So there is this saying ” Champagne taste with a beer budget”, well that’s me. I always search and search for the perfect item. I envision what I want and don’t settle until I find it. The problem is, it’s usually way out of my price range! Well thats what happened when I decided to redecorate our master bedroom.

I was envisioning a teal, tufted bed and kept searching with no luck. The closest thing I could find was navy blue and it was (of course) over budget! After searching for the perfect bed without any luck, I decided I should just build one. Why not? I’ve reupholstered dining chairs and I had built a desk, but I’ve never built upholstered furniture before. So I started researching. Surely someone out there has done it!

I found a couple blog posts about DIY upholstered beds, but I didn’t like them. I didn’t want my bed to look like a DIY! I wanted this bed to have an upholstered frame and a tufted headboard with arms. I found a ton of information on DIY tufted headboards. I only found one bed plan that had sideboards on the frame, but it didn’t look like what I was envisioning.  Finally, I decided I was going to have to design the bed I wanted and just figure it out. So that’s what I did.

Once I had a plan in place, I figured out what supplies I needed.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links to make a purchase, I may receive a commission.*

Shopping List

3″ Foam
6 yards of Fabric (similar here)
1 Queen/King package of Batting Material
Long Upholstery Needle
Upholstery Thread
Cover Button Kit
Plastic Buttons
Heat n Bond Iron on Adhesive
Multi Purpose Spray Adhesive
Fabric Scissors
Heavy Duty Stapler

3 1/2″ Wood Screws
(4) 5″ Screws
1 1/2″ Wood Screws
Finishing Nails
Wood Stain

(4) 1 x 3 @ 6’
(2) 1 x 8 @ 6’
(3) 1 x 12 @ 8’
(2) 2 x 4 @ 8’
(3) 2 x 4 @ 6
(1) 4 x 8 peg board or Plywood

Bed Frame

Building the Frame
(3) 2 x 4 @ 10′ Long
(2) 2 x 4 @ 8′
(3) 1×12


(6) 2 x 4 @ 57″ (using the 10′ boards)
(2) 2 x 4 @ 83 1/4″”

After I made my cuts, I laid out the two 83 1/4″ 2×4’s vertically. Then, starting at the bottom (where you’ll attached the first 57″ 2×4 horizontally) I marked and measured 16″ between where each 2×4 would go.

I drilled my holes on the 83 1/4″ 2 x 4’s first. Then lined them back up and continued on the connecting 2x4s. I used 9 x 3 1/2 exterior wood screws.

Next I cut my 1×12 for the side boards and foot board.

(2) 1×12 @ 83″
(1) 1×12 @ 64 3/4″

Once I made the cuts, I lined them up next to the base, marked where I would drill and made my holes.


Building the Arms


(2) 2×8 @ 60″
(2) 1×8 @ 60″

Glue together (1) 1×8 and (1) 2×8. Once the glue dries, then place screws to hold them together

My 2×8’s were slightly wider than my 1x8s, so once I had them screwed together, I put my hubby, Scott, to work and had him cut off the excess.

Then I drew a graph on the top of both of them to make my curves. W 2 1/2″ each, H 3″ each.

I looked around my messy garage for something round that was large enough to make the curves. I had a mount from an extra exterior light that worked perfectly. I drew my curves and got out the jigsaw. Since Scott was already out in the garage, I had to take advantage of the help, so I asked him to cut the curves in the arms for me.


Once the arms were ready, I lined them up on the frame with the side boards.


Building the Feet

I thought I had everything planned out. Then I realized I had no idea what I was going to do for the feet! I looked around for a tutorial and couldn’t find anything I liked (I’m super picky, just ask Scott). Everything looked cheap or too homemade, so I went back to my inspirations. I started looking at all the expensive beds I loved, what their feet looked like and what I could actually make. This is what I came up with.

Supplies needed:

3 1/2″ Wood Screws
Finishing Nails
Wood Stain

Cut List:

(12) 2×4 @ 3 1/2″
(16) 1×8 @ 4 3/4″h x 5″w cut at 45 degree angle

I grabbed my scraps and cut (2) 2×4’s at 3 1/2″ and screwed them together. Then I took scrap 1x8s and cut them with 45 degree angles to form a pretty little box around the 2x4s, using finish nails to hold them together.

I stained the feet with left over stain from my desk.

Then I had to figure out the best way to attach the feet to my base. I decided to cut more of the scrap 2×4 @ 3 1/2″, lay at the corner of my base and screw in from the side.

Then place the feet exactly where they needed to be and then screw in from the top with 9×3 1/2 outdoor wood screws.

The frame is done, the arms are built and the feet are attached! Now for the fun part, upholstering!!


Side Boards and Footboard

What you’ll need:

Staple Gun

I brought in my sideboards and foot board and cleaned them thoroughly. I laid out the batting and placed my board on top of it, I left enough space to have the batting wrap around the board (about an inch and a half) and cut batting for each one.

Next, I laid out my fabric, measured out 1 1/2″ on each side to leave enough space to wrap around the board. I marked my measurements, used a T-square to draw out lines and then cut the fabric. Now it’s time to staple the fabric to the boards. I started on the ends in the middle. Once I got the first end stapled, I made sure to pull the fabric and batting nice and tight on the other end, then start stapling that end.

Once both ends were stapled, I moved to the top of the board and started in the middle. Then I repeated on the bottom of the board, making sure to pull the fabric and batting tight. I left the corners for last.


Here is how I stapled the corners.

First, I folded the corner, night a taught for a perfect straight crease.

I folded down that little flap standing up, while still holding my crease. Then, while holding that top flap down, I folded the bottom flap up and stapled.

Each corner I repeated those steps.

