When a family friend bought a new apartment, she asked me to upholster a camelback headboard for the bedroom. Of course I was excited to take on a new project and began to research headboard tutorials online. As hard as I searched I was unable to find one that offered instructions for the quality headboard I wanted to make for my friend. So I made my own...
Once you have all of your pieces cut, lay it out on a flat surface and make sure everything fits.
I used wood glue and 3/4" brads to assemble my frame. I applied liberal amounts of wood glue to all of my horizontal pieces (I had to fit this in my car, so I saved the legs for later) laid the plywood on top and secured with the brads. Be careful that nothing slips out of place during the assembly.
Once I got to to my friend's new place, I attached the legs and gave it time to dry before upholstering.
Use a spray adhesive to attach the foam to the plywood. This will keep it from sliding around during the cutting process. A serrated kitchen knife works best for cutting foam. If you are fancy and have an electric carving knife, this is the time to use it. If not, I used an old steak knife and it turned out fine.
Lay out your fabric and your batting, making sure there are no major folds or wrinkles. Flip your headboard and lay foam side down atop the batting. Be sure the headboard is laying straight along the grain of the fabric, you wouldn't want a crooked pattern.
Begin pulling the fabric and batting up around the edges of the headboard, stapling every 6 inches or so. Start with the center of one side, place a few staples, then move to the opposite side. Repeat this process for the top and bottom, slowly working you way to the corners. This is important to make sure you fabric appears even and reduces the likely hood of wrinkles.
The corners and legs can be tricky. Be sure to remove the extra batting to reduce bulk, and be judicious in your cuts. Mostly it just takes a little finagling for it to come together.
Once I had everything stapled down nice and tight, a covered the back in a plain white muslin. This step is optional as no one will ever see the back of the headboard. But it comforts me to know it looks nice from all sides.