Both of our condos feature a handmade custom tufted headboard. We thought it was time that we show you how we make them!
Items you need for this project:
2 sizes of screws
1st screws need to be short enough that they do not go through the 2x6 when you attach the board to the pegboard, make sure the screw heads are bigger than the peg board holes
2nd screws need to be longer so you can secure the joins of the 2x6s-I really like Spax screws for this, I don't remember if I used 2 1/2 inch or 3 inch Spax for this part
Fabric for the headboard
2 hole plastic buttons
Waxed upholstery twine
Staple gun (I prefer electric)
Staples for the staple gun
Staples for the staple gun
E600 Glue (optional)
Cut the pegboard to the size you want for your bed. This headboard was meant for a king bed so we cut the pegboard to be 76 inches wide. We wanted it to be tall and dramatic so we left it at the 48 inch height.
Figure out your button pattern and how many buttons you want on the headboard. For this headboard we did a center row of 5 buttons and the top and bottom rows being 6 buttons each. When figuring out patterns, a little bit of math is usually required so every thing is centered and evenly spaced. Using pegboard really helps with this step--once you figure out your pattern you don't have to measure, you just have to count the holes in the pegboard. If you are following our pattern, start by finding the center row and connect those dots by drawing a line across the board. Count 12 holes above and below the center line, and mark those rows. These two rows will contain 6 buttons each. Finally go back to the center hole and draw a vertical center line from top to bottom.
Mark where the buttons go. Now that you have your rows marked we are going to mark where the buttons go by drawing a circle around the whole that the upholstery twine will go through. On the center row, start with the center hole you already marked, count out 12 holes to the right and mark that hole, then count out another 12 going the same direction and mark that hole. Now reverse it and do the same going left. There should be 5 circles located on this center line. The top and bottom rows are made the same way. Find where the center vertical line intersects with the line drawn for the top/bottom row. Count out 6 holes to the right and circle, then 6 holes to the left and circle. From each of these holes count out 12 and circle, then count 12 and circle once more. This will leave you with 6 circles across the top and bottom rows.
Attach 2x6's to the back of the peg board. The pegboard is really handy for charting out where your buttons go, but it is a little flimsy to work with. So I cut 2x6's and made a frame to go around the edge of the peg board, with 2 additional supports running through the middle. Note where your button holes are marked and have your supports go between your button holes.
Make your buttons. I used a 3/4 inch button making kit. These kits can be found at most craft stores and come with directions on how to assemble the button. One thing I like to do to make the button more secure, is to add a bit of E600 glue to the inside of the button before I hammer on the back to make it extra secure. If you use our pattern you will need to assemble 17 buttons, but I always assemble a few extras to keep on hand that way if one pops off or breaks they are already made and easily replaced.
On the pegboard side, attach foam and batting. I usually put a couple staples into each side just to help hold these items while I work. I have also used spray adhesive to attach these items, but I've found that a few staples work just as well. Stand the headboard up and loosely center the fabric on the headboard--DO NOT staple the fabric at this point.
Attaching the buttons. Make sure all of your supplies are gathered for this part. You need the upholstery twine, upholstery needle, the buttons you made, the 2-holed buttons, and scissors.
Here you can see about how much thread I used. I like to have extra so I have plenty to work with when I am tying my knot on the back. Put both ends of the thread through the needle.
Locate where you want to put your first button. I tend to start in the center and work my way out. Push the needle through the hole you have marked for a button hole. It takes a bit of practice to be able to find where the needle should go, but it gets faster with practice :)
Tying off the button. Pull both ends of the thread through the pegboard hole and remove them from the upholstery needle. Thread the 2-hole button onto one thread. Then use the 2 ends to tie an upholstery slip knot. If you don't know how to do this, please visit youtube--there are lots of helpful videos that will teach you how to do this knot. Continue this step for all of the buttons. Make sure to not pull the fabric too tight between the buttons.
After you get your slip knot started, it helps to have a friend push the other button from the other side so you can pull it really tight and sink the front button into the foam.
Once all the buttons are in place its time to staple the fabric to the back of the headboard. On this headboard I accidentally pulled the fabric too tight around the edge. It doesn't look bad but it pulled a lot of the wrinkles out of the fabric so it does not look as "tufted." Staple across one edge first, then staple the opposite edge. Then do the other 2 sides. When stapling I start in the middle and work my way to the edges so I can keep the correct tension in the fabric as I go across. To do the corners, I staple each side up to the corner, then stretch the excess straight back (see pictures).
Remove the excess fabric on the back.
Attach the hanging hardware to the headboard. When you mount the headboard to the wall, make sure you secure it in studs. The finished product is very heavy. We also used L brackets to attach the bottom of the headboard to the wall just to give it extra support.
Enjoy your new headboard. It was worth it :)