How to Cover a Headboard

Covering a headboard is a fun project that will give a new and refreshed look to your bedroom. Pick a fabric that coordinates well with your bedroom decor--either the same fabric or a contrasting compliment--to accent your headboard well. This change will add style and a touch of pizazz to your bed.

Prepare Your Headboard

Simple fabric headboard
  1. Lay your headboard face down on a piece of batting that is larger than the headboard. Fold the batting over the edges and staple it in place on the back of the headboard, all around, at least every 6 inches. Cut away any excess. Add another layer of batting if you want a thickly padded headboard.
  2. Next, lay the batting-covered headboard face down on the wrong side of your fabric. Make sure there is enough excess fabric to fold over and cover the batting.
  3. At the center top of the headboard, fold the fabric over and staple it to the backside of the headboard. Go to the center bottom of the headboard, pull the fabric taut from the center, fold it over and staple the fabric to the back side of the headboard.
  4. Next, go to one side of the headboard and fold the fabric over the edge. Staple it in place. Repeat at the other side, making sure that the fabric is pulled taut. Staple.
  5. Now, staple the rest of the fabric around the headboard, starting at one of the existing staples and working your way all around. Staple at every 3 inches, or closer if necessary.
  6. When you get to the corners, fold the fabric over the edge, pleat it and staple it in place. Cut away the excess.

Cover the Back

  1. Measure the width and length of your headboard, and cut a piece of fabric for the back of your headboard.
  2. Lay the fabric--wrong side down--onto the back of the headboard. Starting at the center top, fold the fabric edge under and staple just above the staples holding the front fabric in place. This will cover them. Repeat at the center bottom, making sure to pull the fabric taut.
  3. Next, fold the fabric edge over at both sides and staple in place.
  4. Staple the rest of the fabric in place, remembering to fold the edges under. Staple every 5 inches, closer or wider as is necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Fabric to cover the front
  • Fabric to cover the back
  • Batting
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure


  • If you want a tufted look, drill holes in your headboard, evenly spaced, to thread the buttons through. This is done before covering with fabric and batting.


  • Be careful when removing your headboard. It is heavy.

About the Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on various websites. Manal received her Bachelor of Science in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.

Photo Credits

  • Kaboodle, Deep Fried Kudzu