March 6, 2013

Tufted Headboard Tutorial

I’m fabric happy. Or upholstering happy. Whatever you want to call it. That’s me. Let’s just say, once I busted out the upholstered bench seat in the dining room, I immediately scoured the house for all else that could be wrapped in fabric. I landed on Zoey’s room. No, not her entire room, but her headboard. You know, the headboard that doesn’t exist?

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Well, now it does. And ‘in love’ doesn’t quite cover how I feel about this project.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Like, whoa. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m about two seconds from claiming this bed as my own. Sorry, Z. Momma is moving in.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

And of course, I have all the nitty gritty details for you. There are plenty of tutorials floating around Pinterest for upholsering and tufting a headboard, but I fell in love with this one. Being the apprentice that I am at sewing, I was all giddy about being able to tuft without breaking out the sewing materials (whatever those are). Let’s dive in.

We started by cutting out our shape for the headboard in 3/4″ particle board (stable and affordable). I used a pretty simple technique to get the shape just right and symmetrical. Just a large piece of poster paper to outline of the left side, and flipping it to mirror the right side. Then cut out your shape and trace it onto the particle board. Ricky used a jigsaw to cut out the shape. You can also see by the shape of the wood, we chose to take the headboard to the floor, rather than attaching support legs. More on that later.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

I wanted really dramatic tufting, so I chose a 4″ thick foam for the upholstering stages. You could definitely get away with something thinner if that’s not for you or you’re looking to save money. The foam was around $45/yard, so make sure you have one of Joann’s 50% off coupons in hand.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

I’ve heard of people using electric knives to cut the foam, but I used a serrated knife, no problem. Whatever you have on hand is fine. The edges are a little less clean, but once the batting and fabric are on no one will know the difference.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

And while we’re on foam topic, realize ahead of time, the foam is only sold at 24″ widths, so you’ll need to piece a few cuts together. Again, once the fabric is on you can’t tell. Just try to push the pieces together as closely as possible. I had all kinds of crazy configurations going on here.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

I used a little spray adhesive to secure the foam to the particle board, and flipped everything over to start tracing my tufting approach. In the photo, I have the buttons placed in a diagonal pattern, spaced 6″ apart and the horizontal lines 4″ apart. These are NOT the dimensions I settled on. Instead, I kept the buttons 6″ apart and pushed the lines apart an additional two inches, for a total of 6″ apart. Four inches was way too close for such a deep tuft. (more on these buttons in a sec)

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Next up, stapling the batting. We used a basic quilt batting, the same as the banquette seat.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Then I flipped over the headboard and retraced the design on the front of the batting. Again, I switched up my dimensions as I got further into the process.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Now, for the fun part! Tufting. This is crazzzy easy. I laid out the fabric over the batting, front side of the headboard facing up. We used a three part system – 3/4″ wood screws and washers in two sizes (#10’s and 1/4″). We simply screwed the screw (with washers) through the fabric, batting, foam, and into the particle board. Make sure to go slower at first to avoid fraying the fabric. The smaller washer grips the screw and prevents the fabric, foam, etc. from slipping out around the sides. The larger washer just made the indent a little larger to accommodate the size of the buttons.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

I pulled back the fabric (which is from here in ‘Dark Gray’ for those of you wondering) to find the markings and poked the screw through.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Then Ricky lent a hand and drilled the screws into place. You’ll need to apply a pretty significant amount of pressure to work the screws through all the layers.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

We worked from the middle of the headboard and slowly worked out way outwards. I did some shaping and tugging on the fabric to get it to lay nicely, but the tufting pretty much worked itself out, as far as the creases are concerned.
DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

We chose to upholster the entire piece, top to floor. We knew it would be somewhat exposed on the sides of the bed and we liked the sturdiness of the bulkier piece versus a headboard with attached legs. Just personal preference here. You could go either way. Once the tufting was all in place I stapled the fabric, just like I’d done with the batting. You can see in the pic below, the bottom half of the headboard isn’t as tightly pulled and has some creasing going on, but that’s ok because it’ll all sit below the bed frame anyway.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Upholstering the buttons was super easy. We just used a button cover kit and the same fabric as used on the headboard.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

We have plans to attach the entire headboard using a bolt system to the bed frame. We’ll share more on that once we tackle it. The headboard sits an inch and half or so off the mattress, which works perfectly fine with the amount of pillows this girl has.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Zoey’s big girl room is really starting to come together now! We’re in the process of adding something to the blank wall beside her bed as we speak :)
DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

The dimension in the tufting is SO good. I’d love to try out this project again in the master bedroom.

