Firstly a New Bed Headboard warrants spending some serious money, and personally having recently purchased a new mattress, I can’t believe the difference it has made. Incidentally before you ask, I work in the industry, so I designed my own custom bed base.
During our recent experience, I could not believe how stuck in the past the major bed retailers/high street (sorry retail parks) are. Yes the sales person did show us a limited offering of overpriced headboards, quite amusing actually.
Like us you are probably going to be spending 100’s if not 1000’s, on the perfect mattress/base to aid a good nights sleep, money well spent. Then be confronted with a velour selection of mass produced covered headboards. Your new bedroom design deserves a great headboard idea.
Therefore my question is would you spend 100’s on an outfit/suit, then make do with a limited selection of accessories, scarf/handbag/tie/shirt that kind of match. Well I know I would not, and my wife would definitely have something to say about that. Having spent 100’s, I want to feel good about my purchase.
Normally for the price of a headboard from a bed retailer, Headboard Direct can cover a headboard with your choice of material. There are many retailers that sell fabric Ikea – Kath Kidston – Headboard Fabric Online.
Likewise a little web searching for “big town fabric material shop” or “big town curtain material shop”, obviously if you live in “big town” the suggested search term will work, you get the idea about changing some words.
Certainly don’t limit yourself to what you are offered in the shop, you are after all going to spend some considerably time with your New Bed Headboard, especially looking at the headboard. More so than any item of clothing.
Personally we have summer and winter headboards upholstered that match the curtains. During the seasonal changeover one headboard simple slides under the bed in a protective bag. Actually the same polythene protective bag and box we use when shipping headboards.
My wife matched one of the headboards to our winter curtains and had the headboard upholstered using the same material. The summer headboard pictured below, was a personal custom headboard request I made to one of our senior upholsterers.
The craftsmanship of the upholstered headboard is truly outstanding, a real statement, but still a functional headboard.
Sunflower New Bed Headboard
Upholstering A Headboard yourself is not really a difficult diy project and easier using a headboard kit that already has your headboard shape and foam cut to your design.
What we find amusing is that YouTube has many many examples of people showing you how Upholstering A Headboard or covering a headboard takes but a few minutes. Take a moment and look carefully at the space they have to complete the task, the additional tools available to them in the workshop. Now that’s the keyword “workshop”.
We are not saying it can’t be done, but before you rush into your project watch plenty of videos, and make loads of design notes. Our post on measuring a headboard has some very helpful tips.
Firstly you need a decent quality mdf board or similar that will allow you to staple close to the edges without splitting, once you have sourced your board it’s time to cut the shape. We advise a work bench for safety because your board is going to be big 8ft x 4ft, and it’s going to be heavy.
Unless you have been able to source a pre cut size some wood yards will cut to a certain size, ask them.
Cutting A Headboard
You are going to need a quality jigsaw with shape blades to cut out your headboard design, getting a clean cutting line for your headboard shape will pay dividends when it comes to the finished edge of your headboard once it’s covered in material.
Upholstering a Headboard
Your headboard foam should be good quality 2″ upholstery foam fire retardant, not the foam they use for seating, that will make your headboard very hard to lean against.
Now lay the board on your headboard foam and trace round the edge, there are various foam cutting tools we recommend a foam hot knife, you can of course use a very shape knife with clean cutting strokes but not applying pressure to the foam you don’t want to compress it whilst cutting.
Getting a clean edge is important, otherwise you will be fighting the foam during the covering process and the finish will be bumpy round the edges, also allow an extra 2-4mm over your cut line.
2-4mm why, because when you staple your foam to the board it will compress a couple of mm and the remaining mm’s allow you to get a nice rounded finish to the edges. You could of course stick your foam to the board, but get it right first time, there’s no going back with glue it will rip chunks from the foam if you need to move it.
Covering A Headboard
Ready for the covering bit well almost, now if you have ever changed the cover on a mattress topper or the cushions covers on your sofa, you will know how hard it is to re fit the cover. Foam has a sticky type of consistence so your material just wants to stick to the foam, however there is a trick when covering your headboard, grab an old thin bedsheet and tack it over your foam, your material will now slide nicely over the foam.
When covering your headboard start from the centre point of your headboard mark top and bottom, now using your staple gun working towards the edges left and right, smoothing the material as you go, fold and staple your corners. Don’t forget to finish the back of your headboard, that old bedsheet you cut up earlier, will stop the dust getting caught in the fabric edges.
Remember you are going to need a suitable space (workshop) and sharp good quality tools to cut the wood and foam, make sure you have safety goggles when cutting the wood in a well ventilated room MDF creates a lot of dust during cutting. Please mind your fingers.
Or you could just order our diy headboard kit with everything pre cut and your ready to cover headboard design, follow our dvd (now online) headboard upholstery video. Job done……….
The best way of measuring for a new headboard is from the top of your mattress to the height required, Headboard Direct have been producing headboards for over 25 years and this has always proved the best method.
Most headboard heights are quoted as being 60cm or 76cm high in our standard ranges, so that’s the highest point of your selected shape. The best way to then measure this is the center point of your bed and upwards to the required height.
