Make a DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard, with videos!

Make a DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard, with videos!

Customize the look of this DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard with the perfect paint or stain and fabric for your room!

Sometimes you just can’t find the perfect headboard for your room. Especially when the wood color and upholstery color has to work with the rest of the decor. But, with these easy to follow DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard steps, you can make the perfect, custom headboard for any room. Sweet!

I designed mine for my big boys’ bedroom makeover. It’s not just a kid’s bed, though. Add a beautiful French Toile fabric to this grey and it would make a gorgeous French Country Bed. Go for a Medium wood stain and a Creamy Fabric for a pretty Farmhouse look. Or, go full on Boho with a colorful Tribal print and Blue or White Frame. Anything works when you’re the designer. 🙂

Let’s get building!

Build your own custom DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Change up the paint and upholstery to match any room and style! Full DIY build steps and 2 videos to help you finish the build and upholstered back.
Don’t forget to Pin Me!

UPDATE: You can see the Boys Bedroom Full Reveal now. I’d love for you to stop by and check it out.  🙂


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Build your own custom DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Change up the paint and upholstery to match any room and style! Full DIY build steps and 2 videos to help you finish the build and upholstered back.
This boys bedroom makeover is coming together. I’ll be ready to show you the big reveal in a couple weeks. Have a look at the boys bedroom makeover plans here.

Materials for the DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard

  • 1″x2″ and 1″x3″ and 1″x4″ (see cut list for lengths) – I used Poplar, but Select Pine would work great too! Pick straight pieces for the best result.
  • 3/4″ high chair molding to decorate the front
  • Wood Glue, Wood Filler (I like this one), 120-grit Sandpaper, 220-grit Sandpaper
  • Tools: Brad Nailer and 1 1/4″ Brad Nails, Kreg Jig and Screws, Miter Saw or Circular Saw, power sander (optional), new foam paint brushes, and clamps (I used these great Dewalt clamps)
  • Zinsser 123 Latex Primer
  • Whichever acrylic, latex, and/or stains will work with your design.
  • Polyurethane, like Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Matte

Cutlist for the DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard Frame

  • Rails: 2 – 39 1/2″ long 1″x3″ boards
  • Front of Legs: 2 – 48″ long 1″x3″ boards
  • Side of Legs: 2 – 48″ long 1″x2″ boards
  • Top: 1 – 45 1/2″ long 1″x4″ board
  • Moulding: 1 – 44 3/8″ long piece (double-check before cutting to get a perfectly cut piece for your finished frame)

Check out this overview look at the build, share, ask questions, and join the conversation on Facebook!

DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard Build Steps

Design Note: I made this headboard to fit outside of the bed frame. I wanted that extra wide, chunky look. If you want to attach the bed frame to the headboard, you can place a third rail at the height of your bed frame and use T-Nuts and Bolts to secure the headboard to the metal bed frame.

Measuring how wide the metal bed frames are with measuring tape.
Both of my bed frames fit inside the legs of the headboard. You can adjust the length of rails, if needed.
  1. Make all of the cuts in the cut list. I use a Miter Saw for the straighest cuts possible. But other saws can get the job done.
  2. Sand each side and the ends of each cut board. Start with 120-grit, then finish with 220 for an extra smooth feel.
  3. I also sanded down all corners along the length and ends of boards. I just prefer the look. It looks more finished to me. And it makes a nice, detailed joint where 2 boards meet.
  4. Brush off all dust with a slightly damp rag.
  5. Start the build by assembling the legs of the headboard. I went with wood glue and brad nails for the legs. Clamp the side of a 1″x2″ board to the back edge of the 1″x3″ board. This gives the headboard an extra chunky look. Use your clamps to hold the board perfectly in place. (You can see how I clamped the legs in the build video.)
  6. Be sure to always wipe off all excess glue with a damp cloth. If you’re staining, anywhere the glue touches needs to be sanded again to get a perfectly stained look.
  7. After both legs are assembled, use 2 Kreg Jig pocket holes and glue on each end of the rails to attach the legs together. The top rail must be even with the top of the legs. The TOP of the bottom rail is 26″ from the top of the legs.

