Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are relaxed, rested, well-fed, and enjoying a great time with your families! We are having a white Christmas here with quite a few inches of snowfall the night before Christmas Eve. I am so grateful to be living with real winter again!

As usual, Slav and I are working normal hours through holidays. Slav always has deadlines right after the New Years, so we take time off in January instead between Christmas and New Years. But I still want to do something fun for Christmas. It is a long weekend this year and it is really nice to stay home for three day straight without any obligations.

I still got our bedroom on my mind since last weekend’s small update, and honestly, I’ve been itching for some woodworking since the last build. So I decided to build a padded headboard for our king size bed, in order to bring some softness into our bedroom.

The design

When we got our storage bed a few months back, we decided to pass the matching storage headboard and DIY something softer instead. We had a padded and tufted headboard in the past, and we liked the warmth and support it gave. It was an easy decision to replicate it. Thick padding and soft fabric offer comfort, and keeping it mono-colored and simply tufted with buttons maintain the minimalism look in the bedroom.

First I drew the plan in Sketchup:


The plan includes a pair of sideboards with integrated lighting and nightstands. The light blue rectangle represents a window, which is 57″ off the floor. Our king bed is over 20″ tall with the mattress (represented by the box in front the headboard). I designed the headboard to be long and narrow (32″ x 78″) to accommodate the short distance between the mattress and the window.


This is the view from the back, without the sideboards. You can see the window on the top, the headboard right below, and existing bed frame at the bottom. The headboard will be hanging directly on the wall. You can also see the cut dimension of the 2″ x 4″s framing the headboard from this view.

The frame


I cut 2″ x 4″s to size using a miter saw, and dry fit them together. The middle bracing was made from 2″ x 4″ scraps and for attaching the pegboard pieces later.

To join the 2″ x 4″s together, I decided to give pocket hole joint a try. I’ve purchased the Kreg Jig a while ago but had not used it before this project. I was a bit intimated, which is silly – because the instruction was very straightforward and easy to follow.


I practiced on some scrap wood first:


The first pocket hole I made was terrible. It was not smooth and did not even go through the bottom. But the next few got better.


Twenty minutes and lots of saw dust later, I connected my first pocket hole joint! The frame quickly came together after.


The next step was to cover the frame with a flat surface for the foam pad to attach to. DIYers use different materials – plywood, MDF, pegboard, or old headboards the,selves. I assume a few strip of wood would be OK too, especially if you are not going for the tufted look. I decided to use pegboard because we have some leftovers from our garage organization, and more importantly, it makes the tufting part easier.


I screwed one piece of leftover pegboard onto the frame and used jigsaw to trim the excess off. The cut was not very straight – I still need to get better at using jigsaw or circular saw without a guide. Fortunately the edges will be covered by padding and fabric later.

I next attached the other piece of headboard.


This is what the headboard frame looked like finished:


The Material

Up to this point I was confident on what I am doing. But the upholstery, not so much. I had very little experience with sewing and fabric in general, and the experience I had was all failure. Thanks for the internet, I was able to find a few really good tutorials. I got my materials based on recommendations in this tutorial, and followed similar steps in this tutorial for a similar modern look. If you are interested in more of a traditional look, this one demonstrated really well how to do diamond tuft and offers many good tricks.

The material I used for the project includes a king-size mattress pad ($60), a large but light-weight quilt batting ($20), a bottle of adhesive spray ($17), and of course, a piece of suede fabric ($60). For the tufted look, I also got button cover kit ($10), craft needles ($5), and waxed nylon cord ($4). As you can see, this headboard did not come out cheaper than a pre-made one, and it is partially due to the size of the frame and how thick I want it to be. I chose king size pad and large batting to get two layers of coverage of both (see the 2nd picture below), but twin-size pad and smaller batting should be sufficient for a slimmer headboard with a much cheaper price tag. I also bought everything from JoAnn, which is more expensive than Amazon or Ebay. So if you could wait a few days for everything to arrive, you can probably save $20 more getting everything online.


The Upholstery

I laid the headboard down in the living room with the pegboard side up and dry fit everything first. You can see that the king size mattress pad gives us two layers of full coverage.


I then sprayed the pegboard generously with the adhesive and glued both layers on. Because I used pegboard, I laid down some protective plastic underneath so my rug will not get sticky.


I did one layer at a time and trimmed the excess with a scissor after each layer. This adhesive is the “re-positioning” type which allows me to adjust for a long time, which is nice. The adhesive spray is not necessary if you are only doing one layer and the foam you use is bigger than the headboard itself. I can only find 76″ foam for my 78″ headboard so I had to glue a portion down, stretch a little, then glue another portion, and do this with two layers. The adhesive spray definitely made this process a lot easier for me.


The next step is the batting. I laid it on the bed, put the headboard on it with the foam (and pegboard) side down, then stapled it around. I tugged it pretty tight to make sure that the batting pressed the foam tightly against the pegboard.


It looked pretty neat at this point and I was gaining a bit confidence.



The Tufted Look

The most intimidating part of this whole project might have been choosing the fabric. I do not know fabric at all. After spending an hour unrolling and rolling up fabric samples, I brought my choice to the cutting center, feeling anxious. I told the woman working at the cutting counter my plan for the fabric and she said “this is a gorgeous piece for upholstering headboard with” and I was so relieved! I think the color also worked out OK with our bedding.



The next step was pretty straight forward: lay the fabric underneath the headboard and staple around. I took caution to make sure the corners were tight and neatly tucked.



The Buttons!


A simple headboard could have stopped right here. But since we decided to add buttons for a gentle tufted look, I laid out all 14 buttons and marked their locations.


Making buttons was a bit tough on fingers, especially with such heavy fabric. But it got done.


Slav helped me to put all the buttons on using long craft needles and waxed cord. It was a two people four hands job so we did not take any photos. Please visit the tutorials I linked above if you are interested.

The Finish

We decided to use this Hangman heavy-duty mirror hanger for easy adjustment /removal of the headboard. It can take 300 pound weight which is plenty enough for our headboard. It also comes with a built-in level which makes hanging it very easy.


This product is pretty much a french cleat. The other part was screwed onto the headboard frame:


And here it is!


Our soft headboard:


The light grey plays well with the grey curtain and blue painting.


We hung it on Christmas eve and it was such a treat for Christmas!