DIY Homemade HeadboardSaving money is important to so many people. But so is having an updated and stylish home. The good news is that those two desires do not have to compete. Below I will walk you through the steps for making a custom do-it-yourself homemade headboard that will look great and keep cash in your wallet. By taking a little time to buy the materials and build a headboard yourself, you can save up to several hun

You will need the following materials to build your homemade headboard (not necessarily in this order – read the steps below to see how much you will need and when as well as great tips for saving money when buying the materials):

  • Plywood
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Buttons
  • Heavy thread or yarn
  • Long needle or wire
  • Iron
  • Foam Cushion
  • Glue or Mod Podge
  • Pen
  • Measuring Tape
  • Picture hanging kit
  • Drill

You will want to have all of your supplies bought when you actually build the headboard, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy them all at once. Since you will be heading to different stores that have different sales and markdowns, you may find that it’s better to plan this project over a month and get all the supplies at a lower price. It’s worth the wait!

Follow these steps to gather the supplies you will need to craft your own homemade headboard:

1. Measure on your wall how big you want your headboard to be. I thought I knew about what I would like mine to be, but then I taped up some yarn to the dimensions, and found that I didn’t like the size! I was so glad I changed the dimensions before I started. Go ahead and tape up an outline and see if you like it – if not, you can always make it taller or shorter or wider or thinner.

2. Get your plywood. You only need a 1/2″ thick piece. You should also be able to get it cut at your local hardware store if you bring your dimensions with you. This may also make the difference between having to tie the wood to the top of your car and being able to fit it in the back. Watch for deals in your local newspaper or online. You may be able to get a good deal.

3. Next you’ll need to make 1 or more visits to a fabric or craft store. Be sure to check the newspaper for coupons! It’s a great way to save fast. A 40% off coupon is a great way to save big bucks, especially if you clip that coupon and use it for each of the supplies you need.

I bought the batting and foam padding first. Both were on sale for 30% off, and I had a coupon, which cut down the cost even more. The foam padding could end up being the most expensive item on the supply list. I used 2″ foam. You can use whatever thickness you desire. 1/2″ will still look great. It just won’t be as cushiony if you like to sit up in bed and read at night. Make sure you get enough foam to cover the whole front of the board.

Now, here’s a great tip for your money-saving experience. Head to the back of the store, past all the racks of the brand new fabrics. Go to the clearance section. Yes, the clearance section – here’s where you may be able to find an awesome deal. My husband and I went shopping together (had to be sure he’d like the new style), and we ended up pulling the top clearance fabric back to see what was underneath. And there we found it! Our fabric was thick, almost canvas-like, and it had just the style and colors we were looking for. And it was only $6.99 a yard!!! This was a great deal considering the fabric we had been previously looking at, even the sale fabric! We bought 2 yards to cover the length of the headboard since the fabric roll was big enough to cover the height. Be sure you get enough fabric to cover the front of the headboard plus the width of the foam and plywood on each side plus about 6 inches on the back (that’s roughly 8-12 inches extra along each edge). The batting should also be big enough to wrap it around to the back of the board.

You can also find your Mod Podge or glue, buttons, and thread or heavy yarn and a needle (I used thick wire we already had at home to save money, but a big needle would work great if you can find a good deal) at the fabric store or craft store as well. I found my buttons 50% off the same day I went in to get my on-sale batting and foam padding. Talk about a great day!

4. If you don’t have any of the other supplies, like the staple gun or drill, as around to see if family, friends, or neighbors have one you can borrow. Be sure to return the item quickly and in great condition, and don’t forget to say “thank you!”

Now you are ready to follow these steps to build your DIY Headboard:

1. The first thing you will want to do is prepare the wood for your headboard. Hopefully you were able to get it cut at the hardware store. If not, use a saw to cut it to size. Then you will want to make small holes (roughly 1/4″ to 1/2″ in diameter) in the back so you will be able to sew in the buttons at the end. An easy way to mark holes for 5 buttons (an odd number is always good for design) is to make a big X on the back of the wood from corner to corner. Drill one hole in the middle where the two lines cross. Then measure halfway between the center and the outside corner along the lines to make the 4 remaining holes. This way they are all equally spaced and end up in the right place. Drill your holes and head to the next step…

Wood for Homemade Headboard

Draw an X from corner to corner

2. Next you will want to head inside and iron your fabric. Even if it “doesn’t look that bad” it’s still worth it to iron your fabric now so it will look nice and smooth at the end of the project. This will also prevent the fabric from stretching out and becoming loose around the board.

homemade headboard fabric

Iron your fabric first to make sure it is wrinkle-free.

