Ideas for Making Headboards


Headboards make a design statement in your bedroom that you can customize to fit both your style and your space. You can create headboards from recycled objects like charming old doors or make an elegant upholstered headboard with fabric and plywood. Inexpensive bookcases can become a showcase headboard for collectibles and other artwork with a few simple additions.

Upholstered Headboard

  • Make an upholstered headboard with a piece of plywood or MDF, fabric and batting. You can make your upholstered headboard as tall as you like; just have the board cut to at least fit the width of your bed for better visual appeal. Encompass the side tables with your headboard for a more custom design. You can also give the headboard shape with a curve or scalloped edge at the top of the plywood. Upholster the wood with a layer of batting and a layer of fabric, both cut to fit the face of the headboard plus four inches around the perimeter. Lay the fabric face down with the batting on top and then center the plywood over the batting. Work your way around the edges, pulling the fabric up over the plywood and stapling it in place. If you prefer a tufted look with buttons, drill holes in the plywood before you cover the front with fabric. After the headboard is covered, insert a threaded upholstery needle through the holes on the back, straight through the front of the fabric. Pick up a button and insert the needle back through the fabric and out the back. Hang your headboard on the wall securely with wall hangers attached to wall studs.

Old Doors

  • Recycle decorative old doors you can find at your local architectural supply yard or antique store into your headboard. Old wooden doors have a lot of character and work horizontally or vertically on the wall behind your bed. You can clean, sand and stain the doors to help them fit your décor, or leave them in their original state with a coat of polyurethane added for preservation and shine. Hang the doors, or door, directly onto the wall behind your bed with wall hangers attached to wall studs.


  • Hang a tall bookcase horizontally on the wall behind your bed for a simple headboard with shelves. Place mirror tiles against the back of the case and showcase collectibles in the openings. You could also create an oversized headboard with two bookshelves on either side of the bed, joined together with shelves spanning the wall directly behind your bed. Take this design to the next level with wooden inserts placed vertically and randomly between any two of the shelves. Sectioning the shelves turns your headboard into an art wall, with openings for collectibles, photos, books and plants.

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