DIY Tufted Upholstered Headboard Tutorial

Hello Remodelaholics!  I’m Corey from TinySidekick and I’m all sorts of excited to be a new contributor here where I know I’m going to meet a ton of new friends after the same thing… a beautiful home, on a budget!  I’m definitely that girl in a home decor store snapping photos for inspiration for my next project.  What? You do that too?  Sorta awkward when you get caught, but so worth it when you end up with a similar look for way less.  A little DIY can go a long way right?

So today, I’m taking you over to my mom’s house to show you how we created this beautiful DIY tufted upholstered headboard for her newly refreshed master bedroom!  She had been eyeing a similar one in a high end store for awhile, but like most of us, budget came into play.  So we figured out how to make our own for way less cash!  And now it is the focal point of her bedroom!Detailed easy tutorial, plus it uses pegboard to make the tufting easier! DIY Tufted Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for

This is the third room that I’ve helped my mom with!  She originally asked me to help her with the grandkid’s room and then called me back in to help with her bright and bold living room!  Now that we’ve made our way into the master bedroom, I’m thinking I’m officially hired!  And it works out perfectly since I take her babysitting as proper payment!

The key to making this headboard really simple is the use of pegboard as the frame backing.  It makes it so easy to add buttons since the holes are already there!  Let’s get started.

How to Make a Tufted Upholstered Headboard Using Pegboard


  • 2 x 4 wood
  • a sheet of peg board
  • 1 inch foam
  • light weight batting
  • spray adhesive
  • upholstery weight fabric
  • buttons
  • trellis wire
  • large mirror/ picture hangers (shown at the end)


  • a staple gun
  • measuring tape
  • wire cutters

How to Build a Headboard Frame

Building the frame may be the most intimidating part of this project especially if you don’t have or know how to use power tools.  Don’t worry.  Most hardware stores will make the cuts for you right in the store, so you leave with everything cut and ready to assemble.

The size of your headboard frame will depend on the size of your bed.  We made this headboard frame the same width as the bed frame.  The height is up to you.  You can consult this handy infographic, and a good idea would be to tape it off using painters tape to get a feel for how tall you want it to be.  Once you know how high you want it, measure from the top of your bed frame to the tallest point on the wall. Whatever measurements you come up with will be the size that you have the peg board cut.  Then you will frame it on the back side with 2 x 4’s as shown below.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Once you have your frame assembled, you will want to plan out the placement of your buttons.  We had 5 buttons across and 3 buttons down.

Buttons going across: We divided the width of the pegboard by 6 (however many buttons you have going across + 1) and using a measuring tape we marked the width of each section on the back along the top.

Vertical buttons: First we subtracted the space that the mattress would cover before beginning.  So, take the height of your pegboard – the thickness of your mattress.  Now take that number and divide by the number of vertical buttons + 1. (We have 3 vertical buttons, so we divided by 4 to get 4 equal sections as shown below.)  Then measure down from the top (where you made your first mark for the buttons going across) and find the closest hole.  Repeat moving down and mark each hole, then move across until you have all of your buttons marked.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

We marked ours on the back side with a circle around each hole.  You may want to mark the front too, just so you have a visual of where your buttons will be on your finished project.  Better to find any mistakes now, versus later!

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Attach the foam and batting

We had a 1 inch piece of foam cut at our local upholstery fabric store.  This way it was one big piece with no seams.

Line up the foam with the edges of the frame, lay the frame flat (front side up), and apply the foam to the front of the frame with spray adhesive.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Once the foam is attached, lay out your lightweight batting and lay the frame (with the foam) face down.  Trim your batting so that when you wrap it up and around the sides of the frame you can attach it on the back side of the frame.  Staple it in place using a staple gun, making sure that the corners lay flat (like you are wrapping a present.)DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Now you are ready to add the fabric!

Lay the piece of fabric out flat, and once again lay the frame face down on the fabric. (Be sure the good side of the fabric is facing down!)  Then, fold the edges of the fabric up and over the frame and attach with a staple gun.  My best advice is to start with the sides, making sure that you pull the fabric tight, and then do the top and bottom of the frame.  The corners will take a little bit of practice to get them to lay nicely, but just play around with them until you like what you have, and staple them in place.  Keeping the seam along the edge of the frame will give it a really nice finished edge.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Adding the buttons:

On our first attempt we had upholstery thread and a big fat needle.  It didn’t work.  What did work was trellis wire! (Who knew?)  Any wire that is easily bent, but not too soft so that you can poke through the foam and fabric will work.  You will also want to be sure that your wire is not so thick that it can pass through your button hole.

So with the frame sitting on its bottom edge we started adding our buttons.  This is a 2 person job.  I cut a piece of wire, then poked it through the headboard where we marked our holes.  When the wire came through the front, my mom added the button, and then bent it and pushed it back through the fabric close to where it originally came through.  You may have to poke around a little bit to find the hole again.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Once it came back through to me, I pulled the button tight by spreading the 2 pieces apart in opposite directions.  My mom was eyeballing the tufting as I pulled to make sure that the creases that were created were the look she wanted, and even from one button to the next.

I stapled each side of the wire in place and then pulled them back together and twisted them to keep them in place.  Then we repeated this process until all the buttons were on!

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

And this is the result of your DIY efforts!

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

We hung the frame on the wall so that the bottom was just above the bed frame using these large picture/ mirror hangers.  The easy instructions were on the package and it made the headboard solid against the wall.

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Not too shabby for an afternoon’s work huh?

DIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - for Remodelaholic

Between the pattern on the wall and the new headboard this room is off to a great start!  The main focal point is in place and she says she smiles every time she walks into the room.  I’d say that is a job well done!


See more headboards here

and be sure to check out these other tutorials for different styles of tufted headboards, too!

Build a tufted headboard with nailhead trim

build a diy tufted headboard with nailhead trim

Make a shaped headboard with diamond tuftinghow-to-make-a-Diamond-tufted-headboard-tutorial2

Add tufting and upholstery to an existing carved wood headboard

diy tufted upholstered headboard on traditional carved wood headboard frame

Build an extra-long tufted panel headboard

DIY Tufted Panel Headboard | Home Coming for

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  1. Corey I love love love the headboard. It looks like something you’ll buy at a furniture store. It looks expensive and I will be doing this for my first diy project.

  2. This looks awesome and doable! Just to make sure: the headboard isn’t attached to the bed, but simply hang on the wall?

  3. Just curious as to what size buttons you used? And also where did you find them?

    Looking to get started on my own headboard soon!!

  4. Corey,
    I’m so glad I happened on your tutorial! Using a peg board for the frame is genius! I’m going to help my daughter make one for her bedroom using your instructions. Hope ours turns out as beautiful as your moms did!

  5. I love love this. Thank you so much easier than the others I found. I have one question…what about the legs? There’s no instructions on how to add the legs unless I missed it?

  6. first off THANK you for such an informative post on this headboard thing. the first one i have found that is dummy proof for people like me. that beign said – although you put “76 inches” for kingsize – wouldnt i need more than 18 squares? im not good at conversion. can you tell me the exact measurements for a king size headboard – in regards to the squares … etc? thank you so much