DIY Project – Diamond Tufted Upholstered Headboard

When I was refurnishing my bedroom, I knew I wanted a full size bed with under-bed storage and a upholstered headboard. Unfortunately, after searching high and low, I realize those 3 things apparently do NOT exist together. There are many queen/king size beds like that, but not in a full size. So I decided to put together my own bed just the way I want it. I bought the Ikea Mandal bed frame which comes with 4 drawers. The only thing that is missing is the headboard which I was inspired to DIY myself after seeing the loads of DIY tutorials online. This project took me almost a year to finally accomplish and now it’s done! My very first attempt to the popular DIY diamond tufted upholstered headboard!

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Finished Diamond Tufted Headboard

There are so many tutorials out there on the web, but I thought I’d share my two cents here and some tips  and lessons that I learned from other tutorials.

Materials Used

  1. 3 inch convoluted mattress foam topper (mattress topper is cheaper than 3 inch whole foam, I would advise not to use a 3 inch mattress topper but instead use 2 1.5 inch toppers just so it’ll be more even around the corners.)
  2. Pegboard (Home Depot sells them 4’x8′, so you can have them cut it to size you want. I had it cut big enough to reach the floor so that it would sit right behind my mattress and bed.)
  3. Hi loft batting (I used a full size quilt one for extra cushion)
  4. Fabric enough to cover your board and at least a few inches extra on all sides. (I used linen curtains because I couldn’t find it in the same color I wanted. And the linen was a good sparse knit that allowed the needle to go through easily.)
  5. Button making kits (I have 16 7/8″ buttons on my board)
  6. Doll/upholstery needles (make sure they’re long enough to go through the foam)
  7. Waxed thread
  8. Light duty stapler (this was the one I got, it was good enough for the pegboard)

Here are my step by step for this project:

Figure out where you want your tufts and how big you want it to be and start marking it on your pegboard. Pegboards are good to use because each hole is already 1 inch apart and you don’t have to worry about drilling anything. Make sure you keep the corkboard side as the BACK of your headboard! It’s much easier to staple later on. My tufts were all 7 inches apart. The size of the foam and bed just came out evenly that way.

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Aligned the flat side of the foam underneath the marked pegboard and start marking on the foam with a Sharpie so you know where the buttons will go on your foam.

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Now you cut out holes into the foam. Each hole diameter should be slightly bigger than your buttons for deeper tufts. If the holes aren’t big enough, your buttons will just look like it was glued onto the fabric.

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After all the holes are cut out, it’s time to wrap the batting around the foam. Unlike other tutorials, I didn’t want to use any spray adhesive so the batting and buttons will be what’s going to hold my foam in place against the board. I laid down the batting first and then my fabric curtains over it. Make sure to smooth out all the creases. Another tip, iron your fabric to remove any wrinkles that might get in the way of your tufts.

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Now’s the time to make those buttons! The button making kit comes with easy instructions. Note, there’s a pattern on the package so you can use it to cut out perfect spheres fit for the buttons! I failed to notice this and actually measured out a pattern to use. =(

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After all that preparation (it took me a little over an hour because I wasn’t sure what/where to start), the real hard work begins. Tufting took the most time, and it’ll take even longer if you have more buttons (heh, might be why I went from the original 22 buttons down to 16). You want to start from the middle of the headboard for even tufts. I started on the middle of the top row and worked my way downward in a triangle shape. Those diamond tufts will automatically appear once you work in that direction.

To ensure even depths for each button, I measured 30 inch threads through the needle (15 in long double threaded). After looping through each button twice, from the back of the pegboard through the foam, batting and fabric, I pulled down the button to make sure I have 11 inches of the doubly thread and marked it. When I staple the thread to hold it in place, each button will have the same depths.

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Flipping the pegboard over, I pulled onto the thread until I see that 4 inch mark and I put the first staple down. I staple down the rest of the thread in a triangular shape to hold down it in place. I also make a mark on the last staple part of the thread just to make sure there’s no shifting  or loose staple by the end of the project and knotted each end against the last staple.

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And now just repeat until every button is in! After that’s done, you just need to staple everything from fabric to batting down to the board.

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And here’s the final product again! This entire project took me about 8 hours (with a lot of indecisive and “I don’t know what I’m doing” remarks in between) to finish and that was with the help of my boyfriend. Definitely do-able as a 1 person job, but much easier with someone else’s help.

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I’m very proud of the finish product and it’s exactly the way I wanted it to be. I’m tempted to do more DIY crafty projects in the future. Did this inspire any of you to try?

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