Beaded Chandeliers in the Bedroom

Our new light bulbs are helping to brighten up our bedroom, but I still really want to swap out our outdated ceiling fan for some kind of large light fixture.

Master bedroom with high ceilings via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I know ceiling fans can be really useful, especially in the south, but I actually feel like ours is too high up to do much good. Plus, it shakes when it’s on, and that makes me reeeaaal nervous.

I’m so antsy to get rid of the ceiling fan that I haven’t even bothered to replace the creepy teddy bear hanging from the cord. Can you see it?

Master bedroom with white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t you think a big rustic-y light fixture would just give the room some extra oomph? I want something elegant, but not too fancy. My dream is a beaded chandelier, like these:

The most affordable and attractive one I’ve found is the Large Beaded Chandelier from World Market.

World Market Large Beaded Chandelier

But at $269.99, it’s still not exactly cheap. I keep wondering if I could DIY it. I found a few versions that other bloggers have made:

All of the posts have great tutorials, but I’m a little intimidated. It looks like a really time-consuming project, and it could turn out looking really cheap. Bethany from Dwellings by Devore wrestled with the same issue, and she ended up just buying the World Market one. And look how amazing it looks in her dining room!

Definitely something to think about. And in the meantime, there’s a question floating around in my mind: Will hanging a chandelier make it more obvious that the beams aren’t centered in the room?

Ceiling fan and white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Uggghhh. Our bed isn’t centered between the windows because the windows aren’t centered on the wall, and the beams aren’t centered with anything.

Ceiling fan and vaulted ceilings via Glitter and Goat Cheese

So, would you hang a chandelier in our bedroom? Should I save up for the World Market one, or give DIY a try? I’d love to hear what you all think!

By the way, there’s only one more day to enter my giveaway for a $25 Target gift card and a set of GE reveal® bulbs! Visit this post to find out how. The giveaway ends at 6 p.m. (eastern) tonight!

Our Bedroom Lighting Makeover + a Giveaway

Brad and I absolutely love our bedroom. In fact, the big space and high ceilings were some of the key selling points when we bought our house. But one of the things that has always bugged us is the lack of overhead lighting. I know, I know – overhead lighting is unflattering, and cold, and not intimate, etc etc etc. But it takes a lot of bright lamps to light up all that space and high ceilings.

So, when the nice folks at GE Lighting asked us if we’d like to try out their new reveal® bulbs, we jumped at the chance.

GE reveal bulbs - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Reveal® bulbs are supposed to filter out dingy yellow tones and make colors pop – a big plus, since the peacock blue of our headboard can look a bit muddy in incandescent light. We tested out the bulbs at night, since that’s when we need the most help with lighting.

Here’s what our room looks like with regular incandescent bulbs.

Bedroom with incandescent lighting - Glitter and Goat Cheese

Blegh.

Bed area light with incandescent bulbs - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I resisted the urge to Photoshop or color-correct these photos, so you can really see how yellow our old bulbs were. Here’s how it looks with the new reveal® bulbs:

Bedroom with GE Reveal bulbs - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Bed area lit by GE Reveal bulbs - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Big difference! The light is just so much cleaner. Here’s another area of our room, before we changed out the bulbs:

Dresser lit by incandescent bulb - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

And after:

Dresser lit by GE Reveal bulb - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

What’s nice about the reveal® halogen bulbs is that they’re energy-efficient, but they work just like an incandescent – you don’t have to wait for them to warm up. They’re bright as soon as you turn them on.

I’ll admit – I was skeptical about whether these bulbs would be much of an improvement. But I stand corrected! It was pretty cool to see how much they made a difference in some close-up shots.

Before and after lamp with GE Reveal bulb - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Before and after photo with GE-Reveal bulb - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Want to try out your own lighting makeover with reveal® bulbs? I can help! GE and Target are providing a $25 Target Giftcard and a package of GE reveal® light bulbs for me to give away on the blog*. Maybe you can use the gift card toward a fancy new lamp to go with your new bulbs? Perhaps this amazing gold Nate Berkus one? If you do, you should know that I will be crazy-jealous.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter. Leave a comment below with your account info so that I can see your post.
  • In your post and comment, tell me which room you’d like to makeover.
  • In your post, use the hashtags #GEreveal and #Targetgiftcard.

