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Tufted and Studded: Upholstery Details for Elevated Design

Nothing completes a room better than a beautiful set of furniture. The material, structure and style all combine to create your dream home. But as gorgeous as simple wood can be, a custom upholstery job can bring a piece to the next level. This is especially true when you add subtle details like tufting and nail heads. So tap into your creative side with one of these upholstery DIYs.

Tufted Upholstery

A tufted headboard is a sophisticated addition to any bedroom. The technique’s textured plushness has a classic appeal that will be on trend for years to come. Headboards are one of the easiest pieces to incorporate the style, especially if they are rectangular in shape and have no beveled edges. If you’re tufting for the first time, setting a pattern with the buttons spread farther apart will make the process more manageable. A straight setting, like the one Upholstered Headboard by Justin and Cassity of Remodelaholics used, is easy to achieve. If you’re not a fan, consider using a diamond pattern instead.


Creating wings on the sides of your headboard add a regal touch and allow more space to be creative. This tufted headboard by Sarah of  Sarah. M. Dorsey Designs even features nail heads for an extra dose of elegance.

Blue tufted headboard DIY

Blue upholstered headboard with gold nailheads

Of course, headboards aren’t the only furniture that can be tufted. The already plush nature of an ottoman offers a great opportunity to give your home some classic flair. The flat surface is ideal and can double as a coffee table- talk about a perfect DIY! Check out Sarah’s ottoman DIY for inspiration.

Creme tufted ottoman DIY

Tufted creme ottoman DIY

Use a similar technique to transform a bench into a tufted masterpiece. This piece is extremely versatile- use it as a window seat for sunny days or place it in front of your couch as a coffee table. This DIY by Stacy of Not Just Another Housewife might give you a few ideas.

Yellow and white upholstered bench

Yellow striped upholstered bench

Studded Upholstery

While the studded appearance of nail heads have been a main feature of furniture for decades, today’s DIYs are giving the technique a modern twist. Bold patterns and textured fabric bring the design trend into the 21st century, appealing to young and seasoned decor lovers alike. Though the look is a hallmark of luxury, it’s fairly inexpensive and easy to replicate. This DIY by Michelle of Sweet 10.

Oatmeal upholstered headboard with silver nailheads

Tan upholstered headboard DIY

Using nail heads on the edge of a bench will give your project an air of sophistication, like this bench by Jennifer of The Chronicles of Home.

Gray and white upholstered bench with silver nail heads

If you’re looking for a well-tailored upholstery look, nail heads are the way to go. The metallic hardware suggests careful craftsmanship, like the details of this armchair upcycled by Marc of Home Trends Magazine.

Red upholstered chair with decorative nail heads

Even children’s furniture can be elegant and posh with the use of nail heads. While your tots may not notice the poshness of their playroom now, they’ll definitely appreciate your decorating sensibilities down the road. Jennifer of The Chronicles of Home would certainly agree!

Gray and white upholstered child's chair

Custom upholstery can easily add beauty and elegance to your home. But the smaller touches, like tufting and nail heads, offer classic tailoring sure to compliment your decor for a long time. With DIY projects like the ones above as guidance you can incorporate these techniques in any space. Have you ever tufted or used nail heads on a piece of furniture? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.

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