Skip to Content

Make a DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard: Easy Steps And Video Guides

Make this No Sew DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard in just a weekend. This DIY twin headboard has EASY to follow build steps & how-to videos.

DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard

Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect headboard for your bedroom. Especially when the wood color and upholstery color has to work with the rest of the decor in the room.

But with these build steps, you can make the perfect, custom DIY twin headboard for any bedroom.

I made 2 of these for my boys. It matches their room perfectly. BUT, it can be customized to match any room. Add a beautiful French Toile fabric to this grey and it would make a gorgeous French Country Bed.

Image of a DIY Twin Headboard for a post with steps to make a DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard. How to make a twin headboard.
Don’t forget to save how to make a DIY twin headboard.

Or, go for a medium wood stain and a plaid fabric for a woodsy, cabin look. I’d love a velvet covered headboard in a guest bedroom. Anything works when you’re the designer.

A DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard with a wood frame and upholstered center. DIY Twin Headboard.
2024 Update: My boys have been using this headboard for 6 years now. It’s had 3 different looks over that time. Check out 50 Best Fabric By The Yard Online On Amazon & Etsy for design ideas.

Now, let’s get to the steps for this DIY twin upholstered headboard!

DIY Twin Headboard Build Overview Video

If any of the written steps are confusing, watch this short build overview video. Sometimes seeing something done can really help.

Make This Easy DIY Twin Headboard Frame with An Upholstered Back - Part 1 of 2

How To Make A Twin Headboard

Materials Needed

  • Lumbar – I used Poplar, but Select Pine would work great too! See cut list below for lengths.
    • 1 – 1″x2″x8′
    • 2 – 1″x3″x8′
    • 1 – 1″x4″x8′
    • 1 – 8′ long 3/4″ high chair molding to decorate the front
  • Wood Glue, Wood Filler, 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)

Cut List for the DIY Twin Headboard Frame

  • Rails: 2 – 39 1/2″ long 1″x3″ boards
  • Front of Legs: 2 – 47 1/2″ long 1″x3″ boards
  • Side of Legs: 2 – 47 1/2″ long 1″x2″ boards
  • Top: 1 – 45 1/2″ long 1″x4″ board
  • Molding: 1 – 44 3/8″ long piece (double-check before cutting to get a perfectly cut piece for your finished frame)

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.

Measuring how wide the metal bed frames are with measuring tape.
I set the rails at 39 1/2″ long. The bed frame I use for my mattresses is 39″ wide. You can adjust the length of rails to be slightly wider or shorter, if needed.

Step One – Cut Boards

Make all of the cuts in the cut list above. I use a Miter Saw to get the straightest cuts possible. But other saws can get the job done.

Step Two – Prep Boards

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.

Since it’s sanded instead of routed, I call it a rustic chamfer. 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.

Don’t forget to wipe away any excess glue before it can dry.

Step Three – Assemble The Legs

Start the build by assembling the legs of the headboard. I went with wood glue and brad nails for the legs. But, you can just let the glue dry with the boards clamped together to avoid nail holes.

Apply wood glue on one side of a 1×2. Then clamp the side of the 1×2 to the back edge of a 1×3. This gives the headboard an extra chunky look. Once the clamps are holding everything in place, brad nail along the front of the 1×3.

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.

Kreg Clamp in a pocket hole of the DIY Upholstered Headboard.
This Kreg Clamp is great for holding the wood in place for the first screw.

Step Four – Attach The Rails & Top

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 should be even with the top of the legs. The TOP of the bottom rail is 26″ down from the top of the legs.

Clamps and glue hold the moulding onto the bed frame while I nail it in place.

Next, 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 Twin Upholstered Headboard, so that each side has the same overhang.

Nail holes filled. A closer look at the wood headboard top.
Nail holes filled. And, a closer look at the top.

Step Five – Use Wood Filler & Sand

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. Then brush away all dust with a slightly damp cloth again.

I used the 120 and 220 grit sandpaper for this step, then painted my frame. But, you could sand to a higher grit to prep for stain. Don’t forget to use wood conditioner. Or, you can use a gel stain for an easier to apply wood stain finish.

That frame was a quick and easy build, right? Here’s a look at the finished DIY Twin Headboards.

A DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard with a wood frame and upholstered center. DIY Twin Headboard.
I used my homemade chalk paint recipe and a grey latex paint to paint my frame. You can see the steps for that Beautiful DIY Board And Batten With Lattice in a previous post.

Now, it’s time to start making that easy no-sew upholstered back.

No-Sew Twin Upholstered Headboard DIY Back

Materials Needed

Easy To Follow DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard Video

Watch this video to see how I layered the foam and batting on the board to get a nice rounded look with the fabric.

