Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to build a Focal Wall Headboard

Have you seen our new master bedroom yet??

I'm completely joking. I've shared this master bedroom reveal more in the last month than y'all can probably handle...but I'm not done yet! Today I'm showing the last piece of work that we've done in the master bedroom to date.  But don't you worry. I have a couple more master bedroom projects in my back pocket. 

And today, as part of the Look for Less Design Challenge series with six other wonderful bloggers, I'm sharing this beautiful Focal Wall Headboard.

How to build a focal wall headboard

Yup, that's right. The team's back again with this quarter's Look for Less Design Challenge.

Look for Less Design Challenge

While searching for bedroom inspiration, I found this beautiful bedroom on Houzz and knew I needed to make a focal wall headboard just like this one.

Houzz Grey Headboard Bedroom

It's so bold in a classic and clean way, which I love. While I don't know the exact cost of this headboard because the photographer doesn't know the source, I was able to find a Panel Tufted Headboard from West Elm ($449) and this Modloft Prince Platform Bed from Wayfair ($1,450) that look really similar to the look I was going for. So from a cost comparison perspective, I feel like this focal wall, panel tufted headboard from my Houzz inspiration was probably around $600-750.

And boy oh boy, can we DIY that for a whole lot less!

How to Build a Focal Wall Headboard

First step for us was sketching out a general plan for our headboard. We like to be flexible during furniture construction with dimensions and the overall building plan. Since construction is what that Justin does for a living, he often times thinks up new, innovative ways to complete a project that isn't even close to what we had originally planned, but almost always better than our original plan. This project was no different.

Based on the dimensions of our bedroom, we estimated the width of our focal wall (I wanted our headboard to be nearly the entire length of the wall). I also knew I wanted to hang my DIY Artwork above the bed, so we determined our headboard height based on saving space for those framed prints.

Here's what we ended up with:
Nine, seperately upholstered planks; three 76" x 14", and six 24" x 14" 

Focal Headboard Plans

Step 1:

Cut the individual planks that make up the focal wall headboard. We decided to build the headboard planks with MDF to ensure that they wouldn't warp over time.

Cutting the Headboard MDF

Step 2:

Upholster the planks with batten. I've never upholstered anything before, so kind of I learned as I went but I think it turned out really well!

I started with Soft & Crafty batten which I purchased pre-packaged from Joann Fabrics for about $30, which I wrapped around the front of each plank and secured in place with our soffit stapler.  

Tip: If you have a soffit stapler, I'd highly recommend using that instead of a hand stapler. This way was much easier on my muscles. 

Stapling the Batting

Step 3:

Then it was time to prep the fabric. I measured, cut and ironed my pretty grey and gold fabric I also found at Joann Fabrics for $7.50/yard (which I purchased with my 30% off coupon). I ended up spending only $36 on fabric.

I purchased this fabric because it was a perfect shade of grey, a little thicker, but not the $44/yard furniture fabric that I couldn't afford in my headboard budget. The awesome gold of this fabric won't show in the headboard but you may just be seeing it in a future project. Wink wink.

Pretty Gold Fabric

The fabric was extra wrinkly from being folded up on the bolt in the store, so I took my time ironing all the fabric and making sure it was pristine. Then clamped it onto the planks (to hold it in place) so I could start stapling it on to the MDF.

Ironing Fabric
Clamping Fabric

 And here's what it looked like on the back once I had I had the batten & the fabric stapled down.

Upholstered Headboard Planks
Fabric Corners

And here's how beautiful the plank looked like from the front.

Upholstered Plank Horizontal

Step 4: 

After the upholstery was done, it was time to figure out how to best affix these planks to the wall. Justin, being the genius that he is (yes, I'm sucking up here), recommended finding some sort of hooks almost like picture frame hangers for each individual plank. And after a trip to Home Depot, we found exactly what he was envisioning with the Hangman 60lb. French Cleat Picture Hanger with mounting screws.

This "French Cleat" system works out perfectly. You affix half of the system to the back of your headboard plank (or piece of artwork if you're using it for it's real purpose) and the other half of the system gets affixed to the wall. Then they hook on each other and literally do not budge. So smart!

So first step was putting the piece on the back of each piece of headboard plank. For the smaller pieces, we centered the hanger exactly within the rectangle to create equal pressure when hung. For the longer pieces, we put one hanger on each side.  

Tip: Make sure that the hangers are level on the wall and piece of headboard so it all hangs straight.

Hanging Fixture on Headboard Plank

Luckily, we had our two assistants there to help us with the hanging process.

Our Assistants
Attaching Hanging Fixture to Wall

After making sure that each piece was level and each piece was tight to the next, we were left with this beautiful hanging headboard.

Hanging Headboard

And here's the final product with the remainder of our room set up!

