Saturday, 26 May 2012

DIY Tufted Headboard

With the summer starting and being off from school, I wanted to start a project. My bedroom is a complete wreck and I figured I'd start whipping it into shape. Here is my first project for the room; one of many to come. Hope you enjoy it!

Tools and Materials:

- 1 sheet of 1/2" plywood (I used a 4' by 8' sheet) - $30
- Foam to fit the headboard - $65
- Fabric  (You want enough to fit the board, plus 18" extra on each side. You might have to sew two pieces of fabric together depending on the size of your board) - $120
- Batting (enough to fit the board plus 18" extra on each side) - $36
- Self covering buttons (I used 19 buttons for my design - get enough for yours) - $15
- 10"-12" long upholstery needle - $6
- Upholstery thread or roman shade cord - $5
- Pieces of heavy cardboard (1 piece for each button) - Free (use scrap)
- Metal washers (1 washer for each button) - $5
- Jigsaw
- Staple gun
- Drill
- Long straight edge
- Craft paper
- Spray adhesive
- Serrated knife
- Wooden skewer
- Marker


1. Trace the shape you want the headboard to be on craft paper. This is where measurements are important. Measure the width of your bed, and add 1 or 2 inches on each side. Mine ended up being 54" wide for a double bed. Then determine how tall you want the headboard to be. You want part of the headboard to be behind the mattress, so measure from there. Mine ended up being 40.5" tall. Remember - you're NOT measuring from the floor. You're going to be mounting your headboard to the wall.  Unless you are putting legs on the headboard - then you measure from the floor.

After you have cut out the shape of your headboard on craft paper, you have to determine your button placement. I started by drawing a 5" by 5" grid on my craft paper. Draw a line exactly down the centre of your design, then measure 5" out from each side until you reach the end of the paper. I then placed buttons in a pyramid pattern using the lines as guides. It's up to you how close the buttons are to each other. I chose 5" by trial and error. 

2. Once you've got your template cut out and your button placement down, you can trace the pattern onto the plywood and cut it out using a jigsaw. My design had curves, so it was a bit challenging to cut it out. Even though it was my first time using a jigsaw, it worked out beautifully! 



3. Once you have your plywood cut, you need to redraw the button pattern onto the wood. It's important that the measurements are exact for this, because you will be drilling holes next.

4. Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill holes into the plywood where the buttons will go. 

5. Now it's time to use your spray adhesive to apply your foam. Remember to do this in a well ventilated area! Follow the directions on the can. I sprayed one half of the board, centered the foam and pressed down. Then I lifted up the other half of the foam, sprayed the board and pressed it down.

Then cut your foam to the shape of your headboard using a serrated knife.

6. Now take your wooden skewer and CAREFULLY (make sure you're going in perpendicular) push it through a hole and into the foam. Mark where the skewer came through with your marker - this will show you where to cut holes for the foam. 

Once you've marked where the holes are on the foam, cut out holes 1/4" bigger than the circumference of your buttons. I used 1 1/8" buttons, so my holes were 1 3/8".  I used a regular kitchen knife, cutting up and down around a button form. I had to tear out the core since the bottom was glued to the board.

7.  Drape the batting over the foam and make sure it's centred. Cut small Xs over the holes. The next step is to iron your fabric. Make sure the fabric is smooth and free of all wrinkles. Then cover your headboard with your fabric, making sure that there is an equal amount of fabric on each side of the board. If you have a seam, line that up where you want it. I placed mine directly down the centre of the board and liked the look. 

8. Time to tuft! This is a two person job. Start in the centre and work horizontally. Skip every other row so that the diagonal buttons are done last. This will ensure that your folds will look nice. As you tuft, make sure the folds are neat and face one way. I made sure all my pleats pointed toward the bottom of the board. 

Tie a button onto the upholstery thread. Thread your upholstery needle and pierce it through the fabric, batting and foam. Once you've got the button on the headboard, with the tails hanging on the other side, PUSH HARD on the button until it touches the plywood, and have your helper secure the button on the other side.

To secure the button, I used cardboard and metal washers. Pass both tails through a hole in the cardboard piece and then thread one tail through the washer. While one person is pushing hard on the button from the top, the other person will tie a few knots so the washer and cardboard sit flush to the plywood on the back.

9. Once all the buttons are tufted, your headboard should be looking quite awesome. 

Now you have to secure the batting and fabric on the back side of the board with your staple gun. At each peripheral button, make a pleat to gather any superfluous fabric and pull tight. Staple to the other side of the board. Cut off any excess batting and fabric.

10. And you're done! The last step is to hang your headboard. I used hook and eyes to hang mine. The eyes go into the headboard, while the hooks go into the wall. Make sure to use a magnet or stud-finder to find your studs and screw into those.

And voila! 

The room is still in progress. It needs to be painted etc... so it'll look a lot better when finished! 

For all the supplies, I think I spent about $280. This price can be reduced significantly if you buy cheaper fabric.  I fell in love with the fabric I used, but it was $24 a yard and I used 4.5 yards. I don't regret this choice, but it definitely wasn't the most cost effective decision!

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! And of course, email me if you try one of your own. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have and I'd love to see your headboards. Happy tufting! 

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