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DIY Tufted Leather Headboard [& Giveaway!]


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Hello lovelies!

Today I’m coming at you with a few details on my brand spankin new DIY tufted leather headboard, brought to you by the awesomeness of the Leather Hide Store! This is no perfect step by step detailed tutorial because most of the time I spent making this thing I was by myself, it was some sort of post-dinner after dark time of night, and I’m a bad blogger who used her phone to take pictures because my bedroom was in complete disarray with missing floorboards and half-painted furniture. Does that sounds like an excuse? Well, it kind of is!

That all being said, you may have seen the full bedroom reveal already, but today you get the details on the headboard. Why the headboard first? Because of the many requests from you wonderful readers to show you how I did it! Let’s get to it!



Here’s everything I used to make it:

  • Plywood (7/16 4×8′ cut into a 3×5′ piece at Home Depot)
  • Drill and 5/16 drill bit
  • Two 2″ twin mattress foam toppers like this – mine cost a LOT less! I have seen RE ones at Target for $14.99!
  • Adhesive spray
  • Cotton batting like this – shop around! Sometimes fabric stores have sales (as was the case with mine).
  • Staple gun and staples (I swear by this one. I have used it for every reupholstery job so far like the kitchen chairs and folding chairs)
  • Waxed thread or embroidery thread – I went with embroidery because I’m a rebel. Waxed thread won’t break, so I suggest you go for that!
  • 28 buttons
  • 1 long needle – one meant for actual upholstery, doll making or anything longer than 2 inches will work!
  • Leather or fabric of choice – my piece was about 5 1/2×4 feet which was JUST enough. I used Leather Hide Store’s Soft White. It’s deliciously creamy and amazing. For realsies. 
  • Patience

And now I give you my…

DIY Tufted Headboard in 10 Steps!

Step 1

Go to Home Depot, get your plywood of choice (truthfully, I went for the piece that felt thick enough and wasn’t expensive). This bad boy cost me $10 after tax and I had a lovely HD staff member cut into a 3×5′ piece for me (that’s the perfect size for a Queen sized bed, FIY). Do not turn down a polite man’s offer to help you get this into your car like I did. Silly pride… I hauled it in myself, but it wasn’t fun. Especially because it was raining that day.

Step 2

Wait for your husband to come home to take the plywood out of the car. I also did not do this because I never take my own advice, apparently. This is the perfect time to measure where you want the buttons (aka your “tufts”) to go. I also did not do this. OMG, you guys, this was the biggest mistake ever! I decided to go on to Step 5 (!!!) before measuring and drilling. Read on to find out why that was the WORST idea ever!


Anyway, I measured mine as follows:

Measurements for queen sized tufted headboard

I suggest leaning the plywood on something sturdy – you’ll definitely need two people for this step! One person holding the wood, one drilling. Ignore the batting in the next photo. That should not be there yet! I just wanted you to see how I measured. I just drew a 5×5″ grid then marked off where I would need the holes to go. At the bottom there is some “blank” space left, but that’s ok because it’s going to be behind the mattress anyway.

Measurements on headboard

Step 3

“Dry fit” your foam on the plywood to make sure you can get it on there ok. Cover up your floors to make sure the spray doesn’t get on everything, then spray away. Apply the foam right away and don’t worry if it’s too big. The way I did mine was as such: flat side down on the first layer of foam then spiky side down for the second so I get a smooth surface to work on. I did it this way because I bought 2″ foam and needed it a little thicker for the most budget friendly option. 

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 4

Cut off all excess foam. I used scissors for mine and it was perfectly fine. Some people suggest using an electric carving knife, but I don’t have one of those. Scissors for the win!

Flip your almost headboard over and onto the cotton batting. It helps to have two people for this step to make sure the batting isn’t bunched up anywhere under the foam, but if I managed to do it on my own, you can too!

Notice the lack of measurements and holes. Yours will not look like this because you will have learned from my terrible mistake!

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 5

Staple batting all along the edges. You don’t need this to be very taught at all. Just tug lightly on the batting, which is pretty delicate. I went for just one layer of batting. This is personal choice, as is the thickness of your foam – it totally depends on how thick and plush you want your headboard to be. I found that 4 inches of foam and one layer of batting did the trick!

