DIYdiy projects

diy project: lydia’s embroidered headboard

by Grace Bonney

i’ve always had a thing about iron beds, but have never wanted to actually get one because i love the feel of a soft upholstered headboard. but this diy idea from design writer lydia lee is a great way to have the best of both worlds. lydia sent over her project explaining that she too loved the look of wrought-iron headboards but found them, “kind of jangly and not terribly comfortable”. so she decided to embroider one instead!

i love the final result and think it’s such a nice combination of crafty and chic. thanks so much for lydia for sharing her project steps below! (if you’re interested in the flowers on the wall, they’re umbra’s “wallflowers“)

CLICK HERE for the full project steps after the jump!


Embroidered Headboard DIY


— Upholstered headboard kit, like this one from Horchow or build your own.

— Sturdy cotton fabric. If you pick a weave without a lot of “give,” it will help prevent stretching. If you use a linen or thin cotton, it’s easy to reinforce it with iron-on interfacing, which you can get at any fabric store.

–Butcher paper

–Tape measure

–Tracing wheel and tracing paper

–Yarn darning needle

— Wool yarn

–Large embroidery hoop

–Staple gun and staples


1. Follow kit instructions to create a padded headboard.

2. Tape together butcher paper to duplicate the shape of the headboard.

3. Draw your design on the paper. A tape measure is helpful for getting the general proportions right. Don’t worry too much about getting the design absolutely precise, since the charm of handiwork lies in the slight imperfections.

4. Pin your fabric to the headboard. Mark center and corners so that you have the fabric aligned correctly when you put it back on after stitching the design.

5. Pin pattern to headboard, and transfer design using tracing wheel and tracing paper.

6. Stitch your design, using a yarn darning needle and wool. Use an embroidery hoop to keep fabric taut. The chain stitch is a fun, fast way to create curvy lines and can also be used to fill out solid blocks: click here

7. Wash fabric, then iron. Reinforce with interfacing if necessary.

8. Stretch fabric over headboard and staple gun to the frame, starting from top center, then bottom center, then the sides.

9. Attach headboard to bed frame.

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