How to Transform Your Bedroom With a Floating Headboard

Steve Watson shows how to install a fabric headboard as part of a bedroom makeover.


A new fabric-covered headboard and stained wooden nightstands provide the accent that the room needed.

A new fabric-covered headboard and stained wooden nightstands provide the accent that the room needed.

Steve Watson and crew create custom headboard as part of a project to help a busy family bring their home closer to their ideal. Because of where it will be positioned, this headboard will need to be installed in such a way that it won't come into contact or interfere with a baseboard heater.



Materials and Tools:

BC plywood (2 sheets)
baseboard (40 lin. ft.)
trim (40 lin. ft.)
fabric (6 yards)
foam spray adhesive
upholstery foam 24"x84"x2" (1 roll)
air compressor and hoses
brad nailer
finish nailer
safety glasses
toggle bolts
utility knife
picture wire
button-making kit


1. Take careful exact measurements of the window alcoves and headboard area.



2. This headboard will be "floating" — attached to the wall — because of the heating element along the base of the wall. We build the headboard out of 3/4" plywood, ensuring a deep surface for us to staple fabric to. First, we cut a custom frame out of plywood to which the foam and fabric will be attached.

3. Cut the sheet of upholstery foam the size of the wood frame, plus one inch added, and spray mount it to the frame. Next, lay the batting over the foam and cut, adding 2" all the way around. Staple the batting to the back of the frame. Cover the headboard with a piece of plain white sheeting secured with staples along the back of the headboard. This provides a layer of lining that may also make it easier to change your decorative fabric in the future without disturbing the foam or batting underneath.

4. Iron your decorative fabric and smooth it face-down on the work area. Set the covered headboard, face down on top of the fabric. Cut the fabric the same size and shape, adding about 4" extra to wrap around the back of the headboard. Starting at the center top, begin stapling the fabric to the back, making sure that any pattern on the fabric is properly centered and straight. Pull it just enough to get a smooth front side, but not so much that it puckers.



5. Using excess fabric squares and the button-making kit, assemble buttons to attach to the headboard. Use wire to tie them to the face of the headboard, then staple them down to keep them tight.

6. Using mounting hardware, attach the finished headboard to the wall. For this floating headboard, a 2x4 was secured to the wall as a mounting bracket. The covered headboard was then secured to the mounting bracket.

7. Using 1x12x8's, we also constructed a surround to cover the facade of the box spring. We stapled on decorative trim and added quarter round trim to give the unit a base.

8. Stain the bed surround and exposed wood areas of the headboard to match the trim and furnishings. For this makeover, Steve and the crew also fashioned some matching nightstands.

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