Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY West Elm Tall Tufted Headboard for Under $50

Tufted headboards are pretty popular these days.  Do a google or pinterest search, and you will find a ton of blogs about how to make a tufted headboard.  As I mentioned (see previous post), I had become inspired to make the Tall Tufted Headboard by West Elm, and with some finagling pulled it off for a total of $11.84!  Because I know everyone's resources for materials is different, I can't promise that you can pull it off for the same amount, but I can guarantee that it can be under $50 to make if you follow along with what I did to get the lower prices.  Sound good?  Ok then, let's get to it!

I mainly used the entry from the Little Green Notebook blog as a reference when I was figuring out the process because of her ingenious use of a pegboard.  What better way to map out where the buttons go and keep them even, right?

You'll Need:
  • staple gun & 1/3 size staples
  • fabric (2.5 yds for queen-size headboard) - pre-wash it, and don't get stretchy material!
  • pegboard (48x96, cut down to 48x60 for queen-size headboard)
  • 1/2" thick wood to go around the edges of the pegboard's backside (to make the pegboard sturdy vs. bow)
  • foam and/or batting
  • size 36 button kit/s (can be found at Joann's Fabric)
  • scissors
  • chalk
  • tape measure
  • long 3"+ straight needle (make sure it's thin enough to still pull through the kit buttons)
  • hammer
  • thick thread (or double your thread up as I did)

Let's Begin!

Unlike a lot of the bloggers out there, I actually went for stapling my batting and fabric around the back of the pegboard before doing the buttons. My reason for this was because I wasn't using foam and securing it with spray adhesive.  To get my batting and fabric to stay in place, I needed to have it stapled right from the get-go.  However, I didn't staple around the bottom of the board so that I could still pull things a bit as I worked down with the buttons, and then I planned to staple the excess at the end.

I HIGHLY recommend having a friend to help you on the first step of stapling the batting, then the fabric to the pegboard (see Pretty Dubs for more info on this step).  I had my bestie Erin over and she helped me to pull off what would have otherwise been the impossible.

After that is a step that's designed to make you feel like a dummy.  We spent a good 30 minutes plotting out where the row of six with four buttons down would all go.  Each hole of the pegboard is an inch apart, but what had seemed like an easy task turned out not to be.  But that's where having chalk on-hand is good: if we made a mistake, we could just wipe away the circle with our fingers and plot out the correct placing. (you can especially see how much we rubbed away the top row before figuring it out!)

Once that was done, I was able to do the buttons flying solo.

The button size I got was this:

Follow the instructions on the packing or google it for how to make them - once you get it, it's rather fun.

I had to spend some time to find how best to position the pegboard so that I could feed the needle through and do the buttons.  In the end I just had it standing up and leaning between a table and a sawhorse.  I'd tilt the pegboard back and forth to lean on either the table or sawhorse as I did the buttons, but that was the extent of the maneuvering I had to do.  Fancy schmancy.

 used a posture ball to roll to where i needed to sit - it was wonderful
The buttons are going to be pulled tight and need to stay tight in order to create the tufted look.  So what I had to do first was reinforce the button thread by doubling it over.  I cut my thread to be about arm's length so I'd have lots of leftover slack to secure to the back.

Now here came the simplest part: pushing the threaded needle through the back with the chalk-marked hole to the fabric side, adding the button, then pushing the needle through to the back again, pulling the button until it was tight.  Leave a lot of slack for the tail and also for the end with the needle.

push the needle through the marked hole, leaving a nice tail

get the button on
the needle has been pushed back through the same hole and is now pulling the button in
back through to the other side.  pull tight until you get two long ends of the thread to secure.
Now here comes the tricky part of securing the buttons, in which you'll need the staple gun and hammer.  This step wasn't explained very well in any of the blogs I found, so after figuring it out I've detailed this part for y'all.  It's not pretty, but I found this technique to work best for keeping the button pulled tightly and stay in place.

First, make a staple like this with some gap underneath for you to pull both strands of the thread (needle-end and the end-tail) under.

Then make a second staple up or down from it (we're gonna be making a chevron pattern with the staples) and pull the threads through that.  Keep pulling the thread taunt so that the button is as deeply tufted as you want it to be.  At this stage, take the hammer (still keeping the thread taunt) and flatten the first staple down over-top of the thread to secure it.  Do the same with the second staple.  Do about 2-3 more staples and repeat this process until you don't feel the need to hold onto the thread anymore to keep it taunt.  Secure the ends by tying them several times around the last staple, and flatten that one down as well.

This rough method works surprisingly well.  It took a bit to get into a groove, but once I did I could do a whole row in under 30 minutes.  Put on some music and have some fun as you watch your headboard transform!

That's it!  In one day you'll have this baby to call your own and enjoy!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider helping me out by sharing this post and/or commenting below.  Thanks!

P.S. - We used a picture frame wire and some nails and D-rings to mount it on the wall.

Tiny Sidekick

City Of Creative Dreams

Savvy Southern Style
Awesome Things Tuesday

Shared on: keepingitsimplecrafts, mondayfunday, sewcando, skiptomylou, elizabeth&co, thediydreamer, awesomethingstuesday, simplehomeblessing, astrollthrulife, cozylittlehouse, lindacoastalcharm, elizabethjoandesigns, inspirememonday, notjustahousewife, modvintagelife, shabbynest, diybydesign, thededicatedhouse, 733blog, whimsywednesdays, somedaycrafts, homecoming, beyondthepicketfence under $100 party, upcycledtreasures the makers link party, savvysouthernstyle, workitwednesday, igottacreate, lifeinvelvet, lizmarieblog, cityofcreativedreams, allthingswithpurpose, knockoffdecor


  1. Oh I love it and your tutorial is fabulous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

    1. Thanks, glad the tute made sense! :)

  2. WOW, this is amazing!! It looks gorgeous, thanks for linking up to Inspire Me Monday!

  3. Great tutorial! I love your tufted headboard, and you make it sound so easy that I just might try this myself! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks! Do try it! It's a fun project! :)

  4. Wow! Your tutorial was so good! I have always thought it would be an incredibly hard project to do because I could never figure out how to get the tufted look. Thanks for de-mystifying it for me. And thanks for sharing over at the 7 year itch link up!

    1. Glad it helped! Thanks for the link-up!

  5. That is SO smart to use pegboard! Thanks so much for sharing with us at The Makers. :)

    1. got the pegboard idea from Jenny @ Little Green Notebook - it's a lifesaver!

  6. This is amazing! Turned out great! We are featuring you today at Your Designs This Time! Thanks for sharing with us!
    Emily & Erin

  7. This is fabulous and such a smart idea using peg board. Thanks for sharing at Wow and this will be featured this week at the party.

  8. Your headboard turned out beautifully! And what a great tutorial!

  9. Wow this is amazing! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  10. Beautiful!!! This is on my to-do list for my bedroom:) Pinned

  11. Replies
    1. Woohoo, fellow Celiac! Do share if you make the headboard, would love to see it! :)

  12. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream's City of Links last Friday! I loved this post so much that I chose it to be featured for this weeks party. :) Go grab a button you deserve it!


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