DIY Simple Tufted Headboard

January 18, 2010

Greetings all, how was your weekend ?  It was rainy and wet here in Northern California, but I say that’s perfect weather for watching football and a good DIY project.

You’ve seen tufted headboards in boutique hotels, everywhere in interior decor and in designer bedrooms. Fabric covered headboards are a great way to add an elegant touch to a bedroom with all kinds of different fabrics.  Last weekend I decided to tackle a simple tufted headboard for my teenage daughter’s bedroom.  We didn’t want anything too fancy or formal, just some soft curves, a few buttons, and a little tufting for some sophistication. It took about five hours from start to finish, with the tufting taking up most of the time, but I’m really liking the final headboard in her room.

diy tufted headboard

There are plenty of tutorials to be found online for fabric covered headboards, and for tufting, including my own how-to from this bench project, but here’s the step by step on how I created this this casual look for a fabric covered headboard.

How to Make a Simple Tufted Headboard

Supplies: 1/2 inch plywood, cut at the home improvement store to your bed’s specifications for width and height; 2 inch foam to cover plywood; batting; 1.5 inch finish nails; ‘D’ ring hooks; button cover kits; embroidery or upholstery thread; decorator needles.

Tools:  Jigsaw (if your design is not square); drill and drill bit; staple gun and staples; sawhorses (if available, for convenience).

Step One (optional): If you want to add curvature to your headboard, create a template and mark it on your plywood.  I used simple paper, then marked it with a pen.

paper template

mark with pen

Cut out your design with a jig saw.

cut with jigsaw

Step Two: Mark your holes where you want your buttons to go.  I spaced mine ten inches apart.   For more drama, mark for buttons spaced closer together.

measure and mark holes

Use a drill and drill bit (between 7/32 to 5/16) to drill holes where indicated.  Make sure you have a clean hole all the way through on both sides.

drill holes for tufting

Step Three: Cut your foam to the size of your plywood.  I chose to use 2” foam squares since it was more cost effective than paying for 2” foam by the yard.   You can use 1” foam too, but I wanted a really thick headboard so I went with 2” thickness.

two inch foam

Result using 2 inch thick foam instead of 1 inch:

two inch thickness tufted headboard

Here are my new sawhorses that hub bought me for Christmas.  Isn’t that romantic ?   How did I ever ever ever live without them ?

trim foam

If using squares like I did, I think it helps to turn your foam flat side out to guarantee a smoother edge around the sides.

turn flat side out

Thicker foam and the flat side out gave me a very smooth edge.

thickness from side

Step Four: Use your batting to secure your foam to your plywood with a staple gun.  I didn’t use any spray adhesive to secure the foam to the wood.  In my opinion, it’s not necessary if you use good batting.

batting duo

Step Five: Attach your fabric to your headboard using a staple gun.   For this smaller degree of curvature, I was able to get away without sewing a slipcover with seams.  For these specific cutouts, start in the middle of the curve, secure with single staple, then slowly work your way out.  Then secure your fabric on all four sides.

start in center of cutout

Use the natural corners to pinch fabric and create and attractive edge by overlapping the fabric.  Secure with staples.

wrap edges

 

The gray/blue fabric I used is an upholstery grade fabric called ‘Bedouin’ in Blue Smoke from Calico Corners.

Step Six – Tufting: Use button cover kits to create fabric covered buttons.  Thread your decorator needle with embroidery or upholstery thread.

button cover kits

I do not recommend these metal ones for thick fabric – they just don’t work.  I found that out too late.  I’ve used the plastic ones from Joann’s before, and they work much better.

These ones are better:

tufting supplies_thumb[5]

Because the metal button cover kits were too flimsy for my upholstery fabric, I had to hand stitch my fabric to each of the buttons – bummer.   That little setback added an entire hour to this project.

hand sew buttons

Push your threaded needle up through the pre-drilled hole, leaving plenty of thread underneath.  Then attach your button to your thread.  I recommend running your thread through the button twice to get a really secure button.

needle up

needle through

Push your needle back down through your fabric and foam and pull needle out on other side of pre-drilled hole.  Pull your thread taught, then twist it around a finish nail to hold it in place against the plywood.  Staple thread to plywood, and criss cross across several times and staple again.   Sorry no photo, I forgot !