For example, your post might say: “If I win #GEreveal bulbs+ #Targetgiftcard, I’ll makeover my _____! http://bit.ly/1feACQV

You must be a U.S. citizen to enter the giveaway. Keep in mind that I won’t be able to see your post if your account is private!

The giveaway ends next Thursday (Feb. 27) at 6 p.m. The winner will be randomly chosen. While you’re waiting, get inspired with this video featuring four tastemakers talking about the importance of good lighting.

If you just can’t wait to find out if you won, you can also get a 25% discount on reveal® bulbs with Target’s Cartwheel app until Feb. 28. Just search for “GE reveal” in the app.

OK, ready to enter? And … go!

*GE and Target are only providing the product and not running the giveaway.

DIY Velvet Diamond-Tufted Headboard

It is done.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted peacock blue velvet headboard

After many hours of stitching, stapling, folding and general toiling, our new headboard is finally (mostly) done! We still need to attach it to our bed frame and I’d like to make a cover for the back, but no matter. It’s in our bedroom and we’re using it, so it’s done enough.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY peacock blue tufted velvet headboard

Kindly pretend you can’t tell how wrinkled my bedding is, will ya?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted velvet headboard and wood platform bed

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: the tutorial. For the most part, I followed this post from Little Green Notebook, but I did a few things differently, so hopefully, some information about my process will still be valuable to the blogosphere.

Supplies:

  • Fabric: For my king-sized headboard, I used 5 yards, but I had quite a bit left over. 4 yards would have been OK, I think. My fabric is Como 170 Cyan from The Fabric Co..
  • Covered buttons: There are a number of ways to procure these. Check out this post to see how I made mine.
  • For the frame (optional if you’re hanging the headboard on the wall): Wood (we used 1x3s), screws and a drill, plus anything you need to stain or paint it.
  • Pegboard
  • Chalk
  • Sharpie
  • Electric carving knife
  • Small sharp knife: I used a paring knife.
  • Spray adhesive
  • Foam: I used a 3″ queen-sized mattress pad from Amazon
  • High-loft batting: I used twin-sized. It just needs to be a little larger than the dimensions of your headboard.
  • Long needles: I used the 6″ needle from this pack of decorator’s needles by Dritz Home.
  • Waxed button thread: I went through 4 packages.
  • Staple gun and staples: I used this pneumatic stapler with this air compressor and Arrow T50 staples in both 3/8″ and 5/8″ lengths. (The longer ones were for stapling into the wood frame, and the shorter ones were for stapling into the pegboard.)
  • Fasteners for attaching the bed to the wall or your bed frame

I’m breaking this down into a few categories: preparing the buttons, preparing the frame and foam, and tufting.

PREPARING THE BUTTONS:

Step 1: Figure out how many buttons you need. Look at pictures of headboards you like, and see if you can count the number of buttons in each row. The more buttons you use, the smaller your diamond tufts will be. I wanted small, close-together tufts, so I determined that I’d want 12 or 13 buttons in my rows. This meant that they’d be about 6″ apart horizontally, and in order to form general diamonds, I’d need to space the rows 4″ apart vertically. I wanted our headboard to be 26″ tall but didn’t need the tufts to go all the way to the bottom, so I decided that 5 rows would be enough.

I mapped everything out in Adobe Illustrator to make sure I was on the right track:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Computer mock-up of tufted headboard

Three rows of 12 + two rows of 13 = 62 buttons.

Step 2: Cover your buttons with your fabric. I used this method.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hand-Stitched Velvet Covered Buttons

CONSTRUCTING THE FRAME AND PREPARING THE FOAM:

Step 1: Cut your 1×3 boards down to size, or ask someone at Lowe’s or Home Depot to cut them for you. You’ll need two long pieces to go from the floor to the top of the headboard, two long pieces to go across the top and bottom of the headboard, and two short pieces to support the center of the headboard. Keep in mind that 1×3 boards aren’t exactly 3″ wide – ours were 2.5″. You can see our measurements here:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized headboard frame measurements

Step 2: Attach the 4 long pieces. Brad used his Kreg jig to attach ours, but regular screws would probably be OK. Don’t attach the center support boards yet.

