Rebecca Atwood is a textile designer and the author of two best-selling design books, Living With Pattern and Living With Color. Based in Brooklyn, she’s made waves in the interior design world with elegant patterns and playful color palettes, featured on everything from throw pillows to wallpaper.

Today, the designer is sharing an easy home project that even the most DIY-adverse could tackle: reupholstering a headboard! Read on for Rebecca’s tips, and then choose the fabric you’d love to use here.

Reupholstering a headboard is a great way to update your bedroom. Patterned fabric can easily transform your bed’s look and even give your bedroom a more calm, personal feel. The great thing about a headboard is that it is an easy upholstery project requiring just the headboard, a staple gun and staples, fabric and scissors. A headboard is a great way to frame your bed and change the appearance of the room.  You can find inexpensive options and reupholster it to suit your look. 

You will need 2-3 yards of fabric depending on your bed size. Typically Queen beds need two yards and Kings need three, but you should always measure the headboard before purchasing fabric as they do vary. Account for adding around 10 inches for folding the fabric around the headboard.

— Basic, inexpensive headboard (as an alternative you can buy wood and cover in foam and follow the same steps )
— Batting if you need extra padding 
— Fabric 
— Staple gun + staples 
— Scissors 

You can learn more tips for choosing a headboard fabric here.

Step 1
If possible remove any finishing details on your headboard that might create a bump when covered. Hardware on the back that connects the headboard to the bed is fine to keep on.

Lay down enough batting to be stretched around furniture. Stretch the batting around to the back and begin to staple it in place. If the piece of furniture requires more padding, consider foam instead of batting. Be sure to keep it tight by alternating sides: staple one side and then move to the opposite, pulling it tight in between each time you staple. Keep the corners neat and smooth folding like hospital corners when making a bed.   

Step 2
Lay down enough fabric to cover the headboard. If you have a pattern with a large repeat, you may want to center it first to make sure you’re happy with the placement. Cut the fabric down to size so you have about 5 extra inches all around the headboard to staple the fabric to the back.

Step 3
Stretch the fabric around to the back and begin to staple it in place. Be sure to keep it tight by alternating sides: staple one side and then move to the opposite side, pulling the fabric tight in between each time you staple, similar to how you’d stretch a canvas for painting. Keep the corners neat and smooth, folding them like hospital corners on a bed, and staple to finish.

We recommend buying a headboard without tufting but you can use any headboard. If you are not buying a headboard that has battling or you want extra cushion you can always add it using the same technique as your fabric stretching. You may also use foam instead of batting. 

Step 4: Finish (optional) 
If you want a more finished look on the bottom or back of the furniture, cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the unfinished parts and staple it neatly over the exposed area