How to Make a DIY Tufted Headboard

Did you know that a headboard can provide heat insulation, keep your pillow off the ground, and protect your bedroom wall’s integrity? A tufted headboard adds style to your bedroom, but what if I said you could make that yourself for as little as $100? Learn how to make an upholstered tufted headboard and how to choose the best materials for it. 

What Does Tufted Mean?

Tufted refers to something that has tufts and is related to a specific embroidery technique. Making depressions at regular intervals in a cushion by putting a thread through and drawing it to a tight state is the definition of tufting, and the process is relatively straightforward. 

And in all honesty, it is as easy as that, providing you have the appropriate instruments and carefully measure and track your progress.

Tufting dates back centuries and is still used today. Mattresses used to be stuffed with various materials (from feathers to cotton cloth). Tufting was employed to prevent the filling from shifting all over the place. 

The process of tufting developed alongside the rise of increasingly refined furniture. Even though it retained its original purpose of preventing thick layers from slipping or sagging, its role as a decorative component became increasingly important, which is how tufted headboards are so in style now.

What Fabrics Are Best for Headboards?

There are plenty of fabric choices that suit your upholstered headboard.


Even though cotton tends to shrink when used as headboard upholstery fabric, the tight weave of cotton makes it an extremely durable material. It’s not easy to clean, so it’s best to use it in guest bedrooms. 


Linen is a natural material made from flax. A room may be given a one-of-a-kind look and feel with the help of this material, which makes it a popular option for covering headboards. 

Using linen on your headboard can also offer your room a cleaner and more pleasing appearance. Because it is tightly woven, just like cotton, it has the potential to be exceptionally long-lasting and resilient.


Adding texture to your bedroom can be accomplished in several ways: by covering the headboard in leather. The “fabric” has exceptional toughness and tops the chart regarding its longevity. 

If it becomes dirty, all that is required is a damp cloth and some leather cleaning to make it look new. One of the most significant drawbacks of leather is that it is easily scratched.


Polyester is a type of synthetic fabric widely used to cover headboards. It is also a popular choice. Polyester, much like cotton, may be purchased for a low cost and is available in a wide range of hues and designs. 

In addition to that, its durability and longevity are excellent. Polyester, on the other hand, is resistant to the majority of stains and is easier to clean than other materials, making it an excellent material choice for rooms occupied by children because of its child-friendly properties.


For your bedroom to have a sumptuous and refined look, velvet is the fabric. The distinctive texture of velvet distinguishes it from other fabrics, even though velvet is normally woven from cotton or polyester fibers. 

Because of the dense and precise weave, it is exceptionally long-lasting. It also has a wonderful gloss, so the lights in your space will reflect off of it beautifully.


Chenille is a type of cloth characterized by its distinctively fuzzy surface. It is constructed of various fibers, such as polyester, cotton, and rayon. 

This cloth’s soft and fuzzy texture makes it an excellent choice for decorating children’s bedrooms. It is extremely long-lasting and may keep its form for a significant time. Even though it is not the most well-known fabric, it is frequently used for upholstery.

Determining How Much Fabric You Need 

Headboard Size

Understanding how much fabric you require can be an essential factor in your choice, particularly if you are attempting to select a more affordable and a more pricey cloth. The following measurements might help:

  • 3 and a half yards of fabric for a Twin-sized headboard.
  • 5 and a half yards of fabric for a Full-sized headboard.
  • 6 yards of fabric for a Queen-sized headboard.
  • 6 and a half yards of fabric for a King-sized headboard.

Fabric by the Yard

Upholstery fabric is the type of fabric you will want to seek when shopping for fabric to make a headboard. Fabric for upholstery can be found at most retail establishments that offer other fabric types.

However, you might discover a more comprehensive number of options online. Fabric for upholstery can be crafted from various materials, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.

