DIY Upholstered Tufted Headboard Tutorial

While I was in Arizona, Savannah and I tackled a few projects! Of course! It’s pretty much our favorite thing to do when we are together! That and going out for sushi πŸ˜‰ One project we really wanted to get done was her youngest daughter’s bed. Her (almost) two year old little angel was done with her baby crib and needed a big girl bed! Savannah knew exactly what she wanted but she was a little nervous to tackle it herself. It was definitely a two person job but turned out to be a really fun project!

Savannah had an adorable twin bed that she found at a local thrift store for a steal. Most people would look at it and think… “great lines, cute bed, I’ll paint it and it’ll be fantastic!” well… that would be true BUT Savannah wanted to take it one step further! She wanted a white girly bed with a soft lime green upholstery and some killer cute colorful buttons! Not a tall order or anything.. πŸ˜‰
First, we made a template of where we wanted the upholstery.  We used butcher paper and taped it to the bed frame.
Then we measured and marked where we wanted the tufts and buttons to be.
Next, we drew straight lines from each point to get an idea of where the folds in the tufts would be.
Next, we removed the template from the headboard and I traced and marked the foam while Savannah painted the headboard a gorgeous creamy white!
I laid the butcher paper template on the foam (we used 2″ upholstery foam from the fabric store) and traced in with a sharpie. (Yes, a purple one!)
Then, we cut around the traced edge of the foam using a serrated knife. We also poked holes in the tuft markings.  (didn’t get a pic of this step! Sorry!)
Next, we re-taped the template to the bed, after the paint dried. Then, we drilled holes in the headboard using the template tuft markings as a guide.
Then, we made 17 fabric covered buttons for the tufting. They were so stinkin’ cute! Totally worth the sore thumbs! You can get these button kits at a fabric store. We got hers at JoAnn’s Fabrics.
Next, the upholstering began! We used spray adhesive to attach the 2″ foam piece to the headboard. Then we stapled a large piece of batting over the foam. We used a staple gun for the upholstery.
Then, we trimmed the excess batting and we used some clamps to hold the upholstery fabric in place so we could begin the tufting process.

TIP: Do you tufting before you staple. If you staple the fabric first, your tufting may look too tight. We wanted nice deep tufts so we did not want to pull the fabric tight until the very end!
We used a long upholstery needle and upholstery thread. Start from the back fo the headboard and feed your needle through to the front, through the fabric.  Attach the button and run the needle back through to the back of the headboard and staple the remaining thread securely to the back. Make sure to pull the needle really tight to get really deep tufts!
The back should look like this when you’re done with this step.
Next, we stapled the fabric to the headboard and trimmed the excess.
Lookin’ good! But we’ve got one more important step! Piping!
Finally, we started making our own piping so it would match the green fabric. We already knew how to make piping but if you need help, here is a great tutorial. Click here.
Then, hot glue your piping around the raw edges and TA-DA!!! DONE!

Here’s an up close picture of the piping and tufting…

We were so excited to tackle a project together since we haven’t been able to do that in about 6 months! BAH! Sad huh!? It couldn’t have turned out any better! We are a team and our team work always pays off! We both are in love with little Millie’s bed! Savannah is working her tail off to get the rest of Millie’s nursery turned into her big girl room! Tufted Headboard

Savannah even sewed her little girl’s bedding using an unheard of technique! I’m so anxious for her to post it! Ya’ll are going to love it! She is also making some adorable pillows to match the buttons for Millie’s bed!

Shop this project with text

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  • Reply
    December 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    So much elegance and fun. This bed is sure to make a little girl feel like a princess. So wonderful that you did it together. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  • Reply
    December 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love everything about this project – what an awesome job! And thank you for sharing the details on how to tuft, I have a tufted chair I want to redo, and I’m pretty sure I can adapt what you did and give it a go πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    December 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Gorgeous! I love the colored buttons! One question? Could you have marked the tufting on the wood and then glued the foam and and drilled through the wood and foam at the same time? Just curious! thanks!

  • Reply
    Jen Lossing, The Consigner Designer
    December 31, 2011 at 4:17 am

    This is wonderful. I just love it! It looks daunting. I am afraid to take on such a task, but you may have just inspired me! Great job!

  • Reply
    JENNY K.
    December 31, 2011 at 4:28 am

    oh wow!!! What a great project with a beautiful end result!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Curtis
    December 31, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It’s so pretty, and perfect for a little girl. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    December 31, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Beautiful project!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Super Cute! I found you guys via Pinterest and Im now following along! Happy New Year

  • Reply
    January 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Such a fun, whimsical take on tufting. You girls did an AWESOME job!

    I tackled turning a coffee table into a tufted ottoman a while back and still love it!

    Would also love it if you stopped by for a visit!

    P.S. I’m your newest follower. ; )

    ~Abbie (www.fivedaysfiveways.com)

  • Reply
    Anna @ Take the Side Street
    January 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    This is such a great whimsical headboard for a little girl! I made a tufted headboard but didn’t do the folds, and now I want to buy new fabric and “fix” it πŸ˜‰ Great job!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I love the whimsical look of the buttons. Nice job. Tufting is tricky.

  • Reply
    Kelli@Restore Interiors
    January 4, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Girls! That is AMAZING!!! You have taken the fear out of tackling a project like this right out of me. Thanks for linking it up!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2012 at 3:32 am

    This turned out beautifully! Love the fun color and the button fabric you chose. The tutorial is wonderful. I’d love for you to link this up to a party that I have going on at Project Queen.


    I’m a new follower.

  • Reply
    Shannon MadiganMade
    January 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Great tut and beautiful job! It will help make a gorgeous bed!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 2:29 am

    God, I’m dying! That is so amazing. Found you over at Power of Paint Party. Awesome, awesome, awesome.


