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Brady’s DIY Channel Tufted Headboard

Hey folks, it’s Brady here today on the blog. Don’t worry, Em is still in charge. She is busy moving into her house while I bring you a fun DIY for your weekend (since I know you all are DYING for another project especially right before the holidays, because we all have so much spare time). I am assuming at this point you all know who I am but just in case you are new or have been ignoring me politely up to this point, let’s take a quick look at my living room, bathroom, and kitchen progress. Things are definitely coming along in my apartment and although there is still lots more to do (in my opinion) we are making some big steps towards it being finished. When it came time to tackle my bedroom I casually kept putting it off as I was just tired, uninspired, and not quite ready for another project on my plate. But, when Sapira by Leesa reached out about teaming up to share with you their new luxury hybrid mattress I said, “why not?” and happily obliged because it gave me the perfect excuse to upgrade my bedroom AND my sad sleeping situation. Besides, you spend a third of your life in bed, so it was definitely time to for me to find a high-quality mattress that I love to sleep on.


I am a very happy man now (as you can see by the look on my face when the new mattress came out of the box) but it was not always that way, for years I had a hand-me-down mattress that was hard, old, and probably doing nothing for me comfort or health wise. For some reason I even packed it up and trekked it with me from Salt Lake City to LA when I moved here 5 years (insane I know). Looking back now, I am asking myself why it took me so long to get a replacement but I realized that it is because mattresses’ and the buying process are intimidating. If you do make it to a store you have to deal with pushy salesmen and gross plastic pillow covers, and if you order from a big box store or online they usually don’t have any sort of guarantee or easy way to return if you don’t like the mattress. This is where Sapira has changed the game. Just like with their Leesa mattress, they have streamlined the process and the mattress which means you just go online, pick your size and within a few days it arrives at your front door all ready for you to unpack and try it out with their 100 day trial period. Be sure to use the code: EMILYHENDERSON100 when you checkout to get $100 off your mattress purchase. Talk about an easy way to bring a little bit of luxury into your bedroom before the holidays.


Speaking of easy, before you all freak out because this headboard looks like A LOT of work, rest assured that it truly is just a few steps and so easy once you break it down. When we went to shoot it, Tessa (the photographer) even said, “wait, that is it? That is how you made that headboard? It is so easy!” So, let’s get into it – an EASY DIY channel tufted headboard.


Here is what you will need for the headboard –

Fabric: I went with an olive green velvet that I sourced online, but you really can go with any fabric as long as it is upholstery weight. I love this velvet though, as it’s so soft and really easy to clean.

Scissors: My friend gave me these fancy ones, but your everyday house scissors will do just as good of a job at cutting through the fabric and batting.

Wood: I went with 6″ wide by 1″ thick by 12′ long common wood board. You can definitely get it in shorter lengths or have them cut it down at the store for you depending on how long you want your headboard to be. I cut mine down to the exact length of my wall which was around 11′.

Staple Gun: Any staple gun will work for this. If you want to get efficient then you can even go with an automatic model.

Wood Screws: Just traditional wood screws that are not longer than the depth of your wood board, so that they don’t poke through. I went with 3/4″ length.

Screwdriver/Drill: You will use this for putting it all together. I prefer a drill but a handheld screwdriver works just as well and will definitely build those arm muscles we are all striving for with swimsuit season quickly approaching.

Strap Tie: The ones that I used were 27″ and I used them to join all of my panels together.

Batting: Depending on how long your headboard is you will need enough yardage to wrap around each panel. I used 4 yards total so that it would cover the length of my boards. This might make more sense after you see the photos.

Half Round Foam: I went with these 6″ diameter bolsters which I had the company slice down the center. They can do it all for you at the factory and ship to you which makes it very easy. Their foam comes in lengths of 72″ so if your headboard is going to be longer than that you can just butt two of them up together (end to end) to extend the length.


Creating the channel tufted panels:

Step 1: Once you have your panels cut down to your desired length you will lay the fabric face down, then the batting, then the half round foam, and finally the wood piece.

