Thursday, November 4, 2010

DIY Tufted Upholstered Headboard

Do you remember back when I showed you our master bed room makeover. I promised to share with you how we made our tufted upholstered headboard. Recently my makeover was featured at Remodelaholic and several people have asked for my diy instructions. (This post will be of some length.)

I've asked my husband to write instructions for me on the building of the bed since he is the carpenter in the family, while I took on the roll of helper and decorator in this project. This project was taken on three years ago when we decided to upgrade from a queen size bed to a king bed. We sold our four poster oak bed and took up the challenge to build our own headboard.
The inspiration came to us while staying at a hotel with a luxurious tufted headboard. We liked the fact that the headboard was soft and comfortable along with stream line for both a contemporary or traditional room along with adding elegance to the room.
We shopped around and found some great inspirations like these beds from Pottery Barn and Target.

(Photo -

Here are the plans he drew up before starting the project.

(The plans maybe a little blurred, if you are interested in seeing the plans better I could send you a pdf file.)

Steps for building the bed:

1. Cut 4" X 4" for headboard frame to the length.

2. Notch 4" X 4"'s as seen in diagram.
(note: all notches in the 4 X 4 are 1 1/2 inch deep.)

3. Cut dado 1/2' from back of frame 1/2" deep and wide enough to accept 1/2 " plywood panel.

4. Cut 1/2 " plywood panel for the headboard.

5. Glue and screw headboard frame together with plywood panel inserted in dados.

6. Build 2" X 6" frame. The frame will be inserted into the bottom notches in the headboard. Use 2" X 6" joist hangers to support 2" X 6" cross members.

7. Cut 4" X 4" "feet" for the "foot-side" of the bed frame. Cut notches 1 1/2 " deep by 5 1/2 " high (wide) on two sides. The "foot post" will be inserted on the inside of the bed-frame.

8. Insert "foot post" and screw into place with a 3" deck screw. Do Not Glue, otherwise, you'll not be able to take the bed apart for moving.

9. Insert bed-frame into notches in headboard frame. Securing with 3" deck screws, but do not glue.

10. Wrap head board 4" X4" with 1/4 " batting to within 3" of bottom of legs. Staple the batting onto the back of the headboard and inside the "foam cavity", created by the plywood in dados.
(Photo -

11. Cover posts with upholstery fabric of your choice. Make sure that you keep equal tension on the batting and fabric to creating a smooth finish.

12. Cut 1/4 " plywood that fits easily yet without excessive play into the "foam cavity" created in the headboard with dados and 1/2" plywood insert. This 1/4" plywood insert will be used to make the upholstered foam insert.

13. Slide 1/4" plywood into the "foam cavity" holding it in place with 3/4" sheet rock screws screwed in from the back. Now drill 1/4" holes through both 1/2" and 1/4" plywood where each button will be located.

14. Remove 1/4" plywood and use spray adhesive to secure 3" foam into place and cover with upholstery fabric, making sure to work from the middle to the outside tugging gently to keep the fabric tight and flat.

(photo -
15. Insert foam panel into the cavity and secure with screws from the back, making sure that the holes are lined up.
16. Working with a partner and an extra long sewing needle and upholstery thread or fish line for extra strength, fasten covered buttons onto headboard, working from the center buttons outward adding the outside buttons last. You can also use buttons on the back to tie the strings off and prevent knot pulling through the foam.

17. Assemble the bed where it will be in use.

18. Cut 1/2" plywood for the mattress platform and secure with 1" sheet rock screws.

19. We stapled the bed skirt to the platform before dropping the mattress onto the platform. This will help prevent your skirt from unwanted moving around on the platform.

20. If you have questions about this project just email.

21. Enjoy your new bed!



  1. Well done. Your headboard looks fantastic - just like the PB one. We have a double bed antique headboard propped up behind our queen bed. With the cushions etc you can't tell the size difference.

  2. Thank You Joy for sharing the instructions and the time it took to put it all together, especially after several years! It's wonderful!

  3. It's so beautiful. You and your hubby are amazing. You turn out the best work. How do you clean it, just vacume?

  4. I absolutely love this bed! Could you please send me the plans in pdf format? My address is Thanks! Michele

  5. I want this bed so bad.....I'm just not crafty at all.....

  6. Thanks for plans. now i enjoy my new bed.

  7. Thanks for plans, now i enjoy my new bed...

  8. Can you send me the plan for this bed via email?



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