Friday, March 30, 2012

White, Leather, Tufted, Headboard

I FINALLY completed my headboard. I'm so proud.  It really completes the room.  I have to let you all in on a secret, it has taken me over ten months to get this headboard done.  Yes, ten months.  I wrote yesterday's post about the template over ten month ago (in July) and am just now finishing this project.  Although it took a long time, it was well worth it.

I used the same material as the chair I recovered here,and decided to add tufting and all that.

I just love it.

Here is a proper before and after, so you have the whole picture.



I moved around some stuff, as you can see.  I put the dresser from my bedroom into this room, and moved the chair (now reupholstered) to the dormer window.

I took a million pictures so let me show off a little.

Now let me tell you how I did it.  Yesterday, I revealed how I made the template here, so you can read about that but now is the fun part.  How I actually made the headboard.

I have to start by saying that once I had the template, I took it to my father-in-law's house and asked him to cut out the shape.  He is a whiz at that kind of thing, so I let him do the hard work.  Part of why it took so long to get this done was that I live three hours away from my in-laws, and it look a while for the headboard to make it back (It did not fit in our car, so the in-laws had to bring it over at Thanksgiving with their van.).  Then it took me forever to get the buttons done (more on that later).

Here is the headboard before I had the chance to upholster it.

(Sorry about the quality of this photo)
We cut the frame out of a hard compressed cardboard, it was easier than wood and turned out just as good (ha! I'm a poet).

For padding, I used a large sheet of egg crate like foam (that is the technical term, lol).  It was a lot cheaper than real foam, and after the next step just as good.  I attached it with spray glue.

I covered the padding in batting (ha, rhyming again, sheesh) and the egg crate stuff was covered.  You would never know I went the cheap way.

I folded the batting over the back and stappled it with my handy dandy staple gun (I had to get a smaller one because the big man one was too hard to use.).

Then I cut off the excess.  See, all nice and neat now.

Now for the hard part: adding the "leather" (it was fake leather) and tufts.

First, I took a espresso break.

Ok, back to work:

I lay out the leather over the headboard, and marked with sticky notes where the tufts would go.  This was genius if I do say so myself.  I could move the sticky notes around and when they were in the right place I just nailed right through them.  That's right, I took a short cut and just nailed through the fabric, then I later glued on the buttons (I'm such a faker).

It took me a while to figure out where the nails would go. The hubby did not help me with this math, so I was on my own.  I think I put them 13 inches apart on all four sides.  I had thirteen buttons "holes" in the end.

Now you see that the extra fabric is not stapled down yet, but the nails are in.

I then wrapped the fabric around the back and stapled as with the batting.  I decided to leave the bottom row without buttons because this would be bellow the bed line and it will not be seen.

This is where I stalled for about five months.  I had so much trouble with the buttons.  You see first, the covered buttons at JoAnn's were expensive so I had to wait for a sale, and then I had SO much trouble making the buttons.  The problem was that the leather fabric was to thick for the buttons to fit in the covered button design.  After hours and hours (really, it was about 10 hours of struggling with these buttons) I decided to just hot glue the suckers in place.

There they are, my buttons all done.

I glued (with a hot glue gun) the buttons on, and my headboard was FINALLY done.

I'm so proud.

Here you can see the chair too.
Next, I want to paint that dresser (that might be a summer project) and get some bed side tables and lamps. I have so many plans and so little money (I'm actually contemplating buying a lottery ticket).

One more before and after:


What do you think?  I love comments and this project took me so long to make.  I would love to hear what you think.

Where I Party:


  The Shabby Nest

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Making Lemonade
five days five ways  feature friday free for all Poofy Cheeks
DIY Show Off


  1. love it, you did an amazing job!!! bravo!

  2. You are so smart!!! I love it. Looks great.

  3. Friend, Is there anything you can't do? This is just amazing. I have a question about the nails in the cardboard headboard...have you had any trouble with them wanting to pop back out? I have had that problem with a small board I made in the same manner you have made the headboard.

    This is such a neat are so very creative.

    Mary Ann

  4. I'm going to post an answer to Mary Ann's question here so others can understand my process. So far, so good. The headboard is really thick, like 1 and a half inches, so it is pretty tough. I also nailed over the tips that stuck out on the back. It has been nailed like that for at least five month and have not had a problem. the cardboard is as thick and strong as wood.

  5. Fabulous job! This looks like a completely different room. Thanks for the tutorial. Don't you just love glue guns as the last ditch effort? ~ Maureen

  6. I love it I can't wait to sleep there when I come for a visit.

  7. There seems to be some confusion over what the headboard "wood" is made out of. It's not a traditional cardboard, it's a compressed composite board. Think particle board but using a wood/cardboard pulp instead. It leaves a smooth, durable finish that is much cheaper than a solid wood piece and smoother than the typical particle board.

  8. It looks gorgeous! Beautiful job :) I really want to make something tufted!

  9. Gorgeous and it looks so high end.
    Well worth the 10 months it took you to make! Well, easy for me to say, right :)

  10. Great job - love the idea of upholstering it in leather! Tufted headboards are my favourite and this one has a fantastic shape :) xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

  11. I know what you mean about those buttons.... they are a nightmare.
    The headboard looks awesome, Congratulations!

  12. That is truly beautiful! I don't know that I could do this myself--but, your tutorial was wonderful. What a difference the headboard makes in the room now too. Great job!

  13. You re brilliant. That was so hard work but clearly worth it. The bed looks amazing. I would love it if you could share this wonderful post at our WIW linky party. Hope to see you there.


  14. Thanks for linking up to Refresh Your Nest Friday... you've been featured!!!

  15. Great tutorial, Chance! You make it looks so easy. It's gorgeous! {including a link back in this week's highlights.} Thank you so much for sharing...I really want to make a headboard. If only I needed one! I might have to volunteer my DIY skills to a family member! ;)

  16. It looks fabulous!! Yay! Wanna make me one? :) Just playing. But, awesome headboard.

  17. I love the idea of using egg crate foam, so much more affordable. It looks wonderful and so chic, great job!

  18. gorgeous! i just your feature on diy show off, so yay for you! i always want to try something like this, so great inspiration here, girl.

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  20. Thank you everyone! I usually rely to people via email, but rereading all these comments I just want to thenak you all again for your kindness!


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