Handmade Nailhead Upholstered Headboard

The final layer of my master bedroom project is complete!  I finished my headboard this weekend, and I am so excited about how it turned out.  After the initial planning, measuring, and cutting of the base wood, the upholstery went really fast.  And if you’re curious about using nailhead trim, use it.  I’ve done traditional nailheads on a project before, and it was painfully tedious.  Nailhead trim, however, was actually really fun to apply.


Whenever I have a vision like the layering of shelf, headboard, side table in my mind, I’m always just a little worried that I’ll work really hard on one of the pieces of the puzzle and then not like the way it fits in.  The entire time I’m covering and hammering there was about 5% of me that was worried it just wouldn’t look right in the room.

I’m happy to say that not only do I love the finished product itself, but I love it in the room as well.  To see more of the actual headboard creation process, keep reading!

Step One: Cut the wood base to size and shape. For me, this meant cutting out two curved corners.

Step Two: Add 4 layers of batting (this comes in a giant 10 yd roll)

*House of Earnest Tip: Along the curved portions of the headboard, I cut little slits into the batting so that it would curve around the wood smoothly and alleviate wrinkles.

Secure the batting in place with an upholstery gun.  Start by just securing a couple of spots on each side of the headboard to get the batting even and smooth.

Although I didn’t take may photos of me actually securing the fabric, I followed the same process as I did with the batting. I started by tacking on the fabric in just a few places about 12 inches apart on each side. This allowed me to make sure the fabric wasn’t pulling or uneven before getting it too attached to the base. I then went back in and filled in all of the ‘in-between’ spots, tacking about every inch.

After the fabric was secure, I went on to the nailhead trim. Just like with the batting and fabric. I started by nailing in just about 2-3 holes per side to get the nailhead straight. Once aligned, I filled in the remaining holes with nailhead tacks.

The trim was bendy which made the corners easier. I just pushed the trim gently into place before securing with a tack.

I LOVE the way it turned out.  How about you? Did you get into any projects this weekend?

Have a HAPPY HAPPY Monday!

p.s. I’m definitely going to have a happy happy monday because I’m preparing for my vacation this week and I just can’t wait.

p.p.s Next Monday, I’m doing a complete post on the progression of the room, but in the meantime if you want to snoop around at some of the progress you can see it all HERE.


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    • Erin says

      I’d really like to at some point! I’m always on the hunt for something lighter colored and dog feet friendly.
      I love the quality of the brown one though and it washes up really nicely, so although I don’t *love* the color, I’m not quite ready to get rid of it!

    • Erin says

      Mandy – I do have an upholstery gun. I bought it last summer when I purchased the antique settee. It makes a HUGE difference in the ease of doing projects like this.

  1. Denise says

    This turned out great! I’ve been thinking about making a headboard for a while. I’m not sure how to secure it to my bed frame though. Any tips?

  2. Tanya says

    I LOVE it! I am looking for ideas for a headboard for our guest room; I am inspired. We are doing wall moldings in the main area of our house so we worked on that this weekend. I feel like owning a house is one big project!

  3. Pam says

    Hi Erin! What brand of nailhead trim did you use and where did you buy it? I am about to embark on a headboard project of my own and almost all of the other diy projects i’ve seen using nailhead trim come out looking kind of crummy. Yours is the first one i’ve liked!

  4. Sandra says

    What kind of wood did you use?
    How did you cut it or did you get it cut?Can the headboard just lean against the wall?


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