DIY headboard makeover


So, reader Teresa posed a good question to me at the end of September: How to revamp an old wood headboard. I always feel like the end of the week is a good time to feature DIYs and tutorials because the weekend beckons and everybody loves a fun little house project. Okay, not always, but this one is fun – and super rewarding.

Anyway, back to the old wood headboard. Teresa was lucky enough to snag a whole antique bedroom set for $100. She loved the wood frame of the headboard, so she doesn’t want to cover the wood. She does, however, HATE the wicker. And I agree, it’s got to go.

My recommendation is to cut out the wicker, create an upholstered panel, and insert it into the space where the wicker once was. I’ve compiled a few really great tutorials on how to create an upholstered panel below.

Here are the photos of the headboard as is:

And below, I worked a little photoshop magic to illustrate what I mean by creating upholstered panels.

Here I just chose a fabric to serve as an example. You’ll also notice I bordered it with an upholstery ribbon adorned with upholstery tacks, because the wicker is overlaid a bit on the wood frame, and I’m not sure if that will be easy to remove from the wood. The ribbon and tacks serve as a nice way to cover up any marks left by the wicker.

fabric via Warm Biscuit
Below I chose a different fabric just to change it up and show 3 panels in place of the wicker.

fabric from Cloud9

Attaching the panels to the frame could be done in a few ways, and depends a bit on how the headboard is constructed. Wood staples could work, though you might have to do a little research.

Now for all the tutorials I promised. Visit the sites below to get step by step directions on creating upholstered panels.


For some really great instructions on how to make panels similar to these above, go to “How to make a Fabric Headboard” on All Things Thrifty.


For how to make separate upholstered panels like these above, go to Denver Post, which features the tutorial from Mark Montano’s “Big Ass Book of Decorating Ideas.” I especially like this version because it’s easy to swap fabrics depending on the season, you bedding, mood, etc.

C.Here’s a great tutorial from Instructables.

I hope this helps! Does anyone else have any tips or ideas? Has anyone made an upholstered headboard and have any words of wisdom?


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