DIY Tufted Headboard

21 Nov

I know, it was pretty sad and institutional.

Although I am far from finishing decorating my bedroom, I am very proud of one of my first major DIY attempts at making stuff.  I knew I wanted a tufted headboard, so I looked all over the internet looking for inspiration.

Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.headboardsinc.com/p/skyline-furniture-arch-tufted-headboard-in-velvet-white-headboard

http://images.urbanoutfitters.com/is/image/UrbanOutfitters/15419443_07_b?$detailmain$

I began by drawing a template of what I wanted the headboard to look like.  Since I did not have a huge piece of paper available, I drew half of the template.  I used different sized circle objects to achieve the curving lines I wanted.  I was a bad blogger and did not take pictures of this part of the process, but my template looked something like this:

After I was satisfied with my template, I traced my template on a piece of plywood.  Since it was half a template, I simply flipped it around and traced around the other side to get the other half done.

Once I was done tracing my template, I had my friend jigsaw cut it out for me.  This part was probably the most difficult part of the project because the curves were hard to perfectly round off.  I had him router the edges of the headboard to achieve a smoother rounded edge.  If you are not good with power tools or do not own any, this would be a good part of the project to outsource to a handy friend.

After I was satisfied that the shape was what I wanted it to be, I began the upholstering part of the project.  I was trying to do this project for as little money as I could, so instead of using the thick foam you find at Jo-Ann’s or other fabric stores (which costs about $25/yd with a coupon!)  I decided to improvise and buy two mattress toppers at Wal-Mart instead.  They were about $10 each, and depending on the thickness of the padding you desire, you could probably get away with buying one.  (They have apparently doubled in price since I did this.)  I wanted a really plush look and feel, so I went with two.

I also had some spray glue on hand and used this to attach both foam toppers to the plywood.  I probably didn’t follow directions like I should have, because the second foam topper did not want to stay glued to the first foam topper.  I improvised again and used a staple gun to attach the foam to the plywood.  I did this because once the foam is attached to the plywood, you will need to cut around the shape of  your form.  If you have an electric knife hanging around, this part of the project will be much easier to do.  This is how they cut the foam at Jo-Ann’s, and it looks pretty easy to do.   I had to do it with a serrated knife.  It was easy enough, but did take much longer than an electric carving knife.

Once I was done cutting the foam, I removed all the staples that were holding the foam in place.  I did not want the foam looking lumpy or uneven at the edges where the staples were holding down the foam.  After I removed all the staples (use the bare minimum to hold your foam in place unless you want to spend a lot of time removing staples), I wrapped the whole thing (foam and plywood) with some quilt batting.  I think the bag of it was about $10 at Wal-Mart as well.  You want to wrap your foam tightly with the batting, because this will be what the headboard’s surface ultimately looks like.  Once I was done with this step, I laid my fabric out on the floor, wrong side face up, and set my headboard (foam side down) on top of the fabric.

I cut around my headboard’s shape and left about six inches of excess fabric around the shape.  It was then time for the fun part!  Not.  I had a hard time getting the fabric to lay perfectly flat against the curves of the headboard.  Now, this was more due to my inexperience upholstering stuff.  I did my best to staple the fabric as flat as I could around the headboard but I was very dissatisfied with the results.

I did what I do best, and googled my way to a solution!  I found various websites and YouTube videos that led me to the realization that if  you cut tiny triangles into the edge of your fabric, it will be possible to staple the fabric flat to the edge of your headboard!!

Word of advice:  don’t cut the triangles to close to the edge of your headboard.  It will make it very difficult to grasp the piece of fabric to staple down.  I feared for my tiny little fingers during several attempts to hold on to and staple down tiny pieces of fabric because I cut too close to the edge.

I was finally satisfied with the flatness and tautness of my fabric so it was tufting time!  I had my friend help me with this part of the process because I wanted a deep, pronounced tuft.  You need to pull the string really, really, really tight in order to get a deep tuft.    Here is a tutorial on how to tuft:

Oh yeah, if you want your buttons to match the fabric on your headboard, you need to buy a button covering kit.  I think it would look really cool to have a contrasting color fabric to use on the buttons too.  Maybe on my next headboard.

Ta-da!

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