Upholstering Light Version (4)

Yes, one more technique in upholstering: Button tufting.


Materials needed:

* Buttons

* Fabric

* Upholstery needle

* Thread

* Scissors

* Stapler gun

* Spray adhesive


You can find many YouTube detailed videos on how to do button tufting, but we are going to make it as simple as possible here, and still have good looking professional results.


Let's begin:

Measure the width, length, and thickness of the foam you are going to use for your headboard. it is a good idea to have at least 3 to 4 inches of extra fabric as the button tufting uses the depth of the foam for its embellishment/manipulation. Eg: Foam is 2 inches thick then, 60"+ 2= min. length, 45"+2"= min. width. In other words:


L+ thickness= min. length

W+ thickness= min. width



As you can see above, the weave of this fabric is not tight. This is a huge advantage as when piercing it, if we make a mistake, it won't leave a hole or mark on it.


Ok, what style of tufting?



For this project, we are doing the square/rectangular pattern due to its simplicity, and high success rate. The foam has to be attached to a board. Use spray adhesive.

Once you have carefully decided where the buttons will go, measure everything carefully, and drill your holes through the foam and the wood board.


The buttons can be made to match the fabric with this:



The same pattern on the foam must be drawn on the reverse side of the fabric as well.

Now, here is the very important detail: if the thickness of the foam is 2", or 1", or 1/2", whichever, you must add this to the distance between the buttons on the fabric only on the vertical plane/line (we are doing the rectangular pattern). If we were to make a diamond tufting pattern, the thickness of the foam must be added to the horizontal, and vertical plane.

Also, the drawn lines on the reverse of the fabric will help keep the grain straight. Use a graphite pencil for this purpose. Upholstery fabric is thick, and very forgiving.



Thread your string through the shank of your buttons. Make sure the holes on your foam are the same width (diameter) as the buttons. It is crucial, as it will allow for an even depth when pulling the buttons through all the layers.


Place the fabric on top of the foam, draw the string (both ends threaded on the needle) with your button on it until you reach the back of the wooden board. Manipulate the fabric to get an even fold vertically and pin temporarily in place. Repeat for all the buttons and tie the ends on the back of the board. Stretch the fabric until all looks even and taught. Use pins to keep fabric in place.


Once all is temporarily pinned in place, and everything looks good, we can permanently attach the fabric with the staple gun. The cords pulling the buttons must be stapled in a zig-zag patterns on the back of the board. Then, begin stapling each side of the fabric to the board, work your way from the center to the corners. Fold the corners neatly, remove any bulk, and sew them with a regular needle and thread. You may use any material to cover the back of the board.




That is it !... It is ready to be installed on the frame:



Add some pillows, and you have a beautiful new tufted headboard!