Saturday, June 9, 2012

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

Following in the footsteps of some great bloggers, I made by very own button tufted headboard!

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

If you're looking for a tutorial to follow, I highly recommend the ones over at Little Green Notebook and Brick City Love.  My headboard took elements from both of those tutorials, and I must say that they were very helpful.  Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I thought I'd just share some photos of my process and a few notes on things I learned as I went along.

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I'm not sure where the idea for this headboard first happened.  I must have seen something similar and got it stuck in my head.  I spent months combing the internet for tutorials and inspiration images (many of my favorites I added to my pinterest board), until I finally gathered up the supplies and the courage to tackle this project myself.

For my California King mattress, I ended up making the headboard two feet tall and six feet wide.  I found this size made a big enough impact, while still being able to fit all the materials in my car!  Upholstery foam also happens to be about two feet wide, which is another reason this size was so convenient.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

While other people have simply hung their headboards on the wall, I didn't really trust myself to be able to hang it securely enough to stand up to regular use.  Instead, I made a simple frame using 1x3 and 1x2 boards.  I was originally going to use plywood, but I'm really happy that I chose to use pegboard instead.  It kept the headboard very lightweight, so that it was no trouble for me to flip around on my own.  It also saved me a ton of time since I didn't have to drill 43 button holes.  The frame helped keep the pegboard from flexing and gave me a nice surface to staple the fabric to.

For my 6ft long headboard, I only purchased 2.5 yards of dark gray upholstery weight chenille fabric.  As soon as I came home from the store, I got this sinking feeling that I had seriously miscalculated.  Consequently, I decided not to try to cover the legs with fabric, and instead just painted them white to match the sheets.  In hindsight, painting them with the wall color paint would also have been a smart idea.  I'll save you the suspense and tell you that I had *just* enough fabric to cover the headboard, but I would have preferred a bit more just to be safe!

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

I charted out the button spacing so that there were 5 long rows (3 of 9 buttons, 2 of 8 buttons).  The spacing worked on a 4" unit in either direction.  I happened to have a metal broom handle that was the perfect diameter for punching out 1/2" tunnels through the foam for my covered buttons to fall into.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

I used some fiberfill from an old pillow between the batting and the upholstery foam--though I'm not sure if it made a big difference in the end result.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard 

I have to say, my least favorite part of this process was making the covered buttons.  They simply don't want to come together around such thick fabric!  I eventually came up with a system involving a rubber mallet and a whole bunch of glue, but managed to break two of the little assembly tools in the process.  If you choose a thicker pile fabric like I did, you might be wise to ask a local upholstery shop to cover buttons for you.  It would cost a little extra, but would save some trouble.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard


Every tutorial I read suggested starting in the middle, and working row by row.  I started out this way, but quickly ran into trouble when I started on the next row.  Having never done this before, and being too lazy to figure out how to mark the appropriate spacing on the fabric, I found that I wasn't getting the right amount of tension on the fabric.  When I started the second row, I wasn't always able to make nice diamond folds in the fabric.  So, I decided to start over.  The nice thing is that there was no damage to the fabric, so starting over isn't a big deal.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard 

I did start in the middle, but ended up working in every which direction from that middle point.  This let me really play with the folds in the fabric so that I didn't use too much of the slack in any one direction.  Once I started doing it this way, it was pretty easy to figure out the rest.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

I ended up using a package of waxed button thread I found in the upholstery section of Joann Fabric.  I really liked working with it because the wax kind of holds your knots in place with friction as you work, so the buttons don't fight against you the whole time.  I originally was going to staple the thread to the back of the pegboard, but the density of the pegboard made stapling impossible, so I ended up using all the random little buttons I could find.  They worked perfectly to secure the thread.

One note on buying supplies: if you have a smart phone, you must download the free app from Joann.  It gives you a bunch of great coupons each week, and then you can join me on my quest to never buy anything there for less than 50% off ;).



I propped my headboard up on four chairs, allowing me to work over and under the board with ease.  here I've worked from the center to one end, and have started working the other direction.

DIY Button Tufted Headboard

Finished and attached to the bed frame with carriage bolts.

I worked on putting this together in bits and pieces over the course of a week.  If you were really determined, you could finish this in a weekend.  It's not a terribly difficult thing to make, though you will need to work smartly and thoughtfully to ensure a professional-looking end product.  I hope I've inspired a few more people to try it out!  Oh, and if a headboard isn't your thing, this technique could also make a lovely bench--I'm thinking of making one of those in the future!

45 comments:

Melanie Rose said...

Wow, that looks so professional. You make it look so easy.

carrie @ brick city love said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my tutorial. Your headboard looks so awesome!!! I LOVE it! Wonderful job.

Hilary said...

Wow, this is gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your process. I agree with the first commenter that you make it look easy! Which has made me obsessed with making my own...

Allison said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant to use the peg board. Lining up the tufts evenly isn't easy, but your innovation makes it easy!

rose said...

sonI just make a queen tufted headboard for the guess room I used cream micro fabric it is so beautiful. I also put it on legs, the buttons on the bottom is a great idea I wished I did that, I used little circles of fabric to hold the button in place. Thank you for your post. rose

Powerpuff said...

I'm planning to make a tufted headboard and have been searching the internet for tutorials. Yours has been the best combination of various techniques (I did save the tutorials from brickcitylove and littlegreennotebook). But I was wondering, how did you finish the fabric around the legs? Also, did you use 2" or 3" foam?

Meghan said...

Hi Powerpuff,

Thanks for the compliment! I used 2" foam and I think it's perfectly adequate. To finish the fabric around the legs I just played around with folding it and tucking it until it looked ok, then stapled it in place. It's not visible when the headboard is in use, so I didn't worry too much about it being perfect.

Meghan

Anonymous said...

It looks great. What size buttons did you use? I bought some 5/8" this weekend but they seem small. Thanks!

Rachael said...

Gorgeous! You have inspired me to make my own! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

PRO !!!

Anonymous said...

FPRO !!!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! And FYI the fiberfill will make your beautiful creation last longer! It protects your fabric from the foam :)

John G said...

Where did u get the pegboard and how much it costed you?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and thankyou for detailing all the irksome bits too.Brilliant job. Well done!!

A Story Across Changing Pages said...

A growing sense of claustrophobia enveloped him as he crawled through the void. It felt as if the bricks were softly and slowly chewing on his shoulders as the void took more and more of him inside. The small bits of bricks at the base of the void gnawed into his hands, his knees, his elbows; and the fine dust that became unsettled with his passing bit at his eyes and lungs.

K @ Shift Ctrl ART said...

It looks really awesome! I wish I could picture what that broom handle looked like that you made the holes with. Was that part difficult?

Raj Guru Sindhi said...

Really it looks awesome, Like u your all work is clean, clear and best.

Amalia said...

Great tutorial! I too have been scouring the net looking for tuts on how to do this and I love your idea of using peg board to keep it light! Is peg board less expensive than plywood as well? I love the simplicity and the tufting. I admit I was thinking of making a scalloped and fancy designed one but I really like yours. One thing that scares me is the tufting. I have seen is done after the material has been stapled to the back and that just seems way easier then fussing over the way the fabric folds. I can see myself brought to tears over it not working out easily.


Angela Dearman said...

This was so, so helpful. My husband and I will tackle this project soon. EXACTLY what I have envisioned for our headboard!! Thank you so much for taking the time to post!

Jesse Heimann said...

I am so making one just like this! Funny thing is I already had grey velvet material picked out before I even saw your post :P

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous Meghan! Thanks for your tutorial - You make it look so easy. I've been looking for a specific headboard and since I couldn't find one a friend of mine sent me your post. Now I get to have the exact headboard I want! Thanks again!!

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Anonymous said...

Great job. Thanks for so many picts and great details. It looks great

Mandy said...

What size buttons did you use?

Marcus said...

Well done but please consider using and recommending natural products such as latex rubber or coconut fibre instead of modern foam which is such a terrible pollutant

Kate Appelman said...

SO happy to find your site with this tutorial. I've been imagining making one for my little girl's room. Glad I saw this first, there's more detail involved than I first thought! Good to know!!!

-kate
www.appelmanimages.com

Shelly said...

Going to tackle this project this weekend! Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Where did you buy the peg board from? I've been looking online for prices and can't seem to find decent options! Thanks!

Loni Dixon said...

What diameter were your buttons? Any suggestions for the top buttons on minimum diameter? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love it but I doubt to make it by myself. But thanks for the insight, at least I know the process of creating it.

Sharon B. said...

Hi Meghan,
I just wanted to let you know that I featured your headboard in a blog post of my favorite DIY headboard roundups at this link: http://www.lilikoijoy.com/2013/04/15-favorite-diy-upholstered-headboards.html

Thank you for inspiring me! Sharon

Anonymous said...

Just gorgeous! Looks professional and classy! Thanks for all the info! How much did it cost you in total? Thanks

SB said...

Yes, how much was the project total?

SB said...

Yes how much total?

Bianca said...

The result is super great. I saw some gorgeous diy headboards.

Jessica - xoxo said...

Great tutorial! I made one using your tutorial and it turned out more than perfect! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this - I'd love if you checked out mine! http://fabricandoldlace.blogspot.com/2013/06/h-is-for-headboard.html

Karey said...

Thank you for this tutorial! I am in the middle of making it right now and this makes it so much easier to understand. :)

Anonymous said...

Having viewed many sites, all are helpful but I began with Addicted2Decorating and their tufted headboard.It is, arguably, the most complete explanation for its style. Upholstery shops will charge about $1.25 per button, on your shell, to cover...a bargain. 1/2 inch composite plywood can be found as cheap as $16/4x8 sheet at home depot.

Anonymous said...

To anyone that its helpful...i followed this tutorial and it was very helpful. I bought a 4ftx8ft (48" x96") pegboard from lowe's for $16. But my bed is the exact size in this tutorial (a king) which is 72" long. Lowe's/ Home Depot will cut the pegboard to your desired size for free...sad to say i didnt know that then! You pretty much choose the height that you want. Then upholstery foam gets higher at cost by the inches in thickness. So the foam i chose came in 3" thick 24" width and 72"long. So therefore i didnt have to cut it...just the pegboard for a perfect fit. I used 7/8" buttons...which arent as big as they seem when pushed in the foam and fabric! Reminder: when stapling the fabric or whatever to the pegboard, you would havd to use much strength because pegboards are light in weight but very durable! Hopefully this helps!

Melody Reese said...

Could someone please give me more information on how you put the frame together. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

great tip on using pegboard. seems much easier than other directions ive found. great directions. thank you

asima khan said...

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Anonymous said...

Where did you get your foam? How much was it, foam is like 120bucks and even with a 50% its more than i thought it would cost... im making bench so i already spend some on a frame but now all this stuff is starting to add up=(

Anonymous said...

Thanks you have motivated me to attempt my own headboard your one looks great.
Awesome!!! job well done.