October 22, 2012

DIY Pottery Barn Nailhead trim Headboard

Have you ever caught yourself browsing at this Ballard Designs upholstered headboard here or how about this Pottery Barn upholstered headboard here? But then you remember that thing called money? Because if I bought one of these... well let's just say I would have a very happy husband among other things! So... I decided to browse Pinterest & Google for some ideas for a cheaper version of these beds for people like us... who really don't have too much to spend.

If you haven't started following me on Pinterest, you can follow me here! A few days ago, I saw this DIY project on "Our Vintage Home." You can find their tutorial here! I love her home and she did such a great job with this headboard! Here's my version...hope y'all enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a perfect bed. So if you are going to point out all the imperfections, just don't. I'm just happy I saved HUNDREDS of dollars by doing this myself!

Ok! Let's begin! Here's what you'll need:

-3/4 inch thick piece of Plywood. Ask Lowe's or Home Depot to cut it to size for you. For my bed, I did a queen size which is 60 inches or 5 feet wide. I wanted the bed to be 4 foot tall so I simply told the sales person that I wanted a 5'x4' cut on my plywood. :-)
- 3 1x4's. Over at Our Vintage Home, she used 1x3's but I choose 1x4's because I wanted my supports a bit wider but it really doesn't matter!
- Staple Gun
-Screws (20)
-Twine (Optional)
-Measuring Tape
-Saw (Hand saw, any kind really!)
-Fabric of your choosing (Measurements depend on your bed size)
-Nail heads (Optional)
-Quilt Batting (Found at your local JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby, measurements depend on your bed size)

Depending on what size bed you have, here are the measurements for those sizes: 

I tried to snap a quick photo of some of my major supplies. Here is the plywood I had Lowe's cut and my 1x4's laying on my garage floor. Please ignore my pumpkins, dog toy & ugly first coat on my beautiful desk. Seriously, ignore it people!

The first thing that I did was line up two of my 1x4's on the ends of the plywood. I have a marking pencil from Lowe's to mark my ends. You can sort of see where I marked. I marked in two places. Where the bottom of the plywood hits the support boards & where I was going to cut which is the second line. That line represents the bottom of the legs.

My hubby decided to take a few photos of me marking my wood. Like that new dresser to the right? I need to start working on her...she is going to be so pretty and will be available in my shop!

Ok. Now this is just the way I did it but I took (6) screws for each side of the supports and drilled them in zig zag style. I recommend a drill for this portion. Make sure to line up each 1x4 to the sides & top & bottom of the plywood. It's simple people. Just make it even and clamp it!

I use a small clamp when I am drilling or gluing any pieces of wood together. This is optional but I strongly recommend it because it will make cutting & drilling a heck of a lot easier :-) Whenever you drill your screws into the wood, there should be NO spaces where you can see in-between the two pieces. Notice in the below picture there is no spaces in-between these two pieces of wood. It should be seamless as shown. 

After you have marked and drilled each side, this will bring you to your sawing. It doesn't matter what kind of saw you use as long as you can cut wood with it! Cut at the line that you drew earlier which will be at whatever height you want your bed to sit at. Remember, I wanted mine at 4ft as shown.

You will take your last 1x4 and repeat these steps. Measure the 1x4 to fit seamless in-between your other two 1x4's as shown. Cut on your lines & drill into place. This is what it should look like below.

This is what quilt batting looks like. I opted for something thin because I wanted to make sure my railhead trim would go through it. I simply bought 6ft of it to ensure that I would have plenty to work with. It left about 6 inches on each side to staple to the back of my headboard.

Notice in the picture below, I used scissors to cut ONLY to the bottom of the plywood so I could staple this batting back. I cut the excess on the actual leg off. It will be covered with fabric later.

Here's another picture my husband snapped of me stapling the batting to the headboard. It doesn't have to be perfect people! I know I look rough, it was 9pm at night :-) PS, I am using an electric staple/nail gun. You can find it here! I found it on the Clearance rack that day at Lowe's for $20! I'll take it! It makes things a TON easier when upholstering furniture & also building furniture. I highly recommend it as well but please use with caution because they can be dangerous! If you're not using it, make sure to always turn the on switch off just in case! :-)

Here's a photo of my fabric because it needed ironing BAD! And my boys watching all that I do. They are so nosey :P This is a drop cloth for painting also from Lowe's. But you could use ANY fabric for this project! Endless possibilities as I always say!

Here's a photo after I started stapling my fabric on. Notice I did the same thing with my fabric as I did with my batting. I simply cut it to staple it on the back of my headboard. I pulled the excess fabric that is sitting on the leg over and stapled it to the back as well. Try to do this as neatly as possibly with lightly folding over edges to get a seamless look.

Here's an updated picture with batting & fabric done. I was SO excited at this point but exhausted! Be sure to be able to give a couple of hours to this project! The hardest part in my opinion is coming up!

I purchased all of my supplies from Lowe's or had them in my home. The nailheads I found in the nail section, imagine that! I wanted to make sure I had enough of them so I think I bought around 6 packs of them. Each pack contains 25 nail heads. I still have 3.5 left over but better to be safe than sorry!

I measured 4 inches from each corner at top and bottom of the headboard & marked it with my carpentry pencil. I lightly hammered two nail heads into each marking and wrapped my twine at each end so I sort of had a "guide" like "Our Vintage Home" did it. I must suck because mine did NOT come out perfect but that's ok because... I still saved HUNDREDS of dollars and that is so much more worth it than a few nailheads not being perfectly even :-) HEHE.

I did this all around the headboard. I didn't bother to do the bottom of the headboard because my mattress was going to cover it and the comforter. Yours probably will to but do it if you would like....

Drumroll please....

Here's the final result and I am in LOVE! I want to make a million of them. But we only have 3 bedrooms. And I feel guilty for already wanting to try a new fabric :-)

So what do you think of my custom headboard tutorial? I literally saved HUNDREDS of dollars and it feels so good. If you didn't catch my tips before, here are the measurements for most beds. 

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or if you try this! Follow me on FB here!

Linking back to Thrifty Decor Chick! Check her website out by clicking thrifty decor chick :)



  1. Love it! Great job!! I love the new blog layout too ;)

  2. Looks great, Ally! Ironing all that fabric looks like the hardest part. {I'm not so handy with an iron, so that part scares me!} Have a great day!

  3. I will definitely have to try this, thank you!

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