You may be thinking: ”Cardboard?.. I am not convinced”. Well, let me tell you, neither was I. I have seen some ideas about DIY Headboard and was hesitant to try it for myself because I honestly believed that  the cardboard would make it a bit flimsy and I wasn’t sure if I was trying to live so frugally now that I am even considering making furniture from cardboard. I mean how thin is the line between living frugally and being a cheapskate?

Anyways, I digress. What made me give it a try is the fact that we recently purchased an above ground swimming pool and kept the box in the garage in case we wanted to return it. Two weeks in, we obviously were using that pool every day. So, time to get rid of the box. The first thing that I could come up with, was this DIY Cardboard headboard idea that I have seen.

It is really super easy and it came out beautifully!  I could have easily surprised my husband with this and he would not even have realized that it this headboard was made from cardboard, seriously.

What you will need for your DIY Cardboard Headboard:

  • Cardboard

A piece large enough for the bed size) Mine was 150cm

  • Foam

Low density foam is cheaper than high density. Mine was 75mm thick and I had to buy 2 separate pieces because the shop did not have large enough pieces. Turned out the 2 pieces next to each other were perfect.

  • Batting

Enough to wrap around the sides of the cardboard plus foam. I bought 2m x 1.5m

  • Fabric of your choice

You can buy expensive fabric or go for something cheaper, totally up to you. Just make sure whatever you buy is suitable for upholstery or curtaining at least.

  • Staple gun and staples
  • Duct Tape (optional)


Steps for an easy DIY Cardboard Headboard:

1. Measure, Plan and Cut

Measure your bed across the side where you want to place the cardboard headboard.  Cut the cardboard to size. In my case, I only had to cut the flaps off from the sides to make it the perfect size. Buy the foam, fabric, batting in sizes suitable for the cardboard. It may be necessary to cut the fabric, foam and batting.  Make sure to iron the fabric to make sure it is crease free.

Cardboard for DIY cardboard
Measure and cut the cardboard, foam and fabric


2.Wrap and Staple

Lay down your fabric wrong side up and place the batting, foam and cardboard on top of it. Wrap the cardboard like a gift starting with the long sides. Staple the batting only to the cardboard on the longer sides but do not pull them to tight. Now do the shorter sides. In my case, this wasn’t necessary as the batting was not long enough to wrap completely around the sides. Repeat this process with the fabric making sure to pull it in a bit tighter than the batting. Leave the corners unstapled.

Fabric wrapped cardboard
Fabric and batting stapled to the cardboard

3.Corner like a pro

Perfect upholstery corner
Folding the corners neatly

For perfect upholstery corners, follow the steps in the picture above. Pull out the fabric from the corners, then lay them flat in a square. Pull them tight across the corner and fold extra fabric into the corner if needed. Staple the corners on the sides of the folds. To tidy up, fold the flap in to make a neat straight line. For some more techniques on cornering, have a look at these upholstery corner technique.

4.Install and Style

Because this headboard is so light, I decided to for now, just place the cardboard headboard on the base of my bed. I pulled the mattress slightly away from the wall, placed the headboard and then using the mattress pushed the headboard against the wall to secure it.

DIY Cardboard Headboard
Beautiful end result


My plans for a follow up on this include adding legs to the back and perhaps adding buttons to the front for the tufted look. I must still decide if I like the plain look more than the tufted look. In total the project took me literally 30 min once I had all the items ready.


Overall, I am very pleased with this DIY cardboard headboard. It really looks stunning!  It makes the room look all the more sophisticated and mature. If you have time for only one project for your room, I would suggest you do this one. If you like DIY, why not check out these gorgeous ideas for DIY Christmas Trees?

9 Replies to “Easy DIY Cardboard Headboard”

    1. Hi Kalleigh

      I added 2 square timbers to the back with duct tape but removed them again, as it rested perfectly fine on the edge of the base without them.I have seen some ideas of hanging it with some cord like you would hang a picture on the wall and think that could also work well.

      Hope you enjoy making it!

    2. You could also consider using Command Heavy Duty picture hanging strips. I used them to hang a heavy whiteboard successfully, so it should work just fine for a lighter cardboard headboard. That’s what I’m planning to use.

      1. Hi Sharon

        Thank you! That sounds like a really good alternative.Please send me pictures once you have tried it. And enjoy making it. It really took me like 3o min.

    1. Hi Christina

      The batting I bought was very cheap, yes. I asked my local fabric store for their different types and chose the cheapest one. I have also heard that old towels, or old wool blankets make excellent alternatives to batting although I have still to try this.

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