How to make an upholstered headboard with MDF boards

Posted on November 12, 2016 in Lifestyle

Upgrade your bed with a beautiful, simple MDF headboard

Most of us like to get into bed so as to snuggle under the covers and watch some TV or read a book, before going off to sleep. However, if your bed’s headboard is a simple wooden one, and not cushioned, you have a problem. Sitting with your back and head against a hard headboard is not comfortable at all. Even if you place a pillow behind your back, you are not going to be very comfortable as it starts to slip with every little movement you make. So why don’t you make an upholstered headboard yourself? It is a relatively simple project which will solve this problem, as well as make your bed look cosier and more aesthetically pleasing too.

You can do this quite simply using MDF boards. You do not need any particular skill or expertise, and neither do you have to have expensive tools. Let us outline how to go about it in a little more detail.

First of all you will need the MDF, and a jigsaw to cut to the required shape and dimensions. A staple gun and staples to attach the fabric and of course, the foam. Nail heads, batting and fabric chalk will also come in handy. All in all this project is easy, and it will be completed in a few hours’ time. You do not have to be an expert at all since ultimately all it involves is cutting, nailing and some hammering to get it done.

Primarily, you will need to cut the MDF boards. The style in which you cut the MDF boards is up to you. Instead of opting for a plain rectangular shape, you can cut off circular corners for instance.

Once you have completed this cutting phase, you can then start building the raised frame. For additional thickness and sturdiness you can attach two or more MDF boards to each other. MDF boards are not that thick, but MDF is one of the strongest materials you can use for a headboard project such as this as they can be managed easily, unlike other kinds of wood. With this step you will be able to achieve a thicker look for your headboard, and a more professional looking one.

Headboard Template. Image credit: Little House Big City

Headboard Template. Image credit: Little House Big City

Now that the headboard’s foundation is completed, you can then move on to the upholstery phase, which is the main purpose of the project. The foam that you choose is going to be more comfortable the thicker it is. So keep that in mind when buying the foam. You will need to cut the foam at least 5cm smaller than the headboard. Using spray adhesive you will easily stick the foam to the MDF board. It is a good idea place some heavy items onto the top for some time so as to help it stick better to the board. Afterwards, use the staple gun to staple the edges of the foam to the board. It is best to use an electric staple gun.

When the foam has been well attached to the board, you can then complete your upholstered headboard by layering the textiles. Some may prefer to simply staple the fabric onto the foam, but adding a layer of batting is recommended. Make sure you staple each layer thoroughly. For the corners, it is best to shred that part of the fabric so as to be better able to staple it around the curves, if you have curved edges. It is best to choose a thick fabric. Otherwise you will not manage to attain a good result. With a thick fabric you will be better able to achieve a smooth finish, which is very important for a neat result.

The staples will securely fasten the fabric and batting to the board, but it is best to nail them too for best results. With the fabric chalk draw a straight line to show where the nails will be inserted. Then start hammering the nails in a way that you are stapling down the foam well. For this part you can also use pre-made nailhead trim strips.

Padded DIY Headboard. Image credit: Projectophile

Padded DIY Headboard. Image credit: Projectophile

That is what it is all about! Fairly simple right? Try it out if your headboard is hard and dull. You will be amazed at the difference. Even more so, if you complement all the other soft furnishings with it, such as the curtains, the cushions, the bed linen, and so on. Your bedroom will get a great renovation very easily and cheaply if you simply invest time in this upholstered headboard project, and see that all the soft furnishings are of the same fabric.

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