A cozy tufted headboard doesn't have to come with a high price tag. Make your own using these simple steps.
103044658 tufted headboard.jpg

Elegant and classy, a tufted headboard is timeless. These headboards remind us of plush pillow-top beds and warm, fuzzy blankets. They make us want to snuggle in. If you have big dreams for a bedroom makeover but don't have the big budget to match, try your hand at our easy DIY upholstered headboard! You'll be surprised at how simple it is to make your own. Keep reading for the full step-by-step instructions. 

  • Start to finish 4 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Drilling, Power Tools, Ironing, Measuring

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Prep headboard
Step 1

Prep Headboard

Cut plywood to desired headboard size. Use the 2 inch x 3 inch x 8 foot boards, wide side down and butt jointed, to make a stretcher the same size as the plywood. Screw the plywood to the stretcher every few inches all the way around.

Apply foam
Step 2

Apply Foam

Apply spray adhesive to the plywood front. Lay the 1-1/2-inch foam topper, pattern side down, on the plywood. Use scissors to trim the edges of the foam pad even with the edge of the plywood. Spray adhesive to front of the adhered piece of foam, then apply the 1/2-inch foam pad, pattern side down, on top of it. Don't trim the foam yet.

Flat sheet
Step 3

Flat Sheet

Iron the flat sheet and spread it evenly on a large work surface. Set the headboard facedown on top of the flat sheet. Trim the sheet and foam pad so 6 inches larger than the headboard all the way around.

Pull the sheet and foam pad to the back of one of the long side's stretcher boards; staple in place at the center. Do the same for the other long side, then repeat the process for the short sides. Working from the center of each board toward the corners, add a few staples at a time to each side until you reach the corners. At the corners, fold and tuck the sheet as you would if making a bed; staple in place. 

Editor's Tip
Editor's Tip

Stretch the foam and sheet combo around the headboard so it is even and firm all around. This will make attaching the patterned fabric easier.

Patterned fabric
Step 4

Patterned Fabric

Iron the patterned fabric and lay it flat on the work surface. Set the headboard facedown on the fabric; follow the same stretching technique used previously. If desired, cover the buttons with fabric and decide on placement.

ironing edges of blackout curtain
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5 Ironing Hacks

Make your iron work harder. 

Drill holes on the back of headboard
Step 5

Drill Holes

Measure and mark the backside of the headboard corresponding to the placement of the buttons on the front side. Drill 1/8-inch holes in the backside of the headboard at marks, being careful to only penetrate the plywood and go no farther. Drilling beyond the plywood invites the drill bit to snag and shred the foam.

Attach buttons
Step 6

Attach Buttons

Cut a 2-foot length of florists wire. Thread the needle with the florists wire by a couple of inches and bend the wire back. Insert the needle through the hole and push through the foam and fabric. Run the needle and wire through the back of the button, then back through the fabric and headboard.

On the backside of the headboard, tug the wire snug. Bend it against the plywood and staple in place. Wrap the wire back over the staple toward the hole and staple again. Repeat a couple more times. Repeat process for remaining buttons. 

Editor's Tip
Editor's Tip

During the process of attaching the buttons, sit headboard upright on the floor so you have access to the front and back at the same time. Be careful to not pull your thread too tight when attaching the buttons; if you pull too tight, the upholstered fabric may run or rip.

    Comments (6)

    How difficult was this project?
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    September 3, 2021
    Difficulty: Kind of Easy
    What is that layer prior to the foam being laid down? It looks to have jagged edges
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    September 3, 2021
    Difficulty: Kind of Easy
    Are the buttons necessary?
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    April 2, 2020
    Difficulty: Kind of Easy
    I just finished making this today. Took me alittle longer than 4 hours only because I ran into a few problems and had to improvise. I did however use the wood I had laying around the house. Over all super happy with the outcome and surprised in myself as this was the first time actually making something
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    February 5, 2019
    I haven't made the headboard yet, but by just going over directions, it doesn't look complicated at all. I'm looking forward to doing this project especially being able to pick my own fabric.
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    February 4, 2019
    I recommend drilling the holes in the plywood backing before adding foam & fabric.
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    April 19, 2018
    I haven't made this yet but it looks straightforward and sturdy. Would have liked to know what thickness of plywood would work, so as not to be heavier than needed. Also, how was this attached to the wall? Was surprised that this wasn't mentioned. Were there support feet? Wall Screws? Cleats?