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Headboard Craft


  • 36-inch by 80-inch hollow-core door
  • 2 sawhorses, padded and stabilized with sandbags
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Table or circular saw
  • Wood glue
  • Drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Button hole diagram
  • Twin size (or larger) roll of batting
  • Heavy-duty staple gun and staples
  • 2 1/2 yards fabric, at least 54 inches wide
  • 4 size 60 (1 1/2-inch) covered button kits (8 buttons total)
  • Waxed twine
  • 6-inch upholstery or doll needle
  • 5-foot Z bar/clip
  • Wood screws
  • Wall-mounting screws (appropriate for wall material)


  1. Step 1

    Place hollow-core door on a set of sawhorses. Mark and cut 15 inches off bottom end of door to create a 36- by 65-inch rectangle. Remove bracer bar from leftover piece and insert into hollow cut end of door, using wood glue to secure permanently.

  2. Step 2

    Mark and drill holes for buttons through door with a 1/2-inch drill bit (see diagram for hole locations).

  3. Step 3

    Cut a 67 1/2-inch by 38 1/2-inch piece of batting. Cut 1 1/4-inch squares from each corner. Place batting on top of door. Wrap batting around and staple in place on edges of door.

  4. Step 4

    Cut an 83-inch by 54-inch piece of fabric. Spread out fabric, right side down, on a flat surface. Center door, batting side down, on top of fabric.

  5. Step 5

    Starting in the center of one side, wrap fabric around to back of door, and staple in place. On the opposite side of door, directly across from the first staple, pull fabric taut over the back of the door and staple in place. Repeat for the two remaining sides of the door, making the fabric taut in the center from four directions. Continue stapling from the center points outward, about every 3 inches. At each corner, fold one side neatly under the other and staple in place.

  6. Step 6

    Cut eight 2 1/2-inch circles from scraps of fabric. Follow covered button kit instructions to make eight fabric-covered buttons.

  7. Step 7

    From the back of the headboard, push the "eye" end of the upholstery or doll needle through one of the half-inch holes, and through the batting and fabric to the front of the headboard. Thread button onto a 16-inch piece of waxed twine, matching up the ends. Thread both ends of the waxed twine through the eye of the needle. Pull needle back through the headboard, pulling ends of waxed twine through hole.

  8. Step 8

    Remove needle from waxed twine. Pull twine taut so button sinks neatly into fabric and batting. Pull ends of twine down firmly onto back of door and staple in place with two staples. Bring waxed twine back up toward hole, and staple again with two staples to firmly secure.

  9. Step 9

    Repeat steps 7 and 8 to attach seven more buttons to headboard. 10. Mount bottom half of Z bar to wall; screw other half of Z bar to top edge of headboard. Place two halves of Z bar together to hang.

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2010


Reviews (24)

  • krb4paws 13 Mar, 2011

    The directions were great and it came out perfect but there is a "Z BAR" on amazon but we went to Lowe's and got 2 wall hanging clips thatuse the same concept, a bar that goes on the wall and a bar that goes on the back of the door then clip onto each other flush against the wall. They hold upto 200 lbs so it works perfect and they are about $10 each. Also instead of using a door, if you don't have on there are doors for sale at Lowe's for $26 and they have no door [filtered word] or panels out so its nic

  • jmbalog 4 Nov, 2010

    What material do you use for the fabric? Do you wash the fabric before you use it?

  • gatorsr4me 30 Oct, 2010

    Zbar: hard to find. dont need to use such a long one, as the 30" holds 300 # and you can get from amazon and dont need to pay oversize shipping $$ which was more than item itself. Thicker fabric, like some home dec fabrics are very hard to make such tidy corners. hints along that area would have been nice. Power staple gun a good choice. hint tp make buttons, use 2 Irwin qwik-grip microclamps to genly squeeze until it snaps.

  • Adamsfamily 6 Aug, 2010

    If you can't use the Z Bar, use two 2 x 4 boards to support the new head board to
    your bed frame. Measure carefully as to where the screw holes are on the frame and also the width between the two. Mark the head board (door) with the measurements, and make sure to give the door 10"- 12" of the boards for support. Screw to the (door) and frame.