Now, yours will look like this only with holes! I waited until this very moment to drill the holes and ended up having to remove ALL of the batting and even some of the foam because the drill bit got caught in the foal as I drilled. Things got all messed up and out-of-place, and I almost cried. My husband was helping me at this point and very patiently drilled as I held the foam as far from the plywood as possible.

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 6

Lean the headboard up on a wall and lay the leather face down on the floor. Put the headboard back down, foam facing down and start stapling along the top or bottom (ONLY) of your headboard. Pick one and go, not worrying too much about pulling, just making sure it’s all straight along the edge.

No picture here. Sorry… again, bad blogger working alone!

Step 7

Thread your needle and starting from the back of the headboard, first row, middle hole, poke the needle through to the front.

Pull needle and thread through your button and back through to the back of the headboard. Pull tightly and staple the thread to he back of the headboard. You may need to also hammer the staple in – I did! Finally, make a double knot at the end to ensure your thread won’t slip through the staple – just as an extra precaution!

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 8

Keep going until your fingertips are raw and you’ve watched at least 3 episodes of Vampire Diaries. Or, you know, a show for adults if you’re not a 30 going on 13 like me. 

As you can see, I chose buttons close in colour to the leather. I had considered brass/gold ones, but opted for a more classic monochromatic look. I found the buttons at Fabricland, and brought a swatch of the leather with me. I cannot believe how well they match!

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 9

Staple along all of the edges of your now almost-almost finished headboard! For this, you will want to pull tightly to make sure everything is snug as a bug. Leave the corners staple-less.

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 10

Fold the corners in neatly. If you’re using something as thick as leather, you may want to cut a short slit at the corner to make folding easier. This made all the difference for me!

Notice all of the holes… working with leather is tricky (though totally worth it), and I made my share of mistakes, but thankfully all of them are hidden behind the headboard!

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Step 11

There is no step 11! You’re done! Go have a glass of wine, watch some more vampires making out and stare at your beautiful work of art!

Please note you don’t need to follow ALL of my instructions. Just in case you didn’t know…

I’m pretty much obsessed with this project, you guys. It’s totally the best ever. I know, I say that a lot! This time I mean it!

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

The headboard isn’t actually mounted to the wall (thanks Rachelia for reminding me that I forgot to mention that). The bedframe we have is the IKEA BRIMNES, which allowed us to just place the headboard on the frame and be held in place by the mattress. It’s not attached to the wall at all, but likely will be someday. To help you with this and any other questions you might have on DIY-ing your own headboard, here are two posts I found to be super helpful when I was thinking about making mine: Sarah M. Dorsey’s headboard with nailhead and Danielle Oakey Interiors’ winged headboard

Here’s a close-up look at the tufting:

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

You can see a few more photos in the master bedroom reveal post.

DIY Tufted Leather Headboard

Now let’s get to the giveaway! Like I mentioned earlier, the Leather Hide Store was kind enough to send me the leather for this project, and we want to give you the chance to get your own lush leather for a fun project! Use the widget below and enter to win a $50 gift card! 

$50 Leather Hide Store Gift Card

Good luck!

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  • Reply Meagan

    Step 5. Tell Dog to stand on project because that always helps (why do they always do that?!?!).

    November 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Laughing so hard right now! Seriously, I have never made ANYTHING without Luther standing on it or putting it in his mouth. Insane!

      November 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply Rachelia G

    Love it! I feel like this is a *really* silly question but I’ve never made a headboard and I’ve been considering doing something like this… did you just attach the headboard to the wall at the right height, and the bedframe and mattress sit under it? It’s not attached to the bedframe, right?

    November 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply Casey @waffling

    I have always wanted a tufted headboard! I am gonna fo shizzle copy this :)

    November 12, 2014 at 7:22 pm
  • Reply Meredith

    I am so smitten with this project… I just need to find the time to do it! (And convince my husband we need a tufted headboard ;)) But more importantly let’s talk VDs. I’ve been watching it on NetFlix this month while I do late late night sessions with wee Nate. Nothing makes 45 minutes go by faster than Damon ;)

    November 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Convincing the husband is always part of a project, isn’t it?