Repeat for all buttons and holes in headboard.

tufting complete

Locate the wall studs on your wall, then determine placement of ‘D’ ring hooks.  Drive nails into studs, secure ‘D’ ring hooks to back of headboard, then hang on wall.

D ring hooks

 

Enjoy your headboard in your bedroom space !

blue-bedroom.jpg

 

 

.

Tags: ,

133 Responses to “DIY Simple Tufted Headboard”

  1. Mel says:

    Great job. Beautiful fabric.

    Thanks for the tip on plastic vs. metal button kits; I’m about to tuft my headboard, so this will come in handy.

  2. That is fantastic! I was just thinking about headboards like this and wondering how you would get the buttons make the little indentations. Of course you would drill holes! Love it!!! Great tutorial!

  3. This came out beautiful, Kate! I have been researching DIY headboards for the past few weeks and yours just jumped to the top of the list. Fab.

    xo,
    Erin

  4. Stephanie says:

    Gorgeous headboard! Thanks for the tutorial – so thorough. Just what both of my guest bedrooms need =) I’ll be putting your help to good use in just a couple weeks!!!

  5. Kristen says:

    Fabulous result!! I have an antique rocker I am going to restore using your tutorials. It will be my first DIY project!

  6. I am itching to do my first upholstery project. Perhaps once we get to the decorating part of the basement, and I can make some fun stuff. :-) Love the headboard, and that fabric is beautiful. Looking forward to the full reveal!

  7. LeAnn says:

    WOW! I am impressed with anyone who can make something this beautiful. Tufted headboards are my absolute favorite. I actually bought one on line at Target and I love it. It adds so much to the bedroom. Beautiful job!!

  8. I think a starburst mirror would be lovely! This is such a pretty, sophisticated look. I bet she’ll be happy with this for some time. Two thumbs up, Kate! :)

  9. That looks great!! You did a fantastic job! Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. Tammy says:

    That looks amazing. You did a great job and thanks for the wonderful tutorial. Might have to do something like this in the guest bedroom.

  11. Marla @ Always Nesting says:

    Wow!! Gorgeous and you make it sound so simple.

  12. I say yes… and stunning!

  13. Oregonsun says:

    You did a wonderful job! I really like the bedding you used. Very attractive.

  14. Marty says:

    It looks just beautiful. I made one for our bed but didn’t do the tufting, I think the tufting adds so much. Maybe I will take ours down and do that. Thanks for the tutorial. Hugs, marty

  15. As someone who doesn’t even have a headboard at the moment this was very inspirational. Can I ask if you did much research when buying foam? I seem to remember it being rather expensive. What store do you think has the best price for foam? I can’t wait to have a proper bed again.

  16. anh says:

    headboard looks fabulous. the fabric is exactly what i want! i still haven’t made my headboard yet…

  17. Lara says:

    Can you do a bit of a cost breakdown? Just curious, if you don’t mind… I have no idea how something like this costs. Thanks :)

  18. candace says:

    The headboard is great! Thanks for the tip of using d rings to hang. Fantastic idea!

  19. Janell Beals says:

    Oh, an absolutely stunning job! I’ve love to see the whole room…looking forward to your posting pictures! Janell

  20. Melanie says:

    It looks great! Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Girl, you are SO good with these projects! I love how this turned out. I wish I had another bedroom with no bed to try this on.

  22. Karena says:

    OMG I would love to try this project, it turned out beautifully!You make it appear to be very easy!
    Karena

  23. How fab! Love that fabric and the project – it turned out beautifully!

  24. tracy says:

    fabulous work – it turned out so beautifully!

  25. That headboard is gorgeous! And what a well written, simple tutorial! Thanks so much :). I’ll be adding this to my tumblr files!
    Blessings,
    Stacey

  26. Marissa says:

    I’ve been wondering how to shape the top part duh, thanks for sharing

  27. Kristin says:

    This is stunning! You really make everything look so easy :)

  28. Auburn Kasl says:

    This is beautiful. How much does a project like this cost?

