DIY Tufted Headboard

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To me, nothing makes a bedroom seem more luxurious than a tufted headboard in a rich fabric.  Since we have a small master bedroom (especially since converting the south wall to a closet) it is really important that the space we do have feels like us!
Our bed in the new/old house is actually a queen sized simple frame from Corey's old room at his dad's house.  It was in our price range (free) but a little plain, so I looked online to see how we could dress it up. 
There is inspiration all over the internet like this version on Apartment Therapy:


The list goes on!  We opted for a simple, masculine shaped back like in the first version, but with diamond tufting like in the second version.  We had thought about adding wings and I even had the pegboard cut to add them on the sides.  However, we want to have sconces on the sides of the bed (instead of nightstand lamps) and we didn't want to block our reading light.
There are "How-To's" all over the internet and I browsed a few.  I drew most of my inspiration from this post from Little Green Notebook.  This is a great blog, and I refer to it a lot.  I think the idea of using pegboard (because it has evenly spaced, pre-drilled holes) is a real game changer.
I picked up some fabric from Fabric.com in a shade which is similar to, but slightly different from, the fabric I selected for my curtains.  I chose something luxurious and slightly shimmery to show off the folds in the tufts.  You can use most fabrics (linen works well) but it shouldn't be too thick or you'll have trouble with the buttons.  It should probably be a medium stiffness.  I worked with taffeta and it was perfect.  This project required just under 2 yards.

I always wondered how upholsterers got the fabric wrapped around those little buttons.  Apparently, you can buy buttons to cover in little packs at the fabric store or in bulk online.  I opted for smaller buttons (even though they're more challenging to work with) because they're pretty cheap.

The buttons come with a little template to cut out on the back.  Basically, you select your size button and cut out the corresponding circle to trace onto your fabric.  If you want to make your life easier, trace the circle sligthtly larger than your buttons call for.

I didn't trace... I just held the cardboard circle against my fabric and cut out a messy circle.  I wasn't worried about perfection because most of the fabric will be tucked in anyway.

The pack of buttons comes with a few little gadgets to help tuck the fabric in.  Basically, you place the fabric circle on the rubber bottle cap shaped thing and then place the top of your button on top with the "inside" facing up.

Then you tuck the fabric around the edges. 

Then you put the back on and press it down HARD.  They have a plastic thimble shaped thing that's supposed to help. 

Honestly, these stupid gadgets don't work.  I spent about 20 minutes doing everything short of jumping on the stupid thing.  I was standing up, trying to put all my weight on it with my thumb, trying to squeeze one side at a time...  I probably looked ridiculous and my fingers were killing.  Then I found an easier way:

I tucked the fabric around the button by hand (no rubber bottle cap) and placed it on the table with the back of the button in position. Then I used their little plastic thimble thing to hold everything in place. 

Then I hammered that sucker together.  I hit that blue thimble like it was a nail.  It was easy and I saved my fingers.  I flew through the buttons after that!

I had the guys at Lowes cut the pegboard down to size.  You get 5 free cuts.
I measured the height above the bed that we wanted and marked it.
I then glued the foam (3 yards of 2 inch foam) to the part that was marked to be above the bed.  I had to cut it to size and our Queen size bed required three pieces.  It looked a little messy but it didn't matter in the end since it was covered by fabric.

Next, I marked where the tufts would be.  I wanted a diamond shaped (not square) so I started in the middle and marked a (10 across, 10 up/down) pattern based on how far apart I wanted the tufts to be.

I then hollowed out the holes on the foam.  This picture shows a knife but I actually had the best results with needle nose pliers.

I covered the foam in fabric and loosely pinned the edges before starting in the middle.

I had a long upholstery needle but no upholstery thread so I used 6 strands of all purpose thread.  The colour doesn't matter here but I had purple left over from the curtains, which you'll see in another post.

I enlisted Corey's help for this since you really need more than one set of hands.  You feed the thread through one of your marked holes...

Thread the button on the other side and feed it back through the same hole in the pegboard.

Then you pull like the dickens while pressing on the button on the other side of the board and you staple, then pull in the opposite direction and staple again.  Do this several times before tying off the thread.  I read this method in another tutorial and thought there was probably a more effective way... but there really isn't.  Save yourself the time and do it this way... Or let me know if you do find a better way.

It's important to start in the middle and branch out.  Sorry for the dust spots on the camera - this was done during our central air installation so there was reno dust on most surfaces.

When you're finished, staple the excess fabric to the back.

We flipped the board upside down, then also tucked and glued the fabric to the pegboard underneath the foam.  this gave us some extra coverage so that no pegboard would be visible.
We did this spread over a few nights.  Once we found our groove, each tuft took about 2-3 minutes.
The result was a personal and affordable version of a beautiful trend.  We think it makes our bedroom feel much more luxurious and romantic and we both love sitting up and reading with a built-in cushion. :)
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