Tufted headboards are a little girls dream, and in my case maybe an even bigger dream to make one. When I saw the Eliza Tufted Headboard from Pottery Barn, I knew that I must have one for Cadence. But with a price tag near $1,000, I turned toward my inner creativity (and my father!) to make one from scratch. I had never made furniture or reupholstered anything before, but I knew with the countless tutorials on pinterest that we could succeed. My favorite tutorial came from The Idea Room. While I knew I wanted a deeper tuft than the one shown, I loved the step by step instructions, not only for the tufting, but the headboard frame as well.
Originally, a tufted headboard was all we were going to attempt. However, once I involved my dad, we got a whole entire bed frame! As I was not the one to make the bed frame, I cannot explain in detail how it was done. However, I can show step by step how the headboard was constructed as well as do over points along the way. Note: While the bed frame was made and prepped by my loving father, I had the pleasure of painting the bed which ended up with 3 coats of paint! My husband, of course, occupied the children during this process.
Piece of MDF board cut to your specifications
2 – 3 inch foam (we found ours at JoAnn’s)
Drill and 3/8 inch Drill Bit
Quilt Batting (Joanne’s)
- Pillow / Doll Stuffing (Joanne’s)
Waxed Thread (JoAnn’s)
- Upholstery Needle
- Spay Glue
Button Making Kit with enough buttons for your project (JoAnn’s)
Material for the tufted headboard
- 2 sawhorses or 2 tables
Staple Gun and Staples
Make the frame. Follow the instructions from The Idea Room and cut the MDF board to your own specifications. We opted for a squared off look to offset how girly the tufted headboard is. Decide how many tufts you would like and how far apart you want them. Decide between square and diamond tufts We chose square to match the square frame. Mark where each button will be and drill holes all the way through the MDF headboard with a drill and drill bit We used a 3/8 inch drill bit. Our headboard is 39×28, we have 4 rows of 5 totaling 20 buttons spaced 7 inches apart horizontally and 6 inches vertically.
Line up the foam (which may be more than one piece depending on the size of your headboard) with he MDF board. With a pen, mark through the holes onto the foam. Cut holes in the foam about the same size as the buttons with a pair of scissors or a knife. Once the holes are made, line up the foam and the MDF and glue together with the spray glue. This will ensure that it does not move!
I found that to get the perfect tufted look it was best to add balls of fluff in the middle of each tuft. I carefully added the quilt batting on top, adjusting the balls of fluff accordingly.
Now is a good time to make the cloth covered buttons. I ended up having to hand sew mine on as the fabric was so thick- taking me about 2 hours! In the beginning, we tried following the instructions of sewing the buttons to the headboard to make the tufts, but they kept breaking. Eventually we ended up sewing smaller, shirt sized buttons on with the waxed thread and upholstery needle to make the tufts, and then sewing the decorative buttons on afterwards.
Step 5 – shaping the tufts, was by far the hardest part. My dad ended up helping more than he thought he would as it needed so much strength! We placed the foam topped headboard on two sawhorses so that we could get underneath. After gently smoothing and softening, we pulled the button into the foam hole with the upholstery needle, and wax thread. My dad, being the strength, pulled the wax thread underneath the headboard until I told him the depression was sufficient (and eventually, evenly depressed with the others – as this is no easy feat) and he would then staple the excess thread to the headboard in a W pattern. Surprisingly, the quality of the tufts was not determined by the depth. In fact, we barely pulled the buttons into the foam. The extra fluff and quilt batting is what made the tufts look full and round. The 20 tufts took about 3 hours to make, but it was worth every minute!
After the tufting, assembling the headboard was a breeze! After a little more smoothing and softening around the edges, we trimmed the excess fabric and stapled it to the back. The headboard was complete! All we had left was to assemble the rest of the bed and marvel at our masterpiece.