Step 3: Stain or paint the legs of your headboard. I finished mine the same way I finished our bed frame – gel stain and Polycrylic. (Find out more about how we made our bed frame here.)

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized headboard frame with stained legs

Step 4: Cut your pegboard down to size, or ask someone at the store to do it for you. It should be the dimensions that you want your headboard to be (in our case, 77.5″x26″).

Step 5: Mark where your buttons will go on both sides of your pegboard with white chalk.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Marked pegboard for DIY tufted headboard

Step 6: Cut your foam to the same dimensions as the pegboard with an electric carving knife. (Tip: We laid our pegboard over the foam and traced it, then cut on our traced lines.) I don’t have any photos of this step because I was holding the foam while Brad cut, but it’s easy, trust me!

Step 7: Lay the pegboard over the foam and use your Sharpie to poke through the holes and mark where the buttons will go. I’d recommend labeling the front and back of both your pegboard and your foam, in case your button placements aren’t perfectly symmetrical. You don’t want to accidentally flip over your pegboard and then have your holes not line up!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Using marked pegboard to mark foam for DIY tufted headboard

Step 8: Use the paring knife to carve out the foam where the buttons will be placed. The hole should be slightly wider than your buttons. I had a lot of trouble with this when I was making my bench, but I got the hang of it this time around. The trick is to cut your circle about halfway through the foam first to get the shape right, and then go back in to cut all the way through.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Cutting a hole in foam for DIY tufted headboard

When you’ve cut all the way through, reach your fingers down and poke through any spots you missed, then pull the foam cylinder out.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Pulling foam cylinder out for DIY tufted headboard

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Foam cylinder cut out for DIY tufted headboard

When you’re done, your foam will look like this (and your living room floor will be a mess):

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Headboard foam with cut-outs for buttons

Step 9: Attach your pegboard to your frame. Brad used pegboard screws.

Step 10: Attach your center supports, making sure not to block a hole where a button needs to go. Again, Brad used his Kreg jig for this.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized headboard frame with center supports

Now, your basic frame is done! Woohoo! The back looks like this:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized DIY tufted headboard with wood frame and pegboard

And the front looks like this:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY king-sized tufted headboard with pegboard and frame

Step 11: Using the spray adhesive, attach your foam to your pegboard. Make sure you’re placing the front of the pegboard against the back of the foam so that your holes line up.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Headboard foam attached to frame with spray adhesive

If any holes don’t line up perfectly because you didn’t cut straight through, that’s OK – I ended up reaching down and scraping out some extra foam to make sure I could get to the right hole.

Step 12: Wrap your batting around the front of the pegboard, then staple it to your frame in back. This is a good opportunity to practice wrapping the corners! I just stapled down the sides first, then folded down the top like I was wrapping a present.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted headboard with batting over foam

Step 13: Make holes in the batting over the holes in the foam. I started off using the paring knife, but ended up just using with my fingers. Batting rips really easily.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted headboard with holes in batting

Now you’re ready to tuft!

TUFTING

Step 1: Put your frame in a raised position so you can access both the top and bottom of the headboard. I laid mine across two saw horses. Lay your fabric across the top, attempting to center it. Grab a partner – tufting is a two-person job.

Step 2: Starting in the center of the top row, make your first tuft. Work your way from the center out to the sides. Then, start the next row from the center and repeat.

For each tuft, thread your needle with a generous arm-length of waxed button thread and push it all the way from underneath the pegboard up through the fabric over the hole. Once it’s through, thread your button. Then, push the needle back down through the fabric, batting, foam and pegboard. Cut the thread to remove your needle.

