10 DIY Headboard Ideas | Living the Country Life

10 DIY Headboard Ideas

It's time to get creative! Repurpose old items to make a unique headboard for your bedroom.
  • Salvage Barn Boards

    Find old barn boards at your local flea market or old property in town.


    • Large piece of plywood
    • Salvaged barn boards
    • Cloth
    • White paint
    • Optional paint color
    • Painter's tape
    • Paintbrush

    Let's Make It!

    1. Cut a piece of plywood to fit the size of your bed.

    2. Gently clean the boards with a damp cloth, without scrubbing away the wood's weathered character. Cut boards as needed and nail them to cover the plywood.

    3. For the whitewash finish, dilute 1/3 cup white paint with 1/2 cup water and brush onto wood. When dry,  tape off the boards and paint color blocks to match your room's scheme. Screw the headboard into studs in your wall, or hang with wood cleats. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Quick Quilting

    Use an old quilt - from a thrift store or family - to make this soft and colorful piece. 


    • 1/2-inch plywood cut to your bed's width
    • Quilt to fit over plywood
    • Two 4x4s (to serve as bedposts)
    • Wood glue
    • Wood screws and drywall screws
    • Two 1/2s, cut the same length as the plywood's shorter sides
    • Primer and paint, and brushes
    • Jigsaw
    • Sandpaper
    • Table saw or compound miter saw
    • Power drill
    • Scissors
    • Staple gun

    Let's Make It!

    1. Cut an arch across the top of the plywod with a jigsaw. Smoth any rough edges with sandpaper.

    2. For bedposts, use the table saw to cut 4x4s to preferred height, top with finials. Use wood glue to secure. On one long side of each 4x4, nail or screw a 1x2 the same length as the short sides of the plywood.

    3. With plywood facedown on a flat surface, set posts on either side with the 1x2s overlapping the back of the plywood. Screw through the 1x2s into the headboard to secure. 

    4. Prime the piece and allow to dry. Paint and allow to dry.

    5. Lay quilt, right side down, on a flat surface and trim horizontally to fit the plywood. Place headboard on top of it, then wrap the quilt around the arch, stapling to secure to the back of the plywood.

    6. Place the headboard against the wall and either brace it with the bed or secure to the wall with long drywall screws. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Repurposed Shutters

    A pair of basic shutters may fit your bedroom better than the side of your house. Find a fabric you love to add color and pattern to the piece.


    • Two shutters
    • Newspaper
    • Spray primer
    • Metallic spray paint
    • Spray sealant
    • Fabric
    • Batting
    • Ribbon
    • Fabric glue
    • Wood screws


    • Hot-glue gun
    • Level
    • Pencil
    • Scissors

    Let's Make It!

    1. Lay shutters face-up on newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Spray with two coats of primer, allowing 2 hours of dry time between coats. Apply two coats of metallic paint, allowing 2 hours of dry time between coats. Apply two coats of sealant, allowing 2 hours of dry time between coats.

    2. When the painted shutters are dry, lay them on a flat surface. Measure the inside of each panel and cut fabric each opening, adding 1/2 inch on all sides to accomodate batting.

    3. Place an even amount of batting inside one shutter panel, enough to cover the entire area. Center a piece of fabric over the batting and attach to batting along the edges with hot glue. Once the fabric is attached, secure corners and along the top with a staple gun.

    4. Repeat step 3 for the rest of the panels, working left to right and top to bottom. Trim excess fabric to maintain neat edges.

    5. Cut ribbon to fit exactly inside each shutter insert along the top, bottom, and sides. Attach ribbon to all edges with fabric glue and let dry. Repait for the rest of the panel inserts.

    6. Hang from wood screws above your bed. Measure 1 inch from the inside top edge of the first shutter, making sure screws are level. After the first shutter is hung, measure for the next screws so there is not space between the two shutters. When hung, it should look like one large piece.


    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Discarded Drawers

    Use cast-off drawers for a creative over-the-bed storage unit!


    • Drawers
    • Drill and screws
    • Plywood
    • Hinges
    • Paint and paintbrush
    • Wallpaper
    • 1x4-inch cleats

    Let's Make It!

    1. Lay the drawers on the floor to create a layout that suits your headboard space. Use fillers or leave openings where the wall can show through.

    2. Once creating an arrangement, secure drawers together with screws and cut plywood doors to fit several of the openings. Use hinges to install the doors. 

    3. Paint the assembly. For added color, wallpaper the drawer backs and doors. Hang the headboard using 1x4-inch cleats. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Rope In Sweet Dreams

    With a few simple materials, make a headboard fit for any rustic bedroom.


    • 1/2-inch-diameter steel electrical conduit (available at plumbing supply stores or home centers)
    • Handheld pipe cutter
    • Four 90-degree street elbows
    • Four tees
    • Four nipples
    • Four flour flanges
    • Rubber mallet
    • Construction adhesive
    • About 1,000 feet of 3/8-inch manila rope
    • Scrap wood the length of your headboard
    • Drywall molly bolts
    • Screws

    Let's Make It!

    1. Cut the pipes to size using a handheld pipe cutter. Make two pieces to fit the width of the bed and two pieces to the headboard's desired height. 

    2. Assemble the flanges, nipples, tees, and elbows, then join them with the cut pipes to create the headboard frame, using constuction adhesive and a mallet to tap them into place.

    3. Tie a clove hitch knot onto the bottom of the right-hand vertical pipe. Wrap the rope from one side of the frame to the other to create the base of your weave. When your roll of rope ends, tie it with a clove hitch to the side closest to you. Fill the frame with an even number and note how many you have. 

