DIY and Crafts

Elevate your bedroom look with this DIY headboard how-to

A beautiful bed look isn’t complete without a statement bedhead to back it up. Nikkie Kettle demonstrates how to make your own DIY headboard

DIY headboard

Before you start, measure the width of your bed to help you determine what size the base of your headboard needs to be. If you want the headboard to overhang the bedframe, add 10cm to the measurement. I made this headboard for a king bed and my measurements were 2.1m wide with a top height of 1.2m and two 150mm legs. I could get all the pieces I needed from one 2.4m x 1.2m piece of MDF.

You will need:

  • 2.4m x 1.2m sheet of plywood or MDF (I used an 18mm thick MDF)
  • Jigsaw
  • Drawing pin and string
  • Pencil and scissors
  • 3m fabric
  • Wadding
  • Gun stapler
  • Level
  • 12 x 32mm wood screws


1. Lay the sheet of MDF flat on the ground and measure and mark two 150mm x 1.2m legs on the piece of MDF. Cut off using the jigsaw.

2. You should now be left with a sheet of MDF that’s 2.1m x 1.2m. Find the centre in the width and insert a drawing pin. Attach one end of the string to the pin and wrap the other end around a pencil – make sure the string is 1.2m long. Take the pencil to the top of the MDF, and then swing it either side of the board to create a semi-circle. Carefully cut out with the jigsaw.

DIY headboard

3. Lay the fabric on the ground – good side down – and then lay the wadding over top. Place the cut headboard on top of the fabric and wadding, then mark 100mm allowance around the shape with a pencil. Cut the fabric and wadding.

DIY headboard

4. Stretch and staple the fabric and wadding to the headboard. Start at the bottom first, then do the top of the semi-circle, followed by the bottom corners using a tidy fold and cutting away excess fabric.

5. Now staple the sides. To prevent bunching or creasing, create lots of little folds or pleats as you move down the curve (you won’t see these from the front). Once you’re happy with the stretch and look, secure the fabric with more staples all the way around the back of the board.

DIY headboard

6. Measure the height you want the headboard to sit at from the floor and mark this measurement on the two MDF legs. This one is for a king and stands at 350mm off the floor. Lay the legs on the back of the headboard as far apart as possible without being seen (mine are 1400mm apart), lining up the mark with the bottom edge of the board. Attach with screws, spaced evenly apart up the leg, spaced 2cm in on each leg.

Project and styling by: Nikki Kettle. Photography by: Anna Briggs

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