How to: DIY Bed Upholster

I can’t quite believe how well this DIY turned out and how quickly it transformed my Facebook Marketplace bargain. It was super easy to do and only took an afternoon to complete. If you’re looking to refresh your bedroom furniture I highly recommend giving it a go.

Heres how I did it… First off I had to get my hands on a bed. Originally I searched the web endlessly for a new affordable double bed (I never realised how expensive they were) as nothing jumped out I decided to look a little closer to home on Facebook Marketplace.

After some late night scrolling, there it was a white leather double ottoman bed, for FREE. I thought it was a risky buy with it being leather but as it was FREE and an ottoman I had to grab it.

Step 1: Choose your fabric

When I knew I was going to be upholstering a bed I was massively inspired by the stunning spare bedroom @renovatingridgeway, I searched high and low for a ticking stripe fabric but in the end all the ones I fell in love with weren’t wide enough. So, I then fell down a linen fabric hole. Often it is advised to avoid linen when upholstering but I found a perfect heavy linen in a stunning subtle shade, Great Oatmeal from Ada & Ina.

I did consider adding an in between layer as the bed was originally faux leather, this is something you might have to do if you choose a thin material or if your headboard is buttoned, however as the fabric I chose was thick it wasn’t required.

Step 2: Measure how much fabric you will need

Dismantle your existing bed, lie it out on the floor and measure each panel. Remember you need add on extra material around each panel to wrap around the edges and secure onto the back. I think I added an extra 2 inches on every side.

Greta Oatmeal came in a width of 137cm, in total I ordered 4 metres to cover the double bed and still had some spare.

Step 3: Grab the tools for the job

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Staple Gun
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver and hex key set (for dismantling and building your bed)

Step 4: Cut your fabric to size

Roll out your fabric on a clean floor, face down if it has a specific side. Lay your dismantled bed on top of the fabric leaving plenty of material around the edges to wrap over and cut each panel. You should end up with 4 panels altogether: 1 headboard piece, 2 long side pieces and 1 end piece.

Step 5: Covering your headboard and panels

Ideally I recommend beginning by covering your headboard. Make sure your fabric is completely flat on the floor and there are no creases. Fold over one side of the fabric overhang and with your staple gun, staple the fabric down onto the back of the headboard. Repeat this action on the opposite side, make sure you pull the fabric taut to prevent slacking.

TIP: Staple the stud frame. If you staple the foam or sponge the fabric won’t hold taut.

Once both sides of your headboard are stapled you will need to create folds at the top and bottom corners. To do this, I pulled the fabric tight and tucked as much away as possible. You will probably find you will need to cut away excess fabric so that the corners don’t bulge.

Once stapled and secure, flip it over to make sure you are happy with the results.

Repeat the same actions to your other 3 panels. These were a little trickier to cover as they were narrower but by following the pattern of how the other material was fitted it helped.

Step 6: Rebuild you bed and admire

Once everything is covered rebuild your bed. You will most likely have covered the screw holes with your new fabric, my best advice is to feel for the dents in the frame and pierce the fabric carefully with a pair of scissors and then insert the screws.

And there you go, you should no have a beautifully upholstered bed. Now I am no expert and I have taken a lot of advice and guidance from others online, but find what works best for you and give it a go!

Love, AR