Build A Quilted Headboard

If your theme for a bedroom is based on country living or is a garden theme, consider building a quilted headboard. They are easy to make, and offer a unique charm to any décor. The headboard will work for any size bed, and can be tailored for anything from a young girl's bedroom to the master suite. Because they are versatile, you can use just about any material for making one. They can be fastened to the wall, free standing, or have legs attached to an iron bed frame. Here we will discuss how to build a quilted headboard, materials used and tools needed.

A Quilted Headboard

You will need basic quilting skills. You may be lucky enough to find an old quilt at a thrift shop or antique store that fits your theme and can be purchased for a good price.

Materials Needed To Build A Quilted Headboard

* Sheet of 3/4" plywood

* Jig saw

* Staple gun

* Tape measure

*Kraft paper

* Pencil or Magic Marker

* Fabric glue

* Sewing machine, and appropriate thread

* Medium grit sandpaper

* (2) 1 X 6 boards for legs

Fabric Required

* Quilting Fabric

* Poly cotton lining for front and back

* Cotton batting

* Muslin for backing

* Ornamental cord, piping or braid

Building The Headboard

Now that all the materials are assembled, follow these steps to build the headboard.

1. Measure the headboard height and width. Remember to make the headboard high enough to show above pillows and

2. Draw the design on Kraft paper, using the measurements from step 1. Now is the time to add any curves to the design.

3. Using the Kraft paper as a template, transfer the design to the plywood.

4. Cut the plywood to the pattern. Sand all edges to remove splinters and sharp edges.

5. Measure and cut the 1 X 6 boards for the legs, allowing at least 32" in length for support of the headboard.

6. Attach the legs to the headboard, using at least 2 wood screws of the proper length on each leg. Set the headboard aside for now.

Making The Quilt

This headboard is designed so that the quilting is a slip cover; that way it can be removed for laundering. Assuming you have knowledge of basic quilting, let's begin to make the cover.

1. Lay out the poly-cotton, cotton batting and fabric to use for the quilt, pinning all three layers together.

2. Lay the headboard on the fabric, and cut the fabric leaving a generous seam allowance.

3. Allow 8" at the bottom to ensure that the quilting will reach below the mattress.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 so that you have two matching pieces -- front and back.

5. Pinning the 3 front panels together, quilt in any fashion you desire. This can be as plain or as fancy as your skills allow.

6. Repeat the quilting process for the back panel.

7. Pin the front and back panel together. Slip the two panels over the headboard frame and be sure there is enough clearance for the legs. Adjust accordingly.

8. With right sides facing, sew the panels together . Leave the bottom open and whip-stitch a hem to cover the ragged edge of the material.

9. If desired, sew ribbon ties on the bottom to secure the quilt to the headboard. This is a nice finishing touch.

Putting It All Together

Now that the quilting is done, it is time to assemble the headboard. Slide the quilted cover over the headboard. Using fabric glue, attach any decorative cord or piping to the quilted material. Tie the ribbons at the bottom. Using an electric drill, drill mounting holes that match the holes in the iron bed frame. Fasten the headboard to
the frame with lag bolts, being sure to use washers to avoid the possibility of splitting the legs through the stress of moving or leaning against the headboard. If you wish, you can simply set the headboard against the wall and use the bed to stabilize it. The beauty of thisheadboard is that you can simply change out the quilted fabric whenever you feel you need a change in décor.


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Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.