Headboards? What are they? If you are any type of being that requires sleep, chances are you’ve slept in a bed, and more than likely the bed had a headboard. Sure, it sits at the top of a bed so you know where your head should go, but besides that does it have any purpose?
Yes, it serves a decorative purpose. Since most headboard don’t provide any type of structural support, it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of dollars on a headboard you can do yourself. DIY’ing headboards is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, you could make your own custom headboard in less than a weekend. That’s why we’re here.
Why Use Headboards?
True, nowadays headboards don’t really have a purpose besides decorating the bed. However, headboards can make the bed the focal point of a room. They can also make a room feel more cozy.
Rustic Barn Doors
- 3 1x6 8ft boards
- 18 1x6 6ft boards
- Miter saw
- Power drill
- 1/16 drill bit
- 54 1 ¼ inch screws
- Wood glue
- Wood stain
1. Lay 8 of the 6 ft boards on the ground, with the side you want shown facing up.
2. Take the 3 8ft boards and cut them in half. You should now have 6 4ft boards.
3. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the back of one of your 4ft pieces of wood, and glue it to the top of the barn door.
4. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the back of one of your 4ft pieces of wood, and glue it to the bottom of the barn door.
5. Measure to the middle of the barn door and glue another 4ft piece of wood there. Note: There should be about a 27” space between the bottom of the top board, and the top of the middle board.
6. After your cross boards are in place, lay one of your 6 ft boards diagonally across from the top to the middle of your door. On the right door, the diagonal piece should go from the top left corner to the middle right corner. On the left door, the diagonal piece should go from the top right corner to the middle left corner.
7. Using a pencil, mark the left and right side of where boards intersect with the top cross board and the middle cross board.
8. Connect the lines with a straightedge, and then cut using your miter saw.
9. Once you have cut your diagonal board, apply your wood glue and place on your door.
10. Once your boards are in place, allow them to fully dry. It helps to place a heavy object on top of the boards to help them adhere, since not all boards are 100% straight.
11. After your glue has dried, flip your door over so that the back side is exposed.
12. Using your drill and 1/16 drill bit, drill eight holes (24 in total), evenly spaced across each cross board. Make sure that the drill bit does not go too far, or you will drill straight through both boards. You only want to drill far enough so that your screw secures the boards together.
13. Next, drill three holes evenly across your diagonal board. Once all of your holes are drilled, screw in your screws. Repeat with your second door.
14. Use the paintbrush to apply the stain to the doors.
15. Allow the stain to dry, and your barn door headboard is finished.
Hang a Textile
If you’re looking for something that is more hang it up and go, why not try a textile? Find a decorative rug, or crochet blanket that is just as wide as if not wider than your bed, and use that as your headboard.
- Staple gun
- Upholstery needle
- 3 2×2 pine wood
- 3″ thick foam
- Super spray adhesive
- 4 ½ yards of fabric
- Buttons to match your fabric
- Upholstery thread
1. Have 2 2x2 wood posts cut to the height you want, and a piece of ½” pegboard cut to the width you want.
2. Screw the 2×2 wood posts; one on each side of the plywood (from the back), and a 2×2 across the top. This will make the frame of your headboard.
3. Use spray adhesive and coat the front of the pegboard. Specifically, the side that will be facing out.
4. Apply the 3” foam on top of the adhesive, and push it down so it adheres.
5. Do the same with the batting on top of the foam.
6. Staple excess batting to the back of the headboard
7. Next measure the spots for the buttons.
8. Stand your headboard up (if it is not already standing), center your fabric over the headboard, and drape it over the top
9. Take the upholstery thread and thread it through the back of a button.
10. Cut the thread, leaving the tails about 3 inches long.
11. Thread both of the tails through the upholstery needle eye.
12. Push the upholstery needle through the middle of your fabric and through the middle hole.
13. Pull the upholstery needle through the back of the pegboard, remove the needle, and hold on to the tails.
14. Pull the tails as tight as you can, until you reach the desired tufted look on the front.
15. Staple the tails to the back of the headboard to keep them in place.
16. Repeat steps 11 through 17 for all the buttons.
17. Once all of the buttons are secured, pull the remaining fabric taut over the top, sides, and under the bottom; and staple it to the back of the headboard.