  • bellecapois 24 Jul, 2010

    i'm having a hard time finding the z bar in south florida . does anyone know where i can find it?

  • vvallie 22 Jul, 2010

    Yes, Does anyone have suggestion of evephelpsmarketing question. I would love to do this for my window. Thank! VallieChicago:)

  • evephelpsmarketing 22 Jul, 2010

    Does anyone have any suggestions for doing this on a bed that is in front of a window? I won't be able to use the suggested 5-foot Z bar/clip to attach it to the wall because the window is behind the bed. Is there a way to attach it to just the edges of the wall or to the frame of the bed? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • DJF 6 Apr, 2010

    I saw a headboard similar to this in Crate and Barrel for like 1,000 bucks. I suspect I can make this for a lot less. I'm not sure what kind of material I'm going to use or the color yet but this is a definite project ahead for me. You guys all have helpful comments I can use. Thank you.

  • linuxgrl 5 Apr, 2010

    I made one of these a couple of years ago, I rounded the corners and mounted beautiful reading lights to it as well.

  • MoKil 5 Apr, 2010

    Excellent overview of making a headboard. I've used plywood instead of door, and adhesived 2" foam under batting, assuggested below. Great tips on adding buttons and mounting on wall! Next time I'll use these!

    By the way, this template is for a Queen size Headboard. Use the full 80" door length for King size headboard and adjust template accordingly.

  • katiefitz 5 Apr, 2010

    Additionally, I add a 2" piece of foam over the door and then wrap with it with batting. Use a spray adhesive to fix the foam to the board.

  • katiefitz 5 Apr, 2010

    Ideally, the finished width of the headboard should be 6 inches wider than the bed. Headboards look best when the extend 3" beyond the edge of the bed. Also go for the widest door available at least 48". You want your headboard to be about 6 inches below the top of the mattress. You don't want the headboard to be lower than the pillows on the bed.

  • mdunlap24 5 Apr, 2010

    I think I found my weekend project. I have been wanting a headboard for a while now, but didn't want to spend all of the money right now. I think this is something I can do by myself - without my boat builder husband's help!

    @amyjodeb - Home Depot will probably cut the door for you as well since they will cut other wood for you. Just ask in the lumber department.

  • amyjodeb 5 Apr, 2010


  • teejw 5 Apr, 2010

    using a door, what size of bed does this headboard fit? Full or Queen? Or will it work for a king size mattress?

  • teejw 5 Apr, 2010

    using a door, what size of bed does this headboard fit? Full or Queen? Or will it work for a king size mattress?

  • sewsohappy 5 Apr, 2010

    If you will check your local Habitat ReStore, you can probably find a hollow core door rather cheap. I picked up one for about $15 a couple of months ago. My local store here in Florence, Al had tons of them available. Not sure how much a new one cost.

  • SamG62 22 Mar, 2010

    This seems like a nice Idea if you want to labor for a headboard that will cost you about $150.00 your time as stated in the comments. Check out they review headboards and I found a tufted headboard at $175.00.

  • janacloud 23 Feb, 2010

    I've just completed a headboard and am grateful for the suggestion of using an unfinished door.It really is ideal due to its weight, size and cost.I wanted to share my solution for securing the button twine on the backside. After threading the decorative button in place, use another flat button (with 2-4 holes) and run the 2 pairs of end threads through this, pulling it very tightly creating the 'tuft', then tie a knot.The backside button will need to be bigger than your drilled [filtered word]-good luck!

  • adnas 29 Jan, 2010

    FYI...New York Metal requires a $100 minimum order plus a $25 handling fee to ship. I only found a couple of places that provide z-clips, such as and it's $37.50 plus taxes, etc.

  • ccarr38 28 Jan, 2010

    Approximate total cost of project is $150

  • dboglivi 28 Jan, 2010

    These directions are for a queen sized bed. You can certainly use the full length of the door for a King, and probably do not need to add extra padding. Another row of buttons would fit well. Remember to always measure button placement off the center of the board.

  • jcsj 26 Jan, 2010

    Is this for a queen size bed?

  • StephKB 26 Jan, 2010

    Can I assume that if my King size bed is about 80 inches in width, and I use the same size door, and not cut any of the length off, but rather increase the amount of padding and fabric, also possibly adding another row of buttons?