Wednesday, February 02, 2011

As if I Didn't Have Enough to Do

Saturday Julie tweeted that she was going to make a tufted headboard. I've been wanting to make one for awhile now. I had even priced it and picked out fabric. Then I never got around to it. Come on - it took us 6 months to finish one of two bathrooms. We go big in a day or two or go home around here.

There are some great tutorials out there on how to do your own headboard. Here are a few that I consulted:

Centsational Girl
Project Pretty
Apartment Therapy

First we measured to find out how big of a headboard we wanted. We have a king sized bed and our dimensions came out to 78x48. Then we measured the car and decided we'd have to change the dimensions to 78x44 because that's what would fit in the car. Our top mattress is 8 inches so making it to where just 4 inches instead of 8 hung past the mattress wasn't a big deal.

We bought plywood at Home Depot and had them cut it to the dimensions that we needed. We also bought D-Rings so that we could hang it.

Then I went out to buy all the other supplies that I needed - foam, batting, fabric, buttons, and wire to secure the buttons.

I got home and John and I found the studs and put in screws.


John drilled the holes for the D-Rings and the buttons. I decided to do 16 buttons in 3 rows. 5, 6 and 5. The first row is 7 inches from the top and the rows are 7 inches from eachother. There is 13 inches between each button. The top and bottom rows are 13 inches from the edges of the headboard. The middle row is 6.5 inches from the edge, then 13 inches apart and the 6th button is 6.5 inches from the other edge.


I ironed the fabric. I had trouble getting all the wrinkles out so I also hung the fabric from the curtain rings and steamed it.


Then I went out to put the foam on. I used spray adhesive to attach the foam to the plywood.


I straightened the fabric and placed the batting over it.


Then we laid the plywood foam side down and stapled the fabric and batting to the back of the board. Sorry, no pictures of this process, but you can see the back below.

Then came the buttons.


My fabric was not very thick and so it was really easy to make the buttons. (Aside from my crappy circle cutting that luckily gets hidden when you tuck the fabric in) My problem came in "sewing" them on. I used floral wire to attach the buttons. I'm just bad at any type of sewing so getting the needle and wire back through the hole wasn't easy for me. Then (what I eventually found was the easiest way to do it) push the button into the foam, staple the wire to the plywood and hammer the staples into the back of the board so they stay nice and tight. Plus if your buttons aren't the sturdiest like mine you won't break any of them trying to pull them tight (I broke two). Pushing them in and then securing them will give you the look you want.

Here's the finished product:




Here are my addtional tips/problems I ran into and a cost breakdown.

Plywood (HD) - $14.97
D-Rings (HD) - $7.96
3 yards of Fabric (Jo-Ann from the sale bin) - $21.00
Floral Wire (Jo-Ann) - $1.99
Foam (Walmart, rolls of 72x24x1. I bought 2, meant to get 4) - $31.94
Batting (Walmart, I forget the size, something like 90x60)- $8.47
Buttons (Walmart, metal fabric buttons, 4 in a pack, bought 5 packs) - $7.85

Total cost - $94.18 plus tax

My original fabric choice was an upholstery fabric. It was a faux suede looking one and very dark so I decided against it. Now I didn't take time to really price shop aside from what I had done the first time around several months ago. So I may have been able to find a few more deals than what I did. I found linen fabric on sale and bought 3 yards (which is more than plenty for 78 inch headboard). Because it was on sale I couldn't use a coupon. No big deal. I could have used it on the floral wire and saved a $1 but I didn't.

The problem with other fabrics is that they are not as tall as upholstery fabrics. Mine came out to 48 inches so it would work for my 44 inch headboard. Most others are shorter than that so keep that in mind.

Again, because I was doing this in one day I didn't bring a sample home. In store it was a more of a greyish color which is what I was looking for. At home it's much more taupe, but I still like how it looks.

I also bought linen fabric, which I knew would be a pain in the butt to iron. I have a steamer so it wasn't a big deal for me to get all the wrinkles out.

I had originally planned on having two inches of foam. Somehow I got my math screwed up and didn't buy enough foam to double it up. I didn't feel like going back to the store and just went with one. I still like how it looks.

Plus I'm not sure if I would have had quite enough fabric to get it to really look how I wanted with 2 inches of foam. I also don't think the cheapy metal buttons I bought would have been able to hold up being pulled tight with two inches of foam.

The only other thing I wish I'd have paid attention to is which was the top when I was putting the foam on. Again, I'm a crappy crafts person when it comes to measuring and cutting so the pieces that I cut ended up on the top. The top isn't quite as neat as I'd like it and required some additional stapling and tightening to get it to look right.

So just my lessons learned and tips for you. Overall I'm really happy with the look and am enjoying during my "bed rest" this week.


  1. You did an awesome job - love it!

  2. It looks great!

    Maybe one of these days I'll take the time to do it. We all know how big of a procrasinator I am.

    Really, you did an amazing job. You transformed your bed for cheap. We all love to save money. :-)

  3. Looks fab! You should be on TLC to do it.

  4. Looks great! I am bound and determined to build a headboard soon!


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