Step 2: To make sure you have enough fabric to cover around the back of your wood, pull it tight on either side and adjust where your wood/foam is on the piece so that you can cover it completely. Once you figure out how much fabric this takes you can cut the rest of your fabric down to that specific width. I cut mine down to 18″ wide which was plenty to cover each panel.

Step 3: Staple one side all the way down trying to keep it all straight as you go. Once you get to the end, switch to the opposite side, pulling it tight as you go so that you have a clean ripple free finished panel on the other side.

Step 4: For your corners you will want to fold both sides in and then the bottom up to cover everything, just how you would with a gift you are wrapping. Then staple that piece down. You don’t have to be too careful with this as no one will see the back of your piece.


Creating the picture ledge: this is a totally optional step, but on my headboard I wanted to create a little ledge on the top of it which made it stand out from the wall a bit so that I could lean art, or even a put vase or books up there.

Step 1: Lay your fabric face down and then your wood on top.

Step 2: Similar to what you did before fold over the fabric and staple down one side and then switch to the other.

Step 3: Fold over the corner and staple.

Step 4: As I am writing this I realized that we totally forgot to include this angle bracket in the “what you will need section” –  so make sure you pick up some of these if you intend on adding the ledge to your headboard. I attached 4 total to my ledge – which was plenty to hold it to my panels.


Now it is time to put it all together! This process (like the rest) is really quite simple.

Step 1: You will join all of your channel tufted panels together with your strap tie. Make sure to line up the ends of your panels so that when it is all put together you don’t have any sticking out further than others.

Step 2: Once all your panels are together you will finish it off with your ledge by screwing that onto the top panel.

And that is about it! Easy – peasy right? Or have I completely lost you? If I haven’t, here’s ONE last (optional) idea. I ended up taking it a step further and upholstering my boxspring so that the entire bed had a finished and custom look.


Here is what you will need for the upholstered box spring:

Box Spring: Most boxsprings will work for this as long as they have a wood frame on them so that you can staple the fabric onto it. If you don’t have a wood frame then you could always hot glue the fabric down.

Staple Gun


Fabric: I had enough left over from my headboard to do wrap the boxspring as it only requires a few yards of 12″ wide fabric.


Step 1: You will want to start by adding a little piece of fabric to your corners. This will serve as the backdrop for your pretty folded corner pieces so that it creates a little pleat and looks finished.

Step 2: Make sure your fabric piece covers at least 4 inches of each side from the corner and then staple it down, pulling tight as you go.

Step 3: To create the simple pleated corners you will take another piece of fabric that is long enough to cover one length of your box spring and fold over one end a few inches.

Step 4: Then just pull it up and staple it all the way down.

Now that we have the headboard installed it’s time to bring the new Sapira Mattress in which was definitely the most fun part of the entire process. The boxed mattress trend has been around for a while as I am sure you have seen, but Leesa (who we have worked with before for Scott’s guest bedroom, and my guest bedroom), has recently introduced their newest brand Sapira. Sapira is the first true luxury hybrid mattress that has been engineered to compress and ship in a box, which means that the perfect combination of both premium pocket springs and several layers of high performance foam is just a click away. So for those of you who love springs and weren’t ready to try an all foam mattress this new hybrid brings you the best of both worlds. Each mattress has over one thousand springs built into it which helps to cradle you while you sleep and if you have someone else in the bed with you it means they won’t wake you up while they toss and turn all night (game changer). They are also made in the USA, have complimentary shipping, and offer a 100-night risk free trial. Which means you can sleep on it from Jan to March and if the mattress isn’t for you (which I highly doubt will happen) then they will gladly refund you and arrange for a complimentary pick up.


I have been sleeping on mine for about a week now and I am loving it. It is just the right amount of firmness and cushion, and the quality is far above anything else I have seen. They also offer a white glove service to come and pick up your old mattress and open up your new one, but I DO recommend doing it yourself. I mean how fun is this 🙂


Once we had the mattress in it was time to make and style the bed as I was ready for a nap. The color of the headboard really serves as the main (and only) color in the room, so I wanted to keep everything else pretty neutral and paired back and play a lot with texture. I started with the simple relaxed roman shades in a white linen that I had custom made to fit the oddly sized windows and I love the way they let the light in ever so slightly but still give me the privacy I need for my bedroom. On the floor I put this vintage Moroccan rug from Esmali Rugs, it is lower pile than most of the Moroccan rugs you are seeing on the market now and I love that it allows for high traffic without getting all piled down and dirty. They have a massive selection of them and I also just learned that each rug pattern is actually a written message and you can get them read to you by a rug translator. Maybe in my next life I can just hang out with rugs all day as they speak their messages to me?


