Sunday, July 31, 2011

Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

I'm on a roll!  I'm getting all kinds of projects done around the house.  I decided that I really needed to tackle the headboard.  We've had the wood sitting in the garage for a year now.  I just needed to come up with the dimensions for the headboard.  I wanted a tall headboard, so it is 62" high x 62" wide x 4" deep.  This is for a queen size bed and you will need to adjust the width if you have a different size bed.  A picture of the basic frame before the plywood is attached is shown below.

Then a piece of plywood needs to be attached to the frame.  

Next you need to figure out if you want a tufted headboard.  I wanted mine tufted with buttons so I needed to go ahead and drill the holes in an evenly spaced pattern.  Now the frame is complete and we can begin on the upholstered portion of the headboard. You need to purchase foam to glue to the plywood.  I went with a 2" thick foam and that seemed to be perfect. Cut the foam to the size of the headboard.  A tip for cutting foam, use an electric bread knife.  It cuts through it so easily.  Once you have it to size, we can start gluing it on.  I used spray adhesive and sprayed it to the headboard and the foam so that it would have a strong bond.  

Get your fabric ready to go.  I had about 2-1/2 yards of 54" width material purchased for the project and had a bit left over when I was through.  I went with a micro-suede material.  I laid the fabric horizontal to the headboard and started stapling it to the back of the frame. The trick is to start in the middle at the top of the headboard and work your way to the corners.  Once you get close to the corner you need to stop and fold the extra fabric so that it lays nicely. 

After it is all stapled we can begin on the tufting. First you will need to go ahead and cover your buttons with the fabric.  I picked up 1-1/2" buttons to cover. 
Next you will need to get your long needles out for this part along with a very heavy duty thread. I used doll needles and nylon thread. Push the needle through the hole in the back of the frame. Once through,, put the  button on and thread back through the hole.  This a two person job, so you really need to find a friend to help for this part.  Here is my mom and me working on the tufting. 

One person needs to push on the button to give it the tufted look we are after, while the other person ties it off on the back.  When you are tying it off use another plain 2 or 4 hole button on the backside of the headboard to secure the thread. 

Once you've finished with the tufting, the headboard is ready to be installed to your bed frame. Here are pictures of the finished product.  I'm so excited to finally have a headboard and really should have done this project much sooner.  I love it. 


  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [01 Aug 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Very pretty fabric. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. Gorgeous! I have always wanted to make a headboard b/c they are so expensive in the store, and this turned out beautifully! If I ever get brave, I may try it! Haha, thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Thanks! It actually didn't take as long as I expected and you can save a ton of money doing it yourself versus buying one.