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DIY Platform Bed: Upholstering the Platform

If you’ve been following my upholstered bed build from lifetimes ago, you know that we:

Good LORD. That’s a long list-o-bed-info, no? For good reason: I’ve had forty gazillion questions about how to build a bed like this, so I want to provide you guys with the most complete, exhaustive, detailed DIY platform bed tutorial in the whole wide interwebs.

So here’s a thousand words and a million photos to walk you through upholstering the platform.

1. Prepare the bed frame

Take the bed frame and plop ‘er down somewhere so you can reach the top and the bottom at once. We used four dining chairs. (If you missed the instructions on building the frame, just click on over here.)
upholstering a bed frame

2. Prepare your batting and muslin

You’ll need some long strips of batting and muslin to upholster the three sides of your platform. (We didn’t upholster the side that goes up against the wall, because no one will see it and I’m not some kinda crazy over-achiever.) (Unless there’s some kind of chocolatey reward.)

Cut your batting into long strips. Our batting was 54 inches wide, so we just cut it into thirds lengthwise, giving us 17-inch-wide strips, 3 yards long. We chose to do three layers of 8-pound batting for the extra cush factor, so I did this three times. Then I cut my muslin the same way – 3 yards long by 17 inches wide.
how to upholster a bed frame

3. Start covering one long side of the bed frame

Lay out your three layers of batting plus one layer of muslin, and hold it up to one side of the bed frame. You should have some overhang on each end. If you do, sweet! You’re doing beautifully and should probably pause for a celebratory glass of wine. When you’ve properly celebrated but are still able to safely operate a staple gun, start stapling the muslin + batting along the top of the bed frame.
upholstered bed frame tutorial
make your own upholstered bed
As you staple, pull the muslin and batting taut, so it doesn’t get all lumpy and wonky. (I hope you didn’t celebrate too hard earlier.)
building your own bed frame
It should look like this from the top and side:
adding fabric to a bed frame

A quick but important word about stapling

The first time we built a bed like this, we used an electric staple gun. It was not easy. We had to apply superhuman amounts of pressure to get the staples to go through all our layers of batting and fabric, and we often had to remove staples and start over.

THIS time, we bought this pneumatic staple gun* (pneumatic just means it connects to an air compressor). Let me tell you: it was NIGHT and DAY.

If you plan to ever staple anything again in your life, you’re gonna want one of these guys. Andy and I couldn’t get over how much easier it was. We felt mighty and powerful, like we could probably take over the world with that staple gun. The entire project moved faster and the end result is much more professional. Getcha one. (Only downside: that gun has no safety. So be careful, guys.)

4. Flip the entire bed frame upside down, and staple it along the other side.

It should look something like this:
If it does, more celebration is in order! I recommend sweets.

Now check out your work. If it got all lumpy and uncool, no worries! I won’t tell anyone.
using batting and muslin to make an upholstered bed

Lumpy and uncool

Just go back and staple the lumpy parts a little tighter until it aligns with your level of perfectionism. (My personal level = low.) If you’re using a heavy-weight upholstery fabric in the end, most of these little lumps will be hidden anyway.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other long side of the frame.

 

6. Wrap your corners.

We found it easiest to fold back the muslin, cut off some of the excess batting, staple the batting, then staple the muslin.
how to upholster corners of a bed
You’re pretty much trying to get a giftwrapped effect. The goal is something like this:
upholstered bed corner
Then flip the entire bed over and wrap the other four corners. You should have something like this:
covering a bed frame in fabric

7. Upholster the short end.

This part gets a little tricky, but you can do it, I promise. You’re going to upholster with only the batting first, so set your muslin aside. Now line up your batting with the edge of the batting that you’ve already stapled in, like this:
how to upholster the short side of a queen bed
And staple it along the top, trimming it to the right length when you reach the other seam. Staple it on the top side, flip the bed over, staple it to the bottom side. This is highly technical upholstery-speak, but we kinda “smushed” the batting together at the seams so there were no gaps. Smush. Spread. Try things until it looks right to you.
spreading out the batting on a DIY queen bed
Now it’s time to add the muslin to the short end of the bed. We made the muslin extra long, so it wrapped back around the corners and smoothed out the batting seams. See how the muslin goes back around the corners?
covering the corners of a queen bed in fabric
Staple all the muslin on the short side, wrap the corners and check to make sure it’s smooth.

