DIY Fluted Headboard

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This DIY headboard can be sized to the width you want. Lengths of cut foam are applied to a chipboard base, and each flute is individually upholstered, so you could mix and match the fabric for a patchwork effect. The finished headboard is attached to some bed legs and its taller than average height will make it a real focal point for your bedroom. Or, if you prefer, you may be able to find a pre-made headboard to cover. The bed legs can be purchased separately, or you can attach it directly to the wall.
Excerpted with permission from The Beginner's Guide to Upholstery: 10 Achievable DIY Upholstery and Reupholstery Projects for Your Home by Vicki Grubb.

Step 1

The headboard is easy to assemble from pre-cut foam, pre-cut chipboard and bed brackets. THIS RIPPLED FLUTED HEADBOARD MAKES A REAL STATEMENT PIECE FOR YOUR BEDROOM.

Watch my time-lapse video of this project from start to finish on Youtube:

Step 2

Luxuriate in a cotton velvet, create a vintage patchwork or use a beautiful neutral linen to let your bedding do the talking.

Step 3

Basic toolkit
Basic health and safety kit
Upholstery weight fabric, 3mL x
140cmW (3º ydL x 55inW)
Fire-retardant calico, eight strips measuring 120cmL x 20cmW (47inL x 8inW) and two strips measuring 120cmL x 25cmW (47inL x 10inW)
56g (2oz) polyester wadding (batting), 10mL x 67cmW (11ydL x 26inW)
5cm (2in) blue foam, 10 pieces pre-cut to 115cmL x 15.5cmW (45inL x 6inW)
Size 8mm (5/16in) staples, one box
1.5cm (5/8in) chipboard, pre-cut to 110cmL x 160cmW (43inL x 63inW)
Hardwood bed legs, two 60cm
(24in) high
Notepad and pencil
Drill (optional)

Step 4

The measurements given in the Tools and Materials list are provided as a guide. Youíll need to measure your bed to determine what size board you require. The chipboard needs to be cut to the width of the mattress with at least an extra 10cm (4in) to each side.
Once you have your chipboard cut to size, decide how many foam flutes you want. Taking a couple of centimeters (an inch) off the width, divide the board up by how many flutes you require: I used 10 flutes. The extra length allows you to fold the foam at the top of the board and you can trim off any excess.
For the fabric, measure the length of the board and work out how much fabric you need for the width of each flute: if you have a patterned fabric, allow for pattern matching. I centered the pattern to the middle of the flute and my headboard used 3m (3 yd) in total.
Have your foam for the flutes cut a little longer than needed; you can always trim them back.

Step 5

Start by marking up the chipboard. On the back, use a pencil to mark out the bed legs to match where they fit on your bed base. Drill holes for the brackets where necessary.
On the front, mark out the positions of the flutes. If your board is 160cm (63in) wide and you are using 10 flutes, divide the width of the board by 10 to determine the width of your flute channels. (Note: the flutes will have been cut to a slightly narrower width to allow for stapling.) Start by marking out the middle channel and work outwards from there to ensure symmetry.
Pre-cut all the calico and fabric strips to cover the foam flutes, making sure you leave an allowance for stapling. Note: the calico and the fabric for the end flutes will be a little wider to allow for them to be attached to the back of the board.
Place the board on a table so that the top edge (the side with the foam overhang) is positioned off the edge of the table during the upholstery process.
If you intend to wall mount the headboard, prepare the brackets on your wall first and mark out the bracket location on the back of the chipboard.

Step 6

The Flute Channels
Note: each individual flute is upholstered to topfabric in succession. When spray gluing the foam flutes, work in a well-ventilated area; spray one side only and leave for 30 seconds to go tacky before fixing in place on the chipboard.
1 Start by spray gluing the first piece of foam, then attach it to one of the middle channels marked on the board, lining the edge of the foam up to the bottom edge of the board. The top of the flute will overhang at the top edge of the chipboard (A).
2 Place two layers of polyester wadding over the top of the flute (do not extend the wadding down the sides of the flute). Place a strip of calico on top and staple in place all the way along one side using 8mm (5/16in) staples, pulling the calico taut over the flute, then stapling along the other side. Stop stapling about 5cm (2in) from the top and bottom and leave the top and bottom edges open for now (B).
3 Where the foam overhangs at the top of the board, use a bread knife to cut a 1cm (3/8in) deep channel into the back of the foam flute (C). This will allow you to fold the foam to the back of the board easily.

Step 7

Staple along both sides
4 Pull the foam overhang to the back of the board and staple in place to create a nicely rounded shape (D). Trim off the excess foam. Leave the top and bottom edges of the calico unattached at this point.
You can choose to staple the top of the foam as you place each ..ute onto the board, or leave cut notch into foam staple foam to top of board.
5 Add one more layer of polyester wadding to the top E of the flute (as in step 2) then cover with one of your precut top fabric strips, stapling all along one side, then the other, leaving the ends unstapled (E).
6 You are now ready to add the next flute, and all additional flutes will be added in the same way. Take a strip of top fabric and with wrong side facing up lay it over the covered flute. Staple the fabric along its edge, fabric and calico over the covered fluteís existing staples and as close to the foam as possible without pinching it. Now staple the calico strip along the same edge as the top fabric strip.
7 Spray glue your next piece of foam and stick it in place close up to the first flute (F). Cover the top of the flute with two layers of polyester wadding.
8 Take the strip of calico over the foam flute (leave the
top fabric strip for now), pull it taut and staple it along the top edge staple line.

Step 8

Top edge edge of the newly inserted foam flute. (If you are stapling the top of each foam flute into place on the back of the board as you go, do so now (steps 3 and 4.) Add one layer of polyester wadding to the top of the flute (G). Now you can pull the top fabric across and staple it along the same edge as the calico strip.
9 Repeat step 8 until you reach the end flute at either side. For the end flutes, you’ll need to attach the calico and top fabric to the back of the chipboard. You’ll also need to make sure your polyester wadding forms over the top of the flute and all the way down the side edge of the chipboard. Pull the chipboard to the edge of the table to enable you to crouch down underneath to staple it in place. Do not be tempted to staple up towards you as this might result in a nasty accident. Note: you may need to trim off some of the flute along this edge with a bread knife.

Step 9

10 You can now pleat and staple the top and bottom edges (it doesnít matter if you start at the top or the bottom of the headboard). Pull the headboard to standing position on a clean sheet on the floor (to avoid getting your fabric dirty). First staple the calico and then the top fabric onto the back of the chipboard, folding it under at each side to form a neat edge on each flute (H). Repeat the process at the other end of the headboard.
11 Lay a sheet on your table then place the headboard face down on top. Cut a piece of platform cloth or calico to fit the back and staple it in place using 8mm (5/16in) staples, folding the edges under as you go.
12 Finally, screw the bed legs in at the marked out location at the base of the headboard and attach to the bed base.
Excerpted with permission from The Beginner's Guide to Upholstery: 10 Achievable DIY Upholstery and Reupholstery Projects for Your Home.

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