DIY headboard ideas: 6 headboard alternatives and how to make them

DIY: Incredible parquet flooring created using wooden pallets

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Headboards aren’t essential, but their practical purpose is to support your bed and protect your wall against abrasion. They also add an aspect of sophistication to a room or act as a bold statement in a neutral room. People are getting more and more experimental with their headboards these days – choosing to make their own rather than buy a bed that comes with one attached. chatted to the director of professional home staging company Lemon and Lime Interiors, Elaine Penhaul, to find out how to create your own alternative headboard at a fraction of the cost of buying a new one.

Headboards aren’t essential for a good night’s sleep, but they do help to tie the room together.

If you don’t have a headboard at the moment, you may feel as if something is missing in the room.

You can either buy a basic headboard or create something totally unique and spectacular with your own hands.

Elaine said: “A uniquely designed headboard can be a statement piece for a bedroom.

“It is a blank canvas that you can experiment with in terms of design, without needing to cost a fortune.

Not sure where to begin? Here are six headboard design ideas from Elaine.

Reclaimed wood

Using reclaimed wood provides the flexibility to design the size and style of the headboard to your taste and requirements.

Elaine added: “Staining with wood oil helps to bring out its quality and texture while also adding a protective finish.

“The wood can be positioned vertically or horizontally and staining planks with different colours will introduce a further dimension.”

Abstract artwork

If you don’t fancy having the traditional solid headboard behind your head at night, why not add some art on the wall where your headboard would be?

Elaine said: “Abstract artwork is a great substitute for a conventional headboard and can create a bold focal point for the room.

“The colours of the cushions and throws should complement the artwork to create a consistent style throughout the bed.”


You can create a headboard from scratch using medium-density fibreboard.

Elaine said: “Applying paint or wallpaper to a tall piece of Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is a great way to create a headboard that is tailored to fit the size of your room.

“These colours can be changed as regularly as you like to maintain a vibrant appearance that is in keeping with seasonal trends.”

Geometric shapes

Again, this option works if you don’t want a conventional headboard.

Elaine said: “Painting geometric shapes above the bed will add interest to the room without needing to spend a lot of money.

“You can experiment with shapes and symmetry to find your unique design.
“Using either pastel or dark colour tones will add a splash of colour that can straight away refresh the current interior of your bedroom.”

Make do and mend

Already got a headboard you don’t like? Fix it up with fabric or a splash of paint.

Elaine said: “You can bring a new lease of life to your existing traditional wooden headboard by sanding and painting it, providing a great cost-saving option through upcycling.

“If your existing material headboard appears tired, you can easily reupholster this with a fabric of your choice – a stylish pattern will bring an immediate wow factor to the room.

“All you need is a piece of fabric, a friend to help you stretch it onto the headboard and a staple gun.”

Upcycled doors

Yes, you can use a door instead of an actual headboard!

Elaine said: “Upcycled doors are becoming a popular choice – as opposed to using a traditional headboard – that can bring a unique element to a room.

“There is such a variety of doors, colours and styles to choose from that this is a great solution to create a statement piece in the bedroom.”

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