Make Your Bed: 16 Easy DIY Headboards

Do you really need a headboard for your bed? If you live in modern construction, probably not. The genesis of the headboard is in fact practical, not aesthetic. Historically, headboards served to protect the sleeper from the cold drafts of poorly insulated walls. Putting a wooden headboard between the bed and a brick or stone wall forced cold air toward the floor, instead of over the bed.

Though a headboard may not be a practical necessity nowadays, a headboard can bring big design impact to a room. It can create a focal point, as well as tie the bed in with the rest of a room’s decor. And though you may not need it as a barrier for drafts, a headboard can indeed be practical. If you love to read in bed, an upholstered headboard can provide extra comfort in an upright position. A headboard created with storage cubbies makes a place for books, clocks, and the rest of your sleep routine essentials.

You can DIY a headboard nearly as easily as you can buy one. And if you’re on a budget, there are a multitude of DIY headboard design ideas to make on the cheap. You can repurpose a door for a headboard, or make an easy upholstered headboard with plywood, batting and fabric. Get some inspiration and check out our favorite DIY headboards from around the web.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Nov 18, 2016 01:26 PM

Taking Notes?

DIY Chalkboard Headboard

Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflect your mood, or leave a note for a sleeping loved one. Whimsical and artistic, it's an easy and budget-friendly DIY.

Shabby Chic

Shutters DIY

If you love repurposing old things for new purposes, try this clever project: Vintage shutters, joined together and mounted to the wall, give this bed a unique and relaxed appeal.

Living the Dream

Fence Headboard

A white-washed section of picket fencing becomes a charming headboard. Paired with quilts and wicker, it sets a folksy and fanciful tone in this cottage-style bedroom.

By the Fire

Mantle DIY Headboard

Even a fireplace mantle makes for a memorable headboard that, counter to intuition, looks like it was always meant to be. True to form, the headboard-mantle doubles as a picture-perfect display for family photos and mementos.

Star Light, Star Bright

Headboard Lights

Want to create a tranquil atmosphere conducive to rest? Hang string lights over a dark-painted wall, with sheer curtains to soften and diffuse the effect. This headboard definitely lights up the night.

Soft and Luxurious

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Achieve a modern look with minimal expense by stapling bold fabric over a square or rectangular piece of plywood.


Book Lovers

Bookcase Headboard

Useful in every room of the house, modular shelving units in the bedroom form a storage headboard that anchors the sleeping area, while accommodating books, picture frames, and miscellaneous other personal items.

To the Top

MDF DIY Headboard

Comprised of fiberboard (MDF) strips with iron cylinder bracing, this graphic headboard extends all the way to the ceiling and serves as a striking focal point in the space.

Knock, Knock

DIY Door Headboard

A vintage door—painted and embellished with pine framing lumber, crown molding, and end caps—turns into a clean and classic headboard when mounted to the wall.

Rustic Simplicity

DIY Wood Pallet Headboard

The rustic simplicity of this DIY headboard is achieved with stock lumber and simple cuts. When stained to coordinate with your room’s design, the headboard will have a personal feel and long-lasting style.

Chevron Chic

DIY Wood Chevron Headboard

Inspired by the Alexa Reclaimed Wood Bed from West Elm, this chevron headboard is chic and modern, but still feels thoroughly classy. Plywood and pine boards make this DIY knock-off come together for around $200 – about 15% of what you’d pay if you ordered from the catalog.

Out the Window

DIY Window Headboard

In a small room, a low-profile design element makes a big impact. This antique window headboard creates a focal point to anchor the bed, while keeping the overall bedroom decor light and airy.

Vintage Floral

DIY Vintage Floral Headboard

A DIY headboard can double as a piece of artwork. This floral one creates a delicately whimsical look by highlighting a vintage sheet behind a group of MDF cut-outs. The white paint and comforter bring this simple look together.

Curvy Cut

DIY Curvy Headboard

This curvy cut wooden headboard was constructed with cedar fencing planks. Once the boards are joined together, you can cut any profile with a jigsaw. A coat of your favorite paint finishes the look, and you’re ready to have guests spend the night!

Fabulous Fabric

DIY Fabric Headboard

This headboard, composed of individually upholstered sections of beautifully patterned fabric, has been hung against a dark contrasting wall. It highlights the damask in the bed linens and makes a stand-out focal point in the room.

Woven Details

DIY Woven Headboard

This beautiful and elegant woven wood headboard looks complicated to make, but nothing could be further from the truth. All you need is a single sheet of 1/4 plywood and some 1x3 pieces of lumber.

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