Reader Question: DIY Headboard Constructions

by Landis Carey on April 29, 2011

I love any DIY project that adds character to a room without breaking the bank, so I was super stoked yesterday when two college girlfriends chimed in and asked…DIY Headboards, Yay or Nay?

It was the perfect opportunity to roundup different types of DIY headboard constructions that can all be customized to your décor and style. Whether they’re made from fabric, painted wood or rope, each of these options will spice up any bedroom.

It’s the perfect place to begin: Figure out which construction is right for you and which materials you’re comfortable working with then click the image credit noted for DIY instructions.

Tiled Textiles: By creating a wall of tiled textiles, you can achieve more than just flair; add symmetry and order with repeating patterns or juxtaposing coordinates. The image atop comes comes from All Thrifty Things and the image directly above is from Home & Décor. Out of the roundup, this construction is the most involved. Once all of the panels are individually assembled, they are then combined for the finished product. If you’re up for a challenge and are dying for textiles, this is the route to take.

Painted Material: Who knew these two headboards weren’t constructed from wood, textiles and foam padding? Heading to your local home improvement store for plywood and paint might be the simplest option for a DIY headboard. You can take it one step further with a jigsaw and stencils for the look on the right from Better Homes and Gardens. The image on the left is from Woman’s Day. It’s wonderfully graphic and a simpler shape, but it too could sport fancy stencils for more traditional décor.

Alternative Material: I realize that corrugated metal isn’t for everyone, so my point here is to think creatively when considering materials. But who knew corrugated metal could be so beautiful? This lovely headboard from Kara Paslay Designs not only adds texture but is bound to spark great conversation as you tour guests through your home.

Other alternative materials: Have you thought about rehabbing an old door to hang above your bed? It’s already the perfect size and it has symmetry, so what’s not to love? Take a peek at this rehabbed artful door I posted about on Re-Nest today. It’s really lovely and when I first saw it, I thought: headboard!

Painted Illusion: If you’re not in the mood to construct a headboard, painting one onto the wall is a great option. What is the point of a headboard, really? Think about it like this: if it’s not a functional part of a bed frame, it’s simply decorative; it’s a way to frame your bed and draw your eye to it. Your bed should be the central point in you bedroom and your headboard should facilitate this order.

If you love the idea of a non-traditional way of framing your bed but don’t want to paint, there are dozens of wall decals for sale on Etsy. Most are removable and won’t damage your wall. Think creatively. What about a Flourish or a Tree?

Upholstered Without and With Puckering: If you’re dying for fabric, upholstering an existing headboard or an intricately or simply cut piece of plywood is the way to go. The headboard will become the central focus of the room if you choose a bold, brightly-colored fabric or can simply act as a stationing point for your bed if you choose a more simple textile.

The image on the left from Design*Sponge; it’s Grace’s own creation and it’s lovely. The image on the left is a DIY from Apartment Therapy Chicago. Need more information before you dive into your first upholstery project? Here is a great article from Better Homes and Gardens that will surely boost your confidence!

Creative Application: You know my love for jute and burlap, so of course I had to include this lovely. It requires you have an old headboard or can find one from a flea market or junk store. Simply wrap it with rope, attach it to your bed frame and you’re done. Love it? Here are the full DIY instructions from Shelter Pop.

Moral of this post: A headboard is simply a way to frame your bed, making it the central point in your bedroom. That goal can be achieved in many many ways. Each of these constructions can be tailored to suit your decor and style preferences. It just depends on how handy you want to be and your desired aesthetic.

Now that you’ve seen the construction possibilities for a DIY headboard, tell us: which one suits you best? If you’re loving one particular construction but don’t know how it might apply, send me a message, I’m sure I can help out.

(Images: as linked)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sally Sherman April 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Landis, you must be a mind-reader! This is a project that has been on my mind for weeks; you have given me the impetus to get started in the near future, with my husband’s help. Tufted or maybe with a border of tacks, and shaped similar to the red/white upholstered headboard above. Thank you!! :)


Landis Carey April 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Sounds great, keep me posted!


Christie April 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I’ve done the door headboard and LOVE it! It’s perfect for a queen sized bed and was even on my double bed for years. We stopped by the Habitat Re-Store and picked up an old wooden door for about $20, cut off one panel, added picture molding around the edge and some legs to finish it off. Super easy to repaint to match the latest decorating itch too!


Landis Carey April 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

LOVE this idea! Send pictures: Would love to see!


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