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DIY Padded Headboard: No Sew and Cheap!

Learn how to make an easy and cheap DIY padded headboard without sewing! Update an existing headboard to a simple upholstered one!

Hi Friends!!  I am still in the middle of my master bedroom makeover.  It seems to be taking a long time since I keep getting distracted with other things. 

I did want to share with you how I made an easy and cheap DIY padded headboard out of my old headboard since this is one thing I have completed!

At first, I really wanted to build a whole new headboard.  There are so many fun ideas out there and I kind of wanted a barn door or all wood one. 

Pinterest had me drooling with all the amazing DIY headboards on there.

diy padded headboard pin

This was my old ugly headboard that we’ve had for over 16 years.  Just a plain slatted ugly orangish color headboard.

master bedroom makeover

However, my hubby really wanted a padded headboard since we read in bed every night.  My hubby is great with all my remodels and never really asks for something specific, so when he does, I take it to heart. 

Plus it was a whole lot cheaper to put together this DIY padded headboard than to buy a bunch of wood.

The price of the covered headboard will depend on your fabric.  I did splurge a little on the fabric since I wanted it to be the same as my window seat cushion (tutorial on my new DIY window seat to come!).  I bought this cool gray fabric at Joann’s when it was 50% off plus an additional 25% so it wasn’t too bad.

You could always use an old sheet, blanket, tablecloth, drape or any large piece of fabric you might have to cover an old headboard. 

Another possibility is to check out Goodwill or local thrift stores for blankets or tablecloths to use.  If you have a King bed as I do, then you need something big.

Materials Needed for DIY Padded Headboard

  • old headboard (Or you can always make one out of 2x4s and plywood.  There are some great tutorials on Pinterest!)
  • staple gun
  • egg carton foam mattress topper – I found one at Target. Twin Extra long for a King bed.  Under $12!!
  • batting – I was in luck and found some at Goodwill for $2!  Use your coupon and get it at Joanns or Michaels.

Putting together this DIY padded headboard maybe took 30 minutes.  It’s so easy since it’s such a simple headboard.  I did want to put tufts in, but then I just wanted to get it done!  But you could always put in tufts, buttons or hardware around the edges.

How to Cover an Ugly Headboard

I took the headboard off and laid it on the floor. I laid the foam mattress on top of it and centered it. 

It wasn’t big enough to fold fully in half which ended up working well since it ended up tapering toward the bottom.  I used my staple gun to staple the bottom layer of the foam to some of the slats underneath. 

This will hold it in place so it doesn’t slide down once it’s standing up!

making a diy padded headboard
stapling a pad to an ugly headboard

Then lay the batting on top of the foam.  Make sure you have enough to wrap around to the back.

diy padded headboard

I put a few staples on the side through the batting so it wouldn’t move when I put the fabric on.

diy padded headboard

I laid the fabric over it with about 6 inches hanging over on each side and cut it.

diy padded headboard

The thing you need to remember about headboards – no one sees the back of it, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like!!

Making a Padded Headboard

I stood the headboard up and stapled the top under the rim first.  I tucked the fabric underneath the bottom and then stapled. 

I folded the edges kind of like wrapping a present to get it as even and flat as possible.

diy padded headboard

Not pretty on the backside, but who cares??!!  No one sees it!  I did cut away the extra fabric and that was it!

diy padded headboard
diy padded headboard
diy padded headboard

I attached it back onto my bed frame and now I have a nice DIY padded headboard!

simple headboard diy

You can see the padded headboard cover tapers down towards the bottom.  We put pillows in front of it so you can’t tell it doesn’t cover everything!

simple headboard diy
simple headboard diy

I did make those cute DIY wall shelves.  Click here to find out how to make your own turnbuckle rustic wall shelves!

simple headboard diy

I had grand plans of making a quilt for the bedspread, but having never made a quilt before, I quickly decided against it.  I need to start off with smaller quilts! 

So, instead, I got this $28 quilt, shams, and “happy” pillow off

how to make a padded headboard from old ugly headboard
simple headboard diy
padded headboard DIY

If you’d like to save this DIY headboard cover for later, PIN the picture below now if you’d like!

diy headboard upholstered pin

I finally painted all of my bedroom furniture and it makes such a huge difference!  Check out how to paint with chalk paints easily here.

grey chalk paint furniture

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Let me know if you have any questions!

leap of faith crafting

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  1. Carla says:

    This worked PERFECTLY on our (previously) annoying headboard. It now looks and feels great, and no pillows falling between the horizontal rails. I don’t even want to tell you the janky fix we used before finding your post!

  2. Yay! Isn’t it nice to update an annoying headboard?? So glad it worked for you! Enjoy!

  3. Sabrina says:

    Finding your post has saved me sooooo much money! I’m about to redo my master bedroom but didn’t want to spend a fortune, so thank you!! I’m also totally in love with the wall behind your bed…can I ask: how did you do that?

  4. It is actually a peel and stick wallpaper! I think I got it from Target. Home Depot and Lowe’s also carry them. Super easy to do! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to