Tufting a Headboard the Easy Way

4 Materials
Tufted headboards are super trendy right now, but getting perfect, even tufts can be difficult. I came up with a "cheater" way to get quick and easy tufts, with no strings or sore fingers.
First, you want to start a plywood base for the headboard. Simply put, you need to find a piece of plywood or OSB, and cut it to the shape and size you want. Once you have your plywood cut and shaped. Attach upholstery foam, using spray adhesive and trim off excess.
The next step is to drape a layer of batting over the foam, followed by your choice of fabric. I recommend a heavy-weight upholstery fabric, particularly one that will not fray easily. Give yourself several inches of extra fabric around the perimeter. You will need extra length for the tufts, as well as wrapping the sides of the headboard.
Using a pencil, lightly mark where you want your tufts to go. Now, here's the trick; for every tuft, you will need a heavy-duty wood screw and a small washer. Your screws should be the same length as your plywood is thick (ex. 5/8", 3/4"). I would recommend using plywood or OSB at least 5/8" thick.
Start in the center of the headboard. Stick the screw through the washer, and line it up with one of your pencil marks. Push the screw all the way through the fabric, batting, and foam. Slowly, but with heavy pressure, start to drive the screw into the plywood.
Repeat the process on all your pencil marks, working your way to the outside edge.
Once you have all your tufts tightened down evenly, finish upholstering the headboard by wrapping the fabric around the backside of the plywood and securing it tightly with staples.
Cover buttons with coordinating fabric, and cover each screw using fabric safe glue. Allow to dry overnight and you're done! You can hang the headboard on the wall, or attach legs to support it.

Pneumatic Addict
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  3 questions
  • Camille Camille on Mar 22, 2018

    This is a great project! Thank you for sharing! How did you attach the outer frame around the tuftted headboard? And the tanks also. Thanks!

  • Zane Zane on Jul 15, 2018

    Does the screws stick out the back? Any fabric to avoid?

  • Bryan Statter Bryan Statter on Feb 09, 2020

    how do you cover the screw heads


Join the conversation

2 of 34 comments