Measuring Headboard Height
As a small tip get some painters masking tape which you can stick to the wall at the required height, you don’t want to leave loads of height marks on your wall, you could do the same for the sides as well, now you can stand back and get a visual representation of how your new headboard will look in that space.
There are other considerations which should also be measured the width of your mattress we always ask you to double check this because bed manufactures don’t always stick to bed size naming convection. Will your new headboard have a headboard pillowstop or not? There is actually a wikipedia page dedicated to bed sizing and names.
Will your new headboard have a headboard pillowstop or not? Our headboard posts blog has many helpful articles. Maybe you are planning on self upholstering a headboard our DIY Headboard Kit includes every thing you need, or if you don’t feel confident we can upholster a headboard for you.
Fixing points on your bed are design to correctly support headboards of a certain height so really anything over 90cm should be from our experience wall mounted. Although that is not always the rule of thumb it depends on the quality & quantity of the current headboard fixing points
Headboard Dimensions & Fixing Points
Headboard Leg Fixing Points (we work to UK standard bed sizing)
But as a guideline these measurements are centre to centre of the holes
||Hole to Hole Centre
|4 6 ft
||4 6 ft
- Painters masking tape
- Height required
- Mattress width
- Fixing points (centre to centre)
- Access ways (doors – stairs – corners – lifts)
- Two person lift
Please don’t forget that as much as a big headboard will look great you do have to get it to the bedroom. So measuring your access ways (doors – stairs – corners – lifts) is very important. Headboards can be heavy over 4ft wide, and if you have to carry it upstairs it becomes more awkward it’s not really a one person process.
Check our headboard ideas gallery for some inspiration and if you are still stuck for ideas send us an email with a picture of your bed.
Headboard history dates back as far as ancient Egypt to the pharaohs who had headboards made from gold, silver and carved ebony hardwood. The headboard not only served as a dramatic statement to wealth but also comfort, decoration and an insulator from drafts. The pharaohs also had very elaborate funeral chambers and centre stage was the ritual death bed
The headboard insulator theme was more pronounced during the Greek and Roman times to protect them from cold drafts, but not only that, the bed became the place to dine and socialise so our fumble headboard became a practical piece of furniture, a backrest as one sat, drank, and engaged in debate & conversation. Our bedroom thus became the main room and focal point, so spending on beds & headboards was required to uphold ones status.
Four Poster Canopy Bed
Cold castles of the Middle Ages (5th-15th century) along came the canopy bed. Still very much a decorative center piece, with elaborate carvings, detailed architectural wooden paneling, or very elegant tapestry upholstery. The canopy bed aka four poster was yet again designed to stop those drafts and the upper canopy to protect the sleeper from dust and flying animal droppings.
Through the 19th century bedrooms became more private and intimate, but no less elaborate and opulently decorated, the many historic paintings and early photography depict the birth of Kings & Queens and the laying to rest of many great heads of state.
Weaving looms date back to 400BC in China, but commercial scale weaving was in the early 18th century so the use of decorative fabric for curtains & covers lead to the headboard usually being covered in the same fabric as the bedroom curtains. Throughout the 20th century the upholstered headboard was favoured as a decorative but comfortable luxury.
So our covered upholstered headboard evolved really as early as The Silk Road but more so from the tapestry canopied bed hangings. Today, headboards serve more as an aesthetic feature than the original function of glamour & draft excluder, but still a statement piece of the room that the eye is drawn to immediately.
But just think about the moments in your life and your own fond memories that have been centred around a bed and the bedroom. It’s the biggest object in the room, it’s a dumping ground when you are getting ready to go out, it’s where you throw yourself when upset, a suitcase supporter and of course childhood trampoline.
This list is not based on any sort of top activities, just ordered by given suggestions, from an email sent round the office asking people to list 5 things they do in the bed/bedroom
- Family Sunday mornings
- Baby pictures
- Mothers day
- Fathers day
- Wedding days
- Romantic holiday breaks
- Christmas morning
- When ill (taken to bed)
- Childhood trampoline
- Doing homework
- Chatting to friends
- Reading a book/kindle
- Watching the telly
So on top of the above list, you will also be sleeping (never made the list) in your bed. Based on the fact that our average life span is 75 years, and the recommend number of hours we should sleep is 8 hours, simple math tells us you are going to spend 9,125 days next to a headboard.
My email prompted many responses and much laughter around the office, we did however do a web search based on “bed activities” looking for a top ten list, mostly the results are about “not using your phone before bed“, but the one that made us laugh the most was the Huffington Post. Point number 2 suggests calling your Mum, if you can’t talk to her in person, so this suggests Mum lives with you and tucks you up at night, regularly stays over. As much as we all love our Mom’s, if I called my Mother late at night the first response would be “What’s Wrong” thus I have ruined her nights sleep.
I could of course expand this subject but that’s another post…
1 king tut funeral bed
2 roman bed
3 middle ages
4 bolling hall
5 burton constable hall
6 harewood house
z cornfield bed art
z garden bed art
Against my better judgement and because I’ve been hounded to do so, we are inviting you to add comments about other funny bed related articles the web has to offer. All comments will be manually approved as we don’t wish to offend.