How to Make a Button-Tufted Queen Headboard

A button tufted queen headboard creates a wonderfully upholstered look for your bed. When done correctly, these headboards can turn into the focal point for your bedroom. It’s not the easiest project to complete, but with some time and patience you can accomplish this without hiring a professional.

Materials Needed:

  • Plywood (preferably ¼ to ½ inch in thickness)
  • Foam batting (2 inch thickness)
  • Shank buttons
  • Upholstery fabric, thread and needles
  • Two flush mounts
  • Craft paper, very large piece for template
  • Circular saw
  • Heavy grade sandpaper
  • Stud finder
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill (1/2 inch bit needed)
  • Staple gun (1/4 inch staples needed)
  • Utility knife
  • Spray foam adhesive
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil (for making the template and marking wall spaces)
  • Finishing nails (2 inch in length)
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers

Step 1: Measure the Mattress

The plywood base needs to be one inch wider than your mattress. Typically, a queen bed is 60 inches wide, so the base would be 61 inches.

Step 2: Choose Shape and Height

This is the freestyle portion of the project. Once you choose a design, sketch it to size on the paper so you can then use it as a template. Once you sketch it out, you can use the template to cut out the plywood and determine the sizes of the padding, fabrics, etc. you will need

Step 3: Cut the Plywood

After you select your design, use the template to cut the plywood to it. The jigsaw can be used for any curves, while the circular saw can be used for any straight cuts. If you wish to save time and you only want a rectangular headboard, have the lumber yard cut it to your size.

Step 4: Smoothing the Edges

If you want, use a belt sander or edger to save time. Be sure to leave a smooth edge to avoid snags on any fabric you use.

Step 5: Mark the Plywood for Buttons

Use the pencil to mark the final positions for the buttons on your design. Once marked, drill holes in each spot with the ½ inch bit.

Step 6: Trim the Foam Pad to the Exact Shape of the Headboard

Once trimmed, you can attach the foam padding onto the headboard with the spray foam mounting material you've chosen.

Step 7: Prepare the Fabric

First iron the fabric to eliminate wrinkles, then place it on a smooth, flat surface right side down. Then lay the batting on top of the fabric.

Step 8: Attach the Fabric and Batting

Place plywood with foam attached on top of batting. Make certain to center the headboard. You want excess material on all sides, then fold that material over. Tightly staple the fabric to the plywood beginning at the top, then bottom, then each side before working your way around. Staples should be about two inches apart.

Step 9: Trim Excess Fabric and Decorate

Once trimmed, you can use the upholstery needles to thread the buttons through the previously drilled holes.

Now all that’s left is mounting your headboard. This is best done if you mount the board directly to the studs in the wall. This is where the stud finder is useful. You may need to use anchors if the headboard is very heavy, or if you can’t locate the studs. It’s best to have a friend with you to hold the headboard in place as you attach the hardware.