Thursday, April 25, 2013

Part 2: "How To" Build a Raleigh Headboard, Upholstery

Hello, I am going to share with you Part 2 of our DIY project!  Building a Raleigh Headboard. Yesterday, I shared how to build the frame here: http://www.idreamofjeannedesigns.com/2013/04/part-1-how-to-build-Raleigh-headboard.html.
 So let's get started!

All materials listed here were purchased at our local fabric/upholstery store, a local store called Artistic Fabrics (St. Louis, MO)
Again, this is where you really need 2 sets of hands.
Fabric, good sturdy upholstery fabric. We used a linen/cotton blend
 We used about 3 1/2 yards, but purchased 4  (always safest to buy extra.)
3 packages (depending on your measurements for headboard) good quality upholstery FOAM. 
We purchased 2 rolls of 2" foam for the headboard piece, and another roll of 1 1/2" for wings.
Upholstery Batting(not quilt batting, this is stronger and thicker and will hold up through use)
(you would purchase the same amount as fabric, we used about 3 1/4 yards.)
Decorative Trim, purchase by the yard also, choose your color and style, we purchased double the amount we needed, because the color we wanted was not thick enough, so we doubled up the edges to cover our staples, then added our nail heads over the top.
Fabric and Foam Adhesive (not typical spray glue, but a webbing type of adhesive)
Decorative Nail Heads, we used 1" rustic bronze (special ordered)
Upholstery Stapler (we purchased ours for about $100 on Amazon)
Measuring Tape
Large Knife(we used a butcher knife, explained later)
Razor knife for smaller cuts

Glue gun
Hammer to nail in nail heads
Seems like a lot right?  After we begun the project, we did both look at each other and wonder if we should have just ordered the Pottery Barn bed.  But, we have a handmade headboard, a project of love, patience and determination.  You cannot buy that in a store! 
Step 1:
Measure the sizes you need to cover the entire face of the headboard with your foam, cut to size. We then, sprayed the adhesive in a quick consistent stream to be sure to cover the entire area. (Be sure to do this in a ventilated area)  We made sure our two pieces of foam did not have any gaps at all in between them or the edges where the back meets the wings. (You want a tight fit) Now, spray and add side foam to wings.  Make sure you use adequate pressure to adhere the foam.

Next, after you have adhered the foam, you need to trim the excess.  We used a large butcher knife for  smooth and easier cutting.

 After we covered the large areas with foam, we used scissors to cut smaller pieces of foam to cover the inside of the legs.


Now your foam is in place, you need the wrap the headboard and sides, including legs with the upholstery batting. 

Be sure to have a little fun while doing this!!
After you roll out the batting, you use the Upholstery Stapler to staple in place, we wrapped over all the edges by at least a few inches to insure smooth edges.  Be sure when stapling, to use a consistent distance between your staples to ensure no gaping or kinks in your material.


Covering the piece with fabric!

Ok, here it may get a bit tricky, but keep CALM and keep DIYing! 
First we decided to cover the legs to see how the fabric stapled and gathered.

Next we cut pieces to cover the sides, and stapled along the front edge of the wing.
It will look like this as your are covering the outside of the wing first.

Next, trim the excess before your begin to cover the interior.

Next, we decided to cover the interior or headboard piece(sorry I forgot a picture of that)
We used a large enough piece to cover the entire headboard including the interior of the wings.
This picture is showing how we stapled the fabric to wrap around the back of the piece.
Next, we wrapped the fabric over the front of the wings and stapled the fabric covering the staples from the back side.  Again, be sure to staple consistently the same distance apart.
Now, to create the perfect crease inside of your headboard along the wing and back attachment.  We tucked the fabric as tight as we could in between the headboard and wings.  Then we pushed the stapler all the way through the foam, until hitting wood, ensuring we had secure attachments. We stapled every inch to start, then realized it left little folds or creases, so we continuously stapled all the way down the crease.  Keep the staples very close.

This is the point, where my husband required refreshments to hydrate for his hard work.  I think maybe it was maybe more to deal with my non stop suggestions in the back of his ear. (smile)
Ok, now we are hydrated and have thought through our next process.  We needed to iron out a few creases on the fabric.
Finishing details. 
Well, for some reason, we forgot to take pictures of this process, but I will try to give you step by step instructions.  We covered all of the edges, front of wings and legs, and top of headboard with our decorative trim.  We used hot glue to glue this in place.  It took two people to work quickly.  My husband ran the glue and I followed adhering the trim.  Again, I mentioned we used double trim.  The trim we purchased was not wide enough for us, so I made the two pieces as close together as possible to cover all staples.
Measuring out the distance for Nail Heads:  We only had ordered one box of nails.  So we measured the entire distance of the bed frame and did a little math, we needed to place our nail heads at least 2" apart to have enough and to look appealing to the eye.

Now, our headboard is complete! 
Installing headboard.
We used  French Cleats, purchased at Home Depot.
(directions are on package of cleats.)
We decided that having bed attached to the wall was our best option.
It is sturdy and solid.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! 
My entire master bedroom reveal is just waiting on curtain installation, I hope to have completed by this weekend.  So be sure to check back!!  Thanks for reading.


  1. Your headboard turned out beautiful!! I just made my own headboard, not nearly as detailed as yours, and it was so much fun. Yours goes beautifully with all of the details in your room. :)
    Stopping by from HOH Linky. I would love for you to check out my cleaning blog over here.

    1. Thanks Angela! I will definitely check out your blog! Thanks for reading! Please check back, I am going to reveal the entire room remodel after this weekend!!! Thanks again.

  2. Wow, I have been searching for the perfect headboard. You're is just right. I like that you attached it to the wall. That made the best sense for me too. We have a lovely Victorian house. We hope to be moving in one year from now. Your tutorial was instruction perfect, easy to follow, not too wordy or the conical. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you JaneyC. We love our headboard! I am so glad that you thought the tutorial was easy to follow! We had a great time building this bed! Please post back if you build this bed! I would love to hear from you again! Have a great day!