  29. Auburn Kasl says:

    Also, where do you nail the finish nails into the backside of the headboard or do you?

  30. allison says:

    Insanely beautiful!

  31. Audra says:

    Gorgeous! You did it again!!! I was thinking last night about moving our headboard-less bed from under a window to the only plain wall in our bedroom and now I have to do it. I’ve been needing :) a headboard and one like this would be perfect. Thank you so much for inspiring me yet again!

  32. Kim says:

    I made one of these but a) forgot to predrill holes, so it did not get tufted and b) didn’t hang it with D rings, but attached to frame. The D rings would have been easier.

  33. Laurel says:

    OK OK – it’s been on my list for almost a year – you make it look so easy. I’m having a hard time picking the perfect fabric! Yours is gorgeous!

  34. Kathy says:

    Beautiful! Any chance you could give a rough cost breakdown?

  35. Natalie says:

    That turned out so beautiful. My daughter just has the standard metal bed frame on her twin bed. I have the bed pushed up against the wall with pillows to to make it look like a daybed but something like this will really make it look really nice. Thanks for the tutorial! Now just to find the perfect material!

  36. Wow, Kate!!!! That is sooooo lovely!!! You keep amazing me day by day. I would love to try this someday soon! Your stepdaughter is sooooo lucky!

  37. Aja says:

    Gorgeous!! You are a pro at the upholstered headboard and make it look so easy!

  38. April says:

    Yea! Thanks for this-I am planning ontaking on this task soon!

  39. Grace says:

    You did a fantastic job on the headboard. I could definitely see a starburst mirror about it, or anything else round/oval, like plates and platters, or a large monogram. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the room.

  40. Ann says:

    The headboard is absolutely lovely! Thank you for the great tutorial.

  41. Carli says:

    Simply FAB!

  42. I love, love, love it and can’t wait to see the finished room! You are definitely not an evil step-mother!

  43. Sue says:

    I am so impressed. I bounce back and forth between inspired and feeling like a complete failure when I see a post like this. It would take about a month for me to do one button!

  44. Brenda Moore says:

    Congrats on jobs well done! The head board is lovely.
    MORE SO…. being a GREAT Step-Mom, and Mom. Good job. Pictures do say a thousand words.
    Hugs your way,
    Brenda

  45. I LOVE the height! It looks so grand. Plus, I’m a big reader and I love to have something soft to lean up against when I’m reading in bed. It’s perfection! Great job.

  46. dymphna says:

    I would like to make this and a lot of other stuff you’ve made. Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration.

  47. [...]   HomeMeet KateFeaturedTutorialsPopular PostsSponsorsContactRSS Feed diycraftsbefore & afterrescued & revampedspotlightmy spacesinspirationwine country « DIY Simple Tufted Headboard [...]

  48. Great project. Well done!
    Paula Grace ~

  49. Mimi says:

    I love your tutorial. I can’t wait to make one. You are such an inspiration.

  50. you did a great job!!!

  51. Cathe Holden says:

    Are you kidding me? Kate, you blow my mind. I am looking forward to coffee with you on Thursday. My bags will be packed, because I’m going home with you and moving in. That’s that.

    (Will you make my headboard like that? Or I’ll just take that one, your daughter can sleep on the couch.)

  52. Julie says:

    Beautiful! So well done…question: If you were looking at the headboard from the side, where does hang in relation to the mattress? Does it hit just below the mattress, below the box spring, just above the mattress? Just wondering how it looks from the side view? Thanks so much for all your awesome tutorials and inspiration!

  53. Nicole says:

    This is beautiful!! Your daughter is very lucky to have such a great room.

  54. Tammy says:

    I just informed my husband as he walked through the room that he will probably be making one of these for our bedroom soon! He’s my DIYer. The day I stumbled on your blog, you had made the guest bedroom headboard, and I loved it. Seeing your latest creation has added to my desire for one. I move much slower than you, but your blog has definitely had an impact on me and therefore on my home. Instead of being just clean and uncluttered, I have been adding little touches of personality and beauty here and there. I hope to improve and do more as time goes on. Thanks for your tutorials and inspiration, as well as your fun, interesting, and witty writing!