  • Reply
    Sunny Vanilla
    January 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    This headboard turned out BEAUTIFUL! You did an awesome job with the tutorial too!

    I’ve featured you on my blog. sunnyvanilla.blogspot.com

    Happily following you πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Domestically Speaking
    January 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

    That is adorably cute! I know both of my girls would still LOVE it & they’re 9 & 6… so you’ll get a lot of life out of it. I’m featuring it in the PoPP Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Hi Mallory and Savannah, I’ll be featuring your amazing, fun headboard at Project Queen tomorrow night. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing!


  • Reply
    orange sugar
    January 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Great project…I came over from remodelaholic. I made something similar recently, feel free to check it out. http://orange-sugar.blogspot.com/2011/12/diy-nailhead-chunky-leg-bed-frame.html

  • Reply
    January 14, 2012 at 3:54 am

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Great job!!

    Stopping by from Remodelaholic’s linky party.

    I’d love for you to stop by and visit me!


  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I love this! I have had this idea too, but haven’t found a headboard yet. I am so glad to see how it well it turned out. I love the fabric and colors you picked! Soo cute, great job!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Great tutorial!

  • Reply
    Kara @ Nest Candy
    February 3, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    This project is fantastic, and the tutorial is very straight forward. I am dying to make one now.

  • Reply
    February 4, 2012 at 1:45 am

    That is adorable! Thank you for the great tutorial – I think this would be perfect in my daughter’s room!

  • Reply
    SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime
    February 4, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Love it so I pinned it πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    February 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Saw your feature over at HoH- love this headboard. The multicolored buttons make it extra special. Thanks for the tufting tutorial- will be pinning this for future reference. New follower! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog
    February 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I LOVE it. Great tutorial. Congrats on the feature at HoH!
    I’m happy to be your newest follower!

  • Reply
    Sherika Lovett Alston
    February 10, 2012 at 6:20 am

    one word…WOW!!!!

  • Reply
    mONICa and eLAINe @ Decorating Insanity
    February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    This is ah…mazing!!! The color is fantastic. If you get a chance share it over here:

  • Reply
    Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE
    May 12, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Great tutorial…
    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Gorgeous! Came over from Tatertots and Jello!

  • Reply
    Inspire Me Heather
    May 31, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Your headboard is beautiful, nice job! I have this linked to my headboards post as well today, for inspiration!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    wow.. I love how it turned out! You’ve motivated to make one too.. πŸ˜€ Thanks for linking up at friday fun party and welcome to the party πŸ™‚ I hope you will come back too! Have a great weekend..

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 2:42 am

    I was linking up to Tatertots & Jello party and your headboard caught my eye. I love it! I did the same thing to a headboard and I swear they could be twins.
    I have a pin board just for DIY headboards, going to pin yours to the list. The tutorial is fantastic! Great job girls.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Amazing! I loooove tufting. Great job!

  • Reply
    Ann @ The Scrapbooking Housewife
    September 2, 2012 at 5:50 am

    This is one of the most impressive tutorials I have seen on making a DIY tufted headboard! Your headboard is beautiful! I have this in mind for our king bed – yikes!! Will pin this for future reference!! Thanks for the great tuturial!

  • Reply
    Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    September 5, 2012 at 12:53 am

    SOOOOO fun! i love this! the color, tufting, everything!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Awesome!! you girls make it look so easy πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Katie Bunch
    September 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

    This tutorial was super helpful over the weekend, as I was working on my own tufted headboard.

  • Reply
    Barbara Hiatt
    September 11, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Love the color! Great tutorial!! Thanks for joining the party at Keep Calm and Link Up!
    Barbara at Chase the Star
    chasethestar dot net

  • Reply
    Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home
    September 14, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Just wanted to let you know we’re featuring you today @ Keep Calm & Link Up and hope you’ll stop by to link up again (and grab a featured button)! Congrats!!

  • Reply
    ~ Liz ~
    October 6, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Lucky girl! You all really outdid yourselves. This is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Ferrie
    October 8, 2012 at 2:17 am

    So cool! I’ve always wanted to attempt one but I still have to find a good place to put one!

  • Reply
    Julia Konya
    October 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Wow, how beautiful! You did an amazing job on this headboard! Love it!

    • Reply
      Julia Konya
      October 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Oh and I found you on miss mustard seed’s FFF πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Vintage Street Designs
    October 13, 2012 at 4:34 am

    WOW…you did an AMAZING job and what a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Hopped over from Furniture Feature Friday and I’m happy to be your newest follower. Would love to have you stop by for a visit. Blessings ~ Judy

  • Reply
    Megan@Just For Me...And You
    October 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    This is so cute! You did so much work and it totally paid off!!!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Great job! I’ve seen a lot of tutorials for tufted headboards around (hello, Pinterest!) but I think yours is the best, and clearest, I’ve seen this far. Thank you for sharing it!!

    I would love it if you would link up at Martha Mondays, open tonight at midnight through Wednesday night!



  • Reply
    Debi @ Adorned From Above
    December 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I love what you did with the headboard. It’s beautiful. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this with everyone. It runs from Wednesday through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above
    Marci @ Stone Mountain Cottage

  • Reply
    Michelle Smith
    March 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

    It is so luck to see the article today, great article, great author. I learn something new on different post everyday. It is always refreshing to read posts of other forums and learn something from them.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Dianne Corriere
    June 13, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Mallory and Savannah,

    I love this tufted headboard that you made. I would like to discuss with you the possibility of featuring it in an upcoming issue of my magazine.


    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      June 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Dianne!

      We just sent you an email. Thanks so much!

      Mallory & Savannah

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    Reema @ Hospital Bed
    January 25, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing the step by-step process of your project. It looks beautiful and I love the elegance of it.

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