Master Bedroom with DIY Artwork
Master Bedroom Update
DIY Headboard Collage

So there you have it. $115 and a few hours later, we have our beautiful panel tufted headboard as our main focal point in the mater bedroom. I couldn't have asked for it to look any better.

Looking for more DIY inspiration? Check out these six other amazing Look for Less projects from the rest of the team - or check out our last Look for Less Design Challenge!

Note: Just click on the photos below to be directed to these other Look for Less projects! 

Image Map

Linking up to: Give Me The Goods Monday, Make it Pretty Monday, Motivate Me MondayMonday Funday, That DIY Party, Mod Mix Monday, Tuesdays at Our Home, Remodelaholic, Time to SparkleWork It Wednesday, Simply Create Thursdays, Sunday Best, Inspire Me Please Creativity Unleashed, The Humble Brag, Friday Flash Blog, Lovely Ladies LinkyWow Us Wednesday,  Making Monday, Before and Afters,  Pincentive Blog Hop, Wow Me Wednesday,  Inspiration Gallery,  Feathered Nest Friday,  The Party Bunch, Link it or Lump it,  Frugal Crafty Home Party, It's a Party, Worthwhile Wednesday's, The Makers,


  1. Kayla, your master bedroom is seriously incredible! I will never get sick of you posting about it! SUCH a gorgeous transformation! I love you headboard so much. It's so different and unique to your space!

    xo Kylie

  2. that is really awesome kyla! i like how it looks on the wall now, very elegant♥
    well done to you and your husband!


  3. This is incredible! Found your blog via Shannon at sewing barefoot. Seriously though, this headboard is AWESOME. Pinning now!

  4. It turned out so great! That fabric is fantastic. I can't wait to see what you do with the gold side! Oh - and clamping the fabric to the planks....genius! I'll have to try that trick!

  5. This is absolutely gorgeous. It looks so high end and chic. I am in love with all the amazing projects you much so, that I've nominated you for a lobster award. Keep all the beautiful ideas coming!

  6. oh my goodness you are such a pro! I'm totally jealous of your room. Right now our "master" is no where near being finished annnnnd I don't even have a plan. if I had a bigger wall I would probably copy cat a little bit :)

  7. What a fantastic project and I love the fabric you chose too, great job!

  8. Hi
    Awesome ! i really found very informative article here and bookmarked this blog. Thank you.

  9. LOVE THIS! Such a DIY team, the two of you! I love the photo of your dogs on your bed - what real life looks like, right?! Thanks for letting me participate again!

  10. Hi
    Hi, what a great web blog. I usually spend hours on the net reading blogs on various subjects. And, I really would like to praise you for writing such a fabulous article

  11. This looks so awesome! I like yours even more than your inspiration piece! Thanks for the how-to, girl! Pinning!

    ~Abby =)

  12. very cool! I wish I had 1 solid wall in my bedroom to do something like this but I don't!
    Great job!

  13. Your assistants look so helpful! lol. Love this headboard. It's gorgeous.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Wow, the headboard turned out GREAT! I love this room, you guys did a fabulous job. Inspiring to say the least

  16. Wow! It looks like a pro job! Thanks for have inspired me to re-do mine. I am glad to have followed you via A Blossoming Life!

  17. I love, love love this! Thanks for sharing on Worthwhile Wednesdays. Hope to see you again tomorrow at the link party!
    Thanks again,
    Allie @

  18. Loving your headboard! Featuring you tomorrow at Work it Wednesday, Hope you can stop by..:-)Hugs~

  19. Love this. Where did you get that awesome rug?

  20. The whole thing is freaking awesome!

  21. So beautiful! It totally makes your whole room!

  22. The headboard turned out fabulous and your master bedroom looks like it came straight out of a design magazine!

  23. Pinning this one, too :-)

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  24. This is fabulous!!! Just shared it on my FB page :)

  25. Cute project! The whole room looks amazing! I've been looking around your blog for a while now and just love it! Count me as your newest follower :)

  26. Hi! I was wondering what thickness MDF you used?

  27. Hello! I was wondering where you guys got the grey pillow with the white zig zag? I really love this room!

  28. Nice work. i am very appreciate to visit your site and your wall's work better than wood wall panels and price i flexible.thanks for this post.
    3d wall panels
    glass mosaic tiles

  29. it turns out this is so beautiful wall headboard, after I saw and read step by step that you give, turned out to make it, I think it is very easy, and to make your own it will produce results with a certain satisfaction, and now, I plan to make tufted headboard with using a step by step as above, this will give a new thing for me, thank you, this article is so helpful :)

  30. The only suggestion would make is to always wear safety glasses when using power tools! Even with a hand held staple gun is a good idea! Please share this to the rest of the viewers know.

  31. Congratulations you've created the room of your dreams, I am very envious therefore :-) in my experience many ideas from beadboard lowes that can be taken to add an additional accent in this design sketch ...