Pull all four ends of the thread tightly. I found that I couldn’t pull the button all the way down to the pegboard – it looked silly. I think I ended up pulling each button 2/3 of the way through the foam. Once you’ve gotten the button where you want it, use your staple gun to staple the thread to the pegboard. Pull in different directions so the thread can’t just slip through the staples.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Using staples and waxed button thread to tuft a headboard

Our method went like this: I got underneath to poke the needle up and through everything, then threaded the button and pushed the needle back down again. While I was adjusting the folds and pushing the button down into the foam, Brad lay on the floor to pull and staple the threads to the pegboard. This is why a pneumatic stapler is helpful – it’s really difficult to staple while you’re lying on your back!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Tufting a DIY velvet headboard

I had some trouble getting the tension right for the first row, but each row after that was easier, since I just had to make sure I was creating my diagonal folds. My trick was to create the folds and push the fabric into the holes before I poked my needle through. This way, the needle ended up in the right spot, and my fabric didn’t bunch up awkwardly.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Tufting a DIY blue velvet headboard

You may not need to pre-fold with thinner fabric, but with mine, if I just crammed the fabric into each hole, I ended up with a bunch of folds coming out from the button, instead of four clean ones. I wish I had figured that out before the third row, but oh, well.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufting a velvet headboard

The folds between all the center buttons should be diagonal, but for all of the buttons along the top, sides and bottom, you’ll want to create straight folds out to the edge of the frame. Try to fold them all in the same direction, if you can.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted velvet headboard before stapling edges

BE CAREFUL not to let the fabric move around too much while you’re tufting – it needs to stay centered. I majorly screwed up my first row and ended up with my fabric so crooked that I had to rip out all the tufts and start over again. It was really sad, because the holes didn’t go back into the same spots, so I have a few visible holes in my fabric. They’re not super noticeable unless you’re up close, but still – sad.

Step 3: When you’re done tufting, it’s time to staple the fabric around the edges of your frame. Starting from the center of each side, make sure your straight folds look right, then pull tight and staple the fabric down. Stop before you get within a few inches of the corners – you’ll want to leave those for last.

We tackled the bottom corners first, because I was intimidated by the legs and wanted to get them over with. I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I started by pushing the stapler up under the foam along the bottom of the pegboard and stapling it there. Then, I took some of the excess fabric from the side, wrapped it around the bottom, and stapled that to the bottom of the pegboard, too.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Stapling edges of DIY tufted headboard by frame legs

Finally, I cut off the excess as close to the staples as I could. It doesn’t look perfect, but I knew it wouldn’t be visible once the mattress was directly underneath it.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Stapling edges of DIY tufted velvet headboard by legs

For the top corners, we folded back the sides and stapled them tightly, then wrapped the top over and stapled again.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Upholstering the corners of a DIY tufted headboard

When we were done stapling and the fabric was secure all the way around, I cut off all my excess fabric. I left about an inch past the staples just in case the staples started to tear through the fabric (hopefully, they won’t!).

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Back of DIY tufted headboard

The final step will be to attach the headboard to our bed frame with carriage bolts, but for now, it’s just wedged between the bed and the wall, and it’s standing up on its own (though not very securely).

I’d also like to create a fabric cover to go over the back. I’ll attach it with velcro so I can remove it and tighten buttons if necessary.

For now, though, we’re just enjoying having the headboard in our bedroom!

Here’s a photo with no pillows on our bed so you can see how the bottom ended up:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY Peacock Blue Velvet Tufted Headboard with No Pillows

There are definitely some imperfect aspects of this headboard. For example, why are there horizontal folds across the top row of buttons, and diagonal folds coming down from the bottom row? I don’t know, but I couldn’t get rid of them.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY teal velvet diamond tufted headboard - close-up

But overall, we absolutely love it. It makes our room feel more finished, and homey, and perhaps even a little bit fancy?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Bedroom with DIY tufted velvet headboard and wood platform bed

Here’s the cost breakdown (keep in mind that everything I purchased at Joann was bought with either a coupon or when it was on sale – patience pays off!):

