Monday, April 21, 2014

DIY Tufted Headboard - It's Finished!

My husband has been so incredibly supportive and nice enough to help me with this project and together we cranked out our headboard over the weekend.  It's finally done!  And now I kind of feel like...what am I supposed to do now?  Except not really because I have a list of projects, but it really feels weird (in a great way!) to have this done.  I've been wanting to make one for years now and then we finally started it and now it's done.  Crazy!

In my last post, we left off with the legs just being finished and needing to be attached.  To start, I found some screws that were long enough to go all the way through the legs and about 3/4 of the way through the plywood.  Then I found a drill bit that was small enough to create the right size whole for the screws.  The way my father-in-law taught me to do this is to hold up the screw and the drill bit behind it.  If the center of the screw, not the grooves, just barely hides the drill bit, then the drill bit is the right size.  When I calculated the measurements for my legs, I made it so the legs would go up ten inches on the plywood.  I measured ten inches and marked it with a sharpie on both sides, then I triple checked to make sure they were in the same spot.  I then marked a line at 2 and 8 inches from the top of the legs so I knew where to drill my holes.  After the holes were drilled, I clamped the legs down in place and then used the drill to place the screws.  I used four on each leg.

On this leg, the top of the screw broke off, leaving the rest of it still inside the leg, but the leg was secured tightly, so I didn't bother trying to fix it.

After the legs were attached, it was time to add the foam.  Upholstery foam is really pricey, so I decided to use a mattress foam topper instead.  I found these on sale and I decided to get three of them because I wanted the headboard to be really thick and soft.  The foam measured 75" x 54" and our headboard is 80" x 42", so there was plenty of foam, but it needed to be cut to fit.  I did that by laying it down on top of the plywood and lining up the bottom and left side.  Then I cut off the extra at the top and laid it down on the other side to fill in that gap and cut off the extra at the bottom.  To attach the foam, I used this spray adhesive to help it stay in place better, which didn't actually work all that well, but I think I could have used a lot more than I did.  I was just concerned about running out, silly me!

I used the spray adhesive for each layer.  I also switched sides with the smaller piece to avoid the chance of it creating this weird gap after it was all put together.  So I started with the small piece on the right, then on the second layer it was on the left, and then back on the right for the top layer.

After the foam was on, I covered it with quilt batting that measured 90" x 108".  It comes folded in half the short way (so 45" x 108", with two layers), and I decided to just lay it on top of the foam with it folded in half.  The extra layer of batting would just add extra softness.  Pull the batting around and staple it in place.

Make sure it's secured down well without ripping it.  The batting will help to hold the foam in place while your headboard is upright.

After the batting is secured, it's time to start tufting.  I bought 4 yards for this project, but the lady gave me 4 1/2 because it had been cut weird previously.  It was nice to have that extra fabric because we were able to cover the back of the headboard as well.  We started by draping the fabric over the headboard and we made sure that it was straight and in the right place so that we had enough on the top and bottom to staple it down.  The fabric is only 54" wide and the headboard is 42" plus the 15/32" inch thick plywood, 4 1/2" thick foam, and the layer of batting, so we had to be sure we had enough to pull over and back on the top and bottom.

When you start tufting, start on the top row and in the middle.  It'll be much easier to make sure the fabric is gathering in the right places this way.

For the tufting we used a 12" upholstery needle and waxed cording.  The waxed cording was really great because it didn't slip and slide around, which made pulling the buttons tight really easy.  We cut the waxed cording to 12" long and used two strands for each button.  To tuft, we first pushed the needle through the back out to the front so that we could see where the button was going to be.  After making sure it was in the right spot, we pulled the needle all the way through, which left a hole in the fabric so that we could see where to put the needle through again.  Then, we tied the wax cording tight around the back of the button, threaded the needle and pushed it through the hole and out the back.

Once the needle was out the back, my husband would pull the cording all the way out and then I would push the button as deep into the foam as I wanted it to go.  While I held the button in place, my husband then stapled it down, in a zigzag to hold it extra tight, and then he hammered down the nails so everything was secured.

We worked our way out left and right and finished the top row.

At first, things were moving really slowly as we figured out the whole process and started to get the hang of it, but after about the second row, we started to move a lot faster.

While you're tufting, you'll want to make sure to help guide the fabric into a diamond fold, but the fabric will do most of that on it's own.

After you're done with the tufting, it's time to pull the fabric around and staple it in the back.  Make sure that as you do that, you pay attention to where the fabric falls on the button lines because it needs to be gathered and folded so that it looks clean and not bunchy along the edges.  Since we had attached wooden pieces on the back to straighten out the plywood, we decided to use the extra foam we had to cover it up so it won't scratch walls.  We just covered them with the foam and stapled them in place.  Then we used the leftover fabric we had and covered the back with it, stapling it in place.

And now our headboard is complete!

Because it's so tall, it leans a little bit, so we'll need to attach it the wall.  We can't right now because we live with my in-laws and our bed is up against the Murphy bed they installed in our room.  So for now, it leans a little bit, but it still looks great.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!  So what do you guys think?  Is this a project you think you'd like to tackle too?

And in case you're interested, our duvet and shams are West Elm that we got for 50% off in store, the gold diamond pillows are from fabric I designed and I made them using my tutorial, and the navy blue pillow I got at Target on clearance for way cheap, but for some reason online it's full price.