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Thursday, February 23


For the longest time, we've been without a headboard. When we purchased our bed frame from West Elm years ago we thought we'd be fine without one. However after a while, I got tired of our pillows constantly falling behind the bed and E hitting his head against the wall every time he came to sleep with us. Plus our bed just seemed kind of bare...

I've always liked the upholstered ones and had been eyeing this one from West Elm.  However, at the cost of over $500 it was more than we'd like to spend.

So after doing some research and seeing some amazing DIY results in various blogs, I convinced my husband to let me make one too. Here's the tutorial that I used as a guide.

8 hours later over a period of 3 days... Here's our newest addition! :D

For the frame, I went to Lowe's and bought a sheet of 5/32" x 4' x 8' plywood and had them cut it down to match the dimensions of our queen bed.  The width of our bed frame is 62’’ and we wanted a slightly elevated headboard. We were deciding on a final height between 48’’ and 52’’; we settled on 50’’.  The board was cut to the dimensions of 62" x 35" (the remainder of the height was added on by the legs which I will discuss later).  

Next, we decided on the type of tufted pattern we wanted to use. Diamond-tufted headboards are extremely popular, however we preferred the grid-tufted headboards like the one from West Elm. I then marked the board with where the holes would be drilled.

Instead of hanging our headboard to the wall, we decided to attach legs to the board to make it easier to move around. I bought four 3" fence rails that were 2 x 3 x 8 and had them cut to the height of our headboard, 50 inches long. The leftover pieces were cut to fit in between the legs for a more consistent look. We drilled all the pieces straight onto the board.

*note: our middle leg had to be placed off-centered due to the grid pattern we drew.

Here's how it looked on the back.

Next, I laid the foam underneath the frame to mark the location of the holes on the foam.  I will be removing the foam where the buttons go to help with the tufting. This is a tip I got from Little Green Notebook to help make deep tufts. Since I didn't have a pen with a point long enough to go through the frame, I used skewers that had been dipped in paint. It worked perfectly!  

I used a paring knife to cut the holes in the foam and then twisted them out with my fingers.

I then wrapped batting around the foam to secure it tightly to the board and legs with a staple gun.

I attached the fabric as well with a staple gun. It's important to pull the fabric tight around the edges to ensure a smooth result.

Now we get to the tufting. To be honest, this was the most difficult and time consuming part of the whole project for me. To make the covered buttons I bought a metal kit from Joann's.

The directions looked simple. Wrap my fabric around the tops, then snap on the backing plate. However, these directions seemed to be more suited towards lighter thick upholstery fabric made it nearly impossible.

After 30 minutes of utter frustration, I decided to use these pliers that I had lying on my desk. Success! I simply wrapped my fabric around the top without having to tuck it all neatly into the teeth, pushed the back plate on, then pushed them together with the pliers. They snapped together with a satisfying *click*.

Aren't they just beautiful?? ;) After making twenty of these, I double threaded an upholstery needle with upholstery grade thread and pushed it through the pre-drilled hole, the foam and fabric, and then slipped on one of these buttons. Then I pushed the needle back down into the fabric and all the way out the back.  

Pushing the button as far down as I could with one hand and pulling the thread tight on the other side of the board with the other hand, I then let go of the button and quickly stapled the thread to the board. I put a bunch of staples into the board in a criss-cross fashion to tightly secure the thread to the board. I tied a triple knot at the last staple.

The tighter the tension of the string, the deeper your tufts will be. I must warn you though, your fingers will already be throbbing from the staple gun by this point and will be even worse after this process is over so please do it in parts. I was too excited and tried to finish it all in one night. I woke up with extremely sore fingers o.O...

Finally, I wrapped the legs and tightly secured the fabrics onto the wood with a staple gun.  

Here's how the headboard looks on its side. I love how nicely it sits against the mattress.

Here's the breakdown of the costs:

Joann's Fabric
2" Foam ~$ 40.89 (50% off sale)
Quilter's Batting - already had
Doll soft sculpture needle ~ $2.49
4 - 5 pack 5/8 button cover ~ $11.96
upholstery thread ~$2.49
3 yards fabric - $18 (red tag sale)

5/32" x 4' x 8' 3 Ply sheet ~ $14.87
4 - 3" fence rails 2x3x8 ~ 8.84
Nails 1-5/8" ~ $4.58

For a total of $104.12, I pretty much adore our new headboard! What a great change it makes to the room! :)


  1. Wow, Weiya! The pictures look really good! I still cannot believe you made one yourself! Great great job!!!!! Now, maybe you can make one for us! :P

    1. Thanks, Joyce! Ummm... I can help ;) My fingers are still sore o.O!

  2. You totally rock! That headboard looks amazing!

  3. This looks amazing-what a great tutorial!! Following you from TDC-stop by for a visit!

  4. I absolutely love this! So much that I featured it today at Southern Lovely. Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  5. Weiya!!! This is beautiful!!! My daughter has been without a headboard... and a bed for one whole year!! I'm going to try this!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!!

    1. Thanks!!! It took forever, but it was so worth it! :D Do share yours too when you're done... can't wait to see it!

      Btw, I read somewhere that buying a foam mattress pad for camping is cheaper than buying it from the fabric/craft store. Just an FYI! :)

  6. Wow, came out great!!

  7. Great Job! We also designed our own west elm headboard knock off.
    :) Jessica

  8. You really did a beautiful job on your headboard!

  9. Great job, Weiya! I know you must be thrilled with the results of all your hard work.

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. I hope you'll join the fun each week.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  10. Amazing! Makes me wish we didn't already have a headboard so I could justify making this one. Thanks for sharing at A Humble Creation!


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