DIY Tufted Headboard | Cape27Blog.com

Speaking of, I’m hoping to come back tomorrow with an update on the addition! Getting so close!

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45 thoughts on “Tufted Headboard Tutorial

  1. Helen Williams

    It’s so comfy looking! We have a similar shaped one for my daughters room that we purchased, but I really like your fabric choice better! THANKS for the tutorial, Helen

    Reply
  2. Krista

    Wow! Amazing job! I am new to your blog and seriously inspired. We have a plain ol’ upholstered headboard in our bedroom that we made years ago – wish I had known how to tuft back then:) Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Oh, should have mentioned that! I just used basic fabric glue around the edges of the buttons. Holds great!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
      1. Shayra

        thanks I was wondering this as well. BEATIFUL job. Thanks for the easy tutorial tufting seemed daunting to me lol.

        Reply
  3. Megan

    Its so pretty! Seriously, that foam is pricey! We recently used some in a project and also used a serrated knife to cut it! Love her sweet room!!

    Reply
  4. missmarple69

    Brilliant job, I’ve always preferred a headboard, probably because I’m such a book worm, and I like the support of resting my head on my pillows propped up in bed reading… You’ve made such a Professional job of it, I’m sure your Daughter is well pleased with her clever Mum…. Dee xx

    Reply
  5. Monica

    I love how this turned out!! It definitely looks easier to screw the “buttons” in rather than try to sew them through. I bet Zoe is just thrilled with her new bed.

    Reply
  6. Tamie

    Did you buy the button covers from the place where you bought the fabric? I have a tufted ottoman that I wanted to reupholster for my daughters room, but I have been wondering how to do that since it’s tufted….do I cut holes out and pull the existing buttons through- then find button covers for the existing buttons? I cannot sew AT ALL and my husband it telling me it will be too much of a pain and that I should just sell the existing ottoman and buy a new one (is he crazy?!) LOL. Any thoughts? I didn’t even know if they sold button covers. I also want to do a gray color for this project because I think it will complement the light pinks and blues in her room. Great job! LOVE this project! I think when my 11 month old daughter grows into a big girl bed, I will be attempting this!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We bought the button kit from Joann’s and used the same fabric as the headboard to cover them. The button kit has super simple instructions on covering, no sewing required! Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  7. Jessica

    Wow, this turned out great! Tufting has such a luxurious look to it… who knew it could be so simple to pull off! Thanks for the great tutorial and inspiration! :)

    Reply
  8. Staci Johnson

    Hi Jessie the bed looks fabulous. I have been looking at several methods for tufting, I want to make my own headboard but I want wings. That being said, I dont know if the 3/4 would be strong enough should some weight shift to the wings. What do you guys think?

    Reply
  9. Valerie Shipley

    Great job and easy instructions. I’m just a bit confused on the screws.
    You state to screw them in thru the fabric batting foam and wood but then
    pull fabric back and find the marking and screw.

    Isn’t the screw already in at that point from the prior step?
    Sorry, I’m just stuck on that one.

    Reply
  10. Mallory

    How much fabric do I need? For instance if my board is 48″ wide and 48″ tall do I just add a certain amount of inches per side to figure total fabric needed?

    Reply
  11. Ginger

    Love your idea of screws/washers versus drilling holes in wood and pulling button through as most people do. I tried the button kit but my fabric is too thick so will have a professional company do my buttons for me; however your idea of screws saved my project. I am almost done.y headboard is large – 74″ wide x 60″ height.

    Reply
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  14. Yani

    Ahhh! Im so excited to try it this way. All week looking at diy.. This is soooo far the best one! Amazingggg job! I want that same color!!!!

    Reply
  15. susie q makes

    Thanks for sharing your tutorial! I want to make a queen size one using black toile and this looks like something I can do:)

    Reply
  16. Melba Lopez

    Thank you for the information . I want to do the headboard in my bedroom and i’m looking for ideas, i love the way you did the tufted .I’m going to do mine like this. I love the fabric you use. Great JOB…

    Reply
  17. Alex

    I have a question about your awesome tutorial. I have my head board all set up and ready to drill.. When I went to drill my nail caught the fabric/foam/and batting and twisted it all up. Even after I made pilot holes before hand. Any advice?

    Reply
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