Tufted Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

On Wednesday I gave you a little peek at my 14 year old daughters new silver and white glam bedroom makeover. To refresh your memory, my oldest son moved away for college, and my daughter has spent the past year scheming up a design plan for her new room. It's a HUGE change from the teenage boys room full of flags and random things my son collected into this amazingly beautiful grown-up glam girls bedroom.

teenage girls glam bedroom makeover, silver and white bedroom

Part of the transformation included making this tufted upholstered headboard. To be fair, Isabella has been begging for years to create an upholstered headboard for her room. DIY projects don't move too quickly around here {it took me 15 years to get board and batten installed} when we need help from my husband, and my guess is, he was hoping she would forget about it or quit asking. She finally happened to mention it to the right person and her newly retired grandpa offered to help her. I think that it turned out better than any of us could have imagined for their first project together!

Today, my 14 year old daughter Isabella will be taking over my blog to give you the full tutorial on how they created this full size tufted upholstered headboard for her new glam girls bedroom.

Tufted Upholstered Headboard Tutorial


Saber saw
Tape measure
Yard stick
Drawing of design
Foam 2 inches thick
Metal pipe (size of buttons)
Nail gun
Upholstery needle
Spray adhesive

My grandpa made up a design from my description and I made some changes to it until we can up with the final design. You will want to have an idea of the way you want your headboard to look and how you want the edges to curve before you get started. My headboard was going to fit on my full size mattress so it was going to be 27" tall and 56" wide.

First, we drew straight lines across where the buttons would lay and put dots where we would drill the holes for them. Then we used a protractor to make the curves. Who knew you would use a protractor outside of math class? Next we used a can as a guide to curve the corners that were sharp.

After we drew the lines, we cut around the edge of the overall shape with a saber saw. 

Then, we sanded down the rough edges with a sandpaper block.

Next, we drilled all the way through the plywood where we put the dots for the buttons.  This made it easier for us to make the tufting for the headboard when it came to that step.

We used a high density foam that was 2" thick. Since the headboard was 27" high, we needed enough foam to cover that. Proper measurements will be key to help you purchase the right size supplies for your project.

We then placed the foam over the plywood and cut it, leaving 1/2 inch of excess foam. After the foam was cut, we sprayed the back of the plywood and the foam with spray adhesive and pressed them together. It is okay if it is only barely sticky because the fabric will hold it in place. The extra foam is there so that it can roll over the top and make a smooth edge.

This is what it looked like after we got the foam and the plywood cut and had them attached with spray adhesive.

To ensure the tufting was as deep as possible, my grandpa got an old pipe and sanded the edges down to make it sharp. You can gouge the holes with scissors or skip this step entirely if you want shallow tufting. To know where to cut out, we stuck a scribe through the hole in the plywood and through the foam. Then we put a dot in Sharpie where the hole was to be cut out. Then I centered the pipe around the hole and twisted it until it hit the plywood. After that you can just pull the small piece of foam out of the hole and throw it away.

Here is what it looked like after the holes were drilled.

Now you can start the tufting. First make the buttons by covering them with the fabric. You can buy a kit here. Then make sure that you have enough fabric on either side of the headboard so that there will be enough after you tuft it.  For our full size headboard I got 2.5 yards of upholstery fabric that was 54" wide. We left around one and a half feet of fabric on each side.

To make the tufts we started in the center and worked our way out. 

We took care to fold down the fabric to create a nice crease between the tufts.

We used an upholstery needle to attach the button and used a staple gun to staple the thread in place on the back in a star shape to make sure the button and tufting was secure. Make sure you use upholstery thread because regular thread will be too thin and will break as you pull it through.

We were really proud of our work! I think it turned out really well. Better than I would have thought! And it was a really fun project to do with my grandpa.

This headboard was the start of making the bedroom go from messy teen boys room to glam girls room.

It's exactly what she wanted and it looks amazing in her new room!

teenage girls glam bedroom makeover

I know that Isabella is really proud of the headboard she made with her grandpa and the headboard has created quite the statement piece in her new glam bedroom. It's something that intimidated me to take on as a DIY myself, but the end result is amazing!

teenage girls glam bedroom makeover, teen girl, silver and white, fabric headboard

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Amber said...

way to go Isabella! great project and great blog! you should be proud of yourself!

Katy said...

Love this cute sophisticated room! Your daughter's project turned out beautifully. She will remember this time with her grandfather forever! I'm sure you are proud of them both! Enjoy your posts!

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