I brought the bed frame into my room and attached the sideboards and foot board by placing screws on the interior of the frame into the boards.

Now the boards are done!


Who knew foam was so expensive? The store I bought my fabric from wanted over $200 for foam! I searched and searched for an inexpensive option. I knew I wanted a 3″ foam. After reading countless tufting tutorials and seeing the end result, I knew I wanted a deep tuft and in order to achieve that deep tuft, you have to use at least a 3″ foam. I read one tutorial where she used two 1 1/2″ convoluted foam mattress toppers and stacked them on top of each other. So I started looking at that option. I found a 3″ convoluted foam topper for around $30 and decided to order it and see if it would work. It arrived, I opened the package and quickly realized, there was NO way it was going to be thick enough!

That same day I had to run to the hardware store. While I was there I asked if they happened to carry any foam. Of course they didn’t, BUT the gal helping me remembered a place in Portland where she went to get upholstery foam for her RV. She couldn’t remember the name so I went home and googled “upholstery foam in Portland”. I found a couple places and called one. They cut to size and had pretty great prices! My 36″ x 62 1/2″ piece of foam was $68.

For the back of the headboard, I used peg board. I thought about using plywood but peg board is less expensive and the holes were already there, all I had to do was map out my tufting holes. If I were to do this over again, I would use plywood instead. The peg board was so flimsy, I’d much rather have a sturdy backing.

What you’ll need:

Pegboard or Plywood cut to 36″ x 68 1/2″
Foam cut to 36″ x 62 1/2″
Foam Hole Puncher (I used the top of my broom)
Multi Purpose Spray Adhesive
3 Yards Fabric
Scrap fabric for Buttons
Cover buttons
Long Upholstery Needle
Upholstery Thread
Plastic Buttons
Map Tufting Holes on Board

Map Tufting Holes on Foam and Punch Holes

I got back on Pinterest and found all the tufting tutorials. I read again how they mapped out theirs. I got out the button covers and started playing with the measurements and found one that I liked. I placed all my buttons over the holes to make sure I liked how it looked, counted my buttons (so I knew how many to cover) then I marked each spot with a sharpie.

I laid the board on top of the foam, used the sharpie to mark where the tufting holes were. Then I took the cover off the top of my broom and used that for punching the holes in my foam.

Adhere Foam

Once the holes were punched, I placed the foam on top of the board. I didn’t want the foam moving, so I needed to adhere it to the board. I used the spray adhesive and sprayed along the edges of the back of the foam and glued it to the board.

Cut Batting and Fabric

Cut the batting to cover the foam. One of the tufting tutorials I read said the use 3 yards of fabric for the headboard to allow enough fabric for the tufting, so I followed her advice. It ended up being just right.

Make buttons

I found cover buttons on Ebay here:

Size 30 Cover Buttons

This kit came with a template for cutting your fabric, tools and you could choose your back and quantity.

I hated this part! After struggling with the first 10, Scott came over and asked if he could try. I gladly handed everything over to him. He finished off the final 18 for me.

Now it’s time to tuft!!


I watched this tutorial from Brick City Love before I started, if you haven’t tufted before, I suggest you do the same!

I started in the center of my headboard and worked out from there.

I followed her technique and also used plastic buttons on the back to tie the upholstery thread.

Once the tufting was complete, I continued the pleats as I pulled the fabric on to the back of the board and stapled into place. On the sides of the board, I had an extra 3″ of pegboard that the foam didn’t cover. I didn’t want fabric on here because this is where I attach the arms. On the sides, I continued the pleats from the diamonds and stapled the fabric where the foam meets the board.


Heat n Bond Adhesive Tape
Staple Gun

Upholstering the Arms

The headboard was FINALLY done, it was time to upholster the arms. Before I upholstered, I took the arms to my bed frame and placed the drill holes so I could attach the arms.

Because I chose to make my arms 60″ tall and the fabric was only 54″ wide and I did not have enough to cut the length of the fabric. So I cut two pieces.

First I measured and cut my batting. The I measured out my 54″ cut to wrap around the arm. Then I took a scrap piece and cut it 7 1/2″, leaving 1″ to staple to the bottom and 1/2″ to fold under for the top. I wrapped and stapled to the back. Once I reached the bottom I only stapled enough to hold it in place while I attached the finishing piece. You’ll have to remove and restaple when it comes time to attach the arms to the bed frame.
Next, I cut around the edging, leaving enough fabric to staple to the top (about 1/4″).

Finishing Strip

I cut a 3″ wide strip of fabric long enough to cover the front of the arm. Then, folded the insides 1/4″ and ironed into place. I drew a line with a sharpie so it would be exact. Next I placed the Heat and bond and ironed.

Once it was cool to the touch, I peeled back the tape and carefully put into place on the front of the arm. Then I ironed it to adhere to the arm.

Staple bottom pieces of fabric.

Arms are done!

Attach Arms and Headboard

Now I attach headboard to the back of the arms with screws. Then I lined up arms with the base of the bed. I had to undo the fabric at the bottom of the arm to access the holes. I used the 5″ wood screws to attach the arms to the bed frame. Then re stapled the fabric.

It’s complete! If I were to do this over again I would do a couple of things differently. First, I would spend the money on a upholstery air staple gun. Not only would it make all that stapling a breeze, but also a the staples would have a more secure hold. The other thing I would have done is attach 1x8s to the inside of the sideboards. There is about a 1″ gap between the box spring and boards that isn’t a huge problem, but a great place to drop things. Also it would give added support to the sideboards.

It wasn’t easy, but it was fun! I learned a lot during this process. There were a few trials and errors, but the most important thing I learned was that as long as you practice patience, you can do just about anything! The best part, I have a bed that I love and am proud to say I built and was able to do it in a weekend for around $400.

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