Before we decided to re-do our master bedroom, we had a very masculine headboard that we made when we first moved into our house. It enormous (4 foot by 6 foot) and made from brown leather with brass lion head accents. I loved how big and bold it was but when we starting making plans for the new room I wanted something a little smaller and softer. I started researching tons of DIY tutorials for tufted headboards and my conclusion was that people made the process a whole lot harder than they needed to. I came up with a new plan and an open-mind as far as the time frame for completing it. I think that’s the biggest mistake people make, trying to cram the whole thing in to a single weekend… if you take your time it’s actually a fun process. Looking back, there were a couple things I would change (I’ll note them as we go) but for the most time I simplified the process big time and I love how it turned out. The cool part about this is you can change the fabric and size to fit any room or color scheme. We have a queen sized bed so all the measurements in this post will be based off of that but it would be easy to tailor to any size! ** Remember you can click on any set of pictures to enlarge them!
We started at Home Depot where we got the pegboard for the back of the head board. Most tutorials called for a giant piece of wood that required lots of math and drilling holes and I thought “why not use a pegboard that is lighter-weight and already has holes and is WAY cheaper?”. We bought a 48″ x 96″ sheet of pegboard and (again, for a queen sized bed) we had it cut to 48″ x 64″. A couple notes: Our first headboard was hung on the wall quite a bit above the top of the actual bed (the gap was covered with pillows) and so we had extra board for height that went down past the mattress some. After finishing this one and hanging it we decided to put it flush with the top of the bed so if I were to do this over I would have the pegboard cut exactly to size (24″ x 64″) instead of leaving the extra height. Also, the 48″ x 64″ piece wouldn’t fit in our car whole so we had it cut in half.
Once we got the two pieces home (1) we ran a piece of duct tape along the bottom at the seam of one piece (2), squeezed a good amount of Elmer’s Wood Glue along the wood (3), pushed the second piece right up against it and taped over the top of the seam (4). While we waited for the glue to dry, we marked where the foam was going to go for the actual headboard. The foam comes in 24″ widths and you want to leave some overhang so that when you pull the velvet it has a more rounded look, so I drew a line across on the pegboard at 23.5″ (5). Right now you should have one solid piece of pegboard with a line marking where the headboard will go (6).
Again, if I was doing this now I would have cut it to 24″ x 64″ eliminating a need for all of these previous steps.
Next it’s time to plan where all of the tufts are going to go. You can play around and do more or less or you can make things extremely easy on yourself and just use my trial and error as your measurement. I used hole reinforcements to mark which holes were getting tufts (genius right? lol). We had 5 rows of tufts that were staggered to create the diamond pattern, 37 total. I started 3 rows of holes from the top, marked the ninth hole in from the right and then every eighth hole for a total of 7 tufts for that row. I then counted four rows of holes down from that row, marked the fifth hole in and every 8th hole for a total of 8 tufts for that row. Repeat for five total rows of tufts, click on the picture below to enlarge to see more clearly.
These tufts will be made by threading cloth covered buttons through the foam, I found it was easier to make all of these buttons now… mostly because we still had to wait a few hours for the glue to dry. You’ll need 37 dritz 5/8″ cover buttons. They come in a kit that includes 6 buttons and everything you need to make them (minus the fabric of course) and then refill kits with just the buttons. We needed 1/4 yard purple velvet to cover the buttons. A couple notes here… one being that these really suck to make. They’re hard and your thumb will be killing you so enlist an unlucky partner to help you and allow yourself time to leave and come back to this part of the project. Another note is that for whatever reason (maybe we pulled them too tight) you can’t even see these buttons so you may want to look in to a cheaper alternative.
Now you can prep your foam. We got a 3″ thick high density foam from Joann Fabrics, which is wonderful but be prepared to be appalled at the price. We waited until it was on sale for 50% off and we had an additional 15% off sale items coupon. It’s comes 24″ wide and we had it cut to 50″ long. The finished headboard will be 48″ across so this leaves 1″ of overhang on each side, and remember we left an extra .5″ when we marked the pegboard for overhang at the top. Use a sharpie and mark this on the foam (1). Now lay the foam under the pegboard, lining it up with these marks (2) and use a sharpie to mark dots onto the foam wherever there’s a sticker (3). Pull the foam out and it should look like picture (4). Use a small paring knife to cut very small holes where each dot is (5) and pull out the excess foam (6). This gives your buttons something to sit in to deepen your tufts.
Once the foam is prepped, spray one side of it heavily with Elmer’s Spray Adhesive and glue it to the pegboard. Line it up using the lines we drew previously, and also make sure all the holes line up… I used a chopstick (1). Next, take the shortest screws you can find and screw one to the side of each hole marked with a sticker (2). Once your wood glue and the spray adhesive is dry and everything is prepped your now ready to really start. Lay your headboard right side up and lay a 3 yard piece of velvet over the top of the foam, making sure that it’s centered (3). Here’s where you definitely need someone to help you. Use your finger to push the velvet into the hole in the middle of the headboard (4) (it’s SO much easier to start from the middle of your headboard and work out) and then prop your headboard upright. From the back of the pegboard, double-thread upholstery thread on a long upholstery needle through the sticker marked hole out the front. Thread on one of your covered buttons (5) and then go back through the hole to the back. Cut off your needle leaving you with the two ends (four pieces of string total) and wrap them around the screw a few times before tying it off with a tight knot (6).You can drill the screw in a little closer to the pegboard at this point to secure it more and ensure you won’t scratch your wall with them.
Do the other two tufts in this middle row first, then move out to the rows on either side (1) manipulating the fabric as you go to get that perfect tufted look. Continue until all the tufts are done. You might notice the last row of tufts on either end of our headboard didn’t get done… let’s just say don’t take your husband’s word for it when he says the velvet is centered when you first start LOL. Take the excess velvet on both sides and the top, pull it tight and then secure it to the back of the pegboard using heavy duty staples and a staple gun (2). Our plan was to leave the excess fabric on the bottom to cover the excess wood but after hanging it we realized we didn’t need the excess wood or fabric so here’s where things to a little bootleg. Our bed is 60″ across so 2″ of wood stuck out under the headboard on each side, we had to cut that off with a handsaw (3). I’m sure there’s a much more professional way to install this but I was aiming for easy, so here’s how we installed it – we lined it up in relation to the bed and screwed it in place using long drywall screws in three places (both sides and middle) right along the bottom of where the foam meets the pegboard) (4). I then secured the top of the headboard by screwing right though the top two side tufts (I just moved the button out of the way and screwed through the velvet lol). I then stapled the velvet flush with the pegboard under the foam along the bottom of the headboard and used a thin metal spatula to tuck the excess fabric behind the wood (5,6).
Again, if I were to do this now the headboard would be 24″ x 64″ and I would just screw through the four corner tufts.
Once the bed is pushed against the wall in place, it fits flush with the bottom of the headboard and the excess on the sides is covered. I am super happy with how this project turned out and it’s one of my husband’s favorite things in the new room!