Upholstered headboards are an easy DIY project. Many homeowners love these headboards because they can be customized to fit the decor and style of a room. The headboards are also soft to lean against while sitting in bed. Choosing the right foam padding for the headboard can be a headache if you don't know what to look for.
Most upholstered headboards should be made with foam that is at least 2 inches thick. However, the thickness of foam needed for an upholstered headboard depends on the look and feel you want. If you want a plush headboard, choose foam that is several inches thick. On the other hand, if you want a harder headboard, choose something thinner. Pieces thicker than 2 inches will cost more.
The height and width of your foam piece will depend two different factors. The first is the width of your bed. Measure your mattress with a measuring tape. The headboard should be just barely wider than your mattress, so add 2 inches to the final measurement of the mattress. Determine the height of the headboard by measuring from the bottom of the mattress up to the desired height of the headboard. Write down both measurements and bring them into the store with you. Many stores will cut the foam for you if you have measurements.
Foam for a headboard can be expensive. This high cost of foam can deter many DIY enthusiasts from completing the project. However, you don't need expensive foam to upholster a headboard. Expensive foam just makes the project easier. Reuse foam from other places if possible. For example, many camping foam pads can be used or reused for a project like this. Egg-crate foam pads can also be used if the flat edge of the crate is turned towards the fabric of the headboard.
Foam padding is an essential part of an upholstered headboard. However, many people don't realize that quilting batting is also often used for these headboards. The batting is used in addition to the foam padding. The quilting padding will soften sharp edges of the cut foam and will smooth the look of the upholstered piece. The batting should be cut several inches larger than the headboard so it can be wrapped around the headboard and stapled in place.
Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.