18. Cover the legs of your headboard in fabric, and you’re finished.
Thrift an Antique Headboard
Do you prefer to thrift your decorations? There’s no reason you can’t thrift awesome antique headboards. There are all types of gems found at antique shops, and there is sure to be a treasure hidden there.
A combination of antiquing and making something new. You can easily turn an old fireplace mantle into a fabulous and unique headboard by repainting it and adding some stained plywood to cover the opening.
Sort of like the textile idea; take a macrame piece and hang it at the head your bed. You can even add an extra design layer if you hang it with something creative, like a tree branch.
Faux foam tiles can also make a fantastic DIY headboards. They’re cheap, some come with designed embossed in them. All you would need to do is paint them to match your decor, and secure them to the wall behind your bed.
A dreamy canopy can give your space the feeling of fantasy and luxury. With some curtain rods, fabric that is as wide as your bed, and as long as you'd like, you can create this canopy in the form of your headboard.
- Pneumatic nailer and brads or finishing nails
- Circular saw
- Drill and bits
- Compound miter saw
- Power sander
- Chalk reel
- 1/2-in x 4-ft x 8-ft plywood sheet
- 1-in x 3-in Pine Furring Strips
- Wood glue
- Interior stain
1. Place your 4 x 8 plywood sheet on sawhorses or a work table and cut to size.
2. Measure and mark the midpoints of the four edges of the plywood. Snap chalk lines between the marks on each opposite edge. The lines should cross in the middle to act as guides for placing the furring strips that create the chevron pattern.
3. Draw a diagonal line from the center point of the chalk lines to one of the top corners. Use a T-bevel to determine the angle where this line meets the vertical chalk line and the angle where it meets the horizontal chalk line. You'll use these angles to cut the furring strips.
4. Begin with the top half of the headboard. Set your miter saw to the first angle, make miter cuts on two furring strips (a left and a right piece), and attach them to the plywood with wood glue and finishing nails. Start at the center of the chalk lines and create a V shape. Make any necessary adjustments. Cut and attach the furring strips all the way to the top. The furring strips will overhang the plywood, but you'll cut them to size later in the project.
5. Set your miter saw to the second angle. Cut furring strips to run along the horizontal chalk link, and fill in the top half of the headboard.
6. Follow the same steps for the bottom half to create an inverted V pattern and complete the chevron design. Allow the glue to dry.
7. Cut off the overhanging furring strips and sand the entire assembly.
8. Make a 45-degree bevel cut at one end of an additional furring strip. Place the furring strip along one edge of the headboard assembly, lining the bevel cut up with a corner. Mark the other end of the furring strip at the opposite corner of the headboard assembly. Use this mark as a reference for a second bevel cut on the furring strip. Repeat this process for each edge until you have four furring strips that create tight 90-degree corners around the headboard assembly. Sand and trim as necessary to adjust the fit.
9. One edge on each furring strip will be flush with the back of the plywood. The other edge will overhang the pattern you created. From what will be the back edge of each strip, measure and mark in 1/4 inch at each end. Use a straightedge to draw lines connecting the marks on each furring strip.
10. Attach the frame around the assembly with wood glue and finishing nails. Use the lines you drew in as guides for driving the nails.
11. Sand the headboard and stain with your choice of color.
Cardboard and Fabric
This may sound like a crazy idea but hear us out. A quick and cheap way to make a headboard is to cover cardboard in fabric. Everyone has cardboard boxes they’re not using lying around. All you need to do then is buy some fabric you like, wrap it around the cardboard, and voila.
Headboards can really tie a room design together and make it feel like one cohesive unit. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these design pieces. You can easily DIY whatever kind of headboard you want for a fraction of the cost of buying it.