8. Trim the excess.

Go around the top and bottom of the bed frame and cut off any extra muslin or batting.
trimming bed upholstery

WOOT! You made it; the hard part is over.

 

Your muslin and batting are all stapled on and beautiful, and it’s time to add the “pretty” upholstery fabric, so find someone who will give you a high-five, and eat a steak or something. Then return for the fun part.

Another quick note and lesson learned:

If I had been smart enough, I would have sewn my upholstery fabric into one looooong strip, so it was about 17 inches wide by 9 yards long. This way, you don’t have to worry about a seam as you’re upholstering – just start upholstering at one corner, and keep wrapping your fabric around the bed until it’s all covered. It will lay flat and look fabulous.

But I’m not that smart. And I can’t sew a straight line. So here’s the imperfect method I used.

9. Upholster both long sides with your upholstery fabric.

You’re a pro at this by now, so just relax and staple this junk right on there.
adding linen fabric to a diy upholstered queen bed
Wrap it around both corners, then flip the bed over and wrap it around those corners too.
corner of a bed

10. Upholster the short side with your upholstery fabric.

Okay, here’s the real deal: I don’t know the best way to finish off the upholstery fabric. It’s probably not this way, but here’s what we did.

Staple the fabric to the short side, leaving lots of fabric at both ends.
stapling fabric to a bed frame
Wrap it around the corner, fold it under itself and staple it on as neatly as you can.
finishing upholstering a DIY bed
See? It’s not ideal. Sewing would be better. Go forth and improve, friends!

And that’s the upholstered bedframe. Next time I’ll show you the headboard, then we’ll wrap it all up into one monster post, deal?

Does this all make sense? Did I miss any important info? Will you be drinking red wine or white?

Update:

Follow along with the whole tutorial on this post!


How to make your own DIY upholstered bed! Complete guide with materials, costs and step-by-step instructions!

*Contains affiliate links



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Comments

  1. Beth Rhamy says:

    Can wait to see the finished product!

  2. Great tutorial!

    I keep nicely asking…ok, begging…my husband to build a bedframe…..luckily I want mine painted because I might need LOTS of wine to attempt the whole upholstery thing!!

  3. Emily says:

    Just so you know for future projects, I have a sewing machine and it travels nicely :) I LOVE the color and fabric you chose! Is it white white or cream? I need to recover a chair in AB’s room :)

    • kelly says:

      Thanks buddy! I may take you up on that. I’m shopping for a sewing machine now. The fabric is a cream, and I’m loving it! So pretty.

  4. Beer, I drink beer. Lol! Can’t wait to see the whole completed bed! Our headboard has been tufted and nailhead has been attached, but our bed hasn’t been made up for 5 minutes long enough to take a decent picture. Sad, huh? Show the whole thing soon!

  5. Jessie says:

    Amazing! This is not an easy DIY project and I am impressed with what you guys did so far! Looking forward to see the beautiful bed! By the way, I come here from The Mustard Ceiling from the Mix and Mingle Party!

    Jessie
    http://www.mixandchic.com

  6. Skye says:

    I cannot believe you guys are tackling this again. Yall are troopers! :) Are you still in love with the fabric? I can’t wait to see how it comes out!

  7. lily says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog !! That bed looks amazing !

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi, visiting via The Mustard Ceiling. That is an amazing undertaking- great job! Will follow your blog.

  9. Wow! You make it look easy. I prefer white wine in the once-a-month occasions where we’re like, “oh hey I think we have some wine shoved in the back of the fridge. want some?” Plus red wine might stain your beautiful new bedframe. :)

  10. Heather says:

    WOW-what a project! Looks like it will pay off soon.

  11. That looks great! I’ll take some red wine, please.

  12. michelle says:

    Looks great and I can’t wit to see the finished product! I would have to have LOTS of wine to attempt that!

  13. Carrie says:

    Wow! Ambitious project, but it looks to be soooooo worth it! Can’t wait to see the headboard.

  14. Marigny says:

    I love this bed. We will be attempting this in a king (once we figure out the dimensions :) ) this weekend. How much fabric did you buy? I am so bad at estimating just by looking at something. Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      We needed 3 yards for the headboard and 3 yards for the platform, but I’m not sure how that will translate to a king. Good luck!

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