DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard
Sometimes you just can’t find the perfect headboard for your room. Especially when the wood color and upholstery color has to work with the rest of the decor. But, with these easy to follow DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard steps, you can make the perfect, custom headboard for any room. Sweet!
I designed mine for my big boys’ bedroom makeover. It’s not just a kid’s bed, though. Add a beautiful French Toile fabric to this grey and it would make a gorgeous French Country Bed.
Go for a Medium wood stain and a Creamy Fabric for a pretty Farmhouse look. Or, go full on Boho with a colorful Tribal print and Blue or White Frame. Anything works when you’re the designer. 🙂
Let’s get to the steps for this DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard!
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- 1″x2″ and 1″x3″ and 1″x4″ (see cut list for lengths) – I used Poplar, but Select Pine would work great too! Pick straight pieces for the best result.
- 3/4″ high chair molding to decorate the front
- Wood Glue, Wood Filler (I like this one), 120-grit Sandpaper, 220-grit Sandpaper
- Tools: Brad Nailer and 1 1/4″ Brad Nails, Kreg Jig and Screws, Miter Saw or Circular Saw, power sander (optional), new foam paint brushes, and clamps (I used these great Dewalt clamps)
- Zinsser 123 Latex Primer
- Whichever acrylic, latex, and/or stains will work with your design.
- Polyurethane, like Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Matte
Cutlist for the Headboard Frame
- Rails: 2 – 39 1/2″ long 1″x3″ boards
- Front of Legs: 2 – 48″ long 1″x3″ boards
- Side of Legs: 2 – 48″ long 1″x2″ boards
- Top: 1 – 45 1/2″ long 1″x4″ board
- Moulding: 1 – 44 3/8″ long piece (double-check before cutting to get a perfectly cut piece for your finished frame)
Check out this Build Overview Video for the Headboard
Super Easy DIY Wood Twin Headboard Frame with Upholstered Back - Part 1 of 2
DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard Build Steps
Design Note: I made this headboard to fit outside of the bed frame. I wanted that extra wide, chunky look. If you want to attach the bed frame to the headboard, you can place a third rail at the height of your bed frame and use T-Nuts and Bolts to secure the headboard to the metal bed frame.
- Make all of the cuts in the cut list. I use a Miter Saw for the straighest cuts possible. But other saws can get the job done.
- Sand each side and the ends of each cut board. Start with 120-grit, then finish with 220 for an extra smooth feel.
- I also sanded down all corners along the length and ends of boards. I just prefer the look. It looks more finished to me. And it makes a nice, detailed joint where 2 boards meet.
- Brush off all dust with a slightly damp rag.
- Start the build by assembling the legs of the headboard. I went with wood glue and brad nails for the legs. Clamp the side of a 1″x2″ board to the back edge of the 1″x3″ board. This gives the headboard an extra chunky look. Use your clamps to hold the board perfectly in place. (You can see how I clamped the legs in the build video.)
- Be sure to always wipe off all excess glue with a damp cloth. If you’re staining, anywhere the glue touches needs to be sanded again to get a perfectly stained look.
- After both legs are assembled, use 2 Kreg Jig pocket holes and glue on each end of the rails to attach the legs together. The top rail must be even with the top of the legs. The TOP of the bottom rail is 26″ from the top of the legs.
- Attach the decorative molding flush with the top rail. Use clamps, glue and brad nails here.
- Now you can attach the top. Use clamps, glue and brad nails here too. The back of the top board should be flush with the back of the legs. Make sure the top is centered on the DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard, so that each side has the same overhang.
- Fill all of the nail holes with wood filler.
- After that dries, sand the filled holes flush with the wood to get a nice smooth look.
- Brush away all dust with a slightly damp cloth again, then you can apply a coat of primer. I used this latex primer with a new foam brush to prevent brush strokes.
- I followed that up with 2 coats of my homemade chalk paint made from Behr’s Castle Path Latex Paint. Then 2 coats of my favorite Matte Polycrylic to protect the finish.
- Time to start on the upholstered back.
Materials for the Upholstered Back of the DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard
- 27″ x 42″ piece of 1/2″ or 3/4″ Plywood or MDF backing – Side Note: I used thinner plywood in the video to use up some scrap from my DIY Tray Ceiling, but it does make the build more complicated. I had to brace the thin board on the back.
- 1″ thick foam
- High Loft Batting
- Spray Adhesive
- Your fabric, I used this beautiful Magnolia Home upholstery fabric. You can find my favorite fabric by the yard from Amazon here.
- Staples and Staple Gun
Rather than type up the steps for the Upholstered Back of the Bed, watch this short video. It explains everything. The key for this DIY upholstered twin bed is to get a nice full look around all edges of the upholstery.
If it looks a bit puckered in a few spots, just remove the staples in that section and place them a little further from the foam to get that fuller look. After it looks perfect, just screw the plywood onto the bed frame. I’d use 3 screws along each long side. Make sure to pick screws that won’t break through your new headboard. 🙂
Watch this Easy DIY Upholstery Video to see how I Upholstered mine.
As always, let me know if you have any questions about this DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. And, have fun building! You can find all of my DIY Furniture Plans here and be sure to Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks at what I’m building next.
Looking for more beautiful Upholstered DIY Furniture. I have a Full DIY with an Upholstery Video for this Chunky Leg Farmhouse Bench.
Or, have a look at my DIY L-Shaped Backyard Bench. Build a custom-sized bench for your space!
Feeling inspired? Get out there and make your own DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.