Faux Leather Padded Headboard

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When we recently moved into a fixer upper, I knew I wanted to create a contemporary look in the guest room with a sizeable queen headboard. I’ve constructed headboards in the past but not one this big, and not one that hangs on the wall. Also, my previous headboards have all been fabric. This one is faux leather. You can create this same headboard for any size bed by following this tutorial. Just be sure to adjust the width and if desired, the height. 

 What kind of challenges might you face when creating a Queen-size padded headboard? Not as many as you might expect. I found this project a lot easier than I had anticipated. But here are the things you should keep in mind before approaching this project.

 A) A queen-size bed measures 60” across. The headboard should be slightly wider so the headboard doesn’t look too narrow for the bed when it’s dressed in comforters or other coverings.

B) If you use plywood as your foundation as I did, can you transport a single piece of plywood in your vehicle? The height of my headboard is 48”. I wanted to be sure that when the project was finished I could move it higher or lower on the wall and not have a gap between the bottom of the headboard and the mattress. My finished headboard actually extends down to the bottom of the box springs. To achieve this, my plywood needed to be 62” x 48”. I don’t have a truck but I do have a Mini Cooper with two doors that open in the rear. At home depot, I had the 8’ x 48” (the original size) plywood cut into two 31” x 48” pieces which fit easily into the Mini. Home Depot will do the cut at no charge here at my local store.

C) How Strong are you? You will probably need help to lift the plywood once it is joined to form one complete piece and to hang it on the wall.

D) Being able to use an electric drill and heavy-duty stapler will help you to complete this headboard without a lot of stress.

E) Are your walls straight? I found out mine aren’t. The”cleat” hanging system allows the headboard to nearly hug a straight wall. If the wall is slightly off, there will be a small variance. One side of my headboard is flush to the wall while the other side is about .25” away. This is not a problem as the difference is too slight to be obvious or look awful.

 If you need more ideas Google DIY headboards. You will find that some instructions suggest using a spray adhesive to stick the foam to the plywood or the faux leather to the foam. I’ve used adhesive before for smaller projects but I didn’t feel it was necessary for this one. In my opinion, the rough texture of the foam against the rough plywood would not present a threat of one shifting or wrinkling on the other. The same goes for the wrong side of the faux leather against the foam.

 

Directions

step 1 -  The Plywood  - Position both pieces of plywood on a protected surface. Slide them side by side with the edges touching (not shown in this photo).

step 1 - The Plywood - Position both pieces of plywood on a protected surface. Slide them side by side with the edges touching (not shown in this photo).

step 2 - A mending brace is simply a flat piece of heavy duty metal with holes in it to accommodate screws. The screws should be no deeper than the depth of the plywood.

step 2 - A mending brace is simply a flat piece of heavy duty metal with holes in it to accommodate screws. The screws should be no deeper than the depth of the plywood.

step 3 - With a drill, attach four mending braces to the back of the plywood at equal distances. You will need help to turn the pieces over and apply four braces to the other side.

step 3 - With a drill, attach four mending braces to the back of the plywood at equal distances. You will need help to turn the pieces over and apply four braces to the other side.

step 4 - The braces will join the two sheets of plywood securely and allow you to move them as you work. When moving the plywood, be sure to lift both sides at the same time.

step 4 - The braces will join the two sheets of plywood securely and allow you to move them as you work. When moving the plywood, be sure to lift both sides at the same time.

step 5 - Draw a horizontal line across both pieces (totaling 62”) of plywood 12” from the top of the wood. This line will help you to level the headboard when it is time to attach it to the wall.

step 5 - Draw a horizontal line across both pieces (totaling 62”) of plywood 12” from the top of the wood. This line will help you to level the headboard when it is time to attach it to the wall.

step 6 -  The   Padding  - Cut batting to measure 68” x 56. This will give you four extra inches on all sides when it comes time to wrap the headboard.

step 6 - The Padding - Cut batting to measure 68” x 56. This will give you four extra inches on all sides when it comes time to wrap the headboard.

step 7 - Roughly hand sew batting pieces together to achieve the complete size.

step 7 - Roughly hand sew batting pieces together to achieve the complete size.

step 8 - Using a craft knife with a new blade, cut the foam to measure 62” x 48”. Laying the plywood on the foam will help to keep it from moving and provide a guide for the right size. It will take more than one pass to cut through the foam. Start by slicing through the top then repeating deeper and deeper into the foam until you reach the bottom. Be sure to work on a protected surface.

