Since this was round #2 making a tufting headboard, I got a chance to improve upon my plywood base design. I scoured the aisles of Home Depot (and got asked "Can I help you?" about a million times in the process) for the best plywood option. I ended up going with 3/4" cabinet-grade plywood, which was only a few bucks more expensive than regular rough plywood, but felt almost silky-smooth to the touch. No chance of slivers = happy Sara.
I ended up breaking the headboard into two parts and connecting them with vertical supports to give it a little more rugged-ness and prevent it from flexing. The headboard in my room is just a whole piece of plywood and it definitely gives a bit when you lean against it.
I framed the whole backside too so that I could wrap the fabric around something later on.
From there it was kind of the normal tufting process...lay down some foam, cover with some batting...
"Honey, are you coming to bed?"
"No...I'm busy being all artsy! Can't I stay up just another hour, pleeeeeese?"
I used these button covers. I used them for my headboard and none of them have popped apart yet, so I know that they are the real deal. See the little teeth around the edges? They've GOT to have the teeth...those other non-teethy button covers are little weaklings.
The original plan was to use a velvet curtain that I found at Lowes for the covering, but it ended up being too short and I wasn't sure that I'd have enough fabric to wrap around the top and bottom side of the headboard. I ended up going with 3 yards of 54" upholstery fabric instead for the queen-size headboard. I had a little bit extra on each side when I was done.
When I was done, my husband turned to me and said "Sooo...when are you going to make us another one?" Well, I just about fell over...that was music to my ears. Annnnnytime you want me to make a tufted headboard dear, you just say the word ;) You won't have to ask me twice!