How to Upholster a Curved Headboard

Upholstering a curved headboard is a great way to add a touch of elegance to your bedroom. However, the process can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before.

With the right tools and techniques, though, it’s a project that anyone can tackle.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps to upholster a curved headboard, including selecting the right materials, cutting and shaping the foam, and attaching the fabric.

First, it’s important to choose the right materials for your project.

You’ll need foam padding, batting, fabric, and a staple gun.

When selecting your foam, make sure it is the right thickness for your headboard and that it is high-density foam.

The batting will help smooth out any bumps or lumps in the foam, so choose a batting that is thick enough to do the job.

Finally, choose a fabric that complements your bedroom decor and is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear.

Once you have your materials, it’s time to start shaping the foam.

Depending on the shape of your headboard, you may need to cut and shape the foam to fit.

Use a bread knife to cut the foam to the right size and shape, and then use a spray adhesive to attach the foam to the headboard.

Once the foam is in place, wrap the batting around the headboard and staple it in place.

Finally, attach the fabric, making sure to pull it taut and staple it securely to the back of the headboard.

Understanding the Basics of Upholstery

As an experienced upholsterer, I know that upholstery is the art of covering furniture with fabric or leather to create a new look or to restore an old piece.

Upholstery involves many different techniques, materials, and tools. In this section, I will provide you with an overview of the basics of upholstery.


When it comes to upholstery, the most common materials used are fabric, leather, and vinyl.

Each material has its own unique properties, and it’s important to choose the right one for your project.

For example, if you’re upholstering a headboard, you may want to choose a soft, comfortable fabric that complements your room’s decor.


Upholstery requires a variety of tools, including scissors, a staple gun, and a sewing machine.

You’ll also need materials like batting, foam, and webbing to create a comfortable and durable piece of furniture.


Upholstery involves many different techniques, including cutting, sewing, stapling, and tufting.

Each technique requires a different skill set and level of expertise.


It’s important to keep safety in mind when upholstering furniture.

Always wear protective gloves and goggles when using tools like a staple gun or scissors.

Additionally, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any harmful fumes.

Tools and Materials Needed

Essential Tools

To upholster a curved headboard, I will need to have some essential tools to make the process easier and faster. These tools include:

  • Staple gun and staples
  • Electric drill
  • Framing square
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Clamps

Necessary Materials

In addition to the essential tools, I will also need some necessary materials to complete the project. These materials include:

  • 1/2″ plywood sheet
  • 2×2 8′ boards
  • 2×6 8′ board
  • 1 1/2″ or 2″ foam batting
  • White or cream-colored cotton fabric
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • Drop cloth

It is important to note that the size and shape of the headboard will determine the amount of materials needed.

For instance, the board should be cut to the width of the bed and the desired height. The taller the headboard, the more dramatic the effect, so it is important to consider how much of a statement you want to make in your bedroom.

Preparing the Headboard

Removing Old Upholstery

Before upholstering a curved headboard, it’s important to remove any old upholstery that may be present.

This can be done using a staple remover or pliers to carefully remove any staples or tacks that are holding the old fabric in place.

Be sure to take your time and avoid damaging the headboard or any of its components.

Measuring and Cutting Fabric

Once the old upholstery has been removed, it’s time to measure and cut the new fabric.

Start by measuring the width and height of the headboard, taking into account any curves or angles that may be present. Add a few extra inches to each measurement to ensure that you have enough fabric to work with.

Next, lay the fabric out on a flat surface and use a straight edge and fabric scissors to cut it to the correct size.

Be sure to cut the fabric with enough extra material to wrap around the edges of the headboard and be stapled in place.

Finally, if you are using foam padding, cut it to the same size as the fabric and attach it to the headboard using spray adhesive. This will help create a smooth and even surface for the new upholstery.

Upholstering the Curved Headboard

Attaching the Fabric

To upholster a curved headboard, I start by attaching the fabric to the center of the headboard. I use a staple gun to secure it in place.

Then, I work my way outwards towards the edges of the headboard, smoothing the fabric as I go.

It’s important to pull the fabric taut, but not too tight, to avoid any wrinkles or puckers.

Once I’ve attached the fabric to the center and both sides of the headboard, I move on to the curved top.

I carefully fold the fabric over the curved edge and staple it in place, making sure to keep the fabric smooth and wrinkle-free.

Securing the Edges

To secure the edges of the fabric, I fold the excess fabric over the back of the headboard and staple it in place.

I make sure to fold the corners neatly to avoid any bunching or puckering.

For a professional-looking finish, I cover the staples with a strip of fabric tape.

This not only hides the staples but also protects the fabric from any wear and tear.

Finishing Touches

Adding Decorative Elements

Now that the headboard is upholstered, it’s time to add some decorative elements to make it stand out.

One way to do this is to add buttons or tufting. This involves sewing buttons into the fabric and pulling them tight to create a tufted effect.

Another option is to add nailhead trim around the edges of the headboard. This can be done using a hammer and nailhead trim strips.

Final Inspection

Before considering the headboard complete, it’s important to do a final inspection.

Check for any loose staples or fabric that may need to be tightened.

Ensure that the fabric is smooth and free of wrinkles or creases.

It’s also a good idea to check the back of the headboard to make sure everything is secure and neat.

Once everything looks good, it’s time to hang the headboard.

Use a French cleat or other hanging hardware to securely attach the headboard to the wall.

Finally, step back and admire your handiwork. You’ve successfully upholstered a curved headboard and added a beautiful piece to your bedroom decor.

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