DIY Upholstered Headboard With Tufting!

Inside: Learn how to make a fabric headboard with tufting for a really high end look. This DIY upholstered headboard uses pegboard to make the spacing of your tufted buttons really easy and doesn’t require any sewing. Post includes step-by-step instructions for how to make your own headboard and a list of supplies for your DIY tufted headboard.

how to make a tufted headboard

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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 fabric headboard at one of our favorite stores we knew we had our next project on our hands. Today I’ll show you how to make your own upholstered headboard with tufting using simple supplies.

Don’t let the finished look fool you. This DIY tufted headboard is much easier than it may seem, and in the end you’re going to have a beautiful upholstered headboard! –Hello lazy Sunday mornings reading in bed! — one can dream right?

My mom’s master bedroom 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 your own headboard 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 DIY Upholstered Headboard With Tufting

DIY Upholstered Headboard Supplies:

You can make this fabric headboard for any size bed. Your measurements will depend on how wide your mattress is and how high you want your headboard. (The steps you’ll see me do are for a DIY king headboard.)

Tools you’ll need to make your own headboard:

  • chop saw (or you can have your wood cut at Home Depot)
  • circular saw to cut the pegboard depending on the size you’re making (or you can have it cut at Home Depot)
  • a staple gun
  • measuring tape
  • wire cutters

How to Take Measurements for Your DIY Upholstered Headboard

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 fabric headboard 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. That will be the height of your pegboard. The width will be the width of your mattress.

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.

Step 1: Cut your pegboard.

Cut your pegboard to the dimensions discussed above.

Step 2: Frame your pegboard.

Frame the edges of your pegboard on the back side using 2 x 4’s as shown below. Attach the 2 x 4’s to the pegboard using wood screws. You won’t want to use the existing peg  board holes for this. Drill through the wood part of the peg board into the 2 x 4.

how to build a headboard frame with peg board

Step 3: Plan Out The Spacing Of The Tufting

Once you have your frame assembled, you’ll want to plan out the placement of your buttons. (We had 5 buttons across and 3 buttons down.)

Spacing the 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.

Spacing the vertical buttons

First we subtracted the space that the mattress would cover before beginning. (The height of your pegboard – the thickness of your mattress.)

Marking the button placement

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.

vertical button measurements

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!

marking the holes for a DIY tufted headboard

Step 4: Attach The Foam And Batting To The Headboard Frame

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.

attaching the foam to the headboard frame

Step 5: Attach lightweight batting

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’re wrapping a present.)

attaching the batting to the padded headboard frame

Step 6: Add The Fabric To The Headboard Frame

Lay your piece of fabric out flat, 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 making sure the corners look nice and neat.

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.

DIY fabric headboard

Step 7: Add the buttons to the fabric headboard

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’s easily bent, but not too soft so that you can poke through the foam and fabric will work. You’ll also want to be sure that your wire is not too thick. You’ll 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.

upholstered headboard with buttons

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!

attaching the buttons DIY tufted headboard

And this is the result of our DIY efforts! I just love the look. The large scale of the tufted headboard makes such a statement!

DIY tufted headboard tutorial

How To Hang Your DIY Tufted 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.

hanging the headboard

Not too shabby for an afternoon’s work huh?

DIY Tufted Headboard no-sew

Between the pattern on the wall and the DIY tufted 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!

You might also like…

5 Awesome Places To Buy Fabric Online

DIY Blanket Ladder

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

0 thoughts on “DIY Upholstered Headboard With Tufting!

  1. Ebony Clewis says:

    I used your idea to make one of my own and it came out fabulous to me! Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      High fives to you Ebony! I’d love to see a picture; please email to me at [email protected]

  2. Josie Kemp says:

    I’m planing on buying a daybed and rather a headboard on the width of the bed, I was thinking of doing this on the length of the bed as all the store brought daybeds don’t have a high back, do you think this could work? Also is there a way to not have the brackets in a wall living in rented and not allowed to put holes in the wall?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Josie, I have not attempted to make a headboard for a daybed but other bloggers have. I suggest you search on DIY headboard for daybed. Here’s an example to get you started.
      Best wishes!

  3. Michayla says:

    What size wire did you use?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Michayla! The trellis wire is linked in the supplies list. 🙂

  4. Julie says:

    Thanks Corey for the inspiration. I made the headboard and a foot board to stop the doona falling off the end of the bed and built it around our mattress and base

  5. Wes says:

    I did this and it looks great! Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      That’s awesome Wes! I’d love to see a pic of your finished headboard. Please email it to [email protected] Thx!

