Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tufted Headboard Tutorial

So here's the tufted headboard tutorial. This bad boy(or girl) only cost me$15 too! I tried to take lots of pictures, so this should be easy.
  • big piece of cardboard
  • 1/2 a sheet of plywood- and a jigsaw
  • 2 pieces of a 1x4-6 ft- have the store cut into 2- 18 inch pieces, and 2- 43 inch pieces
  • twin comforter- or 3 layers of high loft batting- can also use foam to make it extra plush
  • 1 1/2 yards thick material for front of headboard- I used duckcloth- feels like canvas
  • 1 1/2 inch flathead screws- drill
  • 12 nails- hammer
  • 12 buttons
  • upholstery needle and thread
  • Staple gun and lots of staples!!!

Disclaimer- of course after we finished cutting and screwing all the wood together we discovered a better way to do it. Doesn't that always happen? So I will tell you the better way even though some of the pictures are our mess ups. You are so lucky to have this great tutorial. :)
1. Draw your design on your cardboard for a template. My measurements are 25 inches on the sides and the center tallest part is 34.5 inches, and it is 40 inches across. Cut out of cardboard and trace onto plywood.(our cardboard was little short, but that's ok)
2. Cut out plywood with a jigsaw.
3. Screw 43in pieces of 1x4 onto the back of the wood. So that it goes from the top and there is 18 inches from the headboard to the ground. (in pict-our wood was cut too short so we added some to top- that way the sides of headboard would all be the same thickness) You can also use some wood glue for extra strength.
4. Next screw the 18 inch pieces, from the backside, into the bottom of the 43 inch piece. Will be slightly raised- that's ok because you will have lots of padding. (we used a 2x4 instead of a 1x4, and added another layer of wood on the back- but it is not necessary)
5. Use your cardboard to draw where you want your buttons. I drew a line down the center and measured out 4 inches on either side drew 2 buttons. Then to off set them on the next row. I went down 5 inches drew button in the center, then out 8 inches. So the buttons were 8 inch apart horizontally and 10 inches apart vertically total. Does that make sense? Next lay your cardboard over your wood and drill through your marks. If you are painting your legs, Do it now before the upholstery section. Whew you are done with the woodworking section.
6. Cut out 2 pieces of batting (or in my case a comforter) the same size of the headboard. Am I cheap or what? no lumps though.
3. Cut out one piece that is larger than headboard by about 4 inches (mine was a bit too short)
4. Layer pieces of batting and start stapling. Corners are tricky.- make sure to cut out the extra batting in corners- see pict. Also see upholstery tips in my other chair upholstery tutorial.

5. Cut out fabric about 6 inches from headboard so that it will wrap all the way around the batting.
6. Staple fabric, cut at the curves, and try to get the corners all the way covered because you can kinda see them from the top. For the bottom part next to the legs I just folded it underneath itself and cut on the inside so it could wrap around the bottom. You'll understand once you start.
7. It should look something like this now. pretty good huh?

8. If you are upholstering your legs then do this now. I don't think batting is needed.
9. (I swear I took a picture of this one, but I have no idea what happend to it. I will get one up soon.)
Now for the tufted part. Turn to back side, and hammer in a nail about an inch from your drilled holes sticking out about an inch. With an upholstery needle and thread poke through your hole, put on your button and pull back through. Tie a double knot around your nail head. I used sparkly buttons but you can choose to cover your own buttons out of your fabric.
Next is the tricky part. With one hand holding down the button use the other one to pull the thread taught and wrap it as many times as you can around the nail head, when you think you can go no further, push and pull a little harder and get one more wrap out of it. Ahh one down 11 more to go. But after this you are done. Congratulations! And so am I, man that was a long one.

If have questions, feel free to email me.
I post this so other people can use. I hope you can use this. If you do use this and post it, please give me some credit and post a link back to me. I would LOVE to see your work!!!


  1. I had no idea! This is amazing. I love it. You are so talented!

  2. Beautiful! I'm impressed you cut out your own shape for the headboard!

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day!

  3. This is exactly what I needed to see today! I *hate* the headboard in our master - it's ugly in every imaginable way - although I don't mind the shape. I had been thinking about making a slip-cover for it but this might just be the perfect solution! :) THANK YOU!

  4. This is exactly what I needed to see today! I *hate* the headboard in our master - it's ugly in every imaginable way, although I don't mind the shape of it. I had thought about making a slipcover for it, but would prefer something softer. This might just be the perfect solution! THANK YOU! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this! I've been looking for a good headboard for our king bed. It's been driving me crazy since I'm in The Middle of Nowhere, AK and there isn't much of a selection. Now I know what I'll be doing!

  6. Love this and your new Chair you linked up!

    come visit me and enter my GiveAway


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