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I tend to think of headboards as the sort of thing that only real grown-ups own.
When you’re a 20-something who moves a lot and is still working with hand-me-downs, your bed might just be a box spring and a secondhand mattress atop a basic steel frame—with a whole bunch of pillows (’cause the bed might also be your couch, dining table, and home office). But if you’re not a starving young adult or transient student, it’s probably time to grow up.
Here are several DIY options to fit all sorts of budgets and design or material preferences.
This basic wood option is simple to construct from dimensional lumber. With its wood-construction details and unfinished surfaces, the headboard hits on a trendy, rustic vibe.
With no need to sew, you can create a classic upholstered headboard, using nailhead trim for a rich and textural look.
This upcycled project involving wood shutters illustrates how easy it is to convert existing materials into something else altogether.
This wooden headboard project may look vintage, but it was actually built from scratch with inexpensive framing lumber, aged just enough for visual interest.
Mirrors on closet doors are never okay, but a large-scale mirror can make a wonderful, minimal headboard solution.
The same goes for a chalkboard, which invites color and allows you to get creative. Look for an old model at a secondhand store or office supply outlet, or create your own with plywood, chalkboard paint, and trim.
A tufted headboard never goes out of style. Jenny of Little Green Notebook figured out how to simplify the process. The trick is using pegboard as the substrate. With pegboard’s pre-drilled, perfectly spaced holes, all you have to do is count and get upholstering.
If you’re comfortable working with metal, take some inspiration from Kara Paisley Designs and snip an ornate shape out of some corrugated steel sheeting.
If you’re renting or sticking to a shoestring budget, this $9 fabric headboard project uses a product called Stiffen Stuff, which reacts to the heat of a clothing iron and adheres to the wall but comes down easily, leaving no trace behind.
For more DIY projects, consider: