Here are step by step instructions for making a DIY tufted headboard like the two I made for our Circle Room guest bedroom.
Lightweight wood like MDF or particle board (cut to size)
Long Upholstery Needle
D-Rings Hanging Kit
1. Have the hardware store cut your MDF to size.
2. Measure out and mark where you want the button tufting to go. Drill holes in the board where you want the buttons.
3. Spray 1 side of the MDF with glue and place foam on top. Trim off any extra foam, making sure it’s flush with the sides of the MDF.
4. Spray top of foam with glue and cover with batting. Make sure to leave enough extra batting on all sides to wrap around the foam and the MDF.
5. Flip the MDF, foam, and batting over, laying flat on the ground. Wrap batting around to the back of the MDF and staple it in place. Make sure you don’t have any batting puckered on the front before you start stapling.
6. Next, lay fabric on the floor with the back of the fabric facing up. Lay the batted MDF down on the fabric and position it to be centered on the fabric. If your fabric has a pattern (like a stripe) make sure the pattern is lined up evenly with your board.
7. Starting with the middle of the headboard, wrap fabric around the board pulling tightly. Staple to secure. Do this every inch until you get all around the board, making sure to keep it tight. Fold and staple the corners like you would fold and tape the corners of a gift with wrapping paper.
8. Cover your buttons with the fabric you want to use. Instructions for how to do this will come with the button kit.
9. Next, take your upholstery needle and embroidery floss (double threaded) and poke through the back of the headboard to the front, through a hole you drilled. Be sure to leave some end of your floss hanging through the back. Once through to the front, string the button and poke back through the hole to the back of headboard. Use the washer to tie the floss in back and secure the button. Make sure it is tight before you tie it off to ensure you have a tufted look. Lightweight wire is another option you can use instead of embroidery floss, but I found the wire more difficult (and painful to my poor fingers) to work with.
12. I used a heavy duty picture hanger to hang my headboards to the wall. To find out what weight of hanger I needed I weighed myself on the bathroom scale, and then weighed myself again holding a headboard.
UPDATE: Another hanging option–which is recommended for hanging heavy objects onto flat surfaces–is a french cleat. Please consider this simple and secure method, especially if you are not able to hang your headboard into a wall stud.