Fabric: $154.95 (5 yards at $30.99 a yard)
Foam: $86.67
Half ball button covers: $30.24 (16 packages of 4 at $1.89 each)
Fabri-Tac glue for buttons: $5.50
High-loft batting: $16.19
Pegboard: $16.48
Wood for frame: $14.32
Waxed button thread: $10.76 (4 packages at $2.69 each)
Spray adhesive: $7.98
Total: $343.09

I didn’t count the supplies I already had (screws, drill, chalk, Sharpie, knives, needles, stapler, etc). Our bed frame cost about $250 to make, bringing the grand total to $593.09. I know that sounds like a lot, but for comparison, let’s look at similar products from West Elm:

Boerum King Bed Frame: $499 + $50 delivery surcharge
King-Sized Tall Grid Tufted Headboard in Lagoon Velvet: $649 + $60 delivery surcharge
Shipping & Processing: $114.80
Tax: $109.82
Total: $1,482.62

Considering that our bed and headboard are probably made from higher-quality products and I like them better, I’m feeling pretty good.

Anyway, I hope this crazy-long post was helpful (and that all the photos didn’t crash your computer)! You can see a little more information about my tufting process in this post about tufting a storage bench. See how I chose the fabric here, see how I covered the buttons here, and see how we made our bed frame here.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments!

Our Hand-Built King-Sized Platform Bed

Well, it’s been a little over a month since we finished our new bed, and I’m just getting around to posting about it. Whoops!

I’m just gonna kill the suspense and kick this off with a picture of the finished product.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hand-built king-sized wood platform bed

Ta-da! There she is. OK, now let’s back up for a minute.

We’ve been wanting a king-sized bed ever since we started letting our dog sleep with us. (Brad will endlessly blame that on me, because I invited her into the bed while he was out of town once. But it’s not my fault, because she WILL. NOT. SLEEP when he’s not home, and she was driving me frigging insane pacing all over the house. I invited her into bed so that I could cuddle her until she was unconscious. It was absolutely necessary.)

Macy takes up a lot of space on my side – she insists on sleeping with all four legs completely straight – and Bela, our big cat, sleeps at Brad’s feet. When we were sleeping in a queen-sized bed, we were basically both sharing the very center of the bed. It was not a good situation.

We got our mattress at Macy’s during their Columbus Day sale. It’s a Beautyrest “Vanderbilt” firm pillowtop, which I can’t find on the website anymore, but I’m pretty positive that this one is exactly the same. It’s the freaking bomb. We scheduled a delivery for a few weeks out, without actually having chosen a bed frame. We knew we wanted a platform bed, though, so we skipped buying the box spring and saved a few hundred dollars.

After some shopping around, we found the Boerum bed frame from West Elm.

West Elm Boerum Bed Frame in Cafe

We really liked it, but we soon found out that after a mandatory shipping surcharge plus tax and regular shipping, the frame alone would cost almost $650. No, no, no. That was when Brad decided that he could build a wood platform bed himself.

I have to admit it – I was a little skeptical. Brad’s certainly not a construction newbie, but previous to this, the biggest furniture project he’d ever completed was a work bench for the garage. It seemed like a big step from that to an object that would need to hold a mattress, two humans and up to three animals every single night. But he insisted that he could do it, so I decided to have faith in him. Marriage!

We found these two plans on Ana White’s website: an upholstered platform bed and a fancy farmhouse bed. We wanted the general frame of the farmhouse bed, but the chunky legs from the upholstered bed, so Brad combined them to make his own plan.

The inner frame is made from pine 2x4s, which he joined using his new Kreg jig. He loves that thing.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized wood platform bed frame

He attached four support legs in the middle of the bed with lag bolts.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized wood platform bed frame with center support legs

While Brad was constructing the frame, I was working on finishing the sides and legs. We got the wood for both from Peach State Lumber in Kennesaw. The sides are cherry and the legs are poplar, which, as it turns out, are both damn near impossible to stain. Now, before the wood nuts come down on me for wanting to stain cherry, hear me out: We wanted a café-colored finish, like the West Elm bed. That’s what matches our bedroom. Brad picked cherry because it had the nicest grain. Can you blame him?! We didn’t know!