For the bedding I wanted to keep it fresh and light so I went with all white linen bedding as I love the way that it feels and how soft it gets wash after wash. Then on top of it I layered this waffle throw which Tessa tried to steal on her way out. It rippled so effortlessly and is so insanely soft and cozy it makes the perfect throw to have at the foot of your bed or to drape across a chair.

Then to top it all off and add some more layered texture I added this Moroccan pom pom throw which brought in a graphic modern stripe, but didn’t compete as it was in the same neutral color palette as everything else in the room.


Moving on over to the nightstand area, the art is all vintage that I picked up from the flea market, and to echo the black from the art I brought in that wood based black lamp and the small ceramic vessel with an abstract black stripe. Oh, and because I love to pretend I read at night rather than catch up on garbage television I threw in a book I’ve had on my reading list for months now with a pair of reading glasses (just pretend that that top drawer is not filled with remotes and HDMI cords for my electronics).




It is coming together and I am so excited to finally have a place to really relax in that doesn’t feel halfway done. I still have a BIG full reveal coming of the other half of the room so stay tuned for that, but in the meantime be sure to head on over to Sapira and use the code: EMILYHENDERSON100 when you checkout to get $100 off your mattress purchase. 

So what do you think about my new DIY headboard? Think you can tackle the project? I promise it really is quite easy, but if you have any questions or need some input definitely comment below and in case you missed any of the sources above here is a full list of where everything came from.

Sources: Bed: DIY (duh) | Antique Rug | Nighstands | White Linen Sheets and Duvet | Oversized Taupe Throw | Morrocan Pom Throw | Ceramic Black Stripe Mini Pot | Art: vintage | Lamp

***Photography by Tessa Neustadt, project/design/styling by Brady Tolbert

For more of Brady’s Apartment: Brady’s Bedroom Makeover with Parachute | Brady’s Kitchen Reveal | Brady’s Living Room | Brady’s Bathroom Refresh | DIY Kitchen Flooring | Brady’s Living Room Refresh with The Citizenry

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7 years ago

That looks great! I love when Brady takes over =)

7 years ago

This is a really cool project! One question though, I’m confused about how the headboard attaches to the wall? Or is it just leaning up there?

7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Great idea – that green velvet is gorgeous! I was wondering the same thing about how the headboard is secured though…

7 years ago
Reply to  Jenna

It actually isn’t permanently attached to the wall as the unit stays securely in place with the bed and boxspring firmly up against it. If you did want to install it to the wall you could attach it with a french cleat or some L-brackets. xx

Sophia F.
7 years ago

This is incredible! Is it attached to the wall or the bed frame, and if so, how?

Julie P
7 years ago
Reply to  Sophia F.

I had the same question. You’d want this to be very sturdy against the wall so you can really lean on those juicy baffles, but with the chair ledge I don’t know how that’s possible.

Sue Givens
7 years ago

We recently got the original Leesa mattress and it is seriously the best mattress I’ve ever slept on. We’ve had it for about 7 months and I cannot stress enough how much better I sleep now. I can only imagine how nice the Sapira is.

7 years ago
Reply to  Sue Givens

I LOVE the mattress and it has been so great so far. So glad to hear you had such a great experience as well. xx

Sara Beth
7 years ago

I love this post so much. I’ve been scouring the web to try and find some extra wide headboards so this absolutely perfect. I’m afraid I’m going to just be knocking off Brady’s apartment. We’re looking to add black and white checkered floors to our vintage bathroom (it’s PINK!) and bring back the brass. We’re painting our living room a dark moody color (oh hello smokey green) with a pair of leather chesterfields and eames lounger. I love the masculinity of your designs as well as the addition of traditional design elements! You’re the BOMB!

