Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY Deep Diamond Tufted Headboard

Remember a couple months back when I shared my headboard inspiration with you guys? Well the time has finally come to share the finished product! A while ago I shared our gray tufted headboard that we DIY'd last fall to go with our queen bed. But since we got our new Cal King bed (as you can see it fits just right in our master bedroom...) we needed to come up with a headboard that wouldn't break the bank. The size and style we wanted would have probably cost over $1,000 if we were to buy the headboard. After DIY'ing the gray headboard, we knew we could make another one, so we made some plans. 

Full tutorial and more pictures after the jump...

And, of course use Pinterest to find some examples. Read those examples over and over again and make sure you have a clear plan of what you want to accomplish since yours will most likely be unique. The two most helpful tutorials we used were this one from Little Green Notebook and this one from Involving the Senses. We also used this one from Sarah M Dorsey Designs to attach the arms. I wish I had a picture of the plans Zach made because they were pretty sweet (and by sweet, I mean hand drawn on the back of a medical school paper). :) Some things to consider in the planning phase:
  • How wide and how tall do you want your headboard?
  • How thick do you want your foam?
  • Do you want arms/sides?
  • How will your headboard stand up? (attach to wall/attach to bed frame/freestanding?)
  • Tufting or no tufting?
  • Any decorative trim?
  • What kind of fabric do we want to use?

I can tell you from our experience we decided on the following:
  • We determined this based on 1) the size of our bed - since we have a Cal King we needed to make sure that it was wide enough with the arms and tall enough to give a good balance to the length of the bed (Cal King are longer than regular King beds); and 2) the size of our foam (how wide did 3" foam come?)
  • I wanted to use 3" foam because I really loved the look of the deep tufting. We ordered 3" x 40" x 72" foam from Amazon for about $50 (shipping was free when we ordered) and it was the best deal we could find at the time. Foam is expensive!
  • I definitely wanted arms since I loved the headboard we had just made with arms. 
  • We decided to have it freestanding with the arms as the main support. This required making sure the arm boards would be hefty enough to support the weight.
  • Tufting. Always tufting.
  • Since we just did a nail head trim on the other headboard, I wanted to hold off on the trim for now. I can always add it later, but I want to let it sink in and make sure it wouldn't be too much with the deep tufting.
  • I decided on a Teal Microsuede from Online Fabric Store for a couple of reasons. 1) I wanted a velvety look and this was the best choice for upholstery that I could find. 2) The price was right at $9.75/yard (I ordered 5 yards). 3) Teal. Duh.

Here's what we used:

For the frame:
  • 1x4s (3-4 @ 8ft)
  • 1 sheet of pegboard or garage liner (as long as it has the holes - such a time saver for tufting!)
  • Foam
  • Broom (to cut out the holes in the foam - trust me)

For the arms:
  • 1x6 (2 @ 8ft)
  • 2x6 (2 @ 8ft)
For the covering:
  • Fabric (5 yards)
  • Upholstery weight thread
  • Button kit (5/8")
  • Large upholstery needle
  • Random supplies like spatulas and old buttons (we'll get to it later...)
Other supplies:
  • Staple gun (we have the manual, nothing fancy)
  • Scissors
  • Patience
  • A DIY partner (this is not a one person job)
Zach did this part pretty easily with the 1x4s and some pocket hole screws. We reinforced the middle with a piece of the 1x4. Once we attached the pegboard, it became really solid.

