How to Make an Upholstered Headboard Using Pillow Shams

This Pillow Shams headboard is so easy to make! You can use up old pillow shams you have leftover form bedding sets, pillow shams that came with your bed set that you don’t use, or even new pillow shams you buy on sale at the store! This is a great way to make a headboard that matches your bedding!

Most of us end up buying similar bedding year after year, so you might be surprised how well a collection of pillow shams can look together in this headboard.

For a more pulled together look use pillow shams in the same color and fabric.

Making a Pillow Shams upholstered headboard is an easy weekend project you can make all by yourself.

You can complete this Pillow Shams headboard project in one day, for less than $100. The cost will depend on how pricey your Pillow Shams are. To save money making your headboard I recommend using a your own Pillow Shams from your linen closets to cover the headboard.

To Make an Upholstered Pillow Shams Head Board You Will Need:

MDF (3, 6, or 9 Pieces, sizes described below)

Jig Saw



Staple Gun


Flat L brackets

Spray adhesive

Pillow Shams (lots!)

The first step is to cut your MDF to size. I recommend letting the professionals at the home improvement store make these cuts for you. They only charge 25 cents a cut!

My measurements are merely recommendations for a bed headboard. You can easily change the dimensions of this Pillow Shams headboard for a twin, full, or king-sized bed based on the size of your Pillow Shams.

Cut three separate pieces of MDF to these specific measurements:

Measure how wide your Pillow Shams are. Now measure how tall they are.

Now, have the MDF cut ot the largest square possible to hold the Pillow Shams, but still allow for about 3 inches to overlap onto the back to attach it.

Now, cut a piece of foam to fit each of the three or more pieces of MDF exactly. You can buy sheets of foam at any fabric store. To save time you can as them to cut it. You can also easily cut it at home using an electric knife.

Lay your pieces of MDF outside on a flat work surface. Spray each piece lightly with a strong adhesive spray. Lay the corresponding foam piece on the MDF and press it into place. The spray adhesive with hold it in place so it does not ever move.

Lay the Pillow Shams face down on a clean flat work surface. You want the pattern you want to see laying down on the table.

Lay the corresponding piece of MDF and foam down on the back of the Pillow Shams. The foam should be touching the back of the Pillow Shams. Start in the middle of each side. Pull the Pillow Shams up and over the back of the MDF. Use a staple gun to attach it in place. If you are worried about damaging the Pillow Shams you can use upholstery tacks.

Do the middle of each of the four sides first. Pull the Pillow Shams in taunt each time. Evenly work your way out from the center staples. Do the four corners last. To make them neat practice folding them over like you is wrapping a package. Once you have the right look staple the corner fabric into place.

Repeat this process on all of the pieces of the Pillow Shams headboard.

Now, once all of your Pillow Shams pieces are covered you need to lay them face down on a clean work surface. Place three in a row or however many you need to be as wide as your specific bed. Line the squares up at the bottom of the headboard. This line should be straight, causing a straight line at the top of the Pillow Shams headboard.

Use a metal flat bracket to attach each piece of the Pillow Shams headboard together. Place one at the top and one at the bottom of every piece of the headboard. The left hole of the bracket should be on the left piece and the right hole of the bracket should be on the right piece. You can find these flat brackets where the L brackets are in the hardware store. Make a mark where each hole falls with a pencil. Pre drill the hole about �½ inch in. Lay the brackets back in place and screw them into place.

Screw in picture hanging hooks onto the left and right sides of the back of the upholstered Pillow Shams headboard. If you are making this exceptionally large, bigger than the recommended dimensions here, use heavy weight picture hanging hooks. The hooks should be installed about four inches in from the left and right side of the headboard. They should be about 2 inches down from the top of this piece.

Install you screws into the wall and hang your upholstered Pillow Shams headboard.

Make sure your screws are firmly attached into the wall. You can drill them into the studs for best results, which may cause you to place your picture hanging hooks on the back of the headboard based on these measurements. You could also install toggle bolts into drywall if no studs are located where you need them.

Tip: Have all of your Pillow Shams facing the same direction. I recommend having all the fronts with the designs.

MDF, also known as Medium Density Fiberboard, is available at any home improvement store. It is an inexpensive alternative to using a sheet of pine board for this project. It does weigh more than wood though, so if you are concerned about how heavy the headboard will be feel free to substitute pine board for the MDF in this project.

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