step 8 - Using a craft knife with a new blade, cut the foam to measure 62” x 48”. Laying the plywood on the foam will help to keep it from moving and provide a guide for the right size. It will take more than one pass to cut through the foam. Start by slicing through the top then repeating deeper and deeper into the foam until you reach the bottom. Be sure to work on a protected surface.

step 9 - Set the batting down in your workspace with the foam positioned flat side down and 4” from each edge.

step 9 - Set the batting down in your workspace with the foam positioned flat side down and 4” from each edge.

step 10 - Bring the batting to the back of the plywood and staple it close to the edge of the wood. Work around the corners feeding in excess batting to create a clearly visible corner.

step 10 - Bring the batting to the back of the plywood and staple it close to the edge of the wood. Work around the corners feeding in excess batting to create a clearly visible corner.

step 11 - When done, you will have excess batting outside the staple line. With a blade or scissors, trim it back.

step 11 - When done, you will have excess batting outside the staple line. With a blade or scissors, trim it back.

step 12 - The Faux Leather – Sew together three panels with right sides together. Two pieces should measure 23.25” x 56” and one piece should measure 23.75” x 56”. These measurements allow for .50” seams and extra fabric for wrapping around the puffy foam and batting. 

step 13 - Place the leather right side down on an ironing board. Hold a cloth over the seams as you press them open. Fabrics vary so start with a low setting and increase as needed to flatten the seams. Do not use steam.

step 13 - Place the leather right side down on an ironing board. Hold a cloth over the seams as you press them open. Fabrics vary so start with a low setting and increase as needed to flatten the seams. Do not use steam.

step 14 - On the right side, sew .25” away on both sides of each seam to create decorative topstitching. An easy way to help the leather glide under the presser foot is to lay deli film on the fabric and sew through it.

step 14 - On the right side, sew .25” away on both sides of each seam to create decorative topstitching. An easy way to help the leather glide under the presser foot is to lay deli film on the fabric and sew through it.

step 15 - After stitching, just tear away the film. If some stubborn pieces remain in the stitches, press painters tape to them and pull away from the sides.

step 15 - After stitching, just tear away the film. If some stubborn pieces remain in the stitches, press painters tape to them and pull away from the sides.

step 16 -  Assembly  - Lay the fabric wrong side up in the workspace and center the cushioned side of the plywood face down.

step 16 - Assembly - Lay the fabric wrong side up in the workspace and center the cushioned side of the plywood face down.

step 17 - Starting at the center top, pull the fabric to the back of the plywood, over the batting and apply a few staples.

step 17 - Starting at the center top, pull the fabric to the back of the plywood, over the batting and apply a few staples.

step 18 - Do the same to the center bottom then the side centers.

step 18 - Do the same to the center bottom then the side centers.

step 19 - Continue stapling from the centers to each corner distributing the fabric evenly. Trim and feed fabric to maintain smooth corner angles.

step 20 -  The Hardware  - Turn the headboard wrong side up. Use the horizontal line to determine where to attach one piece of the hanger system. Follow the package instructions. The system comes with two different length screws. Use the shorter ones on the plywood.

step 20 - The Hardware - Turn the headboard wrong side up. Use the horizontal line to determine where to attach one piece of the hanger system. Follow the package instructions. The system comes with two different length screws. Use the shorter ones on the plywood.

step 21 - Use the longer screws when attaching the second piece to the wall. Join the cleats to hang the headboard. It can be shifted side to side to center it in your space.

step 21 - Use the longer screws when attaching the second piece to the wall. Join the cleats to hang the headboard. It can be shifted side to side to center it in your space.

TIPS

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I bought a new TruTac staple gun for this project and absolutely love it. It’s very gentle on the hands because of the design. With just one hand you squeeze the gun on the front where the staples are dispensed. Other guns have to be squeezed on the back sometimes requiring a second hand to press down on the front.

 The 2” thick egg crate foam came from Target online. It was the most inexpensive I found and I worried it might not create the substantial look I wanted but it was just right and I’m very happy with the result.

 

Supplies

Amazon

  • Deli Film

  • Hangman Picture Hanging System 18”

  • TruTac Staple gun

Target Online

  • Full bed Enhance 2” egg crate foam 73” x 52”

JoAnns

  • Faux leather 68” x 56”

  • Medium weight batting 68” x 56”

  • Sewing notions