DIY Headboard

Mr. B and I bought a new bed. We were long overdue – we’d been sleeping on a double mattress that had been handed down to me by a girl that lived in the sorority across the street from my sorority in college. How’s that for making the rounds? Really, you can’t be picky about where you lay your head in college. Beer pong and jello shot induced passing out helps you not care. Several years after college, though? Time for a new bed.

Anyway, long story short. We got the mattress. I’m in love. I can roll over in the middle of the night and not break B’s nose with my elbow – and vice versa. It’s the little things in life, you know?

But, the mattress needed a headboard. Enter my darling sister-in-law. Do you have one of these? You should get one. I can’t claim any part in my brother’s picking of this amazing girl, but she’s fabulous, and you need one. And she’s a crafty little thing with a penchant for upholstering headboards. Love.

First, I grabbed my fabric and batting. I went with 3 yards of burlap ($1.99 a yard). Stick with me, here. For the batting, I picked up a $20 queen sized (for a king sized headboard) quilter’s batting package on sale for $10.

Then, Sarah and I headed to Home Depot, where we picked a $10 piece of 1/2 inch plywood and had it cut down to size (78″ long and 32″ high for my bed).

Then, we folded the batting in thirds for a nice, cushy but not pillowy looking surface. And we stapled that to the board on the front, pulling tightly.

Next, we put the burlap face down on the dining room table and pulled very tightly as we stapled around the back, folding the corners neatly.

This seriously took about 5 minutes from bringing the plywood inside to the last staple.

We turned the board over and everyone immediately said, “Em, the burlap looks expensive”. I think they’d had their doubts.

Then, I pulled out my final touch: nailhead trim. $12 for a 10 yard kit with matching nails. Totally worth it.

We just lined the trim up as evenly as possible close to the outer edge of the board, and nailed the nails in. Easy shmeasy.

The hanging was a different story, but some heavy duty picture hanging wire and some D rings (after consulting G&D’s tutorial for hanging tips after two failed hanging attempts) and we were good to go.

Voila. I dot my “i”s with hearts LOVE it. I love the rustic and natural appeal of the burlap with the traditional yet edgy nailhead trim. And for $38, not bad.

Just have to move the mirrors out and down and we’re good to go for awhile in this room.

And, since there are no original ideas here, I’ll credit my inspiration.

West Elm’s Nailhead Uphostered Headboard, $449 for a King

Restoration Hardware’s Huntington Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead trim – Starting at $1015 for a King
Seriously, $1000 versus $38? Why would I ever buy a real headboard again?

Comments have been closed due to overwhelming amounts of spam on this post.


  1. I love love love nail head detailing. Awesome job!

  2. that looks amazing! love it!

  3. I love it! It looks so nice and really does a great job of accenting your bed! Great work!!!

  4. OH.MY.GAH. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. LOVE IT!! I’ve seen DIY upholstered headboards before, but the DIY nailhead trim is to die for. Really refines and finishes it off. And the burlap! Oh the burlap!
    I would like to sleep w/ your headboard-it’s so hawt.

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It does look so expensive.

    This is on my list for the month, too. I hope it A) Get’s done, and B) Look’s half as good as yours.

    I may have to go with burlap. So awesome and inexpensive. I would have never thought, but it looks fabulous. =) You are rocking my world. Seriously.

  6. Okay – PS – Why did you only get a queen size kit for a king-size headboard? Color me confused.

  7. Thanks everyone! To answer Kim’s question – the measurements of the queen sized quilter’s batting were perfect for upholstering a 78″ (standard for a king headboard) wide board – with between 4 – 6 inches left. You can also have batting cut to size at the fabric store.

  8. I’m beyond impressed! Look at you guys go!

  9. Best. post. ever.

    excellent job & I adore the nailhead trim…I am so into burlap ever since seeing the curtains that the lettered cottage girl did…glad that you did it another way…it is sooooo inspirational!

  10. It looks great. Now, if my husband doesn’t get me the king sized bed that I’ve been hinting about wanting for our 10 year, I’ll just copy you and make our current one look better. Thanks

  11. Good God Girlie! It is just fabulous 🙂
    It looks so classy & ‘spensive! I’ve been toying with the idea of making an upholstered headboard to replace our black wood DiY one. You’ve giving me the motivation to make it happen!

  12. This looks great! I guess that I didn’t realize how popular nailhead trim is, because I thought that it was a completely unique idea!

