How To Make an Upholstered Bed Frame

We have casually looked at different upholstered headboard styles for a while, but nothing was just right. I noticed a pattern in everything we liked. They still had some elements of our current bed: wood tones, a footboard (amazing how many beds don’t have a footboard), and an upholstered piece in some way shape or form. 

So, we decided to try and make upholstered panels for our bed frame. I learned a lot on this project. The first attempt was a fail. The second time around we had a better game plan!

Supplies for the upholstered panels:

  • plywood
  • 1″ foam
  • spray glue
  • batting
  • fabric (it took 4.5 yds for our king bed)
  • staple gun

Supplies to attach to the bed frame:

  • liquid nails (or similar)
  • screws
  • pin nails

You’ll see that in some of these photos it looks like foam is being adhered to fabric…and it is. That was the failed attempt. So ignore that part and let’s focus on the “right” way to do it!

  1. Cut the plywood to fit your headboard and footboard. We did one panel on the front side/face of the headboard, and two for the footboard (one on each side – front and back). 
  2. Cut foam to fit the plywood – heating a knife seemed to work best. 
  3. Adhere foam to the plywood with spray adhesive.
  4. Cut your batting a few inches larger than the foam so there is enough to wrap around. Adhere this with spray adhesive on the face of the foam.
  5. Follow the same steps with the fabric.
  6. Wrap the batting/fabric tightly and staple on the back side of the plywood. Repeat the process on all four sides. Staple the corners last. The hardest part about this is pulling the fabric evenly so you don’t end up with wavy edges.
  7. Once the fabric panels are made, you can attach it to the bed frame!
  8. We used a combination of liquid nails and screws to attach to the front face of the headboard and footboard. We drilled pilot holes and screwed through the backside of the headboard and footboard into the upholstered panels.
  9. For the “inside” panel of the footboard we used liquid nails and pin nails.

I didn’t get too many pictures during the install because it was all hands on deck trying to line everything up (a laser level worked beautifully for this) and hold the panels in place while the other person attached the panels.

Here are the before and after pictures. We love how it turned out, and I feel like it makes such a difference in the room.

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