So You Think You Can Tuft?

I’ve been trolling the Internet for tufted headboards for a very long time. Color, shape, fabric, style – so many choices, but not one seemed exactly right. My bed sits against a slanted wall – room above the garage – so height of the headboard is really a problem.

Since you know I love Pinterest, it won’t surprise you that I started looking at instructions for making my own headboard. I knew it would be a big project and I admittedly was a bit worried if this would be an epic fail.

I searched quite carefully for thorough instructions and found them here. The photos and instructions (including plenty of tips and tricks) seemed easy to follow. Additionally, the author provided cheaper solutions for the common materials.

So a few weekends ago, I embarked on a tufted headboard journey. This post will not be a how-to since the original Pinterest post was great but I will provide some tips and modifications that I made.

I found upholstery grade fabric at a local discount store that buys in bulk. You never know what they will have, but I found the perfect tan cotton suede. For the headboard structure, I used 1×3″ wood for the frame and pegboard for the back. In order to tuft, you have to have holes to pull the button thread through. With pegboard, there are already evenly spaced holes so no drilling is necessary. Brilliant idea from my Pinterest peeps!

As you can see, I had excellent help from my husband. We stapled the frame together, then nailed the pegboard to the frame. The whole process, including sawing the miter joints, took about an hour. We don’t have any fancy tools, just a miter box and hand saw.

Then I took the frame inside to cover it with foam. I bought a piece of 2″ craft foam at Wal-Mart and a twin-size mattress topper. The foam wasn’t quite big enough to fully cover the headboard, but the mattress topper was larger than I needed, so I doubled up a section of the mattress topper to cover the bottom of the headboard. I used spray adhesive to stick the foam to the pegboard and then a bit more adhesive to stick the mattress topper to the foam. I covered the entire board with batting to secure it all together and provide a nice neat covering.
All covered up

Let the tufting begin! First I had to deal with the buttons. I tried two different brands of covered button kits. My fabric was just too thick! So I looked at other button options and decided that regular buttons would work and chose mismatched medium-sized buttons in brown tones. Instead of tying them off from the front, I found it easier to tie them off at the back. I employed my son and husband to help out (both work for food). It was ever so much easier to tie them off and keep the tuft tight when an assistant pushed the button from the front while I tied the back.

The first few rows looked awesome! The tufting was really much easier than I thought. I completed one row at a time and made sure the diamond pattern looked even. To finish off the back, I stapled the fabric tightly all around.

The finished product:

I attached the headboard to the wall with a French cleat. I love how it looks! Finished just in time for my mom’s visit next week.

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