Upholstered Headboards for the Triple Bunk Bed

Good design is in the details. And I believe good design does not waste. When we moved into this house one year ago I attempted to convert our dining chair habit to benches so the children would take up less space.


Nice idea, but uncomfortable! I think dining benches are usually wider than picnic table benches. The cushions have languished in random spots this past year.

We also had a IKEA Billy Bookcase that was put together one too many times that embarrassingly died of a heart attack our yard sale in April. I decided to use the sides to make upholstered headboards for the kiddos. They had a notch at the bottom to accommodate baseboards (in its life as a bookcase) so my husband cut them down to make them even all the way down. You can use any solid board for this project, wood or mdf. I just chose to use what we have on hand.

After removing the old fabric from the cushsions, I laid the foam on the ground and, using a pencil, traced where it would need to be cut.



IMG_7110Do you have any kitchen tools that only come out at Thanksgiving? I’ve used our electric knife way more frequently for cutting foam than cutting turkey. Regular scissors won’t cut it, you’ll need an electric knife.


IMG_7112I laid the freshly cut foam on the ground and draped the old quilting batting over to trim off the excess.

IMG_7113Ordinarily I’m a sloppy diy’er (my projects just photograph well). Here I decided to take the extra investment time and staple the batting on before the fabric. I did a variation on a hotel corner, tucking in whatever I needed to.

IMG_7114This step was totally worth it. I did not have to worry about each item sliding around as I worked with the fabric.

IMG_7117First I created my daughter’s headboard by laying down the fabric on the ground. At the fabric store I asked the clerk to cut 1/2 yard pieces for me. So I did not need to measure or cut at all for this project.

IMG_7118After my daughter’s I went on to my son’s. His fabric is upholstery fabric and laid very nicely while I tucked and stapled.


IMG_7120Immediately I asked my daughter to test out the finished project.


IMG_7125 IMG_7126My plan is to add an eye hook to the back on each end and loop some cord around the posts of the bed to keep it in place. This will make them easily interchangeable when the kids move up in the world (i.e. my baby starts using the bottom bunk).

IMG_7127Right now the top bunk is a play area.

IMG_7128This project was super easy and took less than an hour to complete two headboards. The only problem is that immediately my son rejected his and pushed it on the ground. It’ll be on the top bunk until I figure that one out. But we must always be flexible when decorating for children!

New projects: Upholstered Headboards

Our IKEA bookcase has seen one too many assembly procedures. At the yard sale, the thing plumb fell over from weakness. I’d decided to make use of the demolished product.

Searching for fabric for my new antique chair, I went first to Home Fabrics and Rugs and felt so very disappointed. The sleepier my son grew as we strolled around, the less hope held out. My preference is a unique blend of traditional with a modern twist and for this Louis XVI chair and our Rococo twist in our master bedroom, I would need something traditional enough for the chair, dramatic enough for our bedroom decor, and modern enough to appeal to my taste.

I returned home to commence an internet search. After naps, I loaded up the children, dropped my son off with grandpa and went to Joann’s with my mom. I found a stunning black fabric for the chair with a small leafy pattern, tone on tone.


IMG_6956It is, of course, much darker than the pastels common to the Louis XVI period decor, but it fits the drama of my Parisian salon. I don’t think the photos do it’s richness justice.

I was also struck by a pool colored fabric with a modern shimmery-silver leaf motif directly above that beautiful black chair fabric. I purchased one yard, divided in half to make two low-profile upholstered headboards for the two girls.

IMG_6949Beneath it on display was as a charcoal grey with ribbing and shimmery thread throughout (think dark starry night). I could use this for my son’s headboard. I plan to take the vertical boards of the book case, cover them in either 1/2 inch or 1-inch foam and some batting, then staple the fabric on.


Somehow, we’ll make the boards easily movable, for the growing children whose sleeping arrangements will change with time. I’m thinking about securing a loop of cord on the opposite ends to hook onto the posts of the bed.

IMG_6501The little touches go a long way, especially with beds that are impossible to make.