diy tufted upholstered headboard

I finally have an adult bed, defined as such because it has a headboard. I think the last time I had a headboard was when my parents got a new queen-sized bed, and my sister and I briefly had their old full-sized frame. I also had an apartment in college with the closet door detached from the broken track and attractively propped against the wall. I situated it at the head of my bed as a headboard. It was quite glamorous.

There are so many fantastic headboards filling my "bedroom" Pinterest board, but I particularly like upholstered headboards for their functionality. It's much more enjoyable to lean against something cushioned while reading before bed than some sort of decoration. Having a bulletin board hanging above my bed for the majority of my youth, I've experienced plenty of thumbtacks to the back of the head. I was ready for something soft and luxurious.

It's time for a confession. I'm not a fan of Martha Stewart. I'm more into Nate Berkus, Genevieve Gorder, Kim Myles, and David Bromstad. When I was home for college breaks, I watched Kathie Lee and Hoda on the 14th hour of the Today Show. Martha Stewart comes on right after that, and if I didn't promptly turn off the TV, her show became background noise while I knit. One day, I saw her headboard craft, and I actually liked it. Fast forwarding a couple of years to now, I finally have a grown-up home with room for a grown-up headboard. I used my vague memory of the TV segment to help me design my own.

What you'll need:

4' x 8' sheet of 1/2" OSB - Have the hardware store cut this into your desired headboard size. My headboard is 4' x 5' leaving a leftover piece 4' x 3'.

5 tie plates - I no longer drive daddy's pick-up truck, and I don't have a mommy-van. Thus, the OSB would not fit in the car unless I had the hardware store cut it into 3 pieces. I used the tie-plates to reassemble 2 of the pieces into my headboard.

3/8" long screws - Make sure the diameter will fit your tie plates and picture hanging kit (see below).

Tape measure

Screw gun with drill bits

Scrap wood - To keep from drilling into your work surface.

Circle punch and scrap paper (optional)

Upholstery or other heavy fabric - I used 2 yards of a 54" wide faux leather upholstery fabric.

High-loft batting - Mine was 1/4-3/8" thick and 81" x 96" (full-sized). If I did it again, I would go even thicker. The twin-sized batting was too small, so I went bigger and doubled it over for extra thickness.

Heavy-duty staple gun with staples

Button kit with shank backs for making your own buttons - I got the largest diameter available.

Thinner fabric that coordinates with upholstery fabric - The upholstery fabric is too thick to be used with the button kit. I used faux leather that I had leftover from another project.

Heavy-duty needle and thread

Stud finder (optional)

2-3" long screws - For mounting the headboard into studs.

Picture hanging kit - The screws included were too long, so I bought extra 3/8" long screws.

A helper - This project requires a lot of teamwork.

I spent roughly $13 on the OSB, $10 on hardware, $70 on fabric (after my 40% coupon), $12 on batting (on sale), $15 on button kits (after my 50% off coupon for one of the kits) for a total of $120. I thought I had a 50% off coupon for the fabric, but I was checking out before I realized that it wasn't valid until the following week. Bummer.

Determine some dimensions.

Step 1: Determine the size of your headboard. Keep in mind the following constraints: OSB is sold in sheets 4' x 8', upholstery fabric is sold in bolts 54" wide, and your height when sitting in bed. I made my headboard 5' wide (queen-sized) and 4' tall. I made it somewhat excessively tall, so that I could mount it at a vast variety of heights. It's mounted at about 2.5' tall right now.

Reassemble the OSB.

Step 2: Orient your OSB pieces so that the nicer, smoother sides are facing up and the matching edges are together.

Step 3: Find and mark the center of the cut. Center one of your tie plates, and mark the holes on one half of the plate.

Step 4: Repeat with two more tie plates, placing them 8" (centered) from each end.

Step 5: Drill pilot holes at the marked locations. You only need to drill the holes halfway through, but it's not a big deal if you drill all the way through by accident.

Step 6: Screw the tie plates to the OSB.

Step 7: Have someone help you push the two halves of OSB firmly together. Drill pilot holes for the other half of the tie plates.

Step 8: Finish screwing the tie plates to the OSB.

Step 9: Flip over the OSB. Repeat the process on the other side placing the remaining two tie plates at equal one-third intervals.

Pandora inspects my work.

Drill holes for the buttons.

Step 10: Determine where you want to place your buttons. To help me visualize, I used a circle hole punch to create a bunch of circles. My buttons are on a 12" x 12" grid (5 columns wide by 4 rows tall) with a 6" margin on all sides. Two rows have 5 buttons placed perfectly on this grid. The two alternating rows have 4 offset buttons.

Step 11: Measure and mark your button placement.

