How to Add Furniture Tacks

Add a touch of flair to furniture with upholstery tacks.
Furniture tacks add visual interest.Furniture tacks add visual interest.
Hot glue and upholstery staples create a stronger bond between fabric and frame, thus replacing furniture tacks as fasteners. Today furniture tacks are sold as decorative accents, coming in many different styles. Furniture tacks add visual interest to furniture. Use them to outline the curve on the back of a sofa. Space a line of tacks across the bottom of a chair. Spell out words on the front of a dresser using furniture tacks. Be as creative as you dare.

Step 1

Decide on a design. Draw a sketch to help visualize the final product. Map where furniture tacks will be added, whether there will be one row or two, and how much spacing you want.

Step 2

Measure the furniture where the tacks will be placed. Follow the same line the tacks will be placed. If adding words to the front of a dresser drawer, measure the length and height of the space.

Step 3

Use measurements to calculate how many tacks are needed to complete the project. Include calculations for spacing of the tacks. If the back of the sofa measures seven feet (84 inches) and quarter-inch tacks will be spaced a half-inch apart, about 112 tacks will be needed to complete the project.

Step 4

Create a template. If putting words on a dresser drawer, create words that fit the space in the desired font on the computer and print as a template. If putting a row of tacks on furniture, use a ruler to make a strip of paper with notches where the next tack will go to ensure equal spacing while placing tacks.

Step 5

Lay the template over the area to be tacked. Put tack in place and give it a few gentle taps with a mallet. Hit the tack hard enough to stick, but not enough to damage the surface and destroy the decorative design.

Step 6

Place and nail each tack using the template until the project is completed. Stand back and admire the work. Furniture tacks are easily removed with the back of a claw hammer or putty knife. Adjust crooked tacks as necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Furniture tacks
  • Scratch paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Mallet

About the Author

Alice Drinkworth has been a writer and journalist since 1995. She has written for community newspapers, college magazines and Salon.com. Drinkworth earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and won a media award for her in-depth coverage of local politics. She is also a certified master gardener.