After unsuccessfully searching the world for a velvet headboard in the PERFECT shade of peacock, my husband and I decided to try making our own. What followed was an insane amount of blood, sweat, tears and tufting, but the final result was worth all the nervous breakdowns.
How We DIYed Our Velvet Diamond-Tufted Headboard
The first step was to plan out the shape and style. We knew we wanted a simple rectangle with tight diamonds, so we found a few photos of headboards we liked online and counted how many rows of buttons were used. Our king-sized headboard is 77.5" wide and 26" tall, and we used 62 buttons(!) total, with 13 across the longest rows. To account for the fabric being pushed down into the tufts, we added 6" per button to the fabric length. We also needed at least 6" on either end to wrap around the frame, plus enough extra fabric to make our buttons. We ended up buying five yards of velvet, but we may have been fine with four. We had a lot left over! I made the buttons in advance, and oof, did they take a long time. Because we bought heavyweight upholstery fabric, I couldn't use a button-making kit like a regular person, and I REALLY didn't want them to come apart once they were in the headboard. So, I came up with a method that included hand-stitching a little pouch to tighten around each button and gluing the button inside.
It took forever, but it worked!
In the meantime, we cut a piece of pegboard to the desired size of our headboard. We marked where each tuft would go, then used that as a template to mark our foam.
Once the foam was marked, I used a paring knife to cut a cylinder out in each tufting spot.
While I was working on the foam, my husband was building a wood frame. Most people mount DIY headboards onto the wall, but we're blessed with some awkwardly-placed windows, so our frame had legs. We stained the legs to match our bed, then screwed the pegboard to the front. Here's a few from the back of the frame:
The cut foam was glued down onto the pegboard with spray adhesive, then we wrapped the whole thing in batting, stapled around the edges and poked holes for the tufts.
After that, it was finally time to tuft! This is one of the most exciting parts, but also the most difficult. If you ever decide to try it, take your time and grab a buddy. This is a two-person job. To create the tufts, we threaded a 6-inch decorator needle with an arm-length of waxed button thread. We fed the needle through the pegboard on the bottom, then up through the foam and the fabric. When the needle came out the top, we threaded the button, then pushed the needle back down through everything to come out underneath the pegboard again. Then, we stapled the thread to the pegboard to keep it securely in place. The folds kind of create themselves, but I found that it helped to pre-fold them before creating each tuft so that the fabric would stay neat.
When we were done, the front looked like this:
And the back of each tuft looked like this:
When we finally finished all 62 tufts, we wrapped the fabric around the back, stapled it down and trimmed off the extra.
After that, all that remained was to bring the headboard upstairs and bask in its beauty. We plan to attach the legs to our bed frame with carriage bolts eventually, but for now, it's staying in place pretty well on its own.
Our cat, Josie, is not all that impressed. She has terrible taste in furniture, though.
Considering all the time and money we spent on this headboard, we probably could have saved ourselves the effort and bought one pre-made. But we're DIY junkies (and masochists), so we enjoyed the pain and struggle, and plus, it's EXACTLY what we wanted. The perfect headboard AND a rewarding experience? Can't beat that, my friends.
Resources for this project:See all materials
Angie on Jul 25, 2020
I just made one for a queensized bed and followed your instructions EXCEPT I bought decorative shank buttons so I wouldn’t have to cover buttons. I had trouble selecting my favorite buttons because there were so many to choose from! I settled on metal ones with a swirl design.
People, don’t be afraid of this project! Plenty of help along the way on blogs like this.