  6. D says:

    Hi! This is awesome! Does the headboard support leaning against it such as night time reading?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yep. It’s totally solid against the wall. 🙂

  7. CatherineS says:

    Hi Corey,
    Someone asked about covering the back. I also was thinking about that for a more finished look even though its not totally necessary…since its flat against the wall. My idea is to use similar light weight black fabric like upholsterer’s use on the underside of chairs & couches, and staple it on. The trick for a straight edge is to fold over & iron flat a “hem” before stapling. Starting at center point on each side to stretch it tight and continue working your way around the edges like you would to keep the look clean & even. No, I’ve not made my headboard yet. Thanks to you and all the other comments, I have my plan!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Love that idea, Catherine! Thanks for sharing it 🙂 Shoot me a pic of a how yours turns out – I’d love to see it!

  8. Patty says:

    Your headboard looks great. I did one for my guest room several years ago. I used metal cover yourself buttons to match the fabric. I pushed a long upholstery needle through predrilled holes from the back to the front and threaded the button on to the needle using dental floss, doubled. Pulled the needle and floss back through to the back then stapled the dental floss down and tied it off. It’s held up perfectly. This may be a solution for those not wanting to use wire.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Great tip, Patty! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Tricia says:

    Thanks for the detailed instructions and inspiration! I’m unfamiliar with trellis wire and wonder if it will rust over time. Any thoughts….?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome Tricia! Trellis wire used indoors should be fine over time; it’s not exposed to heat, wind or moisture in the house and we have not had any issues.

  10. Ann says:

    hi Corey–
    I just took a look at all the projects you have done for your mom. Beautiful work!!! You are super-talented! I follow a number of young design bloggers (including you!), and all of you create gorgeous rooms in different styles with no interior design degrees. Very inspiring!!!
    Ann from Declutter Method 🙂

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks so much Ann, appreciate you taking time to stop by with positive feedback!

  11. Emma says:

    Could this concept of be transferred to make a photo board where you tuck the pictures under thin ribbon? I am remodeling my room and would like to make one to add a personal touch to my room other than a fresh coat or two of paint. It would also give me the opportunity to put up more pictures.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      The concept is similar but the photo board would be much smaller, thinner and certainly less complicated! You should be able to find some great DIY tutorials on Pinterest or Google for “DIY fabric photo board”. Have a great day, Emma!

  12. Elizabeth Carol Gabbert says:

    Looks wonderful. How do you protect the wall from the trellis wire on the back of the head board. Thanks

    1. Corey Willis says:

      The wire lays flat and wasn’t a problem at all, Elizabeth. If you need to, you could cover the wire on the back with duct tape or something. Best wishes!

  13. Adrienne says:

    Corey – I ran across your instructions because I already had most of my materials and a plan (in my head) but decided I should look for instructions in case I was forgetting something. I’ve had the fabric sitting around for 10 years and finally got motivated enough to do it! For those above who asked questions about some options here is what I did:

    I used 2×2 to frame the pegboard. I made mine for a cal king bed and did 73×48″ (because that’s what size pegboard would fit in my SUV). It was too low sitting on the floor and I didn’t want to hang it so I put a 1×4 foot on each side to raise it 6″ and it works well with my 8′ ceilings and the picture hanging above it.

    I did 3 rows of 5 buttons like you did – I used 7/8″ buttons (22mm) that I found at WalMart. I also found 2 rolls of one inch foam at WalMart that was 24×72″ and that was close enough.

    It took me about 5 hours to make (once I had the materials) mostly on my own. My husband helped flip it over a few times and helped with the few buttons in the middle I couldn’t reach to do myself. I’m pretty handy though – for a first timer expect it to take longer but with your instructions it’s a very accessible project for anyone!


    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Adrienne! I love when my amazing readers contribute tips that help others!

  14. Becky says:

    hey great job looks awesome… one question i have is …do u know what thickness your wadding was ??

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Becky, I assume you mean the foam filler? It was one inch 🙂

  15. Christie says:

    Hey we have high and heavy bed, do you think we could just add feet to the bed head, so it’s off the ground abit and make it free standing?

    Looks awesome by the way

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Thanks a bunch Christie! You could definitely do that but you’ll probably want a way to secure it to the bed frame so it doesn’t wobble around.

  16. Chris says:

    Hey there! Love your post. My wife and I are looking to build something like this and your project is one of the better DIY versions I’ve found online. Just a quick question about your process, when you hung it using those Hangman brackets, did you put a set on the top and the bottom or just across the top?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Great question Chris! We put the set just across the top. Be sure you send me a pic of your finished project!