Next we got the foam prepared for the tufting. Since the foam was so deep, we needed to cut out the holes where we wanted the tufting so we could get a nice deep tuft. To make sure the holes in the foam lined up with the holes on the pegboard we circled with a sharpie the holes on the pegboard. Let me tell you, the pegboard makes it SO EASY to map out the holes. The hard part was determining how far apart to make the tufting, how many rows of buttons we wanted and how many buttons per row we wanted. From there we just counted every 8 holes across on one row (the pegboard holes were about 1 inch apart) and then started four holes over on the next row and continued to keep the spacing 8 holes apart. This created the diamond pattern. From there we held up the foam where we wanted it to be placed and took the sharpie through the holes to mark on the foam. Does that make sense? Hopefully some pics will help... :)

On to the cutting... I started out using a knife, but after reading this post yet again, I went to the laundry room to hunt down my broom. Sure enough the end handle popped off to leave a nice hollow metal tube - the perfect size I needed for the tufting holes. THIS WAS SUCH A TIME SAVER! Genius! I flew through the holes after getting a hold of the broom. Hallelujah. Then we attached the foam to the frame with spray adhesive.

We started out with the middle row in order to make sure we had enough fabric to reach around the top and the bottom. We worked from there row by row up to the top and then down to the bottom. The very hardest thing about this entire project was the first tuft. Ohmygoodness. Zach and I went around and around on this and may have gotten in a mini fight about it. Ha! It was very frustrating figuring out how to do that first tuft - how to attach it to the back of the pegboard and how to string the thread and button through. I'm going to attempt to explain it, so bear with me!

We threaded the needle and kept it double weight through the button (left, below). Next, we took the end and threaded both pieces of the end back through the needle (right, below). We left about 2 inches on the ends to fold over. This made our thread four layers thick and gave our upholstery weight thread even stronger.

This was probably the hardest part of the whole tufting experience - figuring out how to start. We probably spent at least an hour fighting discussing how we should start and what the best process to get the tufting done might be. We went around and around in circles and finally came up with a plan. We ended up starting with the middle row, middle button and worked our way out each side of the row from there.

From there, we worked each row up and then each row down. Out strategy was to use a rubber spatula (the end handle) to push down the fabric, making sure the fabric folded the way we wanted as we went (it mostly folds itself in the right direction, but does need some help along the way). After pushing the fabric down into the pre-cut foam holes, we pulled the threaded needle through from the front of the headboard to the back. Once the needle was through the back, we threaded it through an old button to get it to stick. This part was tricky - I ended up using the spatula again to push down the upholstered button from the front, then Zach tied off the button on the back. The key is not to pull too tight so the upholstered button wouldn't cut through the fabric or pull the fabric too tight.

On the edges, we created lines with the fabric straight down and out and pulled tight to finish up the look.

Nope, we aren't done yet... :) Hang with me! First, we figured out how tall we wanted the arms. The arms are the main support for the whole headboard, so they also needed to be strong. Zach attached a 1x6 and a 2x6 with some heavy duty screws. We lay out the fabric right-side-down and then put the wood arm on top. Here's where it gets tricky... stay with me! We pre-drill holes for the heavy duty screws. We wanted to make sure that the screws would be going from the outside of the arm towards the inside, getting drilled into the tufted headboard. We drilled in the screws so they are deep enough without poking through the arm.

Next, we pulled the fabric tight and lined it up along the back of the arm first. Before wrapping the fabric around the entire arm, we screwed the arm into the main headboard. From there we just wrapped the arm and stapled the fabric to the back after doing some strategic folds on the top and bottom of the arm to make it look nice.

We cut off the excess fabric and we were done (finally)! It turned out great and I couldn't be happier with the result! We achieved the look of a high end diamond tufted headboard for a fraction of the cost. I think in total, the project cost about $200-250. Not bad compared to other options that retail for $1,000+!


  1. Wow this is so gorgeous and exactly what I want. Thanks for taking your time to make a quality and detailed list of what you did! XO

  2. How did you tuft the middle where the wood board is? I see there are buttons but I don't understand how you did it. Please share, I'm trying to recreate this :) !

    1. We drilled through the 1x4 using the pegboard as our guide. Hope this helps!

  3. Also can you share the measurement of your frame? I too have a king sized bed and have already ordered the same foam as you :)

    1. We have a California King bed and the width is 72 inches. We made the frame 72" x 40" - same as the foam we used. Good luck!

  4. Did you buy any extra fabric for the arms and buttons or just 5 yards.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...