Scalloped Headboard

Let’s face it, there are a million DIY upholstered headboards tutorials out there. I knew I wanted one but the ubiquitous rectangular tufted style was not doing it for me. Many look crafty and elegant at best, or trendy and misshapen at worst. I realized this after having bought (and returned) Ikea’s Sultan bed, which had lots of awkward fabric creasing that I could never seem to get out.

Our bedroom already had an Art Deco vibe from this Drew Barrymore Flower Home Petal Chair. I loved the scalloping and wanted an eclectic but similarly opulent look for the bed. The room is a light steel blue and accented with cream colors. After many samples I decided to go with this beautiful Cerva Lemon fabric by Duralee (it also comes in pretty blue and orange tones).

Our cat Fin approves of the fabric 😺

The basic premise from most DIY tutorials you will find online applies here–build a wooden structure then attach foam and fabric with a staple gun. The more complicated part of this project is building the scalloped structure.

I built the whole thing using two large sheets of sanded plywood. The tools I needed were a circular saw, jig saw, electric staple gun, and screwdriver. The trickiest part was measuring and cutting each strip to equal a total width of 76″ (our bed is a king). It was critical to leave about 1/2 an inch on each side of every wood piece where the upholstery would take up space. For the next step I used a compass to draw a half circle on top of each strip then cut them out using a jig saw. Then I wrapped each individual strip in polyester batting and secured with a few staples on the back.

After this I started cutting the fabric. This took some planing so that the pattern did not repeat in obvious or symmetrical ways.

After cutting the fabric to the same size as each piece of batting, I pulled it tight and secured with the staple gun until all the plywood panels were wrapped. Then I used two strips of wood to secure all of the pieces together.


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I am an artist, interior design enthusiast, home renovation-attempter, and cat dad. We are fixing up our 1894 Queen Ann Victorian house in Michigan (Marc, his partner, and their adorable cat Fin). The 2,000 square foot home includes beautiful original woodwork and craftsmanship that we are restoring to its original splendor. I hope you enjoy our adventures!

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