When I first met this piece of furniture….

….I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be friends.

It was in the back of a junk shop proudly displayed with a knitted afghan….a set of World Book Encyclopedias…

…..and a collection of vintage silver.

I was headed for the silver….completely ignoring the afghan and shiny but sadly underused reference books.

And as I stood there holding a set of spoons….mentally stamping “I love you a latte” on them…..I looked….

…..really looked at the piece of furniture they were sitting on.

And decided that it needed to go home with me.


I wish I had a before picture.

Actually….I wish I would have taken one right there in the shop with the silver and the afghan and the encyclopedias.

But I didn’t.

It was truly pitiful.

Scraped and sad and 1970’s blonde wood and with a giant open square tentatively nailed to a small dresser.

After I painted it and added new hardware and cut a plywood back for the open square…..

…..it looked like this.



Much better.

I added stick-on cork to the back and it sat in the laundry room.

Until I bought a gatehouse and decided it was time for a make-over.

A make-over as in making a tufted bulletin board with gray textured fabric and silver upholstery buttons.

And here’s how I did it.


Step 1:  Staple batting

I purchased simple quilted batting and stapled it to the cork.

I used about a roll of batting to cover it.


Step 2:  Add more batting

I decided that I wanted it to be really tufted….so I stapled pillow stuffing to the top.

I don’t really have a picture of it.

So imagine this board covered in randomly placed pillow stuffing.


Step 3:  Staple fabric over pillow stuffing and batting

This amazing gray fabric worked perfectly with this project.

If you love gray fabric that makes the perfect tufted project as much as I do and you need to order some.


Step 3:  Add molding to hide staples

We just added picture frame molding to the sides of the board to hide the staples.

You could add ribbon or twine if adding molding seems a little overwhelming.


Step 4:  Tuft the fabric

Here’s my favorite part.


It made my heart actually leap for joy when it turned out so perfectly.


The key to tufting the fabric is to nail nails in before you add the upholstery tacks.

That way your tufting firmly stays in place.

Nail your nails in a diamond pattern (as shown) to create a tuft.

I used a pattern with a row of three nails….alternating with two nails.

You can adjust the pattern depending on the size of your board.


Step 5:  Add upholstery nails

For the finishing touch….add upholstery nails to your tufts.


Here’s the finished tufting.

I just hammered the nails into the tuft.




Isn’t she amazing.

I can’t believe the transformation.

We are besties now.

And to think it all started in a junk shop….

…. where I know the afghan and encyclopedias are consoling each other right now. 🙂

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  1. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    What a cute idea! I had no idea how to tuft fabric. Wow, thanks for the great tutorial! Your "bestie" is wonderful!

  2. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Karianne...you are so creative. What a clever way to make a bulletin board with a Wow! This is one I need to remember. (Pinning!) I think it just might be the spark for some creativity at my house. ;) Question...is it necessary to tack before add the upholstery tacks? I'm all for less steps. ;) Hope your day is Extraordinary!! ~Diane

  3. Image for Catherine McD Catherine McD

    I love onlinefabricstore.com and use them quite a bit for my window treatment business. And I LOVE your dresser makeover - I have a soft spot for painted furniture :) !!! It looks awesome with the tufted board. Inspiring and beautiful as usual! Have a great day!

  4. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Looking great! Where are you going to use it? And...did you get some silver? If you didn't, I would imagine there's a lot of sulking going on, between the silver and the afghan. You can't save them all...I'm sure though, you made "Bestie" feel great about herself! ;)

  5. Image for Vicki Vicki

    The tufted dresser project is just terrific. Thank you for sharing the very detailed and descriptive steps to transforming this piece of furniture!

  6. Image for Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle

    Ya "gotta" love thrift shopping. I hunt for specifics the first time through, then go round again to see all the other good stuff I missed. Your 70's blonde looks pretty good now ... my old formica 80's brunette may have to join her soon! Great post ... as always :)

  7. Image for Regina Regina

    Love it! Hmmm . . . it would be a great way to do a dresser with a broken mirror, wouldn't it? Not that I have one . . . but I can be on the lookout! :)

  8. Image for Mildred Hoppe Mildred Hoppe

    Love the board. Not sure what you mean by pillow stuffing??? Are you referring to fiberfill, the kind in a bag, that you tear off in blobs?

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