Step 12: Using a drill bit roughly 1/4" in diameter, drill holes at the marked locations.

Upholster the headboard.

Step 13: Trim the batting to fit the headboard. I doubled the batting, using the excess to fill in the missing area. The batting clings to the OSB, so you don't have to worry about separate pieces shifting.

Step 14: Layer the fabric, batting, and OSB, so that the fabric is right-side down and the smother side of the OSB is on top.

Step 15: Starting at the center of one edge, fold over the batting and fabric, and staple it to the back side of the OSB. Continue working towards each end, stapling every 4-6". I usually hold the fabric in place while my husband staples it.

Step 16: Staple the corners as shown: fold the point of the corner into the center, then fold over the sides.

Step 17: Flip over the headboard to the front side, and smooth out the batting and fabric.

Step 18: Flip the headboard over to the back side or lean the headboard against a wall with the back facing out. Starting at the center of the opposite side, fold the fabric and batting over, and firmly pull it tight. Staple it to the back of the OSB. Continue working towards each end, pulling the fabric tight and stapling every 4-6". I did this step upright, because it helped keep the fabric smooth and taught. Lay the headboard flat once again.

Step 19: Staple the other two sides of the headboard in a similar fashion.

Step 20: Trim and staple pieces of extra batting over the tie plate, so that the sharp edges don't scratch the wall.

Step 21: Go back around the sides of the headboard, and staple down the edges of the fabric. Not only does this keep the edges flat, but it also fills in any areas with larger gaps between staples.

Attach the buttons.

Step 22: Make the buttons according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the shank backs. I found that using a spatula to distribute the pressure makes the pushing easier.

Step 23: Thread the needle. Knotting the end is not necessary.

Step 24: From the back, push the needle through one of the drilled holes to the front.

Step 25: Thread the needle through the button shank.

Step 26: Push the needle back through the drilled hole to the back.

Step 27: Take the thread (there should be four strands), and pull it tight. Staple it to the OSB. Make sure you get a good staple that holds the thread tight against the OSB.

Step 28: Pull the thread in the opposite direction, and staple it again. If one of the staples loosens, the thread will still be held tight by the other staple.
Step 29: Repeat with the remaining buttons.

Hang the headboard.

Step 30: Find and mark the studs across the width of your bed. Mine are 16" on center.

Step 31: Determine the placement of your headboard. Pick a landmark on your headboard, like halfway between the first two rows of buttons, and measure this height from the floor.

Step 32: At the center of the two outermost studs, mark the measured height on the wall.

Step 33: Double check all of your measurements and markings.

Step 34: Screw the screws into the wall at your marked studs

Step 35: On the back of your headboard, mark the height of the screws at your landmark location. Mine was halfway between the first two rows of buttons.

Step 36: Measure how far from the edge of the bed one of the screws is located. Mark this measurement on the back of your headboard.

Step 37: Measure how far apart your two screws are on the wall. Mark the second screw location on the back of your headboard based on this measurement. Double check this by measuring how far the second screw is from the edge of the bed.

Step 38: Double check all of your measurements and markings.

Step 39: Screw the hangers to the back of the headboard at the marked locations. I did not drill pilot holes, because I didn't want to risk accidentally drilling all the way through the upholstery.

Step 40: Hang your headboard.

Step 41: Admire your work!

Do you like this project? Consider pinning it, subscribing to me, or checking out my other projects. For a complete list of all blogs I link up with, see my link party page.

I'm linking up with:
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill | CraftOManiac Monday @ CraftOManiac | Made by you Monday @ Skip To My Lou | Time to Shine Party @ A Diamond in the Stuff | Lil' Luna Link Party @ Lil' Luna | Share It Link Party @  The Winthrop Chronicles | Uncommonly Yours @ Uncommon | Party Time @ The 36th Avenue | Keep Calm and Link Up @ Becoming Martha & Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home & Chase the Star | Pretty Things Thursday @ Scissors & Spatulas & Johnny in a Dress | Flaunt It Friday @ Blissful Bucket List | Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest | Weekend Wrap Up Party @ Tatertots & Jello | Spotlight Saturday @ Classy Clutter | The Saturday 7 @ Positively Splendid | Strut Your Stuff Saturday @ Six Sisters' Stuff | Sundae Scoop Link Party @ I Heart Nap Time

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  1. Wow, beautiful job! Thanks for stopping by our Pretty Things Party. Hope to see you back next week!

  2. Awesome! I need one of these! I have to save this so that when I get around to it, I can do it :) Thanks for joining us at the Keep Calm & Link Up party this week - see you again soon for the next one!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I've been saving this idea for a couple of years; college apartments are a bummer for interior design hobbyists.

  3. Great job on the headboard!


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