DIY Headboard Ideas

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Headboards aren’t just for protecting the wall behind the bed. A headboard is a major decorating element in a bedroom that adds dimension and personality to a bedroom. A headboard should complement the bed coverings, the style of the bedroom and the tastes of those who sleep in the room. A headboard can be made from a variety of materials and be designed to fit the personality of the room. The choices are endless.

Choosing A Headboard Style

Take some time to window shop before selecting a headboard style. Look at the different styles of headboards to visualize how a planned headboard will look in the room. Decide if the headboard is just for decoration or if it will need to have some functional use also. Headboards can also serve as a place to display pictures and books, store pajamas in hidden drawers, and contain built-in lighting. Take measurements to determine the size headboard needed. Traditionally, headboards are the same width as the bed. For a large bedroom, the headboard may be oversized to create a focal point. A smaller bedroom needs a smaller headboard so that the room does not feel crowded.

Here are a few design tips for using headboards:

  • To make a room appear larger, use a headboard that is narrower than the bed.
  • Use the same fabric for the headboard and bedspread to create a dramatic effect of the fabric moving up the wall.
  • Use a window design to make a room look larger.
  • Lighter colored headboards help create the illusion of spaciousness in a room.
  • Match low ceilings with a short headboard. Tall ceilings can be matched with a tall headboard.
  • Take personal needs into consideration. Do not use fabric headboards for a person with allergies.
diy headboard ideas diy headboard ideas


Gathering Materials And Tools For DIY Headboards

When deciding on a new headboard, determine how much can be spent on the new headboard and what materials can be re-used from other sources.

  • More elaborate headboards will require more supplies and materials which may require some out-of-pocket spending.
  • Any re-purposed materials, such as windows or privacy screens, will need to be refinished or recovered before being installed as a headboard. Re-purposed materials must be clean and allergen-free before being installed in a bedroom.
  • Before crafting the headboard, gather up all the materials and tools needed to create the headboard. Materials can be painted outdoors to reduce messes in the bedroom.
  • Cordless tools should be fully charged and ready to go to avoid holdups. Determine what types of nails, screws, fasteners and other hardware will be needed to attach the headboard to the bed or to the wall.

DIY Headboard Ideas

  • Padded headboards are ideal for people that like to read in bed. Padded headboards are fashioned using a piece of plywood that is wrapped in foam and then covered in fabric. Decorative buttons can also be added to keep the foam and fabric in place. Consider using a dark color fabric to hide spots and stains that may appear from leaning against the headboard.
  • Vintage doors and windows can be refinished and turned into a classic headboard. These doors and window frames may need to be sanded and refinished. If the doors and windows contain glass, the glass can be removed and replaced with fabric, a photograph, artwork or ceramic tiles.
  • Paintings can be turned into headboards. If it is an expensive piece of art, hang the artwork just above the pillows. When using artwork as a headboard, securely attach the art to the wall making sure that all of the corners are bolted down. For an interesting turn, use a diptych or a triptych.
  • Using drapes as a headboard is an easy way to change the color of a wall without paint. The drapes can be the width of the bed or can cover an entire wall. Drapes also work well in a basement bedroom that has minimal windows. A wall covered with drapes will take away that basement feeling.
  • Folded screens add an exotic flair to a bed. Screen headboards can be carved from wood, covered with fabric or contain strings of beads. Folded screens should be securely attached to the wall and felt circles should be attached to the back of the screen to keep the screen from marring the wall.
  • Shelving can serve as a functional headboard. Shelving is a great option for a child’s bedroom. Shelves can store toys, stuffed animals or books. The shelves can be painted the same color as the walls or painted in a contrasting color.
  • Empty picture frames can be arranged into an interesting headboard. Select frames of differing sizes, colors and styles.

The styles and materials suitable for a headboard are endless. Explore the possibilities and look for a style and design that fits the style and décor of the bedroom. DIY headboards are a great way to add dimension to your bed and increase the visual appeal of your bedroom. 

Last Updated: March 21, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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