttons will go, and mark them.


At this point, your super assistants will take it outside and drill holes in it.  Learn from our mistake, and use a bigger drill bit to make the holes.  We used a small bit, and I hated myself for it in the end.


Calves McGee and little McGee in training.


Using a staple gun, start from the middle of the long end of the wood/foam and go ahead, knock yourself out, and staple it while pulling the foam tight.


Take your assistant up on the offer when he says “can I help Mommy”?  It’s just a staple gun…we reserve the power tools for when we cut down our Christmas tree.  Like responsible parents.


Staple all but the last portion of the foam.

Be crazy shocked that he had enough patience to finish one whole side.


Dodge flying foam


Then, again starting from the middle of the other side of the board, staple the foam down, pulling as tightly as possible.


Holding the foam as tightly as possible, put a final staple in the end piece.

Then, fold the short end of the foam up and over the long end.





Do it on the other side too.

Then, lay out your thing cotton batting over your fabric (put the pretty side of the fabric against the floor.  The back side will be facing up.  This is the kind of batting I use for quilting, so I had it on hand.

6_mini20_miniPlace the board over the batting and fabric, leaving a few inches on each side.  And then, from the middle of the long end, start your stapling again!

21_miniThis time, staple to the end of the board.


Take the corner, and fold half of it over, and staple in the middle of it.  It will look like some weird “v”.

23_mini24_miniFold that bottom piece up over the corner and staple.

25_miniRepeat with the other sides.



Now, if you hate yourself, you’re going to add buttons to the front.  You’re totally going to hate everything halfway through this.

Prop the headboard up, and starting from the back, push the needle through the foam and fabric.  You’re supposed to use an upholstery needle.  I couldn’t find one, so I used a doll needle.  More like dull needle.  And let’s talk about the fact that they sell doll needles.  That’s kind of creepy.

29_mini30_miniStaple the end of the thread on board.

31_miniAfter that first one, it got really hard.  That’s what she said.  Troy or Jack took a photo of me hunched over the board at one point.  I can’t tell if I am threading the needle, or sobbing.  Ignore the box of Minecraft toys.

33_miniRe-evaluate your plan to have like 15 buttons, and declare “eight is enough”.

34_miniPause while Jack takes over the camera.  Realize when downloading the photos later that Troy has more grey hair than you realized.  Super hot.

35_mini37_mini38_miniTroy attached the headboard to the bed frame using something called plumbers tape, but apparently it isn’t tape and is made out of metal.  So there you go, you’re learning stuff.

36_miniStep back and admire your work.  Realize that at some point, you’re going to need to get a duvet cover for that comforter that you have had since college.  Realize it has been like 13 years since you were in college.  Feel old.

39_miniBe so thrilled that you are done with one part of the room.  Tip toe out backwards without looking at the rest of the nursery…

40_mini41_miniAll in all, it was a really fun project.  Jack and Troy were big helpers, and had I bought the proper needle for doing the buttons, I likely would not have become dehydrated from screaming.

So there’s that.

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9 comments on “DIY Padded Headboard”

  1. Have been trying to load the photos for 3 days and it continually stops loading them around photo 28 and 29. On the bright side I did get to see the photo of Calves McGee and the little McGee. “Dodge flying foam” must have something to do with Jack, bet it was fun. “Re-evaluate your plan to have like 15 buttons, and declare “eight is enough” – yup, been there, done that. Added tufted buttons to a project once – NEVER AGAIN – and I even used an upholstery needle. I am assuming the last photo of the bed on your 10-6-15 post is the finished padded headboard. Great idea using a shower curtain. It turned out great.

    • Ack, I am so sorry Joan! I downloaded a new tool to compress all my photos, and have been working on that for two days. It compresses all the photos on my blog, 50 at a time, and it turns out I have over 3,500. I hope in the next 1-2 days you’ll be able to see the whole post!

      • No problem, I’m not going anywhere, you’re stuck with me stalking you whether you like it or not. You had me at the first fart joke. Ha, ha, ha. I’ll keep checking back on this post to find out if I can see all the pics. Thanks for the response.

      • Ok, give it a shot now! I had to compress every photo, and now they’re smaller, but maybe they’ll load for you???

      • Yea! I can see all of the photos and it loaded so much faster. Thanks. Wow, I thought it was hard using an upholstery needle, I can’t imagine trying to do it with a doll needle. Do you have any fingertips left or were they completely worn off? Kuddos to you for getting as many buttons on there as you did. Nice job.

  2. That looks awesome! I love the idea of headboards, but seeing as I have only recently graduated from having my mattress on the floor, it will probably be a while before I get around to adding a headboard.

    I love when my family secretly snaps photos of me working on a project. Except my hair is usually sticking up all over the place and I am usually wearing pj’s and no bra, so not the most flattering photos.

  3. Great job!!!! Love it, beautiful photos and wonderful instructions.

  4. Finished product looks great, I really like that print. The best pic awards go to that little action figure behind the wood furniture leg & Jack with his sword…lol. Seriously thanks for showing all the steps, I’m feeling all crafty & crap now like I could do this for my room 🙂 Love your blog.

  5. I love reading your blog. We have a similar sense of humor… and with your “that’s what she said” references, I have to believe you’re a fan of The Office, too. Great job on the headboard!!! I’ve been wanting to do something like that, but haven’t gathered enough courage yet… maybe this will give me inspiration! (Or maybe not, we’ll see.)