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?
Well, now it does. And ‘in love’ doesn’t quite cover how I feel about this project.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Next up, stapling the batting. We used a basic quilt batting, the same as the banquette seat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upholstering the buttons was super easy. We just used a button cover kit and the same fabric as used on the headboard.
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.
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
The dimension in the tufting is SO good. I’d love to try out this project again in the master bedroom.
Speaking of, I’m hoping to come back tomorrow with an update on the addition! Getting so close!