I have just completed my DIY diamond tufted headboard and it looks great! Following is a tutorial and recount of my emotional journey 😉 that lead to the creation of a tufted headboard that is a fraction of the price of a bought one. I won’t lie, this has been my most challenging DIY yet. Don’t be fooled by the feminine curves of the tufting or the inviting soft plumps of foam, this project was a bitch! That said, it was so worth it!! I’m so relieved that it turned out well and my button to button method (explained below) worked beautifully for a beginner at upholstery. I challenge you to give this a go! It’s so rewarding. Anyway, here we go –
You will need –
Pegboard cut to size. The measurements will depend on what style and size you need.
3inch foam the same size as the pegboard
Batting – the same size as the pegboard with an additional 6inches all the way around
Fabric – same amount as the batting
Extra fabric for buttons
Upholstery thread – NOT regular cotton (trust me it won’t work)
Button making supplies – I needed 51
Buttons for backing – 51
Upholstery needleStep 1 – mark out where you want the tufts to be on the pegboard by circling around the holes. My tufts were about 6inches apart but you may prefer to have them closer or further apart depending on the look you want to achieve. Start marking the holes in the centre of the board so that the tufts are symmetrical. I drew up the pattern of diamonds when I was finished so that I could see they were all positioned correctly.
Step 2 – lie the pegboard on the foam and using a sharpie draw through the holes to mark the pattern onto the foam. You should be able to see the marks clearly on the foam. Step 3 – using an old knife cut out a square section of foam where marked. Don’t be scared to cut out a decent amount of foam as this will make the tufting process easier and make sure the hole goes all the way through. This is the secret to nice deep tufts. Step 4 – layer up your headboard : pegboard, foam, batting and then fabric. Make sure the marked side of the pegboard is facing out at the back (so you can see where the tufts will be) and that the batting and fabric are nice and smooth with no bubbles. Step 5 – using the extra fabric make enough buttons to complete your tufts. This process takes and while, so be patient. Warning – your thumbs will be sore….very sore.Step 6 – let the tufting begin!! I’ve seen some tutorials where a staple gun is used to secure the upholstery thread in place. I tried it and I didn’t like it….at all. I found it difficult and really messy looking, so I tried a new method using some old buttons. I’m calling it the ‘button to button’ method. The pretty fabric covered button is on display at the front and any old four hole button secures the tuft at the back. Thread your upholstery needle, double it over and tie the ends in a knot. Thread the needle through the four hole button and then through the middle of the two threads. I went around a few times for added strength. Step 7 – start at the top in the centre and work your way out to the edges. Insert the needle through the marked hole at the back and out the front through the foam, batting and fabric. Pull your thread tight so the button at the back is over the hole. At the front, ease the fabric into a point and then attached your fabric button. Step 8 – Take the needle back though the foam and pegboard. Don’t go through the exact same position or your fabric might tear. I tried to leave about 1/2 cm between the exit and entry point. Sounds easy right! Wrong. sometimes the needle went straight through and out the exact hole and other times it took an eternity to find the right route back through the foam. Patience is the key. I was pretty patient, surprisingly patient (especially given I was premenstrual) up until the last couple of rows. Then the cursing started….and it didn’t stop until the last button. Thank goodness the kids were at school. Step 9 – Alright, once your needle is back out through the same hole it entered it’s time to secure your tuft. Apply pressure to your fabric button while pulling tight on the upholstery thread. Insert the needle under the thread in the button and knot tightly. I repeated this about three times for each button to make sure it was properly secure. Stand back and admire. Step 10 – Now repeat steps 6,7,8 and 9 about 51 times (it felt like about 1000 times). It’s agony….really. I must have stabbed myself a hundred times with the needle, the thread almost cut a slice out of my hand and all of my muscles ached from wresting with the foam and buttons. I totally underestimated how physical this task would be. When that last button was secured I’m pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing and I may have cried a little. Post tufting euphoria! Cursing over. Happy days! Step 11 – staple the fabric firmly over the pegboard making sure your corners are nice and tidy. Try to keep the tension the same all the way around. Trim off the excess fabric and batting. I’m planning on covering the entire back surface with a piece of felt or fleece to stop the buttons rubbing on the wall once it’s hung. Here are a couple of shots in my room at home. The headboard will go to the guesthouse next week and I’ll be sure to post some pics of it at it’s new home. I’m convinced now that I want to make one for my bedroom at home, but I’m going to wait about 6 months, maybe have some counselling and physiotherapy before I started the next one.