Terrific Tufting: DIY Upholstery Finish


Tufting: Luxe Finish for Small Bedrooms

Who doesn’t love a good tufting on their headboard or ottoman? In a petite bedroom, tailored finishes elevates a room’s stature.  It can be an expensive furniture finish, but here is a quick, cheap-but-cheerful way to DIY… with just a little outside help.

old tufted ottoman

DIY Tufting Hacks

Start with an inexpensive, pre-fab tufted storage ottoman ideal for embellishing with a new tufted top. Look for one with good bones that will easy to upgrade. The plan is to replace the skirt and to completely replace the upholstered top. My fabric of choice is this turquoise silk shantung with a classic gingham pattern.

Turquoise gingham shantung silk

The trick to tufting the top is to use 2” split prong covered buttons that you just push through the top, straight down into the Styrofoam. Push the prong all the way into the foam until you feel the wood or cardboard backing. Keep pushing until the prongs spread open. This will keep the button in place while twisting the fabric creating a tufting effect. There’s no need to use an upholstery needle or tufting thread.  You also don’t need to drill a hole through the wooden cover base.

Since split prong buttons require a specific machine to cover them with fabric (too expensive to invest in), my local upholstery shop was happy to help me out. They sold me the prong buttons and covered them for $3 a button.

The prong buttons really hold the folds of the tufting in place, and it will only take a few minutes to complete your project. Talk about instant gratification. You’ll love that tufting is just not that tough after all!