      Ok now… I am SO glad someone else is hooked on VDs!!!! And you’re right… Time flies when you’re looking at Damon!

      November 13, 2014 at 7:49 am
  • Reply Raven Corwin, aka Meggie

    After seeing your headboard in the reveal, and then finding a ridiculously adorable (pink) damask one in a catalogue, and now having your tutorial to work from… I’m going to go for it and make one for the twin bed in my room. You really did a fabulous job on the headboard, Thalita. Truly impressed. :) Is it OK if I call you if I need help? hehe (JK)

    November 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Woo hoo!!! I love it! So glad you’re going to try it out! And of course you can :)

      November 13, 2014 at 7:45 am
  • Reply Annet M

    I like this a lot (and glad you didn’t go with gold buttons!) Really want to try it.. maybe in a funky red leather for my son’s bed. Great tutorial, warts and all! :)

    November 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      I’m glad i didn’t go for the gold too! And it sounds like you have an awesome idea for your son’s room!

      November 13, 2014 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Steph

    I so want to make a tufted headboard! Just curious, how did you attach yours? If I won the gift card, there’s a DIY leather pouf that I pinned forever ago that I would maybe try to make!

    November 13, 2014 at 10:57 am
    • Reply Thalita

      I just propped it against the wall because it can sit right on my bed frame behind the mattress. There are 2 links in the post if you want to see how a couple of other people did it :)

      Also, a pouf sounds amazing!!!!

      November 13, 2014 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Kyla @ HouseOfHipsters

    Hi Thalita! I wanted to let you know about my new linky party called Found & Foraged. After being an active participant for the last few months in parties, I’ve decided to try hosting as well! I think this post would be absolutely perfect for it! We debut Saturday night at 8PM at I really hope you can come.

    November 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Oh my gosh, Kyla, that literally sounds like the best thing ever! Oh and you’re the coolest for inviting me. Thank you!

      November 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm
      • Reply Kyla @ HouseOfHipsters

        Oh for sure! I’m so glad I found your blog yesterday! And I pinned this project! So great!

        November 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  • Reply Gathered and Sown

    I use the Hide House, they have awesome leather! I was thrilled to see this project on their page, it looks great! Thanks for the idea, if I won, I’d be buying myself some more fun, leather colors to make purses :D

    November 15, 2014 at 10:51 am
    • Reply Thalita

      That’s awesome! I had never used this much leather before – definitely a learning curve! Also, how cool that you make purses!!!!!

      November 16, 2014 at 8:56 pm
      • Reply Gathered and Sown

        Thank you! I think it’s cool,too ;) I love what I do <3

        November 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply kylad2013

    Hey Thalita! I’m so happy you linked up to Found & Foraged because I’m featuring this lovely project! WOOT! WOOT! Hope to see you again this Saturday night at 8PM at

    November 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Kyla

    So last night got really late for me and things started to blur. These linky parties are a lot of work! I came back here to double check that I did something on my list, but I don’t see my comment. So forgive me because I may have told you this already, but in case I haven’t, I’m featuring your project on the next Found & Foraged! YEAH YOU! I also wanted to thank you for linking up at Found & Foraged! We hope to see you again Saturday night at 8PM! Kyla @

    November 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Hey!!! I just saw both of your comments. You are AWESOME!!!! Thanks so much for the feature. Im SO happy we connected. I’m totally in love with your blog!!! You’re a total champ for doing all this work and hosting a linky party!

      November 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    I just sent this link to a customer today! She bought a gorgeous quilt and wants to make her own headboard!!!

    January 15, 2015 at 11:59 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Amazing! I hope it’s helpful :) and thank you so much for doing that!!!

      January 16, 2015 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    What measurements would you use for a king-sized headboard?

    February 14, 2015 at 9:57 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Unfortunately I’m not sure. This is the only headboard I have made and I have a Queen bed.

      February 17, 2015 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Lindi

    I LOVE this!! This is such an easy to follow tutorial! Pinning!! I’m asking bloggers to share their leather projects at the Create With Me monthly party at Love Create Celebrate. I hope you’ll come by and share!

    May 2, 2016 at 11:06 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much, Lindi!!

      May 9, 2016 at 6:53 am

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