A new trend in decorating is the use of upholstered headboards. With upholstered headboards, the decorator can change the look of the bed as easily as changing slip covers. In addition to this versatility, upholstered headboards give a person a comfortable place to lean when sitting up in bed.
The basic upholstered headboards are covered in white poly-cotton, and are made in both wall hung and bed mounted styles. The headboard forms a rectangular or decorative shape as wide as the bed and usually about two feet tall.
Plain upholstered headboards can be dressed in slipcovers made of virtually any sort of patterned or solid fabric. For a feminine look, as in little girls’ bedrooms, upholstered headboards can have ruffles added around the perimeter of the slipcover. Rectangular upholstered headboards are easier to work with when making different slipcovers.
Upholstered headboards are a fairly simple do it yourself project for those with a work shop. Begin with a piece of one-half inch thick plywood the width of your bed. Decide if you want the upholstered headboard to be a plain rectangle or curved along the top.
Sketch the desired shape on the plywood and cut it out with a jigsaw. A general rule of thumb is to allow at least eight inches of headboard to show above the level of the pillows.
The next step in making upholstered headboards is adding a layer of thick quilt batting. Add several layers if desired, to make a cushiony surface. Overlap the batting to the back of the plywood by six inches and secure in place with a staple gun.
Now do the same thing with a plain piece of durable white fabric. (You can make upholstered headboards with the decorative fabric attached, but colors and patterns can show through future slipcovers you might want to use on the headboard.)
The final step is to staple a piece of fabric over the back of the upholstered headboard to cover the raw edges of fabric and batting. This won’t show, but is a nice way to finish your work. Cut legs for the headboard from 1 by 1 inch lumber and attach them to the bottom of the upholstered headboard with long screws. The headboard can simply prop against the wall behind the bed.
To make slipcovers for upholstered headboards, simply measure, cut two pieces of desired fabric to fit (allowing 3/4 inch seam allowances), and stitch the seam along the top and sides. Be sure to stitch the seam with right sides together, then turn the slipcover to the right side. Hem the bottom edge and slip it over the upholstered headboard.