How to Tuft an Existing Headboard


Sometimes the headboard included with a bed frame does not fit with the homeowner's aesthetic. Luckily, a headboard makeover is not a difficult process and can be completed in a single afternoon. This project works best on a headboard that has a fairly smooth design, without a lot of carvings or ornate details. A smooth headboard is ideal because the headboard will be covered with fabric, which does not cover as neatly over ornate headboards. The headboard can be tufted using covered buttons to create a gathered and fluffy look.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Drill with small bit
  • 2-inch-think upholstery foam
  • Craft knife
  • Spray adhesive
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Upholstery needle
  • Upholstery thread
  • Covered buttons
  • Measure the height and width of the headboard. Take those measurements to the store to purchase the remaining supplies. Purchase a sheet of foam large enough to cover the headboard. Purchase enough fabric and batting to cover the headboard; add several additional inches in each direction so that the fabric is long enough to wrap around to the back of the headboard.

  • Draw out where the tufting buttons will be located on the existing headboard. Mark each spot with a marker.

  • Drill a small pilot hole through each of the spots marked in Step 2. Use a drill roughly the same size as the upholstery needle.

  • Use a craft knife to cut the upholstery foam to so that it covers the front of the headboard.

  • Spray adhesive over the front of the headboard. Set the foam in place and push down lightly to help it adhere to the face of the headboard.

  • Place the fabric right-side down on the floor. Place the batting right-side down on top of the fabric.

  • Place the foam-covered headboard face down on top of the batting and fabric. Wrap the fabric around to the back side of the headboard. Ensure there are no wrinkles on the front side of the headboard.

  • Staple the fabric at the top of the headboard, on the rear side. Pull taut and staple at the bottom. Repeat on the sides, pulling the fabric taut and stapling on the back side of the headboard.

  • Stand the headboard upright. It may be necessary to have a friend steady the headboard for you while you complete the tufting process.

  • Thread an upholstery needle with a doubled length of upholstery thread. Stick the needle through the back of one of the holes you drilled in Step 3.

  • Hold a button lined up with the hole on the front side of the headboard. Catch the back of the button with the needle and pull it tight, flush with the fabric. Smooth the fabric around the edges of the button. Tie a knot in the thread on the backside of the headboard to secure it. Repeat for all the buttons.

Tips & Warnings

  • Covered buttons with metal hooks or loops on the back work best for this process. This project can also be done using a sheet of plywood rather than an existing headboard.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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