After a lot of trial and error, I finally found a combination of products to get a mostly blotch-free finish: 1) One coat of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner applied with a foam brush. 2) Three coats of Minwax Gel Stain (we used Hickory), applied a few hours after the conditioner, also with a foam brush. 3) Two coats of Minwax Polycrylic, applied with a bristle brush. (You have to make sure the stain is completely dry and cured before you use the polycrylic, since the stain is oil-based and the polycrylic is water-based. I waited three days just to be sure.)

The finishing process was painful. I hate gel stain. I hope to never use it again (except for on the legs of our headboard, which will need to match the bed). But at least when I was done, the legs and sides were basically the same color.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized wood platform bed with cherry sides and poplar legs

In case anyone’s curious, the sides were made from 1×6 boards, and the legs were made from 4x6s. Brad cut the legs down to 4×4 so they’d be square. The legs are attached to the frame with pocket hole screws (using the Kreg jig), and the sides are attached with a combination of pocket hole screws and finishing nails.

The last – and easiest – step of the bed construction was the creation of the slats, which will hold the mattress in lieu of a box spring. Brad bought 20 1×3 furring strips and cut them down to the right length, then stapled them all to a long nylon strap.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY platform bed slats made from furring strips and a nylon strap

Our mattress salesman suggested putting a piece of plywood under the mattress for optimal support, but Brad read online that you need air flow to avoid mold growth. Gross! So far, the slats are doing just fine.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized wood platform bed

We did all the cutting and finishing in the weeks before our mattress was delivered, but Brad waited to construct the bed upstairs until the day of our delivery. Once he was done laying the slats across the frame, we were ready to heft the mattress on top.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hand-built king-sized wood platform bed with Beautyrest pillowtop mattress

We jumped on it a few times to test its strength before we put the sheets on. It passed the jump test with flying colors.

And that was it! Our sheets are Palais Royale from Bed Bath and Beyond. They’re super soft, and not too expensive if you have a 20% off coupon. Our duvet cover (which doesn’t have a comforter in it yet) and matching shams are by Bellino Fine Linens. I bought them on Rue La La before we even bought our mattress – impulse buy to the max! The throw pillows are from Ikea and will soon be replaced with some DIY ones, once I can afford a few fabrics from Spoonflower.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - King-sized hand-built wood platform bed

We’ve slept so much better in the month since we got our new bed, and I’m so glad we finally went for it. Did I mention how amazing our mattress is?! Gah. It’s seriously insane. Ain’t nothin’ like a quality mattress. It’s like sleeping on a cloud.

We’re working on the headboard separately now. It’ll be attached to the frame with some kind of bolts and will be totally amazing.

Oh, and to compare our bed frame cost to the West Elm one: I think we ended up spending around $200-250 for the lumber and supplies to build ours. Not too shabby compared to $650, eh?

So, would you ever take on a hand-built bed frame, or are we crazy?

Reupholstering and Tufting a Storage Bench

When it comes to DIY projects, I am huge proponent of practice. For someone like me who isn’t a natural crafter, it’s especially important. I have big plans to upholster and diamond-tuft a velvet headboard for our new bed, but king-sized headboards are very large, and velvet is very expensive. If that were my first upholstering and tufting project, I could end up with a very costly mistake. So, I practiced.

I bought this storage bench from Target a few years ago. I still like the function of it, but I was over the fabric.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Target storage bench

I wanted to practice reupholstering and tufting, but I couldn’t find a tutorial for doing both on a storage bench. I did find this tutorial for reupholstering a bench very similar to mine, so I knew it could be done. And of course, there are tons of diamond tufting tutorials – this one is my favorite – so I just decided to kind of wing it.

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Phillips head and flat-head screwdrivers
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Ruler or level
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie
  • Drill
  • Staple gun
  • Button cover kit (I used 5/8″ buttons)
  • Scissors
  • Fabric (I think I used about four yards, but I would have been better off with five – measure around the perimeter of the bench and across the top to see how much you need, then add at least an extra yard to account for the tufting)
  • A long needle, around 5″ (I used doll needles)
  • Waxed button thread
  • Paring knife, pipe, hollow broom handle, etc (some way to make holes in the foam)

Prep work:

Step 1: Look at pictures of other tufted items online to figure out how many buttons you want. Use your button cover kit to make the buttons.

