How To: Tuft an Upholstered Headboard

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This "how to" assumes that you are building your own upholstered headboard (see instructions, here) and that you have already prepared the wood, foam, batting, lining fabric, and showing fabric. It also requires that your piece of plywood already has 1/2" holes drilled into it, where you wish to place the tufts.

Additional Readings/How-tos

Materials Upholstered headboard with 1/2" drilled holes.
Foam, batting, and fabrics should already be attached to the wood Tapestry needle (a long upholstery needle is even better)
Embroidery thread, scissors
Covered Button (see the how to for fabric covered buttons)
Needle nose pliers
Backing button that is larger than 1/2" drilled hole  

Step 1: Thread Needle with Button and Push from Back to Front of Headboard Thread the needle with the thread, and push it through one of the backing-button holes. Push the needle through a drilled hole. If you cannot push it all the way through the fabric, use the needle nose pliers to help push. Pushing through the fabric can be really challenging.  

Step 2: Pull Needle Through Front Fabric Once the needle pokes through the front fabric, you may need to use the needle nose pliers to pull it the rest of the way out. You should leave a 3 or 4 inch tail of thread on the wrong-side of the headboard. You will need this later to tie off the threads.
Step 3: Thread the Needle Through a Covered Button and Push Back Through Drilled Hole Thread the covered button onto the needle, and then push the needle back through the front of the fabric. Remember to leave a 4" tail of thread on the wrong side of the headboard.  

Step 4: Pull Needle Back Through Drilled Hole This can take many tries, as pushing a small needle through 3 inches of foam, batting, and fabric is not exact. Try not to put too many holes in your front fabric! Once you get the needle to push through into the drilled hole, you should pull it out, using the needle nose pliers if necessary.
Step 5: Thread the Needle Through the Backing Button and Tie Off Now that the needle is back through the drilled hole, you should push it through another hole in the backing button and then tie several knots with the two ends, to ensure that the covered button does not come loose. Do not pull the thread too tightly! You want to reduce stress on the embroidery thread, if possible.  

Step 6: Cut Threads to 3 or 4" Long and You're Done!


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