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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.


35 Comments on “Handmade Nailhead Upholstered Headboard”

  1. Stephanie March 19, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Looks great! We made an upholstered headboard for our bedroom, and now I want to add nailhead trim to it.

    • Erin March 19, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Stephanie – It was so so easy!

  2. Jae March 19, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    the shelves look great! as does the headboard. just curious, do you have plans to change the bedding?

    • Erin March 19, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      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!

    • Jae March 20, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Understood! I asked because I actually thought you would be all about something light and bright! Have a wonderful trip.

  3. Rebecca - A Daily Something March 19, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I’ve so been looking forward to seeing this, and it looks wonderful, Erin! Fantastic job!

  4. Mandy P. March 19, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Looks great…of course! Do you own an upholstery gun?! I dream of owning that kind of equipment. That’s advanced stuff.

    • Erin March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      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.

  5. Caryl Lyons March 19, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Erin – the rooms looks awesome. I love the nailhead look and had no idea that they had nailhead trim. Great job!! ~ Caryl

  6. courtney March 19, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    it looks wonderful!

  7. Will @ Bright.Bazaar March 19, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    What a fantastic DIY! Thanks for sharing the steps with us all here!

  8. Victoria March 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    This is beautiful…The nailhead trim is such a great detail!

  9. JENN March 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Gorgeous! You did such an amazing job, and it looks fabulous against your new bookshelves!

  10. Amy March 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    I LOVE IT!
    You are super talented.
    The master bedroom has come leaps and bounds! You’ve definitely made it your own!

  11. Denise March 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    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?

  12. Tanya March 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    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!

  13. Emily @ NewlyWife March 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I love it! You’d never know it was the trim instead of the individual ones. I think it’s the smarter way to go, especially when working in long straight lines like that.

  14. kate March 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    great job. how did you end up so crafty? 8-)

  15. Cindi March 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    The headboard is absolutely beautiful! The whole bedroom has come together so wonderful!

  16. Beth (Hello Lover) March 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    I am new here – I found you via the everygirl! Love your blog and I am officially your newest follower!

  17. Heather / It's So Suburban March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Wow, that looks great! I’ve got something like that on the agenda for my bedroom – whenever I might get around to it, that is!

  18. Becky March 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    The headboard turned out great! I really like how it looks with the shelving behind. :)

  19. a perfect gray March 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    if I wasn’t such a CHICKEN I’d try this myself…

  20. Pam April 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    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!

  21. Sandra July 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    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?

  22. Tracy September 6, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    I like the fact you used a neutral color for the fabric. It’s so easy to match.

  23. Macy September 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    This upholstered headboard really, turned out very nice.


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