3. Next you will attach the foam cushion to your board. I bought 3 strips of the foam padding because it was less expensive – even if I had bought one long strip, there would still be cutting and piecing together to do. Cut your foam so that you can put it together to cover the entire board. A note here: I had to cut about 4″ off one of the tall sides of the foam. I placed the cut side on the outside edge of the board so the manufactured straight edges would form a more even line on the inside. I’d like to think I can cut a pretty nice straight line, but this just made a cleaner union and made it look like one piece.

You can sprinkle Mod Podge or heavy glue or even spray glue across your board. Spray glue tends to be more costly for the same purpose. You are just trying to make sure the foam stays in place, so you don’t need a real heavy duty option.

Foam Padding for Homemade Headboard

Packaged foam padding


foam padding laid out on headboard

Foam padding laid out on the board



Let the glue dry briefly and head to the next step.

4. You are ready to attach the batting now. If you have not already cut it to size (see dimensions in the beginning of this blog), do so now. You can either keep the board on a table and staple the batting in from below, or lay the batting on the floor and lay the board cushion-side-down on top of it. Staple the batting about every 6 inches all the way around the board, about 1 inch in from the edge.

5. Next you can do the same thing with the fabric for your headboard. Lay it on the floor and put the board on top with the back facing up. You can staple the fabric a little farther in on the board, around 3-4″ in from the edge.

Staple the fabric to the board

Staple the fabric to your board.


The corners can be intimidating at first. Try folding them like you would the edges of a Christmas present. Your style doesn’t matter so much as making sure you fold each corner the same as the last so they match. Then staple the folds onto the board so they lay flat.

Staple the corners of the fabric

Staple the corners of the fabric to the board


Here’s what your board will look like at this point:


Back of the homemade headboard

Back of the homemade headboard

6. Now you are ready for buttons. This is a completely optional step. You may decide you like your headboard as is. For others, this little bit of accessorizing really finishes it off. Thread your long needle or heavy wire. Then measure in from the edge where your hole is so you can insert the needle straight through to the place you will need to be to run the needle back through the hole you made in the back. When you’ve pulled the thread or yarn through to the front, run it through your button and push it back through to the back. You can decide how tight you want the button. For a more dramatic look, make it a little tighter. Then staple the yarn or thread to the back of the board to keep it in place.


Staple yarn to the back of the head board

Staple yarn to the back of the board

Here is what your board will look like if you followed the steps above for adding 5 buttons:


Buttons on your homemade headboard

Buttons on the front of the headboard

7. Good work! Now for the finishing touches. You will need to measure down about 8 inches from the top of the board and inside about 8 inches from the sides. Screw on the picture hanger edges that will hold wire across the back of the board. You will be nailing the actual hook into the wall shortly. You will want to pull the wire as tight as you can so that it does not show above the headboard when you hang it. Make sure the wire is securely fastened to both sides of the board. Usually the picture hanging kit has a picture with instructions on how to tie the best knot to keep it secure.


Picture hanging wire

Secure the picture hanging wire to the back of the headboard

8. Now you just need to measure on your wall where to hang the picture hanging hooks. Hang them about 2″ below where the top of the headboard will be – this depends on how tight or loose the wire is, but you can measure on the back of the board with the hooks. I placed each of mine 1/3″ of the way across the board from the outside so they were holding equal weight and would hang straight.

Congratulations! You have just improved the style of your room and saved money in the process! Pat yourself on the back for a job well-done and enjoy a good nap below your beautiful new homemade headboard.

DIY Homemade Headboard

Luxurious homemade headboard at a fraction of the cost


For more money-saving tips and ideas be sure to sign up for the iMoneyMinute emails! We promise never to abuse, sell, or give away any of your information. The iMoneyMinute is an email that we send out once or twice a month that in 1 minute or less will share with you great ways to save money, make money, save time, or reduce your financial risk.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Comments on DIY Homemade Headboard

  1. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for your post. My boyfriend and I made one this weekend and it looks great!