    Kreg Clamp in a pocket hole of the DIY Upholstered Headboard.
    This Kreg Clamp is great for holding the wood in place for the first screw.

  8. Attach the decorative molding flush with the top rail. Use clamps, glue and brad nails here.Clamps and glue hold the moulding onto the bed frame while I nail it in place.
  9. Now you can attach the top. Use clamps, glue and brad nails here too. The back of the top board should be flush with the back of the legs. Make sure the top is centered on the headboard so that each side has the same overhang.
  10. Fill all of the nail holes with wood filler.

    Nail holes filled. A closer look at the wood headboard top.
    Nail holes filled. A closer look at the top.

  11. After that dries, sand the filled holes flush with the wood to get a nice smooth look.The pocket holes on the bed frame are filled and sanded too.
  12. Brush away all dust with a slightly damp cloth again, then you can apply a coat of primer. I used this latex primer with a new foam brush to prevent brush strokes.
  13. I followed that up with 2 coats of my homemade chalk paint made from Behr’s Castle Path Latex Paint. Then 2 coats of my favorite Matte Polycrylic to protect the finish.
  14. Time to start on the upholstered back.
A close up look at the upholstered back for my DIY Twin Headboard.
A close up look at the upholstered back for my DIY Twin Headboard. Trim away excess fabric before screwing onto frame.

Materials for the Upholstered Back of the DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard

Rather than type up the steps for the Upholstered Back of the Bed, watch this short video. It explains everything. The key for this upholstered bed is to get a nice full look around all edges of the upholstery.

The upholstery has been stapled too tight in a few spots on this grey headboard.
The upholstery has been stapled too tight in a few spots. I removed the staples with needle nose pliers to fix this headboard.

If it looks a bit puckered in a few spots, just remove the staples in that section and place them a little further from the foam to get that fuller look. After it looks perfect, just screw the plywood onto the bed frame. I’d use 3 screws along each long side. Make sure to pick screws that won’t break through your new headboard. 🙂

Build your own custom DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Change up the paint and upholstery to match any room and style! Full DIY build steps and 2 videos to help you finish the build and upholstered back.
Don’t forget to Pin Me!
Build your own custom DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Change up the paint and upholstery to match any room and style! Full DIY build steps and 2 videos to help you finish the build and upholstered back.
I added this board and batten wainscoting and crown last month. Just waiting for some cute canvases I ordered. 🙂

As always, let me know if you have any questions. And have fun building!


Looking for more beautiful Upholstered DIY Furniture. I have a Full DIY with an Upholstery Video for this Chunky Leg Farmhouse Bench.

Farmhouse Style DIY Upholstered Bench Plan with Tongue & Groove shelf. Makes a great end of bed bench, dining table bench, living room coffee table or entry bench.
Right at home at the end of my bed.

Or, have a look at my DIY L-Shaped Backyard Bench. Build a custom-sized bench for your space!

How I built my L-shaped DIY Outdoor Bench for $130, awarded 2nd place in the IG Builders Challenge, season 3
The finished bench all dressed up.

Feeling inspired? Get out there and make your own DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard. Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

13 thoughts on “Make a DIY Upholstered Twin Headboard, with videos!

  1. Such a great tutorial Steph! I’m going to copy this for our queen sized bed. I love the look of the wooden frame surrounding the headboard but until now I didn’t know how to make it – thankyou! xx

  2. Like the unique look of this headboard. 👍 Thanks for using one of our staple guns for this project!

  3. Those are just too cute! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma’s House We Go!

  4. Wow, That turned out just great. I love it. ALso a great tutorial. I may be copying this over the weekend!

  5. As always Stephanie, your work is so professional and beautiful and you explain the steps in so much detail. It takes all the fear away. Love how the headboards turned out.

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