How to Make an Upholstered Tufted Headboard

What You Need

  • 2 x 2x8x12 inches headboard leg supports
  • 2 x 2x8x60 inches headboard wings
  • 2 x 2x4x40-¾ inches frame sides
  • 2 x 2x4x66 inches frame top and bottom
  • 48x66x½-inch plywood sheet
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Foam
  • Buttons
  • Button-cover kit
  • Screws
  • Spray adhesive
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Upholstery needle
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge
  • Staple gun
  • Drill
  • ⅜-inch drill bit

Step One: Make the Frame

Use a 2×4 frame to reinforce the plywood sheet. Flip the plywood to work on the backside. Put a 66-inch 2×4 along the long sides. Put a 40-¾-inch 2×4 perpendicular on every side. Once every piece is in place, use screws to secure them. 

Step Two: Connect the Legs and Wings

Put a 60-inch 2×8 board perpendicular to each frame’s short sides. The boards need to flush with the plywood’s edge. Secure them using screws. Put a 12-inch 2×8 board to each 60-inch 2x8s below the plywood to attach the legs. Secure them using screws.

Step Three: Secure the Chipboard

Cut the chipboard into 1×1-foot sections to get that nice curved look. Staple the first wing’s inside edge to the outside edge of one of the chipboard’s pieces. Curve the board. Grab your stapler gun again and secure the other edge of the board to the plywood. Repeat the process until the entire wing and the curved chipboard are aligned. Do this for the opposite side too. 

Step Four: Determine Tufting Placement

For this step, it’s best to use a measuring tape. Determine where the holes for the tufts should be. Many people choose diamond patterns because it’s a classic. The holes should have an equal distance between them. Use the marker to mark hole placement. When you’re done, drill a hole into each marking. 

Step Five: Attach Foam and Batting

Measure the top of the headboard and cut your piece of foam accordingly. Ensure to include the leg’s outsides and the wings in the measurement. Attach the foam using spray adhesive. Look at the back of the headboard and pass an upholstery needle through each hole. Mark the holes with a permanent marker on the other side. Cut tufting holes using scissors.

Wrap the foam in batting and secure them together using spray adhesive. Add another layer of batting. Pull the layers taut and connect them to the frame using the stapler gun. Use your scissors to cut any excess batting. Using your scissors, poke holes through each tuft hole. 

Step Six: Attach the Buttons

With the help of a button kit, cover the buttons in headboard fabric. Use the circle in the template to transfer its shape to a fabric piece. Put the piece of fabric you will be using on top of the mold that comes with the kit, and then put your button shell on the cloth so that it is exactly above the mold. 

Reduce the pressure on the shell, then reattach the button. Remove the mold after securing the button back onto the casing with the pusher included in the kit. Continue doing so until you obtain the required quantity of buttons.

Step Seven: Tuft the Headboard

Put the upholstery fabric above the headboard and wings, leaving ten extra inches on each side for error safety. Thread the needle and place a button at the end. Knot the button in place and start sewing. It’s best to begin tufting for the center hole. Work from the back of the headboard and push the needle to the front. 

Pull the button on the back while doing so. Looking at the front side of the headboard, thread the needle through the back hole of another button. Make a loop and return through the back side hole on the headboard. Pull the button and make a secure knot. Do this for every button. 

Step Eight: Secure the Fabric

Use your stapler gun to secure any excess fabric at the back of the headboard. Add fabrics to cover the legs of the headboard. Trim any excess fabric. 


Is a tufted headboard out of style?

According to some interior designers, tufted headboards are losing style points and are no longer in style. But, they still add a sense of elegance to the room. If you like them, there’s no one to stop you from buying or making them yourself.

How do you make a tufted upholstered headboard?

Making a tufted upholstered headboard is not complicated, but it can be time-consuming. You can make it from scratch or use an existing wooden headboard as a base and just add the foam and the buttons. 

How much does it cost to make a tufted headboard?

Depending on the side of the headboard, what materials you plan to use, and whether you plan to make it from scratch yourself, a tufted headboard can be as cheap to make as $100. 

How big should a headboard be?

The headboard should always match the size of the bed. For example, a headboard fitting a Queen-sized bed would measure 62 inches in width. 

Bottom Line

Knowing how to make an upholstered tufted headboard can save you money. It also gives you the satisfaction of having something made with your own two hands. I definitely recommend trying it if you have a free afternoon. But first, head to our site for the best selection of fabrics to use.

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