How to Upholster a Headboard

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How to Upholster a Headboard
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How to Upholster a Headboard

Nothing adds a fresh new look to a bedroom quite as much as a beautifully upholstered headboard. Upholstering that worn out or bad looking headboard is a great way to bring new life and new style to virtually any bedroom, and a great way to start any bedroom remodeling project.

Before starting to upholster the headboard, it's a good idea to look around the room for a theme. You'll want to try to match the fabric you choose to the existing draperies, wallpaper and other features of the room, in order to achieve a uniform look and feel.

And now, the step-by-step process:

1. Carefully measure the area to be upholstered. In some cases the headboard will have posts that frame the sides, while others will have a recessed panel that is framed on the top and sides with molding. Make sure you have enough foam, batting, and plywood to cover the area to be upholstered.

2. Create a template using heavy duty paper. The sheets of paper can be attached to the headboard using tape, and the pieces can be taped together if necessary. Trace the curves by pressing the paper near the edge, then mark it using a pencil.

3. With the template prepared, the next step is to cut the plywood. Place the template over the plywood and then tape into place. Trace the edge of the template on the plywood, and then cut the plywood. If the fabric to be used is very heavy, it can be cut just inside the line. A circular saw or handsaw can be used for straight cuts, while a portable jigsaw can be used for curves. After the cut has been made, test the fit, making sure to leave enough room for the fabric and batting to wrap around the edges.

4. Cut the padding by lying the plywood backer on top of the foam. The foam can be compressed by kneeling on the plywood form on top of the foam, then cutting it with a sharp utility knife. The plywood form can also be used as a template when cutting the fiberfill batting, but when cutting the batting an additional two to three inches of extra batting should be allocated, in order to allow it to wrap around the backer panel.

5. Once the cuts have been made, it is time to install the fabric. The fabric should be laid out on a clean surface with the good side down. After the fabric is in place, place the batting and the foam on top of it, followed finally by the plywood backer. If the upholstery pattern is horizontal or vertical, be sure that it will properly align with the sides and the bottom edge of the backer.

6. The fabric should be folded over the back of the backer and then stapled in place, using 1/4" staples at 2 inch intervals. Begin with a few staples in the center of the opposite two sides, then a few in the top and bottom, working your way out from the center and alternating sides from top to bottom. Any excess batting and material can then be trimmed away using a sharp utility knife.

7. The final step is to install the newly upholstered panel by attaching self-sticking Velcro strips to both the headboard and the corresponding spot on the back of the board. Staples can be added for additional holding power to both the backer and the headboard. The panel can then be pressed into place, and the only thing remaining is to stand back and admire the results of your hard work.

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