    I’m definitely going to be doing a DIY headboard at some point myself.

  13. it looks great – i might steal your nailhead detailing to spiff up our DIY headboard… it’s needing a little more somethin’! very cute!

  14. so impressed! i had no idea Sarah was so handy!!

  15. Headboard looks FAB! I seriously have been counting down the minutes until this posting…P.S. I found out on the back of my headboard is a 1/2 by 4 (whoops) so that’s why it’s pretty much flush with the wall. P.P.S. Your pictures are so crisp! 🙂

  16. What a great looking headboard. You are all so crafty!! Way to have the vision to see this through. You have inspired me to start thinking about a headboard for M and I.

  17. Awesome job!! I LOVE it!!!

  18. I made a DIY headboard out of burlap too a couple months ago.

    But you, my dear, outdid yourself with the nail head detailing.

    I’m contemplating adding them to mine! : )

  19. Wow! Gorgeous job, Em!! I absolutely LOVE the nailheads–it looks so good!!

  20. AWESOME! You rock! I might just have to nail head trim my DIY headboard too! 🙂

  21. omg! LOVESIT! Best diy head board I’ve seen! The nail head detailing is awesome!

  22. Oooh–looking forward to hearing what you think about the shrimp! I hope you like them!

    And did I mention? LOVE the new header! So cute!!

  23. AH! It looks JUST LIKE the West Elm headboard!!! This is so amazingly fabulous I can’t believe my eyes! I love the new king-sized bed and bedding. Your room looks like a million bucks and there’s no trace of hand-me-down left at all! Did you pick up the burlap at Joanne’s as well, or did you find it somewhere else?

  24. it looks fabulous! i’ve been eyeing a C&B nailhead headboard/bed for a year now but can’t afford it. this looks fabulous!! i really do think i’ll have to try it.

    where do you get nailhead trim??

  25. Longbrake – I actually got the burlap at Hancock Fabrics because it was about 50 cents less a yard there than at Joanns.

    Ashley – I found the nailhead trim at Joann Fabrics and used a coupon to get the price down. Here’s the link:

  26. This is awesome and is on my list of DIY projects for January now if only I could get the new king size mattresses that I want

  27. This looks amazing…. This is next on my project to do list… Great job!!! The nail head detail does give it that WOW factor.

  28. Great JOB!! I have made a headboard over the holiday also. No pics yet though.

    Yours looks soo good!

  29. um yeah…i am trying that with my next room! i have a HUGE thing for burlap. nice work!

  30. Wow! That is awesome! Great work. I want a fun sister-in-law.

  31. Wow, so cool. I just finished one myself, glad to see yours too.
    Beautiful ! Love your choice of fabric.

  32. all these great versions! looks great!

  33. Oh my gosh…this is amazing!
    Would you mind if I shared this on my blog?
    You guys rock.

    The Lettered Cottage

  34. I am seriously in love with this. I did a search for DIY Nailhead and this was one of the first results — thank goodness! This will definitely be my inspiration for my own headboard in the next month or so. Thanks!!

  35. Hi there !

    Great job, this room looks amazing. I’ve just finished my own today : my new homemade upholstered heaboard ! (which is not as beautiful, but still I’m quite proud of it, as it’s a real first for me) You can check it out if you want :
    Thanks for sharing your ideas !
    Cheers from France ! Marianne

  36. I have been eyeing the West Elm headboard for 3 months…and after seeing yours, I decided I would take a shot at doing it myself! It really looks great. I am worried about keeping the nailheads straight and evenly spaced…I am not very handy, and never DIY- any suggestions???

  37. this is great! was researching making my own headboard, and found your blog!

  38. Michelle – the nailheads came on a piece of trim, so keeping them easily spaced was easy. You could draw a faint pencil line to line them up along, but I just eyeballed it.

  39. Found your DIY headboard from Centsationalgirl. It’s great! Can’t wait to tackle this project myself very, very, soon!

  40. Love love love your headboard!! Yours and a few other bloggers have inspired me to take on the project for me and my hubby. Can you please tell me where you got your nailhead trim kit?? I’ve been searching with no luck, not even at Joann’s 🙁


  41. LOVE it! It’s very fun to see the end result,and your smiling faces as you are making it. Burlap is so FAB!!!

  42. Getting ready to copy you on this endeavor this week! I’ll be sure to stop back by and let you know how it goes. One question: the burlap is from Joanne’s, yes?