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I did this DIY headboard with crystal buttons as part of my Master Bedroom makeover for the One Room Challenge. I am happy to provide you with a full tutorial on how I did it. So, you can make one too!
This is the second DIY tufted headboard I have done. And I have learned a few things along the way. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not my last…
I found a really great video tutorial for this process by a professional upholsterer, and I will link to that video for your convenience. But I will also lay out the steps for you, so you can follow along, once you’ve viewed the video. It’s easier that way than having to watch over and over, and find the correct spot. Do I sound like I speak from experience?
Here are the steps:
Step 1 –Purchase your Supplies
- Board for backing 4’x8′ sheet of plywood or MDF
- Dimensional lumber -1”x3”x8’ x 3
- Fabric 60”(145cm) wide – 2.5 yards (meters)
- Foam – 4’x8’x2”
- Upholstery needles
- waxed button thread
- 25mm Crystal Buttons or
- Cover Button Kit
- 1/2 ” Tacking strip
- Upholstery Hammer
- Nailhead trim
- Spray Adhesive
Step 2 – Prepare your Board
Mark your board. I did mine with the following spacing:
4.5” outside edge border, all the way around. 5” dissecting lines (for 10” square diamonds)on diagonal.
Mark for Holes
I did 6 rows: 6/7/6/7/6/7 for a total of 39 buttons.
Drill holes using a 3/8-Inch Drill Bit
Staple 1/2 ” Tacking strip along border (inside) line
Glue foam down and staple edges to cardboard strip. IMPORTANT: Make sure your staple line is very straight. This will guide you later on.
Mark and core out holes with hole saw (1.25”). This is the hole saw that I used.
Drill out the foam over the holes that you drilled.
Next add a layer of batting. Glue around the edges, and then snip open over the holes in the foam.
Cut your chosen fabric to size and mark the center. I added about 4.5” around which equaled the full size of the board and it was enough, as long as you pull your tufts very tight. I ended up going back and tightening some, as my pleats weren’t pronounced enough.
Step 3 -Tuft – Pleat – Repeat
Start at the center point and then work across the center row. Using a long Upholstery needle, crystal or covered buttons and waxed button thread. You could use a double ended upholstery needle. I just used a regular upholstery needle. Thread the waxed button thread through the button shank and then put both ends through the eye of the needle and poke it down through the fabric where the drill hole is. You want the button to go pretty much all the way down to the board, this will give you nice tight diamonds. Pleat as you go. Staple thread to back of board using an N shape.
Edges and Border
Once all of the tufting is completed for the buttons, Pull the diamonds tight to the upper and side edge and staple in place. For the bottom section, I didn’t do an additional row because this would be tucked behind the mattress. Just pull these into horizontal pleats.
I used an additional piece of 1″x3″ dimensional lumber to reinforce around the top and sides, so that I would have a more substantial edge. Also, because I have a high 3/4” wide baseboard, which is pushing the bed frame out by the same distance, this will even things out. I just screwed from the top of the board, into the 1×3’s on the back of the board.
Apply Fabric Border
I sewed 2 pieces together for the bottom piece, which you won’t see anyway. My top piece was the exact length of the board, so I had to stretch it a little bit to make it fit, which is okay, because it’s super tight on the corners. If your fabric had absolutely no stretch, you would need to add seam allowances of 1/2” to each end. Sew the two edge pieces for your diagonal corners.
Clip to the corners to remove bulk. I also added another strip of cardboard tack strip to keep my edge straight. With the fabric right sides together and 1/2″ seam (staple) allowance. Start by stapling at each end first. Then tack it evenly and go back and fill in with nice straight line of staples. Then fold over, pulling the corners over tight! and staple to the back of the frame. Repeat the process on the sides. The tacking strip should be long enough to give you a straight edge on the bottom of the headboard. Just fold under straight. No need to seam these edges on the diagonal as you won’t really see them anyway, and it makes it much easier than having to seam 4 corners and get the fit perfect. Before putting it in place tighten any tufts that need tightening and pull all of your pleats nice and clean. Staple the border tight to the back all the way around.
Not Just Yet…
Before finishing, go back and make sure that all of the tufts are nice and tight. Secure any loose threads at the back. You could finish this off with a piece of fabric, but I didn’t. Since my board has a raised edge, I wasn’t worried about the staples marking the wall.
Once the headboard was completed I just tucked it in behind the mattress, which is deep and heavy enough to hold it in place. It sits on top of the bed frame that I made
At this point I am still debating adding nailhead trim. I purchased the cheater type. Here is a shot of what it looks like laid out on the corner piece. What do you think? Yay? or Nay? Feel free to weigh in below!
Here are some shots of the finished headboard. Which I really really love. I’m already thinking about making another one. This was actually not that difficult to make. The most important thing is to get all the right tools before you start. You would not want to tackle this without a pneumatic stapler. If you are thinking about doing more upholstery projects in the future buy a compressor. If not just rent one for the weekend. I guess you could do this with a staple gun, but you would probably have arthritis in your hands by the time you are done!!
Thoughts and Lessons
The first headboard that I made, I used pegboard. Honestly, it was actually easier to use the MDF board. It’s much sturdier, and you can drill your holes where ever you want them. The board cost me $30 at the lumber store, and they cut it to size for me. Also the one I made out of pegboard, is a bit wobbly when not secured to the wall. I would not use it for a king size headboard. I worked on this in my garage with it propped up on a few Rubbermaid bins stacked on top of each other. Saw horses would have been better, but I don’t own any. I’m adding those to my Christmas wish list!
I used covered fabric buttons for my first one, and the crystal buttons are much easier and so pretty. I bought mine from amazon, and they were a lot cheaper than I could get them at the fabric store, and they arrived in a day!!
Here is a rough estimate of what this project cost:
- $30 MDF Board
- $50 – Velvet fabric
- $35 -Foam
- $40 Upholstery supplies (Batting, Needles, Thread, trim)
- $20 Crystal Buttons
So about $175. I’m sure you could do it cheaper, if you didn’t buy expensive fabric. Check the clearance section first! I also made a matching bed frame which you can see here.
Thanks so much for stopping by. And if you found this helpful please share it!!! If you need any clarification, drop a note in the comments section below.
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