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Make an Upholstered Headboard

Photo by Marco Ricca Studio

Upholster a headboard in a bold color or design to liven up a bedroom quickly. This comfy addition requires only a handful of materials, and the start-to-finish build time is around five hours. If you can stretch out some fabric and aren’t afraid of using a mallet to secure a nailhead trim, visit How to Make an Upholstered Headboard, where you’ll find a step-by-step guide and complete lists of tools and materials.

Construct a Spindle Headboard

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

This design uses spare staircase parts for a customizable build that can be stained or painted. The construction takes nearly a day of precision-oriented work, but TOH general contractor Tom Silva will help you along. Visit How to Build a Spindle Headboard to watch the video and pick up a step-by-step guide.

Upcycle an Interior Door

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Subtly accessorize with old-school charm by repurposing an old wooden door. Though these sturdy oak, maple, chestnut and mahogany doors are typically too tall for a queen size bed, they can be cut from either end and fitted with a top of crown molding that makes for a handy display ledge. You’ll find step-by-step instructions and complete lists of tools and materials in How to Turn an Interior Door into a Headboard.

Turn Bifold Doors Into a Headboard

Photo by Gemma Comas

Snugly sandwich your mattress between the handsome woodworking of paneled bifold doors. Purchasing prepackaged doors with hinges makes it easier to fashion both a headboard and footboard, which can be constructed in a day’s work. View How to Build a Headboard and Footboard from Bifold Doors for step-by-step instructions and complete lists of tools and materials.

Use a Headboard Decal

Courtesy of Etsy

Not sure of the best way to accentuate your bed just yet? Choose a headboard that sticks! Convincing wall decals mimics a wrought-iron headboard in both classic and intricate patterns, both available in a variety of colors. View these options and others at Traditional-Style Headboard Wall Decals.

Salvage and Repurpose a Mantel

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Rather than frame a fireplace, paint and upholster an old mantel to frame your bed! Choose a favorite fabric or small swatch of luxury upholstery to fill the mantel’s opening then paint to match. View step-by-step instructions at How to Make a Salvaged-Mantel Headboard.

Paint a Headboard on the Wall

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

In love with your bedding? Customize your headboard to perfectly match and complement the colors and designs of the fabric. For more tips on this process, view How to Paint a Whimsical Headboard.

Upholster with a Drop Cloth

Photo by Yunhee Kim

From plain drop cloth to pretty headboard! A This Old House reader tried this idea and added detail with some tufting. Learn more about this project in Best Reader Reuse Ideas 2013. For a step-by-step instructions check out How to Upholster a Headboard (and make a few modifications).

Build a Shipping Pallet Headboard

Courtesy of

The rustic look can be achieved for the price of nails (if you salvage some pallet wood). Project designers created the floor-to-ceiling headboard in a couple days’ work, and finished the project with a wash of paint leftover from another project. See the full how-to and some other low-budget projects in Home Bloggers’ Crafty Ways to Save.