  55. Wow that’s great! I told hubby that I wanted an upholstered bed and headboard. He said we could upholster the waterbed frame that we have now and add an upholstered headboard. What do you think? Have you ever upholstered a bed??

  56. Rachel says:

    Yay! When I made one of these I think I read 867,000 tutorials. I love reading all that I can before I start a project. Seeing the different ways people make the headboard gave me so many great ideas and kept me from making mistakes. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be linking.

  57. Great tut. This can be such an overwhelming task for any DIY’er. Definitely on the “to do” list.

  58. Elaine says:

    thank you so much for all your great posts! Thanks to you I can actually create a look without spending all my money!! Love this post and have linked it to my blog, go check out what I made!! Thanks again Centsational Girl! ;)

  59. Kara says:

    This is great! I’ve been looking for an affordable upholstered head board and have so far been unsuccessful. Thank You for this post – I’ll be trying it out as soon as the weather warms!!

  60. Oops ! I don’t have a staple gun and jig saw but I have a good option to bookmark this post, when I will have all these DIY hand tools , I will reopen the post to do this project by myself, a great do it yourself project , love it.

  61. Momma Bear says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I have been wanting one of these for my master for so long. Lots of ideas just not much dough! I am going to do it!

  62. Ryan says:

    I was searching around the net for do-it-yourself headboard tutorials and yours is by far the best finished product I have seen. You spent a little more on materials than most of the others, but it paid off. Well done!

  63. Tina says:

    This is just so great! It is exactly what I was searching for the last few hours….something with clear and specific pictures. Thank you!

  64. Erika says:

    So nice! Look forward to trying this out. thank you!

  65. [...] out this headboard Jenny made after following this tutorial [...]

  66. [...] my DIY simple tufted headboard from back in January.  Fabric is ‘Bedouin’ in Blue Smoke by Calico Corners.  Full [...]

  67. Danielle says:

    I LOVE this!! We’re redoing my SIL’s bedroom for her 16th birthday and I will be making her one of these next time I’m in town :)

  68. Jenny says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! After a few months of wanting to try a DIY project, I finally tried this and it came out perfect! Your step by step pictures helped greatly! Check out my finished product: http://jennygilson.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-first-diy-project.html. I love my new headboard!

  69. Pam says:

    I love the moulding on this. I have been wanting to make an upholstered headboard, but none of them seemed like my style until I found this one. I can’t wait to make it. Thanks for the tutorial!

  70. Nancy says:

    Amazing! Of course, I don’t have any tools. I’d love to find someone to make one for me. The ones I’ve seen for sale that I just adore seem to cost between $1,000 – $2000!

  71. [...] cutting thick pieces of wood in a straight line.  The jigsaw is my new best friend, great for making upholstered headboards or other projects with [...]

  72. Carly says:

    LOVE your blog and I just made this headboard two weeks ago. I’m so in love with it so thank you for sharing!

  73. [...] We upgraded my stepdaughter’s bedroom in shades of turquoise and white, added silver leaf to her lamp, and a new DIY tufted headboard.  [...]

  74. Content Ewe says:

    Okay, I think I’m finally going to do it. I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile now but keep chickening out. But after I read this post, I feel like I can actually do it. Thank you!

  75. Pamela says:

    Wow, you did a really great job. It looks really luxurious. I’ve been wanting to buy a jig saw for a while. I tried to do the tufting on a headboard that had canvas stretchers as the frame but it just doesn’t have the same effect.

    http://typearamblings.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-headboard.html

  76. lauren says:

    I am very interested in making this. Is there anyway you can give me the dimensions for a double bed? Thank you!

  77. Brittany says:

    Yes! I agree with Lauren. Dimensions would be great for a double bed! Also, where do you buy the foam? and how many yards of fabric do you need for the double bed?

    Thank you!

  78. Amanda says:

    Can you post how many yards of fabric you used for the headboard?

  79. Gabriela says:

    Hi, I love your tutorial! I was wondering about the height of this headboard, because it looks like the exact same size I want for mine. Thanks!!