Easy DIY Steps to Make A Upholstered Twin Headboard - Part 2 of 2

Upholstery Step 1 – Cut The Foam

Cut the foam to the exact size of the opening in the frame. It should be 39 1/2″ x 23 1/2″. Use the spray adhesive to glue the foam centered on the board.

Upholstery Step 2 – Cut the Batting And Fabric

Cut the extra loft foam batting and fabric so that they hang over the edge of the foam a couple inches on all sides. Foam batting gives the fabric a soft, rounded look over foam. Without the batting, upholstery projects look too square.

A close up look at the upholstered back for my DIY Twin Headboard.
A close up look at the upholstered back of the DIY twin bed headboard after stapling.

Upholstery Step 3 – Staple The Fabric Down

Use the Staple Gun to evenly staple the fabric and batting down. You want the fabric to be pulled tight across the board. Keep the staples evenly spaced along the edge.

Once your done, slip the frame over the backing to see how it looks. If you see any puckering, you can pull the staples out in that section and redo them to get a smooth look.

The upholstery has been stapled too tight in a few spots on this grey headboard.
The upholstery has been stapled too tight in a few spots. I removed the bad staples with needle nose pliers to fix this headboard.

Upholstery Step 4 – Attach The Back To The Frame

After it looks perfect, trim away the excess fabric and batting to expose the plywood board. Then screw the plywood onto the bed frame.

Use 3 screws along each long side. Make sure to pick screws that won’t break through the front of your new headboard. 🙂

Image of a DIY Twin Headboard for a post with steps to make a DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard. How to make a twin headboard.

2022 Updated Look

For the latest version of these DIY twin upholstered headboards, I painted the wood frame with a dark bronze chalk paint. The fabric is a blue velvet star pattern.

Image of a kids space themed bedroom with solar system bedding, cool star wars wall art and lattice board and batten feature wall.

You can see more of this DIY Space Themed Bedroom Makeover in a previous post. If you like the theme, check out the 25 Best Outer Space Themed Bedroom Décor Ideas For Kids And Teens in another post.

Solar System bedding from Pottery Barn on two twins bed in a boys shared bedroom with a white wall and Star Wars patent blueprint wall art.
You can find the steps for that little $20 Easy DIY Round Side Table in a previous post.

There are so many great design options with this DIY twin headboard build.

Image of a DIY Twin Headboard for a post with steps to make a DIY Twin Upholstered Headboard. How to make a twin headboard.
Don’t forget to save this DIY twin upholstered headboard tutorial.

More DIY Projects For You

Looking for more beautiful Upholstered DIY Furniture. I have a Full DIY with an Upholstery Video for this Chunky Leg Farmhouse Bench.

Farmhouse Style DIY Upholstered Bench Plan with Tongue & Groove shelf. Makes a great end of bed bench, dining table bench, living room coffee table or entry bench.
Right at home at the end of my bed.

Or, have a look at my DIY L-Shaped Backyard Bench. Build a custom-sized bench for your space!

How I built my L-shaped DIY Outdoor Bench for $130, awarded 2nd place in the IG Builders Challenge, season 3
The finished bench all dressed up.

That’s it for how to make a twin headboard. Good luck with your build!

Jennifer B

Thursday 20th of September 2018

How did you attach the headboards to the wall? Are the bed frames attached to anything? I can't wait to make this for my guest room!


Friday 21st of September 2018

Hello Jennifer, So excited to hear you'll be making this. Please share your final pictures, if you remember. You can tag me on IG or Facebook with it. I'd love to see them. OK, in the end, I never attached the headboard to the bed. Only because there hasn't been a real need too and I've been busy. ;) My 3 and 5 year old's are constantly bouncing and jumping in the bed and it hasn't been an issue. I did use my favorite trick with 3M Command Velcro Strips to hold the headboard firmly against the wall when they're doing all that bouncing. Also, when I make the beds and pull the mattress out that 3M strip is great for keeping the headboard from falling forward. BUT you could use an angle bracket on each side to attach a leg to each wall. Use anchors to stop the screws from pulling out of your drywall. Feel free to ask anymore questions. :)

Stephanie L. Robertson

Thursday 5th of April 2018

Great job! So cute!


Friday 6th of April 2018

Thank you, Stephanie!


Thursday 5th of April 2018

As always Stephanie, your work is so professional and beautiful and you explain the steps in so much detail. It takes all the fear away. Love how the headboards turned out.


Thursday 5th of April 2018

Thanks so much, Michelle!

Christine @

Friday 30th of March 2018

Wow, That turned out just great. I love it. ALso a great tutorial. I may be copying this over the weekend!


Friday 30th of March 2018

Good luck and big thanks! You can do it, girl!


Wednesday 28th of March 2018

Those are just too cute! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!


Wednesday 28th of March 2018


Comments are closed.