Our new DIY Tufted Wingback Headboard may be my all-time favorite project. I think I say that once a month, but seriously, it may take the cake for at least the next couple of months. And that is really saying something because I am still hardcore in love with Penelope, my stenciled dining room wall. And, if Penelope got a name, I think Heady should get a name. Partly because Heady is a really sucky name for something I love so much. Ooo! Oooo! Regina. Oh wait… now I’m thinking of Mean Girls. And now I’m thinking of people getting hit by buses. And failed trust falls. HA! (Back on track, Talitha!) …………… GOT IT! Arthur. Nailed it. Everyone… meet Arthur, the current inanimate love of my life. Arthur is tall, dignified, and oh so classy. He’s got a thing for buttons and gold. He has just the right bit of padding so snuggling up to him is great for both of us. He’s perfect.
The thrifty girl in me loves that all the ones I found online were around $800+ and we made ours for around $115. The DIY-er in me loves that we built it ourselves. The decorator in me loves that our room isn’t just a blank slate anymore. We are finally making progress on our master! I mean, come on, I showed you my inspiration board 6 months ago. Sheesh. The dirty girl in me likes that I can make “married people” type headboard jokes. If you get what I mean… nudge nudge, wink wink.
Anywho, let’s get on the the lotsa pictures/tutorial part of this post. Hold on, because it’s a doozy.
This was my plans for our headboard. It gives you the measurements and general appearance we were going for. We have a king-size bed so that is what these measurements are for. Of course, you can always tweak it to fit your bed.
Supplies (lengths are for king-size):
- Sheet of 1/2 inch plywood
- (2) 1×4’s in 10 foot lengths
- (1) 2×8 in 10 foot length
- (1) 1×8 in 10 foot length
- Box of 1-1/4″ screws
- (6) 2″ L-brackets
- (3) 1-1/4″ button kits (28 buttons used)
- (28) regular buttons
- Fishing line
- Long upholstery needle
- 2″ foam
- 5 yards of fabric
- 5 yards of batting
- Nail head trim
- Spray adhesive
- Staple gun and staples
Cut List (we had the wonderful employees at HD cut all of our wood down for us):
- Plywood: 43″x78″
- 1x4s: (2) 43″ pieces, (2) 71″ pieces, (1) 36″ piece
- 2x8s: (2) 60″ pieces
- 1x8s: (2) 60″ pieces
As far as adjusting measurements go, our bed frame is 72 inches wide. We wanted it to sit nuzzled in between the 2 arms of our headboard so we added an additional inch to the width of the plywood so it would accommodate the frame. Remember, measure your bed frame, not the mattress.
Lay out the plywood on a large flat surface. Attach the 1x4s around the perimeter of the plywood. We had to cut our plywood in half so we could fit it in our car to get it home. Hence the additional support piece that is in the middle. I would recommend doing this anyways because it makes your headboard more strengthy for when you lean on it. (Yes. That is totally a word.)
Flip over the plywood and make a grid to help you figure out where your buttons should go. Our plywood already had a grid but it was not accurate or helpful for the measurements we had in mind for the buttons (see original plan picture above for what measurements we went with). Once you have marked your button points, drill a hole through them.
Then have an almost epic foam fail. But then recover and save the day. Oh wait. Don’t do that. That’s what we did.
I had purchased what I thought was enough foam from a neighbor who had a bunch extra. I was ecstatic that I got it for so cheap (because foam is NOT cheap). Then I didn’t think of it again until that Saturday morning when we needed it. I laid out the piece of foam on the plywood, all excited just to realize that I was about 3 feet short. Womp wooooomp. I wanted to cry! I wanted to scream! Hissy fit! Hissy fit!! I did NOT want to go out to buy more. So I didn’t. In my stubbornness I went inside, grabbed a bread knife, and started hacking the foam in half… like a bun being cut open for a sandwich. It took a lot of strength and time, but eventually, we had plenty of 2″ foam instead of one short piece of 4″ foam. Was it ideal? Nope. But it did save me a trip to the store. See that face up there? That is my “I am so not laughing at this yet” face. Almost foam fail disaster averted.
Anywho, if you bought the correct amount of foam, just cut it up to fit the size of your headboard and use spray adhesive to adhere it. Once you have done that, push your upholstery needle through the button holes you drilled and mark on the foam where the needle comes out. You can kinda see my little X’s above.
Cut little holes where your buttons will go. This will allow you to get a nice and deep tuft. I used a knife to
stab cut little squares out of my foam. Then I ripped out the foam to create “belly buttons”. Yeah… you read that right. Now you can’t unthink it. You’re welcome.
Phew! Ok. Now time for the upholstering. Bring your headboard inside and cover it with batting. Lay your batting flat on the ground and put the headboard foam side down on top of it. Then just pull taut and staple. Do the same thing with your fabric as well. Note: I always fold my fabric over so it won’t fray and pull through the staples over time.
Once your headboard is covered with fabric, it is time for the tufting. I know tufting can be scary for some people, but I promise it is actually very very easy! But you do probably want a helper because a headboard is big and I have sort little dinosaur arms. Start by threading your upholstery needle with a long length of fishing line. Then feed a regular button onto it. Push your needle through the button hole on the back and put a homemade button on it. Push your needle back through the hole.
With your helper on the other side, have them push on the button with their thumb while you pull the thread tight on the backside. Tie a knot on the other side of your button and staple the threads in a zig-zag shape for extra security of the button. Do this for all of your buttons. Ta-Da! The not-so-hard part is done! Now on to the legs.
Start by screwing together your 1x8s and 2x8s. This will create a nice, thick, sexy leg. Yeah, that’s right. Thick and sexy. Then attach 3 L-brackets to each leg, placing them so you can screw them into the back of the headboard.
Cover your legs in batting and fabric – pull and staple, pull and staple. I really really wish I could show you how I created my clean corners, but it truly was trial and error. And a pain in my butt. Corners are hard, folks. Don’t believe those who say they are super simple. They are totally doable, but take a little finagling.
Once the legs are upholstered, flip them over and add some super pretty nailhead trim! I went the easy route and used the strips of nailhead trim instead of nailing each nailhead in individually. (Woah. I just said nail a lot and not a single time was in reference to anything dirty. Go me!) My sanity is more important than perfect nailhead trim.
When you have finished nailheading your legs (no dirty jokes. NO dirty jokes!) screw the legs onto the headboard using the L-brackets. My drill went right through the fabric and batting, but if yours binds up, cut a tiny little hole in them so the screw can go through.
Ta-DA!! I’m seriously loving Arthur right now. I can’t get over how pretty he is in his navy suiting. Me-ow. And that nailhead trim!? Come to mama!
Our bed doesn’t seem so giant now that we have Arthur to fancy it up. Please ignore my less than stellar bedding. I have yet to find exactly what I want. And just to help you all remember that my home is almost NEVER pinterest perfect, take note of the lack of bedskirt. I plan to make one soon. Oh yes, and we must address the lovely brass fan with the Miss Kitty and Mr. Dog hand painted pulls. It’s awesome…. LY HORRIBLE (you will be my best friend forever if you can name that movie reference!).
Do you name your furniture? Or am I just weird. And a little crazy?