  17. Laura Thegypsy says:

    Fabulous. Kudos and great thanks to you. Was it an aesthetic decision to use 2×4 rather than 2×2, which would have made it less bulky? I am thinking of trying this but don’t want my bed to protrude a full 4″ more from the wall so I’m thinking of using 2×2. Why did you make the headboard tall enough to go down to the bed frame rather than the top of the mattress? Instead of fabric I’m going to use a hand woven rug I bought from an indigenous weaving coop in Peru and I don’t want to hide any of the beautiful pattern by allowing the mattress to cover it. Do you see any drawback to making the headboard start at the top of the mattress rather than the top of the bed frame? Thanks for your insights! Laura

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Laura, Great questions! Yes it was an aesthetic decision to use 2 x 4 so if you want it to be less bulky definitely go with the 2 x 2’s. As far as how far down to make it go, for me I didn’t want to see the gap when the bedding was pulled back. But if it’s a matter of not covering up a beautiful print you may want to make it go to the top of the mattress. It’s all just a preference thing. Definitely email a photo when you’re done!!!

  18. Shelly says:

    Love it, You did an amazing job!! I Was just wondering if you covered the back part of the headboard

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Shelly, great question and no, we did not. That would make it much more difficult to do the tufting because you wouldn’t be able to see the holes in the peg board. 🙂

  19. Crystal says:

    How many feet tall is the headboard?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Crystal, great question! The headboard is 48 1/2 inches tall and 74 inches wide.

  20. TONI says:

    please explain why you say plus 1 when discussing how many buttons? if it is 5 across times 3 rows is it just 15 buttons?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Toni, thanks for asking! We did use just 15 buttons. “Plus 1” indicates how many we divided the pegboard width by to know how far apart to place our buttons. For example, we had 5 buttons going across. So we divided the pegboard width by 5 (buttons) “plus 1” – in other words, 6. We used the same formula for the button spacing going down.
      Hope this clarifies, Toni. Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you need more information!

  21. Leslie says:

    Could you attach mounts to the 2×4 for a metal bed frame rather than hanging it on the wall?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You could, Leslie. In that case you’d want the 2 x 4’s on the side pieces to go down to the ground to create posts and you could attach the metal bed frame to them.

  22. Catherine says:

    It’s unclear exactly how you screwed the 2×4 frame to the pegboard – the photo shows you screwed the frame pieces together.

    Could you please do a step by step on this part?

    Also I see neither the screws nor the tool to screw them in are in your supplies/tool list – does this mean the hardware store did it for you?

    Great headboard and directions, it’s just this step that’s unclear

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Catherine, thanks for this suggestion. We did build it ourselves. It is simply 2 x 4 s in a rectangle and then the peg board laid on top. We used regular wood screws that we screwed in with a power drill. I will make a note to add this info to the post, as I’m sure it would help a lot of people. 🙂

  23. Liz says:

    Where do you get ‘trellis wire’ ??

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Liz, thanks for your interest! The trellis wire is linked in the supplies section above to the Amazon page where we purchased it.

  24. Kelsey says:

    I love the idea, is it possible to do on a headboard you already have?? I have an old one from my sisters old place and I want to fix it up. Do you think its possible to do something like this to it?


    This looks awesome! I am sure it cost much less to make than to buy. I am going to do this!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Woot! Hope yours turns out fantastic, Nicole!

  26. Stefanie says:

    Thanks so much for the great ideas! Had such a blast making this project. Am so pleased with the outcome! I even ended up making a matching bench for the base of our bed! So fun! Thanks again

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Wow, kudos to you Stefanie! I’ll bet that bench looks awesome too!

  27. Pamela says:

    I also have a Cali king and would like to do this exact head board! What size peg board did you use and where did you purchase? Thanks!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Pamela, The peg board is as big as you want the head board to be. The best thing to do is to tape off the wall with painters tape where you want the headboard to go and then use it to get your dimensions. I can’t recall where we purchased the peg board, but Home Depot would be my first recommendation. Often they will cut it for you as well. Good luck on your project!

  28. Marina says:

    How much fabric did you use?

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Hi Marina, It will depend on the dimensions of your headboard/ size of the bed you’re building it for so I can’t really answer specifically. It will also depend on how wide the fabric is, so it comes down to getting the dimensions of your specific project and doing the math depending on the fabric width. Thanks for your interest!

  29. Melissa says:

    Love this post! Awesome instructions! Made this with a slight variation but it turned out great! Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Yay! So glad you tried it with great results, Melissa!