    4. Divide the number of ropes so there's an eqal amount in each weave. Weave the scrap wood through to create the pattern you desire. Start weaving the second layer of rope through the pattern until you have the same number of rope strands as in the base pattern. Switch the wood to the opposite weave and repeat. Keep weaving and alternating the pattern until the frame is filled. 

    5. Install the headboard using screws and bolts for the elbows and your walls. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Super Simple

    Vamp up a metal headboard with no tools and no construction. 


    • Length of fabric 
    • Curtain rings
    • Ribbon

    Let's Make It!

    1. Drape the fabric, whether it's yardage, a floorcloth, or a blanket, over your headboard. clip both sides of the fabric together with curtain rings and loop robbon through the rings and around the bed frame. Secure with a bow. Use a couple of curtain rings for both sides of the headboard. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Old Door, New Tricks

    Salvage old doors for a unique and bold headboard.


    • A solid-pine door
    • Saw
    • Paint and brush
    • Three mounting brackets
    • Finishing nails
    • Wood filler

    Let's Make It!

    1. This door will fit a twin bed when set vertically, or a king or queen when hung horizontally. If hanging vertically, cut 15 inches off the bottom of the door. Paint and let dry.

    2. Mount the door to the wall about 4 inches above the floor using two brackets. Stablize with one bracket on top. To hide this bracket, use finishing nails to attach a piece of molding to the top edge. Fill holes with wood filler, then sand and paint. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Re-use Roofing

    Add some new shine to your room with old materials to create an accent or farmhouse-style decor. 


    • Corrugated metal roofing
    • Jigsaw
    • Grinder
    • Screws

    Let's Make It!

    1. Using a piece of corrugated metal the size of your desired headboard, draw and cut out a shape using the jigsaw.

    2. Smooth the edges with a grinder before screwing the piece into the wall. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Low-Budget Tufted Headboard

    Make a tufted headboard for an elegant and colorful DIY project. 


    • Underlayment plywood
    • Two 2"x3"x8' pine boards
    • Table saw, jigsaw, or circular saw
    • Twenty 1-inch wood screws
    • Spray adhesive
    • 1-1/2-inch twin foam topper
    • 1/2-inch foam mattress pad
    • Clothes iron
    • Twin flat white bed sheet
    • Scissors
    • Heavy duty stapler with 3/8-inch staples
    • Fabric
    • Self-covering upholstery buttons
    • Drill with bit assortments
    • Floral wire
    • 3- to 4-inch straight upholstery needle

    Let's Make It!

    1. Cut plywood to preferred size of headboard. Use the 2"x3"x8' boards, wide side down, butt joined, to make a stretcher the same size as the plywood. Screw plywood to the stretcher all the way around.

    2. Apply spray adhesive to the plywood front. Lay the 1-1/2-inch foam pad, patterned side down, on the plywood. Use scissors to cut the edges of the foam to be even with the edge of the wood frame. Spray adhesive to the adhered piece of foam, then apply the 1/2-inch foam pad, patterned side down, on top of it. Don't trim yet. 

    3. Iron the flat sheet and spread it out evenly on a large work surface. Set the headboard, face down, on top of the flat sheet. Trim the sheet and 1/2-inch foam pad so it is about 6 inches bigger than the board on all sides. Pull sheet and foam onto the back of one of the stretcher boards and staple in place at the center. Do the same for the other sides. From the center of each board, staple to the corner. At the corners, fold and tuck the sheet into a neat corner, and staple into place. 

    4. Iron the patterned fabric and lay it flat on your work surface. Set the headboard face down on top of fabric and follow the same stretching technique as described above. If you'd like, cover the buttons with decide on placement.

    5. Measure and mark the backside of the headboard corresponding to the placement of bottons on the front side. Dril 1/8-inch holes in the backside of the headboard at marks, careful to only penetrate the plywood. 

    6. Cut a 2-foot length of floral wire. Thread the needle with the wire and bend wire back. Sit the headboard upright on the floor. Insert needle through the hole you just drilled and push through the foam and fabric. Run the needle and wire through the back of the button and then back through the fabric and headboard. On the back side of the board, tug the wire snug. Bend it against the plywood and staple in place. Wrap the wire back over the staple and staple again. Repeat this process for the remaining buttons. 

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018
  • Scraps to Riches

    Use scrap wood to make this stylish and rustic accent piece with natural flair. 


    • Three 4"x4"x8' cedar posts
    • Chop saw
    • Sandpaper
    • 1 quart clear stain
    • Clean cloth
    • 1/2" MDF 4'x8'
    • Construction adhesive
    • Metal cleat
    • Screws to attach cleats

    Let's Make It!

    1. Cut 4x4-inch wood posts into 1-inch-thick pieces using a chop saw. Lightly sand edges.

    2. Stain wood slices according to directions and let dry.

    3. Arrange slices in desired pattern on sheet of MDF. Experiment with wood grain and patterns to create an image you like. Once pieces are laid out, measure the height and width. Cut the MDF backing 1 inch smaller on all sides. 

    4. Use construction adhesive to secure the wood slices on the MDF, with a 1-inch overhang on the edges. Let dry overnight.

    5. Screw half of the metal cleat to the back of the headboard and attach the other half to the wall. Use a stud finder to install into studs and hang the headboard on the wall.

    Date Published: January 9, 2018
    Date Updated: January 9, 2018

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