"Faux" Tufted Bed Tutorial

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I was going to GET RID of this bed last week. I've never liked it!
I was going to sell it and then build my own upholstered bed.  That was the plan.
Before listing it on Craigslist, I got a crazy idea to try transforming this ugly bed into 
the upholstered bed of my dreams. (pun intended) 
So, I tackled the project and love the result.
I finished it in 2 days!
I learned some great shortcuts and tricks that I'm going to share with you in this tutorial.

This is the complete list of SUPPLIES I used…
1/2 qt. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Old White
Annie Sloan Clear Wax
Paint Brush
Old T-shirt Rag (for wax)
2 -Medium Grit Sandpaper Blocks
12 - Small Finishing Nails
Large Roll of Paper - to make pattern
Measuring Tape
Yard Stick
4 yards - Heavy Duty Foam in 1/2 inch thickness (green foam at JoAnn's)
4 yards of Fabric for Upholstery - Mine is from Premiere Fabrics
Straight Pins
2 - Dritz Nailhead Trim Kits - each measuring 5 yards
26 Upholstery Tacks (the same size as nailhead kit tacks)
Hot Glue Gun
2 - Fabric Glue Sticks (for glue gun)
Fabric Pen with Disappearing Ink

1. Make a pattern of the areas that you are going to upholster, using a roll of paper and a pencil.  You will probably need someone to hold the paper, as you trace lines with a pencil.

2. Cut out the paper pattern and lay it on the foam.  Trace the paper pattern on the foam, using a pen or marker.  Cut out foam pieces in shape of headboard and footboard patterns.  Because this foam is only half an inch thick, regular scissors will cut through it easily.
3. Place the foam piece on the headboard to make sure it fits correctly, trim as needed.
I used small nails (in corners) to hold it in place because I didn't have a helper to hold it for me.

The foam was not wide enough to reach the base of my headboard so I had to do some "piecing"
Below, I have cut another piece to go at the base.

(Below)  The two foam pieces aren't glued together yet.  I was just making sure it was correct size.

4. Using fabric glue stick, hot glue the bottom and top foam edges together, as shown below.

5. With a little help (from my dog, Cocoa) I wrapped the fabric around each foam piece (for headboard and footboard).  I used straight pins to secure it to the foam.

Footboard Piece...

...Headboard Piece

 6.  I set the fabric covered foam aside and began painting this beast!  I'm not sure if the photos show just how huge this bed is… I don't think I even realized how big it was before I painted the entire thing.
I applied two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (my favorite), then waxed and sanded it to perfection.
ASCP goes a long way - meaning - I only used 1/2 of the quart of paint on this entire project!  I have several furniture painting tutorials using ASCP that can be found here.

7.  Using small finishing nails, tack the covered pieces into place in the corners and center top and bottom.  This is just to hold it in place while you apply the upholstery nailhead trim.

Below, is the Nailhead Trim Kit.  It is SUPER EASY to use!

 The tacks are all connected and every 6th one has an open center.
You nail an upholstery tack (supplied in kit) in each of the open centered tacks.

(above) This tack is about to be hammered in.

8.  Now it is time to "faux - tuft" the headboard.  First, figure out where you want your tacks and mark with fabric marker.  My tacks are 9 inches apart.  

 9.  Nail in tacks at measured points.  I only "tufted" the headboard.  I thought the footboard looked better with only the nailhead trim.

This project was so much easier than I ever imagined and that ugly, old sleigh bed, the one that I was ready to sell on Craigslist… is now my FAVORITE piece of furniture.

If you have any questions regarding my tutorial or the products used, feel free to email me or comment below and I'm happy to help in any way I can.

I have entered this project into the "Creating with the Stars" Contest at East Coast Creative.  

My bed was featured here...

The Dedicated House
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  1. Oh my gosh, Nicole! It looks fabulous!!!!! I've always wanted to tuft my headboard (that we made from fireplace surround pieces), and this way is so easy! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial. Pinning this for sure! :)

    xoxo laurie

  2. It's amazing!!!! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features tonight at The Round-Up from the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  3. Wow Nicole ... that is an amazing makeover! It looks so much better and really brightens up the room. Great tutorial :) Thanks for all the details!
    New follower from The Dedicated House Round-up!
    Hugs & Blessings ...
    Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage

  4. You did such a great job! I love my sleigh bed, but am ready to soften the look. I already bought the foam & fabric. I just have to decide if I wanna paint & if I wanna use tacks. Fun!!

  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have the same exact bed in king size and I am ready to soften the look. Question, how is it holding up since you first did it.

    1. I'm so pleased to report that it still looks exactly the same and has held up perfectly. It was such a fun project. Please let me know how it goes. I'd love to see pics! is my email. Thanks!

  6. we have the same bed your work is amazing