Without giving away too much of our guest bedroom, we finished the upholstered bed and I’m SO happy with how it turned out. As promised, I photographed the entire process to create a tutorial for you. Although, I will say- this bed didn’t manifest out of thin air. In an effort to repurpose the existing bed that lived in this room, we worked with what we had and use the same frame and rails. All of the details are in the post, but it went pretty smoothly and the result is quite gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Click through to see how we transformed our old guest bed and get the scoop on my DIY upholstered headboard…
Ok, let’s do a before… this is what the bed looked like before- maybe you remember it from our previous guest bedroom, pictured below, at our old house? It was a great looking, sturdy bed, but it didn’t fit my vision for this room after we renovated (that reveal is coming soon, BTW).
My plan was to switch up the fabric, add some pattern, and create a bit of drama with a unique shaped headboard. You can catch my initial design plan here. When beginning this room forever ago (last year), I had purchased a custom bed and was planning to sell or donate our existing bed. Insert the pandemic and global shut-down… my bed got delayed, the wrong bed shipped, I ended up canceling the order altogether, and decided to up-cycle the bed we had. Long story short, this bed project cost us $300… it looks strikingly similar to the one I had initially ordered, which cost $1,700- and that was just for the headboard alone. I’m calling this a major win!
Ready for the process? It was honestly pretty easy! It just took a bit of patience. You can find the supply list below:
SUPPLIES + TOOLS:
- existing bed frame with rails (similar)
- batting, cut to size
- staple gun & air compressor
- upholstery weight fabric (mine came from a local shop) linking similar option
- dust cover cloth
- wood glue
- super 77 spray adhesive
- staple remover
Step 1 // Determine your headboard shape, then cut it to size. After some careful measuring, I determined the size and shape I wanted the new headboard to be. Here’s the big confession: for the sake of time, I sketched it out in CAD and sent it over to Emmett at work, and he cut it out on the CNC router. It took five minutes, so it worked out well and saved us hours running to Lowe’s and cutting it out with our own saw.
I realize having access to fancy equipment, like a CNC router, isn’t the norm… but you can easily use plywood, MDF, particle board or wood, trace your pattern, and cut it out using an electric saw for the exact same look. We are just fortunate to have access to cabinetry equipment, so we took that route to speed up the process.
Step 2 // Assemble the headboard. We wanted our headboard to have some depth to it- it’s about 3 inches deep. Therefore, Emmett cut out an outline of the headboard, knowing that we’d glue and nail it to the backside… giving the impression that it has depth, while keeping it lightweight.
We used wood glue and finishing nails to tack the outline to the back of the headboard. We also included a couple braces for additional support. Again- this is totally optional… I just liked the look of a thicker headboard, so we layered the material.
Step 3 // Adhere the batting to the board. I dug out some very old Super 77 to spray on the particle board to help hold the batting in place. This step is critical in keeping your headboard wrinkle free! It will also prevent it from sagging over time. We used clamps to help with this process, while smoothing it out.
Step 4 // Cut off the excess batting. Once the batting is totally stuck and secure, you can begin trimming the excess, around the perimeter.
It should look something like this (see above)! We cut it pretty close to the edge, for a nice clean look. The spray adhesive was especially helpful in holding the batting to the edges, where it wraps. Once the batting is finished, it will look like this…
Step 5 // Prep your fabric. Next, prep your fabric by making sure it is facing the appropriate direction, determine the pattern, and scale everything out. Once you have it planned, you can rough cut it.
Step 6 // Staple the fabric to the headboard. We began stapling at the top of the headboard and worked our way to the edges.
Pulling the fabric tight, and being carefully not to distort the linear pattern in our fabric, we continued stapling around the perimeter of the headboard.
Step 7 // Cut off the excess fabric. Once the fabric is stapled to the headboard, clean up the backside by cutting off any excess fabric.
Your finished headboard should look something like this, pictured above. Next, we’ll move onto upholstering the bed rails.
Step 8 // Move onto upholstering the rails. The rails are very quick and easy to upholster. Following the same steps, staple the fabric to the rail. We actually ended up upholstering directly on top of the existing velvet fabric. We didn’t even worry about adding new batting.
Step 9 // Attach the dust cover. Once all of your fabric has been stapled, it’s time to add the black dust cover for a clean, finished look. Cut the dust cover fabric to size and staple it over the upholstery fabric on the backside, concealing any uneven lines or excess fabric.
Step 10 // Assemble the bed. Once all of our pieces had been upholstered, we reassembled the bed- reattaching the rails and the new headboard. It turned out really beautiful and looks wonderful in the space! I love the height the headboard adds.
One last thing to note… when upholstering the rails- if you’re using a patterned fabric, make sure your pattern aligns where the rails connect. We made sure to upholster each rail in the same way, using the exact pattern repeat. Alignment and little details like this make a piece of furniture feel custom, high-end, and thoughtful.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our new guest bed! I’m incredibly happy with how it came together. Emmett and I are both thrilled we saved a lot of money, and I think it’s going to look fantastic in our finished guest room. I’m just waiting on accessories to arrive, and then we’ll be able to wrap things up, photograph, and share the newly renovated room here on the blog. Exciting stuff! Let me know if you have any upholstery questions. I’m working on an IG video for this project as well. PS: if it wasn’t obvious- I haven’t dressed the bed yet… this is just the box spring and mattress, in the photos.