Step 2: Cut your fabric. Measure all the way around the base of the bench, then add about 4″ for overlap in the back. That’s your bottom piece.

To measure the top, you need to add double the foam thickness for each tuft, because the fabric needs to go in and then come back out. Make sense? I didn’t think of adding fabric for the tufts when I measured mine, but this is what I wish I had done:

(Foam thickness x 2 x Max # of buttons across long way) + Length of board + (Foam thickness x 2 for ends) + 4″ for stapling the bottom = Total fabric length

(Foam thickness x 2 x Max # of buttons across short way) + Width of board + (Foam thickness x 2 for ends) + 4″ for stapling the bottom = Total fabric width

My foam was 4″ thick and I planned to have 4 buttons across the length and 3 buttons across the width. So this should have been my math:

(4 x 2 x 4) + 38 + (4 x 2) + 4 = 82″ length

(4 x 2 x 3) + 18 + (4 x 2) + 4 = 54″ width (this happens to be the width of the fabric bolt – how convenient!)

That was SO confusing to try and explain. Leave questions in the comments if you’re confused and I’ll try to do better!

Then, onto the actual reupholstery and tufting process. I started with the top because I was dying to get the tufting out of the way first.

Step 1: Take off the hinges, feet, and any other hardware.

Step 2: Remove any fabric lining on the inside of bench top so that you can see where the previous fabric was attached. Try to keep it completely intact, if possible, so you can reuse it at the end.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Top of Target storage bench

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Top of Target storage bench close-up

Step 3: Remove the fabric from the top of the bench. If you’re feeling ambitious, attempt to use the flat-head screwdriver and pliers to pry out the staples. This isn’t easy. If you can’t get them out, give up and cut it off, like I did.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Parts of Target storage bench top

Whatever. It’s fine!

Step 4: Get that old fabric outta there! You should have a piece of wood, a piece of foam and a piece of batting.

Step 5: Using your ruler/level and pencil, measure out where you want your tufts to fall. This part is a little bit tricky. Your rows of buttons should alternate from odd numbers to even numbers. I had three rows, with three buttons on the outer rows and four on the inner row. To measure, I spaced out the three outer buttons evenly across the board, and then offset the buttons on the center row. They should be halfway between the buttons in the row next to them. Does that make sense?

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Top of storage bench marked with tufting spots

Maybe this diagram will help:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Diamond tufting diagram

See the diamonds?

Step 6: Drill holes through each button mark. I used a 3/8″ bit, I think. It just needs to be big enough to fit the tip of your Sharpie through, so that you can …

Step 7: Lay the wood on top of the foam, and poke the Sharpie through the holes to mark them on the foam.

Step 8: Make holes in your foam that are a little wider than your buttons. I used a paring knife, but I found it pretty difficult and they came out really messy. Next time, I think I’ll just use a pipe or hollow broom handle.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Upholstery foam with holes for tufting

Step 9: Lay your batting on the floor, then flip the foam over and put that on top of it. Put the wood on top of the foam, with the marked side up. If your batting is big enough, wrap it around the foam and board, and staple it down. My batting wasn’t big enough, so I should have used spray adhesive to attach the foam to the board, but I didn’t, because I’m a dummy.

Step 10: Lay the fabric that you’ve cut for the top on the ground, then put the batting, foam and board on top of that.

This was when I realized that I hadn’t given myself nearly enough fabric on the width. I wasn’t going to be able to do the deep tufts I had hoped for, and I wasn’t sure how deep I could go without running out of fabric, so I left myself as much slack as possible and stapled the edges. This way, the staples would keep me from pulling the tufts too tight.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Marked top of storage bench with fabric

Step 11: Flip the whole thing over so that the fabric is on top, but you have access to the wood underneath. I put one end of the board on my coffee table and the other end on my chaise.

