DIY Nail Head Trim Headboard - Under $50!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I did a lot of DIYing this weekend. This project is what kicked it all off, but I had been dying to make a headboard. Specifically an upholstered headboard with nail head trim. I was aiming for something like this, this, or this. Aiming as in that was all I wanted, nothing else. Some call me picky, I call it, "Hey if you're going to make it yourself, make exactly what you want!"

And this is my final result:

Not only am I in love with my DIY - under $5 - Starburst Mirror, but I am in super love with my headboard! I put in the blood, sweat, and tears for that baby. So did my Mr. and so did my Dad (because he was passing through for work so he got conned in to helping!). Thanks, Dad!

For our wedding we had a platform made so we could be seen during the ceremony. It was basically a sheet of plywood and some two by fours. Now that we are happily married, we no longer need the platform, so we used the plywood for our headboard. Score! Here is my Mr. cutting out out headboard with his new tools. He was sooo eager to get to use his new man tools. He loves "projects." The dimensions for our headboard is 62x38 for our queen sized bed. I wanted it high enough for the top of the headboard to be visible over our Euro shams.

Did I mention that he is an engineer so everything has to be uber precise?!
Safety glasses were a must :)

See how it was a platform before?
Thanks, Honey! You're the best little carpenter I know!
We wanted the bottom of the head board to be 14" off the ground. We used the two by fours that were also part of the platform to make 'legs' for the head board. We wanted set it behind the bed instead of screwing it into the wall.

After Chris was done playing with his power tools cutting out the board and screwing on the legs, it was time to bring it inside. I was seriously so excited this was finally happening. I had had enough of skimming Overstock's site in order to find a miracle deal on my dream head board. If you didn't know, Chris and I are newlyweds looking to save as much moolah as possible. Although I would love to spend, spend, spend, I know things can usually be DIYed much cheaper. Plus, the effort you put into a project is quite exciting (when it actually turns out looking like what it is intended to look like!).

I cleared our table and laid out the quilt batting. Luckily my Dad has an air compressor staple gun (sorry, Dad, that is probably not the technically correct name!), so this part went fastttt! I just wrapped the plywood with the batting just as you would a present. The compressor is kind of loud, so I got a few grunts from the peanut gallery because football was on. Do you really need sound to watch football? Okay, just kidding, don't answer that question. Yes, you need sound. Duh.  


Make sure you occasionally check that there are no wrinkles. I did two layers of batting, but you can do however many you'd like!

After the batting was in place it was time to cover it in fabric! I bought a cream colored fabric, similar to a canvas, at JoAnn's. I wanted something neutral that would go with our bedding and pop off our grey walls.

I ironed out all the wrinkles the fabric as much as I could, but the wrinkles were not coming out. Since my Dad owns a pool table business, he knows a thing or two about getting wrinkles out of fabric; pull it tight just like felt on a pool table! I started with stapling the top of the head board first. After I got the top secured down, I went to the bottom side and easily pulled the fabric tight because I am super strong pulled as hard as my weak arms could and secured the fabric with a staple. With each staple along the bottom side, I pulled the fabric as hard as I could. All the wrinkles came out so that must mean I am super strong :) Move to the sides and do the same thing. Check occasionally for wrinkles. Pull tight!

Once that process was over it was time for the nail head trim. Mmmmm I love me some nail head trim. Put it on a head board, a chair, anywhere, and I'd probably love it. It just adds some pizazz to plain ol' things.

I bought the nail head trim from JoAnn's.

This part was a breeze kind of tricky. Okay, I'm not going to lie. I ended up pulling out all the top nails and redoing it because, by the looks on my Dad's and Chris's faces when I asked if it was straight, I could tell it was a no. Gotta love honest men. I was not about to put this much time and effort into a project and have it look crappy decent. I wanted it to look WOW, BEAUTIFUL, FANTASTIC! So, that meant I needed to pull the nails. Boo.

If you haven't worked with nail head trim (I hadn't), you actually nail in a nail head every fifth nail. Most of the silver dots you see are fake nails. Genius, right? I was dreading having to nail in 8723984 nails and then have them not even be remotely straight. Actually, who am I kidding, I would never have done that! I would have just covered the headboard and been done with it. Just like this one that I did. Or ordered one online. 

In order to ensure a somewhat straight line, I went with this method: I wanted my top line of nails 3/4 inch away from the top edge. Every time I nailed a nail in I measured to ensure that from one nail to the next, it was as straight as possible. Each nail I nailed in I made sure was 3/4 inches from the edge of the headboard. Now, I will warn you, the nail head trim is cheaply made so it itself is not straight. You can see in the left corner of our head board it is a bit off. The trim was crooked, but it is what it is. Oh well!

Now, for a budget breakdown:

- Plywood: Free! Woo hoo!
- Nail head Trim: $17.99 JoAnn's
- Fabric: $10.99/yard. I got 2 yards.
- Quilt Batting: Total $10 from Hobby Lobby
- GRAND TOTAL: about $45 because I had coupons for JoAnn's.

So, for less than 50 bucks I got a beautiful nail head trim headboard! This girl is super happy! And so is my Mr.! I told him (and showed him) the headboards I was thinking of ordering and explained to him how much money I saved us. He replied with, "Let's sell it and I can buy that 30/30 I've been wanting!" Only in Texas would a guy want to sell his headboard to buy a gun. I quickly shot down that idea. Later that night he told me that he actually was pretty impressed with what I had done. Getting compliments from the man of my dreams will never get old :)

Have you made your own headboard? Have questions about this one? Let me know! 


  1. Your bed and mirror are totally gorgeous...and such a great price! Well done, DIY lady! (and hubs!)

  2. Yep...SERIOUSLY impressed with that headboard! LOVE it!

  3. What a great headboard and knowing y'all made it yourselves makes it even better! Gorgeous!

  4. LOVE the headboard and sunburst mirror. I have so been eyeballing sunburst mirrors and you have definitely given great inspiration here. Great job!

  5. You did a great job! Your entire bed ensemble looks so nice. A diy headboard is on my "to-do" list!

  6. it turned out SO GOOD! I love this idea!

    1. Thank you! It is my favorite piece in our bedroom :)