7 years ago
Reply to  Sara Beth

Do it! And definitely send along pictures. Would love to see them 🙂 xx

7 years ago

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING BRADY!!! You give hope to all renters that it IS possible to have a beautiful, sophisticated, bespoke place to live, AND keep your security deposit if you are willing to put in a little effort. Bravo!

7 years ago

Brady! Too good! The headboard is designed perfectly for this space! The green velvet is amazing. And I love the little display area on the right. It’s perfect. Great tutorial, great look, and great writing! Brady is a perfect fit for this blog! Love it all. ???

7 years ago

Looks great! Do you recommend the nightstands? They look fantastic but have pretty bad reviews for the quality. Thanks!

7 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree! Would love to know how they are holding up for you?

7 years ago
Reply to  Aubrie

They have been wonderful and feel really sturdy! They definitely look and feel like great pieces. I would for sure recommend them. xx

7 years ago

This is awesome! I have question, maybe I missed it above, but how did you attach the headboard to the wall?

Julie P
7 years ago

Ok, Brady you’re a genius. This is so beautiful and statement making in what is a small bedroom at 11 feet wide. Bravo!!

I will say, for the record, that my husband and I recently did a 100 night trial for a highly rated competitor of the Leesa, the Helix. It was custom made for our body sizes and desired softness and is also a hybrid spring and foam mattress. We ended up returning it because it was extremely extremely firm even though we had ordered a soft feeling bed. Maybe we should have gone with the Leesa instead. I would just caution everyone out there that not everyone who buys a mattress online is satisfied, despite the fact that every review you can seem to find is glowing.

7 years ago

This is such a cool take on an upholstered headboard! It looks really expensive and I love how you also covered the boxspring so it looks like a set. If it were my room I think I would have made it just a little bit higher – I realize the window is in the way so it might have looked weird to block part of it, but it just feels a touch too short once the pillows are on the bed. Overall it looks amazing though, it looks like such a cozy place to sleep!

7 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

I wish I could have gone taller with it as well, but the windows make it hard for it to go any taller as it would start covering up the bottom of the windows and it all needed to fit under there. I toyed around with the idea of doing the entire wall but that seemed insane! But, when the full room reveal comes around you might see something new 🙂 xx

7 years ago
Reply to  Brady

Ooo I’m intrigued! Can’t wait to see the full reveal!

7 years ago

This looks AMAZING!

7 years ago

Bravo Brady! This space gives me all the heart eyes.

7 years ago

It looks AMAZING! This is such a strange doincidence as well. i was planning on making the same style of headboard in the spring (only from top of bed to ceiling) and I was trying to figure out how to make it. Perfect timing and great job!

7 years ago
Reply to  Brooke

whoops! coincidence is not spelled with a d 🙂

7 years ago

Yay, Brady! I just got my own Leesa mattress about 10 days ago and I AM IN LOVE! I took mine to another level by adding a 4″ memory foam mattress topper. Swooon!

I had a “No-Sleep Number” mattress before, and like you, I had it for 5-years too long and asked myself why it took me so long to justify comfort and REST. Next year, I am buying another Leesa for our spare bedroom.

7 years ago

Wow Brady, it’s amazing!

I second, or third, the need to know if the headboard is attached to the wall 🙂
Anyway, well done! It look so luxurious and quite easy to make – keep’em coming!

7 years ago

Hmmm, this seems hard. Did you know you can buy a headboard online and have it delivered to your house?

I bought a regular Leesa mattress and I love it, it’s super comfortable. I have back problems and had a hard time finding a good mattress. I totally recommend the Leesa.

7 years ago

An easier way would be to affix those foam pieces to one large headboard-sized board and then upholster the whole thing at once, pushing the velvet into the slots. I made a window cornice from a kit like that once and it was the fastest, simplest thing.

7 years ago

Wow! This is so creative. I love the color of the fabric too. Beautiful job! I worry a little about the dust that can build up on the bolsters, but I guess thats what a good vacuum attachment is for!

7 years ago

I just love the soft colors and the layering on the bed is perfection! Looks like a tranquil space.

