Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello, Headboard!

I have the broken fingernails and sore thumbs to prove that this project was a doozy!  Voila:

Oh, wait, that is the back.

Here is the front:

Mmm, soft.  I may be late on the upholstered headboard trend, but can you really cuddle up with reclaimed wood?

Check out our bed before.

See the headboard?

Nope?  How about now?

I like the lines on this headboard, but we just couldn't see the headboard at all behind our fluffy pillows.  This one will move to another bed.

Instead, I wanted something dramatic, so I had to go with diamond-tufted.  I haven't even seen Mad Men!

I found some great tutorials: there is a super one at Brick City Love, but the one I followed most closely was the one at Addicted2Decorating.  Kristi is amazing.

Instead of using MDF as the base, I used plywood.  No real reason.  I cut (ahem, had help cutting--thanks, Rusty) the plywood to 62" by 48" for a queen size, which was 2" wider than my existing headboard.

Essentially, the steps are:

1.  Cover board with foam.  I used 2" foam.

2.  Cover buttons with fabric.  I used these, which don't need a kit but made for sore thumbs:

3.  Mark foam where you want buttons to be, in rows and columns 8" apart and then at the center of each 8" box.

4.  Drill holes at markers through foam and board.  Dig out larger holes in the foam.  I used this:

And then it didn't work out that well, so I started cutting square holes with scissors.

5.  Lay batting then fabric on top of board and foam.

6.  Starting at the center, push all the fabric and batting into the hole, and thread a button through the hole to the bottom of the board.  See?  I lifted the fabric up here to show the batting getting pushed in too.

7.  Staple the button thread (nylon cord) five times in a zigzag pattern.  Check out my awesome pneumatic staple gun.  I know, right?  More power!

8.  Work your way out until all buttons are done.

9.  Secure the edges with staples.

I only made a few changes from the instructions:

First, I was not able to drill through both the foam and the board.  I could get some done, but mostly I just got frustrated when the foam got caught in the drill.  So I glued the foam to the board, marked the spots for buttons with a marker, then made a cut in the foam large enough to stick a pen through to mark the board.  That is how I marked the board.  The glue wasn't particularly permanent, so I could drill the holes, then stick the foam back on.

Second, I adjusted the pattern when I figured out my left and right margins were not going to be the same as my top margin.  With 62" wide, and buttons 8" apart, my left and right margins were 7" apart.  So I moved all my button markers up 1" so that my top margin would also be 7".  Just a personal preference.  That's why all the holes appear to be off from the original X's:

Third, I don't think my tufting was as deep as Kristi's.  I did not do this intentionally, but the way it worked best for me was to dig in as much as I could with my fingers pressing the fabric, and then to pull the button as tight as I could.  She says you can end up just placing the button without much pulling, but that was not the case with my version.  I think if I had made the fabric looser between buttons, I could have gone deeper.  I am happy with how it looks, so hopefully none of the buttons will pop.  It feels sturdy.

The advantage of my way, though, was that I had enough fabric to last for a height of 46" with the fabric in a standard width (around 60").  Because I was not sure how far my fabric would go, I waited until I was mostly done to determine the height and ended up cutting off 2" of board and foam.

This was a very rewarding project.  I can't say that it was especially fun to make.  Covering buttons is a pain (literally!), especially with thicker fabric.  Working in the garage in the winter isn't so great either.

But I love having a big flat teddy bear on my wall.


  1. That looks amazing!! I'm going to share it on my Facebook page.

  2. love it great job

  3. This is beautiful. Job well done!

  4. how did you attach this headboard to the bed frame? very nice by the way!

  5. Thanks for the nice comments! @kara, we attached it directly to the wall (not the bed frame) using hardware okay for heavy objects. We got something called a Hangman that supports up to 200 pounds.