DIY headboards

One of my very dearest friends Emma recently moved into a new apartment (affectionately known as “the shiba”), and asked me if I would put together a post on headboards you can make yourself.  I, of course, jumped at the opportunity and can’t wait to share with you the many options I came up with.  For each project, I estimated the price assuming you didn’t have any of the materials to begin with.  However, in many cases, you may be able to create the headboards for little or no cost if you happen to have the paint or supplies laying around the house.

1.  Tufted Headboard
Level of difficulty: moderate
Total cost: about $150-$175

Kristi over at Addicted to Decorating crafted this beautiful headboard herself.  While it may be a bit more time and labor intensive than some other options, you end up with a headboard that looks like it was purchased right out of a Z Gallerie catalog.

Click here for the full tutorial.
2. Painted headboard/headboard decal
Level of difficulty: easy
Total cost (painted headboard): under $10
Total cost (headboard decal): $30-$50
These painted/stencil/decal headboards don’t have a tutorial associated with them.  If you are painting your headboard, I would recommend drawing out your pattern on the wall with a pencil first, then fill in the pattern with two coats of paint.  
For stenciled headboards, attach the stencil to the wall with a spray adhesive or a low tack tape, and then paint inside of the stencil with an acrylic paint.
If you choose to buy a wall decal, here are some great sites that sell them:
Image credit: {1} {2}

3. Picture Frame Headboard
Level of difficulty: easy
Total cost: $20-$30

This DIY headboard from Better Homes and Gardens is super easy to make.  All you need is a few picture frames (enough to span the width of your bed), and some fabric or wallpaper in a pattern you like.  If you don’t like the color of the frames, they can be changed easily with a coat of spray paint.  Put the patterned wallpaper or fabric in the frame, and then hang the frames so the bottom of them is level with the top of your mattress and that they butt up against each other.

Read more here.

4. Crown Moulding Headboard
Level of difficulty: moderate
Total cost: $50-$70

Chelsea from Design a la Mode created this striking headboard with just some basic materials from Home Depot.  Add a little plywood, trim, and paint, and viola: gorgeous headboard.

Read the full tutorial over at Design a la Mode.

5. Antique Map Headboard
Level of difficulty: easy to moderate
Total cost: $40-$80

This headboard also doesn’t have a tutorial associated with it, but I have been absolutely drooling over these headboards for awhile now.  You could pair this headboard with either of the two previously mentioned headboards (frame several antique maps or frame out the whole map using crown moulding).

Image credit: {1} {2}
6. Recycled Door Headboard
Level of difficulty: easy to moderate
Total cost: $30-$60
I have seen many variations on the recycled door headboard, but I must say I think Mandi’s tutorial on Vintage Revivals is one of my favorites (plus the before and after of the whole room is exquisite)!  I love the personal touches she adds with the fabric panels – so easy to customize yourself.
Read the full tutorial on Vintage Revivals.

7. Fabric Panel Headboard
Level of difficulty: easy to moderate
Total cost: $40-$90 (depends on the fabric)

Brooke from All Things Thrifty totally nailed this headboard.  I just love how it pulls the room together.  To create this look, she used foam, fabric, and backer board, and then carefully assembled all of the pieces together.

Read the full tutorial here.

Another design using the same approach can be found here on the DIY Network’s website.

8. Frame Your Own Artwork
Level of difficulty: easy
Total cost: $20-$50
I was inspired when I saw this image of artwork being used as a headboard.  It would be so simple to go out and buy a canvas, paint whatever you want on it, frame it out using 2×2’s from Home Depot, and there you have it: an instantly beautiful, completely one-of-a-kind headboard.
I also think it would be really neat to take a blank canvas and fill it with rows of peacock feathers, then frame it out with 2×2’s painted white.  The contrast between the white and the feathers would be stunning, and the feathers would add great color and personality to the room.
Image credit: {1}
9. Recycled Window Headboard
Level of difficulty: easy
Total cost: $20-$40
Emma had already started crafting a headboard using a faux window technique which I love.  I couldn’t find any images of window headboards that I liked because all the windows were spaced funny, but I found one using shutters that is similar.  I think the key to making it look right is to have the windows all touching each other, and have the bottom of the windows be level with either the top or bottom of your mattress (depending on how tall of a headboard you want).  
I like the image below, I just think it would look more like a headboard if the shutters were all dropped down to be level with the mattress.  If there’s too much of a separation between the mattress and the “headboard,” you run the risk of it looking like a piece of artwork as opposed to a headboard.  
Once your window panes are all assembled, another great way to add personality is to add patterns or pictures in the individual window panes.
Image credit: {1}
So to all of you looking for a DIY solution, I hope this comes in handy!
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3 Responses to DIY headboards

  1. Such great ideas!!! Thank you so much for the shout out. :)

  2. Thanks for the shout out lady!! This is an AWESOME round up!!

    Love your guts

  3. Emma says:

    K- great post and great ideas! You’ve inspired me to paint my room & adjust the height of my windows (which was my real issue) Thanks dear!

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