Step 12: Measure out an arm-length of thread, then thread your needle. Tie a single knot so that the thread will stay put.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Doll needle with thread

Step 13: Starting in the middle of your top row, poke the needle up through your first hole, all the way through the foam, batting and fabric. I made sure it came through in the right spot by placing my hand over the fabric, then poking around gently with the needle until I could feel it under my hand on the other side. Don’t stab yourself, though!

Step 14: Once the needle is through the fabric, put it through your button.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Tufting a storage bench

After threading the button, push your needle back down through the fabric, batting, foam and wood. It isn’t easy to find the same hole in the wood, but you’ll get the hang out of it. You just have to poke around.

Do a few buttons before you start pulling them tight. This will make it easier to see how much fabric slack you’ll need between them for the tufts.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - View of tufting from underneath top

Step 15: Pull on a few buttons at once to get an idea of how the tufting will look. Your fabric can’t be too tight, or you won’t be able to create the folds that form the diamonds. Once you’ve gotten the hang of that, start stapling your thread to the board. You’ll want to use a few staples for each thread, pulling it in different directions so it can’t slip through. It helps to have an assistant for this part: One person pushes down on the buttons on the top, and the other person is underneath stapling.

As you’re stapling, create the diagonal folds by kind of poking the fabric in on itself. It’s easy, I promise. You’ll also want to create horizontal and vertical folds (straight, not diagonal lines) from the outer buttons to the edge of the bench top.

Step 16: Once you’re done with all the buttons, wrap the rest of the fabric tightly around the board and staple it down.

Step 17: Cut off your extra fabric. I used pinking shears so it’d be less likely to fray. It should end up looking like this:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Bottom of tufted storage bench with staples

Step 18: Put the lining back on top, and staple it down.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Tufted storage bench with cover stapled on

That’s it for the top! The bottom is easy.

Step 1: Lay your fabric on the ground, then put the bench on its side on top of it. I didn’t remove the old fabric – I just went over it.

Step 2: Wrap the fabric tightly all the way around the bottom of the bench. Staple one end to the back of the bench. Then, fold over the other edge (you can hem it if you’re fancy) so that it looks nice and clean. Wrap it tightly, then staple at the top and bottom of the bench. The staples shouldn’t be visible from the outside. You can use fabric glue to reinforce it.

Step 3: Staple the fabric all along the perimeter of the bench on the top and the bottom. Make sure the staples are in spots that you won’t be able to see when the bench is shut.

Step 4: Cut off your extra fabric.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Bottom of reupholsterd storage bench

Now, time to finish up! Just one step: re-attach all the hardware and the feet. Or rather, ask someone else to do it for you, because your fingers REALLY hurt.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Close-up of inside reupholstered storage bench

The end! Here’s my finished product:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Reupholstered and tufted lavender storage bench

It’s far from perfect, but I like it.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Top of reupholstered and tufted lavender storage bench

Because the fabric on the top is so tight, the folds won’t stay put and keep pulling themselves out. The tufts aren’t deep enough, either. And lastly, two of the buttons have already come apart.

Oh, well!

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Tufted and reupholstered lavender storage bench
(There’s a sneak peek at our new bed!)

I learned a lot from this process, which was the whole point, so I consider it a success. My key learnings are:

  • Leave lots of extra fabric for the tufting.
  • If your buttons don’t feel secure when you’re making them, they probably aren’t going to hold up to any kind of use (i.e. someone sitting on top of them or leaning against them). I’ve already come up with a much more secure method for button covering – I’ll share it in another post.
  • Attach the foam to the board in some way before you start tufting so that you’ll be sure it isn’t moving around.
  • You can do this with a hand-powered staple gun, but you (or your assistant that you stuck with the stapling) are going to hate your life. We’ll be investing in a pneumatic one for the headboard.
  • Cutting through foam with a paring knife isn’t as easy as you would think. I’ll report back when I figure out what works better.

Because everyone loves a before-and-after:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted storage bench

I think that covers it! Longest post ever. Any questions?