DIY upholstered scalloped headboard – 6 simple steps

Design and create your own DIY upholstered scalloped headboard for a beautiful design statement that's quick to pull together and easy on the budget.

A before and after of Jessica Grizzle's DIY upholstered scalloped headboard in bedroom
(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

I think this has to be one of my favorite DIY projects to date, it has really transformed the space and made the kind of impact I'd only ever dreamed of having. 

I have always wanted to upholster a headboard, and have seen so much inspiration for unique DIY headboard styles and designs. The one element I was sold on was having a scalloped edge. I love the continuous curved design, and it was either going to be incorporated as a headboard, or painted on our walls. I’m so glad I did the headboard!

Total project cost: Approx £177 (materials only)
Level of DIY skills needed: intermediate
Time spent: Approx 6 hours 

Main bedroom before

An image of Jessica Grizzle's bedroom with yellow wallpaper wallcovering decor with white wardrobe

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

The bedroom was a little drab to say the least, in need of some color, texture and personality!

You will need:

1. Design it

This headboard design consists of 10 curved edged panels, attached together at the back with wooden batons. I managed to secure them to the original headboard, so it didn’t need to be secured to the wall.

I wanted to create separate panels, so that it could be easily adjusted or moved in the future. 

2. Get the supplies

Upholstered scalloped headboard materials including velcro upholstery foam and barrier cloth

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

I bought 18mm plywood from our local sawmills which would be used for the 10 panels I needed. I also bought 2” upholstery foam which would provide the cushioned part of the panels. The other materials included 4m of barrier cloth and 4m of my chosen fabric (Soft textured corduroy) from JustFabrics.  

3.  Create the shape

Jessica Grizzle drawing outline for upholstered scalloped headboard project

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

To get my measurements sorted, I had to measure for the two types of panels I needed. I planned to have 2 floor-length panels for the ends, and shorter panels that would attach to the original headboard, and lie behind the mattress. The end panels would be 150cm tall,  and the other panels would be 115cm tall.

For the width, I measured the distance between our two bedside mirrors and settled on having it 190cm wide.

I had the plywood cut into 17cm strips at the sawmills so it was easier to transport, but this can be done at home with a table saw or circular saw.

I drew around a jar to create the curve for the top of the panels, and used a jigsaw to cut the excess ply off.

Ten pieces of scallopped wood panels assembled together to make DIY headboard

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

 I repeated this process for all 10 panels, using the first as a template for the rest.

Once all of the panels were cut to size, I used them to trace the shape on the foam so that it could be cut to size too. I used a marker pen and marked about 1cm wider than the panels to ensure all of the edges would be cushioned.

Jessica Grizzle kneeling on tiled kitchen floor and using marker pen to trace around wooden scalloped panels

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

I used an electric knife to cut out the foam panels, which I thought would be easier than it was. My handling of the electric knife could really do with some work, but although they were slightly wonky, they worked out well in the end.

Jessica Grizzle using electric knife to cut foam for DIY upholstered headboard project

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

4. Add foam

Two pieces of long blue scalloped foam panels on tiled kitchen floor with spray adhesive applied

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

I used spray adhesive to secure the foam panels to the plywood panels. Spray adhesive needs a few minutes after being sprayed to become tacky before both parts are put together. The floor-length panels needed extra foam added on to fill the gaps, but once the barrier cloth and fabric are attached, you won’t see a difference.

5. Wrap it up

DIY scallopped upholstered headboard - A front and back view of panels wrapped in barrier cloth

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

The next step was to wrap each panel with the barrier cloth and the fabric. This was done using a staple gun and trimming off the excess fabric. The fabric needed to be pulled taut, to prevent sagging or creases, and it was important to use quite a few staples to stop it from ever unraveling.

DIY scallopped upholstered headboard - a set of four wooden panels wrapped in barrier cloth

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

I tested out the position of all the panels when they were wrapped in the barrier cloth. I did this to check the height, and made sure it all fit into place.

When wrapping the final fabric, it was important for me to make sure the curved edge was smooth, and no folds or pleats were noticeable from the front. I used quite a few staples at the top especially to keep it as neat as possible.

An image of Jessica Grizzle demonstrating how to upholster DIY scalloped headboard panels

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

6. Attach together

DIY upholstered scalloped headboard panels attached together in bedroom with oval oblong mirror and side table

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

After completing all of the panels, it was time to attach them together.

I did consider velcroing each individual panel to the original headboard, but because of the size and height of the new headboard, I knew wooden batons would make it even more secure.

I used screws to attach the batons to the back of the panels, squeezing the panels together whilst doing it. I wanted to make sure there weren’t any gaps when the headboard was in place.

The last thing to do was to add heavy-duty velcro to the panels and the existing headboard. Once put together, the headboard was secure.

A final 'after' image of DIY scallopped upholstered headboard in bedroom with oblong mirror decor on either side of bed with side tables and curtain window treatment and cream rug

(Image credit: Jessica Grizzle)

This process can be used for so many different designs and fabrics. Go wild and design your own DIY upholstered scalloped headboard!

Jess Grizzle is a multi-award winning content creator and home interiors influencer. Her social media platforms include her Instagram @grizzle_abode which she started in May 2019. Here she shares the joys and trials of living in a home during a renovation and her many DIY projects. 

Although she has always been creative, she really found her love for DIY once she and her husband became homeowners. She realised quite quickly out of the two of them, she was the one with the desire to buy power tools and learn new DIY skills. 

She found her passion of championing women to do DIY and take on their own challenges. This led her to become a co-founder of the @femalediycollective, a growing female DIY community celebrating projects from women all around the world. 

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