Practical prediction of structural vibrations due to a turbulent boundary layer currently depends on empirical representations of the unsteady wall pressures. Improvements in these representations would be greatly facilitated if a simple, physically based model were available to test ad hoc assumptions and provide rigorous interpolation of experimental data. A possible candidate is the attached-eddy model, developed from Townsend's initial ideas by Perry and co-workers in the context of turbulence velocity spectra. This approach employs the superposition of contributions from individual ‘eddies’, of varying size, to yield its predictions. It is shown here that the same methodology can be applied for wall pressures, once the field due to an eddy has been obtained via solution of the governing Poisson equation. Comparisons with large-eddy simulation and experimental data, spanning a two-decade Reynolds number range, show remarkably good agreement, given the simplicity of the model. It is concluded that this approach has the potential to provide useful physical insight and, subject to its extension to a time-resolved form, improvements to existing empirical formulations.