  30. Laura Annacelli says:

    This looks amazing going to try and make it next weekend

    Thanks for posting

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re welcome, Laura! Good luck on your project!

  31. This is so classy! Thank you!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      Glad you like, Jeff. Thanks for stopping by!

  32. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I love the look of a padded headboard but they are always so expensive. Might have to use this tutorial to make one for my guest room.

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so very welcome, Cathy. I’d love to know how yours turns out!

  33. Kristen Busha says:

    What size peg board did you use?

  34. Lena says:

    Roughly, about how long did it take to complete from beginning to end?

  35. shannon piwonski says:

    Hi there.. first let me say I love the headboard and the night stand too! I decided I could take on the project of creating a headboard for our master bedroom.. so far i have the headboard made and covered, I was going to basically fake tuft it however it looks horrible and I have to pull out the staples very carefully and attempt to try it your way now…. question, where did you get the buttons i wanted something with alittle bling to them! Any suggestions you can give would be great, would love to hear back from you! thank you!

    1. We picked up those buttons at Joann. You might also want to try amazon.

  36. Meka says:

    Hi! How did you attach the 2x4s to the pegboard? Did you nail them to the pegboard?

    1. We used screws.

  37. Elizabeth says:

    What was the rough cost of this project?

  38. Whitney says:

    This is exactly what I’m envisioning for my room!! Can’t wait to make my boyfriend help me make this! Haha also…where did you get those side tables?! Amazing! I see that they were painted but any chance you know where they were actually purchased from and what paint you used?!

    Thank you so much!

  39. Kari roper says:

    How many yards of fabric did you use?

  40. Vanessa says:

    Could bed egg crate be used as an inexpensive alternative to the expensive foam?

  41. Barb says:

    Just wondering what you used to paint the end tables?! They’re gorgeous! Love your work.

    1. Hey Barb. It is silver paint. My mom did them years ago and they have held up wonderfully.

  42. Kathy Miller says:

    How do you attach the 2 x 4’s to the pegboard?

    1. Hi Kathy. We just used wood screws. Just make sure the head is bigger than the holes in the peg board.

  43. Nikeva says:

    I totally love this look. I am in the process of redesigning my master bedroom and would like to do so without breaking the bank. A few questions for you:

    1. How much did you spend on materials?
    2. How much time did this project take?
    3. How many people worked on the project?

    1. I think the materials were less than 200 (but it will depend on the fabric you use.) It took a total of about 5 hours and there were 2 people working on it.

  44. Jordi says:

    What size was the peg board? I am going to make this head board 🙂

    1. Hi Jordi. The peg board is as big as you want the head board to be. The best thing to do is to tape off the wall with painters tape where you want the headboard to go and then use it to get your dimensions. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Definitely send me pics!

  45. Julie says:

    Can you do one for me too lol

  46. debbie says:

    Looks fantastic!! And instructions are easy to follow be trying this, thanks.

  47. Susan says:

    Hello this is amazing may I say! Goodness. Question we want these colors for our room. What material did you get? Thick? Also that dresser what paint is that? It looks beautiful as well with the light fixture. Please share

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  50. Desirae says:

    Love this.. Do you happen to remember the measurements you had the peg board cut and how many yards of fabric you needed for cal king bed?

    1. I don’t. It will depend on the measurements of your bed. And then if you google fabric calculator on google you should be able to turn your measurements into yardage with one of those tools. Hope that helps.

  51. Melissa says:

    Hi, Wonderful Project.
    What size where the buttons?

    1. Hi Melissa. I don’t remember exactly, but I think they are about an inch and a half.

  52. Tiffany says:

    What size bedframe did you make this headboard for?

    1. This was for a Cal. King bed.

  53. Darlene Rodgers says:

    This is great and the use of peg board instead of plywood is pretty dang genius!

  54. It really is surprising how high-end the headboard looks relative to how much work is needed to finish it. Thanks for sharing!

  55. What an amazing job, Corey! I made an upholstered headboard a few years back using a slightly different method, and this makes me want to re-do it..because they really are easier than they seem! And I love everything about that bedroom!

  56. Jody Le Bouton says:

    This is beautiful and just what I want for my bed. I don’t want a foot board cause I like to hang my foot over. I don’t know why but I would like a headboard to dress up the bedroom. This was easy to understand and I will enlist a helper as your mom was. Thanks for another great idea. I never had time to see so many exciting things to make and do. I worked 60 hour weeks. Now I look at one idea, scroll down and find six more. I am so excited to do things myself, It is very gratifying when someone looks at my flag from fence post and says where did you get that.

  57. Allison says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about this bedroom! Great job!

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