DIY No Sew Headboard Slipcover

October 3, 2017

DIY No-Sew Headboard Slipcover

We have been slowly refreshing our master bedroom ever since we moved in. We started with big stuff like having our popcorn ceilings scraped, new hardwood flooring and paint.

Here’s a little throwback to what our rom looked like when we first moved in.

After that was completed we set up our bedroom furniture almost exactly as it had been in our old house and called it good because there were other areas of our house that needed more of our attention, like our kitchen which you can catch up on here.

We went with a moodier paint color (Benjamin Moore Gibraltar Cliffs) on the walls than we had in our previous house that sometimes reads green and sometimes reads more blue and I just love it. The hardwood floor we selected was also much darker than the hardwood flooring we had in our previous house. As a result our dark wood furniture made the room feel very heavy and monotone with the dark flooring. I think it looked perfectly fine, it was just not the overall feel I was hoping to achieve in our bedroom. We love our bedroom furniture, but I knew I wanted a bit of a change without making a more permanent change.

I love the look of tufted and padded headboards (we have one for our guest bed), but I was definitely not in the market to buy a completely new headboard. So I decided to use my existing headboard, but make a headboard slipcover to cover over top of it. I was envisioning something along the lines of a big pillow case.

Let me preface this: I do not sew. My mom and grandma taught me a long time ago… I made an apple apron that I still have to this day, but I have not touched a sewing machine since. I probably should learn to sew again because I could make custom things like pillow covers and curtains, but for now I have just accepted my non-sewing skills and resort to other, easier methods.

In comes my life saver: Ikea hem tape. This can be found in big bins near the drapery section in Ikea. I have used other brands of hem tape and they just haven’t worked for me probably user error. So I just stick to my trusty Ikea kind.

Let’s get into how I made my DIY no-sew headboard slipcover and how you can easily make one yourself!


Measure your headboard. Measure the width (how wide it is from side to side), depth (how thick the headboard is at its widest point – ours was thickest at the top where it curves into a sleigh shape), and height (how tall you need the slipcover to be – I measured to where the headboard meets the bottom of the box spring). We have a king size bed and the measurements on our headboard came out to be 81” wide x 2.5” deep x 41” tall. Simply based on the width of the measurements I knew I would need fabric that was at a minimum 167” wide (81”+81”+2.5”+2.5”) to account for a front and a back of the slipcover, plus the width on the two edges. Adding in some wiggle room for errors I estimated I needed about 5 yards of fabric.


I went to JoAnn Fabrics because they have a great selection and always have good coupons (not sponsored, just where I like to go). For this project I knew I wanted a linen-type fabric that was lighter in color. I found my 1st pick for fabric in the upholstery section LINEN. The fabric was $25/yard. This was a bit out of my price range for what I wanted to spend (even with a 40% off coupon), since I was hoping to keep the whole project under $75 and I still needed to purchase batting for the padding. After feeling a little discouraged I scrounged around the clearance fabric pile and found a fabric that was $7/yard and was a linen look alike, very similar in color to my 1st fabric choice! After getting the fabric measured out I found out there was only 6 yards left of the fabric total, so I just took it all figuring I could use any extra for other projects. That came to $42 for the fabric (pre-coupon).

I selected a medium fill batting that was the size of a queen bedspread (it measured 81”x96”) that was the perfect width (81”) for my headboard and would give me enough batting to pad the front and back of the headboard which required 82” (41” front + 41” back) with a little extra. The batting was $20 (pre-coupon). I can’t find exactly what I used online, but I think this is similar.

I used by JoAnn’s 40% off one full priced item (the batting) and 20% off my total purchase to get the cost of the materials down to $43 total! I was thrilled.


For assembly purposes you want to create what resembles a giant pillow case (with the opening at the bottom, instead on of the side), so that it can slip over your headboard.

I cut the fabric to length first. I measured out 169” inches and cut off the remainder. I went a little longer than my 167” initial calculation because I was worried with the batting that it would be a little too snug and decided I would rather it be a little more relaxed than be so tight that I couldn’t even get it over the headboard.

Then, I used the hem tape, a damp cloth, and my iron to hem a nice edge on what would be the bottom of the headboard slip cover. Read: I hemmed one whole 169” length. You use the damp cloth underneath the iron to activate the hem tap as you move along. This probably took me 20 minutes to do the whole length.

After hemming the bottom edge I folded the material in half, with the nice/front of the material on the inside. It probably would have looked cleaner/more even to cut it in half so that both of the edges running down the side of the headboard would have a seam, rather than one just being a fold, but I’m lazy so I decided against it. I started on the top corner of the material where it was folded (not the bottom edge that was already hemmed) and used them hem tape (same method as described above) to create a seam along the top of the headboard slip cover and then continued on down the remaining opening side to create the giant pillow case leaving only the bottom already hemmed portion open.

Turn the headboard slipcover right side out and you should have a completed slipcover ready to go over your headboard!

At this point all of the hard work is done!


Now it’s time to put that baby on your existing headboard. First I draped the batting over the headboard. Mine was the exact with of my headboard so I didn’t have to trim any off there, but I did have to trim a little extra off the bottom of the batting where the headboard meets the box spring. Then I secured the batting very lightly using masking tape along the sides of the headboard. I knew the slipcover should for the most part keep the batting in place so I didn’t worry about this too much.

Then I pulled the slipcover over top of the headboard and newly placed batting. Now it looks like we have a completely new headboard! I am so very happy with the end result! It really lightens up our room and has a much more casual and relaxed vibe than our wood headboard. Especially for under $50 this project really can’t be beat!

Hindsight – I should have ironed this bad boy before putting in over the headboard because now the chances of me taking it off, ironing it, and putting it back on are next to nothing. I am choosing to embrace the relaxed vibe and the added texture the wrinkles bring.

If you try this out let me know, I’d love to hear about it!


More about Allie

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *