Feminine & French Inspired Fabric Covered Headboard

September 16, 2009

William Hickson once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” 

This is the story of my guest studio headboard.  A few months ago, I had an idea to convert some leftover cabinet doors into a headboard by covering them in fabric and mounting them on the wall.  It was a good idea, but the final result did not meet with my satisfaction.   

So I came back for Round Two.  This time, I did it right.  With some plywood, foam, batting and a discount curtain panel, I created a new and improved fabric covered headboard for my guests.  And this time, I trimmed in with some decorative moulding.

Here’s a peek:

headboard from left side

Here’s how I created this romantic and feminine French inspired fabric covered headboard. 

At my local Target, the Blue Strie window panel collection is on clearance for $14 per panel.  It was the same panel I used to recover this ottoman for my office, and it is still available online here (though not on sale online).  I purchased three of these window panels.  One for each window, and one to cover my new headboard. 

Ordinarily, I’m against being so matchy matchy with my fabric choices, but in this case I made a deliberate exception.  In my attempt to create a soft and serene space, I felt that the coordinating fabrics would work well here.

matching fabric


How to Make a Fabric Covered Headboard Trimmed with Decorative Moulding:


  1. Half inch plywood trimmed to fit wall.
  2. Fabric of choice
  3. Half inch foam to fit
  4. Batting to cover
  5. Decorative moulding of choice
  6. “D” ring hangers to mount on wall
  7. Paint of choice for decorative moulding

Tools:  Staple gun, screwdriver, level, hammer, finish nails, miter box or saw. 

supplies for headboard


Step One:  Choose your decorative moulding from a home improvement store.  Then have your home improvement store cut a piece of half inch plywood to fit your wall.  My measurements for my Cal King bed were 74” wide x 36” tall.  Make sure you subtract the width of your moulding from your final width and height measurement. 

Step Two:  Layer your half inch foam and batting on top of your plywood and if necessary, secure in place with a few staples on the very edge.

Tufting Tip:  If you want to add tufted buttons to your headboard, then measure and drill holes in the back of your headboard with a drill bit, and follow the tufting tutorial I used here and here

 headboard layers

Step Three:  Press your fabric to remove any wrinkles.   Place your layered plywood headboard on top of the fabric.  Pull taught, and staple every 8 inches.   

 staple every 6 inches

Turn your headboard over and make sure your fabric is aligned correctly.  If so, then staple all around every 2 inches.  Secure your corners as well.  Trim excess fabric. 

staple every 2 inches

 staple corners

Step Four:  Paint your trim to your color of choice.  I chose none other than Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.  

spray paint trim

Step Five:  Locate your wall studs on the wall, and measure the location of your “D” ring hangers.  Secure your hangers to plywood back with a screwdriver.  Hang headboard on wall.

 stud finder on wall

Double check your headboard is level before attaching trim. 

level headboard

Step Six:  Measure and cut your previously painted trim with a miter box or compound miter saw.  

compound miter saw

Secure to wall with brad nailer, or finish nails and a hammer.  Make sure you pound them in so they are flush to the trim.

finish nails

Spackle the corners to fill in any gaps. 

spackle corners

Step Eight:  If necessary, spackle your nail holes.  Paint over the nails to hide them.  In my case, I sprayed some of my spray paint into a plastic cup, and used an artist’s brush to paint over the nails. 

paint nails

Here’s a few more glimpses at the finished headboard. 

guest studio headboard from right

Do you spot my painted knockoff Draper chest that I found at a thrift store ?

headboard final

As pretty as a Wedgewood plate. 

headboard corner

 summer roses

Feminine.  Romantic.  French inspired. 

And inexpensive. 

If Mr. CG ever snores, this is where you’ll find me.   Zzzzzzzzzz. 


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