When Nick & I got in engaged we were blessed with so many supportive friends & family who generously gave us new & used treasures to fill our house. I had donated most of my possessions before I moved to Spain & Nick was a college guy who didn’t need real furniture.
One of those wedding gifts was a bed, which was really clutch considering the only bed either of us “owned” was my twin sized bed from childhood which is cute but not necessarily practical.
And then we got a king sized bed which is huge. For months it stared back at me with its giant stature & plain walls behind it. I looked into buying headboards but our newlywed budget doesn’t allow for large decorative purchases. Then I looked into making my own headboard but our apartment lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to circular saws & power tools to build a headboard from scratch.
Then the internet in its infinite wisdom brought me to The Shabby Creek Cottage blog where I learned that hollow core doors are conveniently the same size as king size beds. But Gina’s gorgeous headboard DIY still required some, while minimal, power tools. I couldn’t get this door idea out of my mind so I mentioned it to Nick.. often.
He has mostly resigned to trusting my crafting — he’s so brave.
On one of my many Home Depot trips I “accidentally” found myself in the door section only to discover hollow core doors are expensive!
I know, $26 is cheap compared to the cost of most headboards — let alone king sized — but I really didn’t want to spend much money on this project since I wasn’t exactly sure it would even work.
Then my crafting & thrifting worlds collided in the most beautiful way when I learned about Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore centers. Homeowners & construction companies alike donate their leftover, salvaged & used materials to ReStore who then sells them at a fraction of the cost to the community & uses them to build Habitat for Humanity homes as well. I don’t think I could dream up a more perfect combination.
So I waltzed over to our closest ReStore & bought myself a hollow core door for $5. We were officially in headboard production!
DIY HOLLOW CORE DOOR HEADBOARD
- Hollow core door (keep in mind the width of the door will determine how tall your headboard is)
- Batting, cut to fit your door (two layers of thinner batting was cheaper for me)
- Fabric, cut to fit your door
- Upholstery stapler
- Upholstery staples
- French cleat (find these in the frame hanging section of your hardware store)
- Lay your fabric with the print side down on the ground.
- Layer your batting on top of the fabric making sure to smooth out any wrinkles along the way.
- Place your door on top of the fabric & batting. If your fabric is patterned use this time to make sure your pattern is straight & centered. Mine is a little off-center but I’ve learned to love that. You do you.
- Pulling the batting & fabric layers taut but not too tight begin by placing one staple in the center of each side about three inches in from the edge of the door.
- Continue working your way around the door in a systematic fashion. Nobody sees the backside so if your staples are everywhere that can be your little secret. Just be sure to always try to staple in the center & work your way to the edges to avoid bunching.
- Once your satisfied with your upholstery trim off any excess fabric to allow the headboard to sit flush against the wall.
- Since our place is a rental we first tried setting our headboard without the french cleat by simply resting it on our box frame & using the mattress to press it against the wall. But I got paranoid that my beloved headboard would fall & crush us in the middle of the night. Installing the french cleat is easy & all the supplies are included. Simply screw one bracket to the door & the other bracket to the wall (preferably in studs). The beauty is once the piece is resting the cleat it can be moved from side to side which allows you the freedom to adjust your headboard after you’ve installed it.
- Make your bed, step back & look at the wicked headboard you just made!
I specifically chose a hollow core door because they are considerably lighter & cheaper for this project. Some people on the internet were concerned about accidentally punching a whole in the door but because we’ve used a good deal of batting & fabric we’ve had zero issues with our headboard.