7 years ago

The headboard is AMAZING !! The idea to make it wall-to-wall: BRILLIANT !! I love everything: the color, the long, modern tufting (or is it still technically tufting ? don’t know, don’t care).

Can I steal it ? Can I move in ?

I love it. Really beautiful bedroom.

7 years ago

This is so cool. My hillbilly genetics are wondering if you could cut one of those $1 pool noodles in half and achieve the same look? I don’t think it would be nice and squishy as Brady’s though.

Love this DIY though – quick easy and really pretty results. the trifecta.

7 years ago
Reply to  Elyse

I actually thought about that! But that would result in some pretty shallow and small tufts so I ended up going with a larger diameter so that I could have them proportionally feel right. Glad to hear that I am not the only one constantly trying to get scrappy with projects 🙂 xx

Susie Q.
7 years ago
Reply to  Brady

What if you didn’t cut the noodles in half, but just cut a little off the back to make a flat surface? It still wouldn’t be squishy though…

7 years ago

AH-MAY-ZING!!! That green velvet is making my heart pitter patter, definitely want to try this!

7 years ago

Awesome and quite easy to follow, but I was wondering about were you purchased your bracelet :)?

7 years ago

Brady you have great style; This is an amazing bedroom and I’d take all that in a second! It’s not too cluttered and still really textural, interesting and beautiful. Dream bedroom for sure, had I not just bought a new bed frame I would def consider making this one.

7 years ago

The Moroccan rug looks beautiful in your space. I will offer free shipping to your customers.

Ali Esmaili

7 years ago

Brady I have a design question for you since I notice that you have an off center window like I do. I have a similar setup except it has some challenges. There is only one wall in the room to put my bed. 1st wall is too small and it would completely block the closet entry, the 2nd wall would not allow the bedroom door to open and the 3rd wall is really awkward and does not make for a good flow in the room. So under an off center window is where I put the bed. Now the terrible vertical blinds (renter) never get opened since my neighbors windows look directly in and the light makes shadows on the TV which makes it impossible to watch. (It’s the only TV in the house and it’s not moving so that’s not an option.) I’d normally cover the window with some beautiful curtains hung high and wide (al la Mrs. Hendo’s advice) to disguise the off center issue and terrible blinds BUT my end tables are wall mounted. I’ve centered my king size bed under the window which pulls it closer to the entry and closet door which is not ideal… Read more »

7 years ago
Reply to  melissab

What about a wall to wall curtain? Something like this ?

7 years ago

Upholstering the boxspring was genius. Now you don’t even need a bed frame, and it looks so polished!

7 years ago

Love love this. How much fabric did you end up using for the project?

7 years ago

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! And you are so funny.

7 years ago

Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to make a tufted headboard, but all the DIYs I’ve liked have seemed to require more sewing skills than I have – until now! I can definitely get behind precut foam and a staple gun vs a sewing machine. Thanks so much for sharing!

7 years ago

This is maybe my favorite DIY I’ve ever seen on EHD. I LOVE IT. Holy cow. Holy cow! Nice work, Brady. I want to live in those tufts.

7 years ago

You crushed this. Color, proportion, drama – brava.

7 years ago

This looks wonderful – really creative! Great job.

7 years ago

Dang, Brady. Stop being so cool.

7 years ago


7 years ago


7 years ago

This is stunning! What a well executed DIY that looks so much more expensive

7 years ago

Your blog is really an inspiration to many. I’ll be looking forward for more of your posts. Keep it up!
Get your lost love back by astrology

7 years ago

Hi, I am curious, who does the editing of the comments, as it was disappointing when I took the time to contribute and praise Brady on his great job, yet the post disappears after a few hours.
Thanks, if a computer glitch pls let me know so I can repost.

7 years ago
Reply to  Gabrielle

Thanks for the speedy update (a glitch) you sent me I appreciated it. This was a particularly great post.

7 years ago

This DIY is genius!! Loooooove how the finished space turned out, Brady! Pattern-mixed perfection.

7 years ago

What a great headboard! I am going to make one following your wonderful instructions. Do you think it can be made from a denim weight fabric? Thanks Emily

7 years ago

I LOVE THIS! I was just planning to DIY a headboard and this post has completely changed my plans.