My favorite projects seem to be the ones that take inspiration from high end stores or magazines. It’s such a fun challenge to see if I’m able to recreate the look for much less, so when my mom had her eye on a tufted headboard at one of our favorite stores we knew we had our next project on our hands.
Don’t let the finished look fool you. This DIY tufted headboard is much easier than it may seem, and in the end you are going to have a beautiful upholstered headboard! –Hello lazy Sunday mornings reading in bed! — one can dream right?
This is the third room that I’ve helped my mom with!
She originally asked me to help her with the grandkid’s room and then called me back in to help with her bright and bold living room! Now that we’ve made our way into the master bedroom, I’m thinking I’m officially hired! And it works out perfectly since I take her babysitting as proper payment!
The key to making this project super simple and pretty much no-fail is to use pegboard as the frame backing. It makes it so easy to add buttons since the holes are already there!
Let’s get started.
How to Make a Tufted Upholstered Headboard Using Pegboard
- a staple gun
- measuring tape
- wire cutters
How to Build the Headboard Frame
Building the frame may be the most intimidating part of this project especially if you don’t have or know how to use power tools. Don’t worry. Most hardware stores will make the cuts for you right in the store, so you leave with everything cut and ready to assemble.
(You’ll want to go off the dimensions of your mattress and make it the height you want, but to give you an idea this one is for a king bed and the dimensions of the headboard are 74 inches wide and 48.5 inches tall.)
The size of your headboard frame will depend on the size of your bed. We made this headboard frame the same width as the bed frame. The height is up to you. A good idea would be to tape it off using painters tape to get a feel for how tall you want it to be. Once you know how high you want it, measure from the top of your bed frame to the tallest point on the wall. Whatever measurements you come up with will be the size that you have the peg board cut. Then you will frame it on the back side with 2 x 4’s as shown below.
Once you have your frame assembled, you will want to plan out the placement of your buttons. We had 5 buttons across and 3 buttons down.
Buttons going across: We divided the width of the pegboard by 6 (however many buttons you have going across + 1) and using a measuring tape we marked the width of each section on the back along the top.
Vertical buttons: First we subtracted the space that the mattress would cover before beginning. So, take the height of your pegboard – the thickness of your mattress. Now take that number and divide by the number of vertical buttons + 1. (We have 3 vertical buttons, so we divided by 4 to get 4 equal sections as shown below.) Then measure down from the top (where you made your first mark for the buttons going across) and find the closest hole. Repeat moving down and mark each hole, then move across until you have all of your buttons marked.
We marked ours on the back side with a circle around each hole. You may want to mark the front too, just so you have a visual of where your buttons will be on your finished project. Better to find any mistakes now, versus later!
Attach the foam and batting
We had a 1 inch piece of foam cut at our local upholstery fabric store. This way it was one big piece with no seams.
Line up the foam with the edges of the frame, lay the frame flat (front side up), and apply the foam to the front of the frame with spray adhesive.
Once the foam is attached, lay out your lightweight batting and lay the frame on top with the foam facing down. Trim your batting so that when you wrap it up and around the sides of the frame you can attach it on the back side of the frame. Staple it in place using a staple gun, making sure that the corners lay flat (like you are wrapping a present.)
Adding the fabric:
Lay your piece of fabric out flat with the good side facing down. Again, lay the frame face down on the fabric. Then, fold the edges of the fabric up and over the frame and attach with a staple gun.
My best advice is to start with the sides, making sure that you pull the fabric tight, and then do the top and bottom of the frame. The corners will take a little bit of practice to get them to lay nicely, but just play around with them until you like what you have, and staple them in place. Keeping the seam along the edge of the frame will give it a really nice finished edge.
Adding the buttons:
On our first attempt we had upholstery thread and a big fat needle. It didn’t work. What did work was trellis wire! (Who knew?) Any wire that is easily bent, but not too soft so that you can poke through the foam and fabric will work. You will also want to be sure that your wire is not too thick. You will need to be able to pass it through your button holes.
Once the fabric was on we set the frame on its bottom edge and started adding our buttons. This is a 2 person job. I cut a piece of wire, then poked it through the headboard where we marked our holes. When the wire came through the front, my mom added the button, and then bent it and pushed it back through the fabric close to where it originally came through. You may have to poke around a little bit to find the hole again.
Once it came back through to me, I pulled the button tight by spreading the 2 pieces apart in opposite directions. My mom was eyeballing the tufting as I pulled to make sure that the creases that were created were the look she wanted, and even from one button to the next.
I stapled each side of the wire in place and then pulled them back together and twisted them to keep them in place. Then we repeated this process until all the buttons were on!
And this is the result of our DIY efforts!
Hanging the Headboard:
We hung the frame on the wall so that the bottom was just above the bed frame using these large picture/ mirror hangers. The easy instructions were on the package and it made the headboard solid against the wall.
Not too shabby for an afternoon’s work huh?
Between the pattern on the wall and the new headboard this room is off to a great start! The main focal point is in place and she says she smiles every time she walks into the room. I’d say that’s a job well done!