How to: Building a Padded Headboard

Carter Oosterhouse shows how to dress up a bedroom by making a custom headboard using a white pine frame, plywood, and topped with a memory foam cushion.


Materials and Tools:

73-1/2 by 49-1/2 inch sheet of 1/2-inch plywood
four 4 by 1-1/4 inch white pine beams, 90-inches long
queen-size memory foam topper
safety goggles
measuring tape
chop or miter saw
nail gun
4-inch brads
1-1/2 inch countersinking wood screws
staple gun
1/2-inch staples




1. Cut down the four 4 by 1-1/4 inch white pine beams to 2-3/4 by 1-1/4 inches using the table saw.

2. Now take the smaller 1-1/4 inch square ledgers cut from the larger piece and glue one side of it. Place it on the face of the 2-3/4 by 1-1/4 inch piece so that it is flush with the edge of the beam. Nail every 6 inches to attach.

3. Once all four beams are completed, it is time to cut them down to the appropriate size. First, make measurements for the cut. For this project, two pieces were measured to 74-1/8 inches and the others to 50-1/8 inches. Instead of a straight cut, miter these pieces to 45-degrees. Make sure to make opposite-angle cuts at each end and that the angle goes upwards from the measurement, not down. Tip: Because the blade is 1/8-inch, remember to cut along the outside of your mark.

4. Once all the pieces are cut and mitered, glue each end and nail them together.



5. Apply a nice stain to bring the beauty of the white pine out, then let the frame sit overnight.

6. Cut a piece of the 3/4-inch plywood to 72 by 48-inches.

8. Lay the plywood down and cover it with a queen-size memory foam top. Fold one side over and spray adhesive over plywood. Next, roll the foam topper over the adhesive and press down. Repeat for the opposite side. Trim off the excess foam so the mattress top is flush with the plywood.



9. Take the fabric and lay over the memory foam. Smooth out any wrinkles and staple to the back of the plywood. If the fabric is woven or see-through, lay down a solid piece of fabric before placing the main cover, giving the headboard a more attractive look.

10. Once the headboard frame is dry, set the plywood mattress section inside. Attach by countersinking up through the frame ledger into the back of the plywood.

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