DIY: Your own tufted headboard!
While DIY is seen as a quite feminine activity, building something like a headboard is a different story but hey who said a woman couldn't make her own diamond tufted headboard? To be honest I had a little help here and there because let's face it, some steps require 4 hands and strength but anybody can do this!
First of all, if you want to make this project a success you have to think it through a few times to take into consideration all aspects of this DIY. Watching tutorials and realizations from YouTubers and bloggers definitely helps with this steps. I read three times the article from the blog Homemadebycarmona to have a precise idea of what I needed :
Do you have enough space to work;
Measure carefully your bed and imagine how high the headboard is going to be;
Try and draw the tufting effect you would like so you can drill the holes in the board perfectly;
What fabric do you want to cover your headboard;
How thick do you want the foam to be;
Can you reuse some material;
Can you transport some of the material;
Then depending on the budget you have, you will need to look for the best bargains as well. In my case, I really wanted to make this project for as cheap as possible. So during the sales period, I bought the fabric with a 50% discount, I used Eco Vouchers to buy some wooden boards that I didn't have on hand, reused as many items as possible, used Gift Vouchers to buy the button kits,... In total the project still reached about 250€...But compared to the price of a new one in store, it's peanuts !! Plus a lot was covered by vouchers :)
I have counted in there the bad fabric that I received from Les Tissus du Chien Vert...It was not what I expected nor what was announced on the website so I had to find another one in a different shop. This got the budget to go up unexpectedly... For me the fabric was important because it is the visible part of the headboard, it has to look nice and cannot distend. So I agreed to pay a little more money for this item.
What cost more though was the foam, which is actually difficult to find in Brussels...I had to visit a shop specializing in foams to get what I wanted, but paying a little more for this element was totally worth it :) I got good advice from the seller on which foam to use for my project, what thickness to choose to ensure that the tufting looked nice and kept its form on the long term.
So what do you need for this project?
Wooden boards to make the frame of the headboard. I took the thicker ones to make sure the frame was solid enough. Don't throw away the scraps, they can be used to further strengthen the overall frame :) [1 m 86 cm long];
2 Wooden panels to make the headboard [1 m 86 cm by 1 m 45 in my case];
Screws...A lot of them;
A layer of foam [I took the 7 cm thick];
Glue to fix the foam on the panels;
Fabric to cover the headboard, count 20-30 cm more on each side (!!) to ensure perfect tufting and buy some more of the same fabric to make the buttons [ I took about 2 m 60 to be sure I had enough];
Button kits or buttons that you want to used to tuft [buttons are 19 mm in my case];
Buttons that you don't use anymore to fix the tufting [any button will work as long as it is larger than the holes you will drill];
Lots of staples, a hammer, a drill, a screw-gun;
So once you have all the material you need you can start building your very own (and personalized!) tufted headboard :) The first step will of course be to put together the frame.
Note: It might seem obvious but when you are buying the wooden boards and panels, get them cut to the desired size by the shop. At least you can be certain the cut is clean and the size is right. And of course, you will need the final measures when buying the material, don't change your mind afterwards.
[Check the pictures below for support if explanations are not clear enough]
The first thing to do is to assemble the wooden boards and make the frame, by screwing them together. I used 10 cm long screw because the boards are quite thick. Use the scraps to strengthen the overall structure. Once again, having a drawing and measures ready is essential for this step;
Once you have your frame, put it aside. And put the wooden panels on the floor and fix them together, I used butterfly clips;
On a computer or a sheet of paper, draw your headboard to 1/10 scale and design the final look of your tufting: how many rows you want, space between the rows, space between the holes/buttons you will drill, size of each square shape. It took several attempts to get it right. Once it looks good on paper/computer, try to draw a row and dots on the headboard's back and see what it looks like. Adjust if needed. If you are happy with the size of the squares/shapes then start drawing the final rows, mark the dots for each future button and drill;
Once you have the base for your headboard and drilled all the holes to tuft, lay the foam over it and adjust the positioning. It is time to cut the foam to size so it fits the headboard perfectly. Finally, glue the foam to the headboard.
Lay the fabric over the headboard and measure the size of the panel and count + 20-30 cm on each side of the headboard (this is vital for the tufting!). Whatever extra you have (aside from the panel size +20-30cm), you can cut. If you have some fabric left, you can use it to make the buttons;
While your glue is drying, you can start making the buttons:
It is a question of following the instructions coming with the kit.
You will require a pair of scissors to cut the fabric for each buttons (0.5cm bigger than your buttons), some super glue and a hammer.
Once you have the frame, the headboard with the foam glued to it, the buttons are made and fabric is cut to the right size...Let's tuft!
Lay carefully the fabric on the headboard...
So first of all, tie a thread to one of your old buttons;
Then pass the needle into the first hole of the first row on the back headboard, as straight as possible and get it through the foam;
Pass the thread in one of the buttons you made and push the button into the foam;
Secure the button by making knots with the thread, the button has to remain in place into the foam to make sure to pull hard on the thread (without breaking it obviously). In my case I find that making two rounds of thread around the button + 5 knots at the top and bottom is perfect. The extra thread needs to be hidden behind the button;
Once your button is fixed, make a horizontal crease into the fabric and make the next button;
After 3-4 buttons on the first line, you can start fixing the top of the fabric by making a vertical crease and stapling the fabric in place;
Once your first line is done and the top of the fabric is fixed, move to the second row and apply the same process to place the buttons BUT, make a diagonal crease to create the diamond shape. Here I need to stress the fact that you need to make the crease, never forget and make a good one, it will help with the buttons from the bottom rows;
Keep tufting until all the rows are done;
Once all the tufting is done, fix the headboard onto the frame. I placed the screws behind the foam;
Staple the fabric in place on every side of the headboard;
Making the Frame that will hold your headboard, you can see that every line and screw is drawn before hand...
Drilling the holes, gluing the foam, prepping the fabric.
Making your buttons.
Tufting - Placing your buttons, securing them, creasing vertically, horizontally, diagonally.
At the end of the day, you will feel quite proud of you achieved and will feel that you can build anything you just need to try. Doing this took about a full day with a little help here and there to fasten the process.
I have seen many tufting processes on YouTube but the one from Home Made by Carmona was the best in my opinion. The finish is all I could expect and more... Now onto the next project!
If you have questions or if something isn't clear (quite possible since I am not a native speaker) ask me, I am always happy to answer you :)