New Headboard Upholstery

Well, it started out as redoing the guest room. It became a dumping ground for all the mismatched furniture and belongings. I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. Some people choose to redo the guest room before the master bedroom. It wasn’t the case here. It ended up with any and everything that was replaced from other rooms.

So goes the headboard…….

It was a “lovely” red velvet castoff from the 60’s? It came with the second husband. I always teased him about his Bordello headboard, as that is what I imagined when a bachelor has a Red Velvet tufted headboard! He tried to hide it with some animal hide, but it was lurking under there just the same!

I didn’t get a good before photo (when I decided to reupholster I got it done!) it had also had a temporary makeover after we got married. In a striped fabric, then again when it was cast off into the guest room of our current house when I built our current headboard 10 years ago.


So first I ripped the layers I added off.


Be forwarned that when you decide to reupholster something it takes the longest to strip the old off and all those staples!


So here she is all naked. I added longer legs so she shows when she is behind the bed. For some reason, I think maybe newer mattresses and box springs are thicker that they were back then? It seems that older headboards are short and don’t show up much.

So I had to add more to the back and extra foam the same thickness as the original. I wanted to make her taller. It was in great shape so I was able to use it over again.  As a side note the addition will be behind the mattress so really won’t show so no need to tuft or worry about the look of the new foam here.


The foam already had the holes cut for the tufting. These are the size of a quarter, so they will have very deep tufting.

I chose a drop cloth and washed it several times with bleach and fabric softener drying it on High. This made it a nice soft piece of large cheap fabric in a neutral tone. This made the perfect backdrop for the guest room makeover. I spread it out and placed the funky Red Velvet piece I removed on top and cut it out with a little extra around the edges for good measure. You will use extra fabric when tufting and it is better to trim later than discover you are short on one side after you have worked so hard placing the buttons and arranging the fabric.

The buttons for the tufting were in great shape to reuse. I simply cut small circles from the new fabric.


Then using the hot glue gun, attacked the new fabric to the buttons.


Apply a little hot glue to the button top and around the back then scrunch the fabric around.


Once the buttons where all done, I spread the cut fabric onto the top of the headboard foam. Working from the center top I worked the points on the buttons through the fabric and back.

It is important to start in the center and work down then from side to side. These are deep tufts and the fabric needed to be “folded” into the holes to create the deep tufts. Take your time here, you want this to look good.

Once all the button tufts were in place it is time to staple around the edges. Here you will have to fold again that extra fabric from the tufts around to the back. Staple as you go.

You can staple some backing material to the back or leave it open if you wish. If you want to save some money use and old sheet. Cut and fold under then staple around the back.


Here it is. This awful photo is the only one I could find right after I finished stapling the back. You can see the new foam line but this is hidden behind the new mattress.


It is a far cry from the “Bordello” headboard I started with. Now we have started with  the guest room overhaul.



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