How to Make a DIY Tufted Headboard

A master bedroom deserves an eye-catching pop of color and style. This soft yellow tufted headboard is relaxing, but any color can be substituted. Try a white tufted headboard for a whimsical touch, or a steely gray tufted headboard for a more masculine look. You can make it yourself with our instructions. Simply follow the steps below to give a DIY tufted headboard a try.

What You Need

  • 1/2-inch plywood cut to 48×66 inches (Ours fits a queen-size bed. Check your measurements for a king tufted headboard.)
  • 2×4 boards, two 66 inches long and two 44 inches long
  • 2×8 boards, two 60 inches long and two 12 inches long
  • Screwdriver and screws
  • Two 12×60-inch pieces of medium-weight chipboard
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Drill with 3/8-inch bit
  • 2-inch-thick upholstery foam
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery needle
  • 3 yards of 54-inch-wide upholstery fabric (Go full luxe with a tufted velvet headboard!)
  • Button-cover kit and buttons
  • Upholstery twine

Step 1: Build the Frame

To create the frame, reinforce plywood by attaching a 2×4 frame to the back (66-inch lengths across the top and bottom; 44-inch lengths down each side). Add wings by screwing 60-inch 2×8 boards perpendicular to the 2×4s, flush with the top of the plywood. Add legs by attaching 12-inch 2×8 boards to the 60-inch 2×8s below the plywood.

Step 2: Start Stapling

Staple the outside edge of the chipboard, which you can find at art and shipping supply stores, along the inside edge of each wing. Curve the board and staple the other edge to the plywood.

Step 3: Drill the Holes

Measure and mark the desired hole placement for tufting on plywood and chipboard. Drill all the holes.

Step 4: Attach Foam

Cut foam to fit the top and legs, and attach it with spray adhesive. From the back, poke an upholstery needle through the tufting holes, and cut each hole with scissors.

Step 5: Attach the Buttons

Use the button kit to cover half of your buttons with headboard fabric; the other half of the buttons will be used on the back of the headboard.

Step 6: Place the Fabric

Place fabric across the headboard and around the wings with at least 10 inches overlapping on all sides. To cover the legs, add a panel of fabric to each, folding the top edge under to create a straight seam.

Step 7: Create the Tufts

Thread twine onto the needle, adding an uncovered button to the end and knotting in place. Starting with the middlemost hole, push the needle from the back of the headboard to the front, pulling the button tightly in place in back. On the front, thread the needle through the hole on the back of the covered button, loop around, and return through the hole in the headboard to the back side. Pull the button as tight as possible, and tie into a secure knot. Repeat this process for remaining tufts. Staple excess fabric snugly in place around the back of the headboard.

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