  80. McKinna says:

    If I can’t hang the headboard how would you recommend using this headboard tutorial. I love the look of the tufted headboard and I can totally make it, but I’m not sure I’m able to hang anything that big/heavy in my apartment. Should I just make it big enough to sit on the floor?

  81. [...] sale. Pretty much everything, including the foam we used on the headboard, was 50% off.  We used this tutorial as our basic plan and just added legs to the back of the headboard and attached it to our metal bed [...]

  82. Sarah says:

    Hello Dear!

    Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that I used this tutorial to make my own headboard!!! It took me 7 hours but I did it for less than $100. I call that a win. Plus it’s gorgeous! Thanks a bunch for posting this! Here’s a link if you want to see the finished product! :)

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=628766816139&l=7cbd2a0143

  83. Megan says:

    Wow, I love this!! My husband and I are trying to make a headboard. I’ll definitely show him this. Thanks for sharing!!

    P.S.Where did you get that bed spread??!!! I LOVE it!!

  84. BLB says:

    I’ll try different fabric for that.. Thanks for the tutorial!
    love it really!

  85. Giovanna Mandel says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. We got so brave this week that my son and I created two headboards! now just finishing off accessories. So tremendously helpful. If you need help with that Nikon, please give me a shout…I would be happy to help. {Giovanna}

  86. Moriah says:

    How many yards of fabric did you need? What are the dimensions of the headboard?

    What can you do if the fabric you want is not wide enough? The fabric I want to use is 55″ wide but for a double bed the width of the headboard should be 57″ plus you need overhang.

  87. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Moriah, I chose fabric that I could stretch across the headboard instead of top to bottom and that’s how you can make one bigger than a twin since most fabric we have acces to on the bolt is no wider than 54″. Cut your plywood first then allow 4-5 inches extra on all sides to play with. My headboard is about 1/2 inch wider than the mattress as I recall.
    Kate

  88. Moriah says:

    Thanks! I realized after I woke up this morning “Well, duh! stretch it across the headboard!”

    I’m going to (attempt) making this once I finally decide on fabric and design.

    Love your blog!

  89. Julie says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. This is the first time I’ve seen one where it was mentioned about the different covered button kits for heavy fabric. And I LOVE the look of the 2-inch padding. Again, first time reading that and it makes it look so much more professional. I’m bookmarking this. :)

  90. Beth Whitaker says:

    What was the brand name of the plastic button covers you used? Tried to find it on the Joann’s website but nothing came up. Love the result!

  91. Melissa says:

    I’m in the final stages of making this, following your instructions pretty much to a T (but a different shape. My problem: I bought the longest needle I could find & I still can’t figure out how to push it through to the other side???

    Also, how did you ensure you spaced them correctly once you started sewing? I have the holes perfectly measured and drilled on my wood, but I’m worried that they will not be as precise after i haphazardly push a needle through 2 inches of foam (somehow)

    Help! I’m trying to finish this by my party on Friday!

  92. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Melissa, all I can say is go slow and take your time, and when you push the needle up through the fabric push it straight so it doesn’t come up at an angle. If you’ve measured and drilled the button holes precisely you can’t go wrong.
    Kate

  93. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Beth, I forget the brand but they have a blue package and they’re the button cover kids sold at Joanns.
    Kate

  94. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the quick response! My problem now is that I can’t feed the needle back through into the little wood hole… should I make the wood hole much bigger to make it easier? I’m so close! haha

  95. Megan says:

    okay, this is a diy project that I really want and need to do. And I think I can actually do it too! yippee. I love that you lowered your headboard and re-posted a photo. I had the same thought about it needing to be lower. So great. Thanks for the DIY project help!

  96. amy o says:

    Help! I’m so confused. What happens to the excess fabric after you sew it on the button? it just says sew it on the button, then sew it on the board. What’s the step between? I’m new to this stuff. Thanks in advance!

  97. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Amy, you simply trim away the excess, probably should have said that!
    Kate

  98. Holly says:

    Bought my material yesterday, and will be starting soon! I’m excited and nervous!

  99. Diane says:

    I did this project in one day , with the help from my husband . The headboard turned out great! Thanks for the great instructions . It looks very pretty in the room.

Leave a Reply