When it comes to bedroom design, our beds or headboards are often the stars of the show. They’re usually centered in space, so naturally draw attention when they first walk inside (and let’s face it, all you want to do when you arrive in your bedroom is dive right into their cloud-like comfort) . The design spotlight is a hot spot, however, and choosing such a prominent piece can often put a lot of pressure on your furniture choices. From tufted upholstery fit for royalty to sleek powder-coated steel befitting a city loft, there are seemingly endless design directions you could take your headboard search in. And sometimes – spoiler alert – you can’t find them anything that feels right
Rather than give up all hope, consider creating your own personalized option that blends your decorating style with your desire for homely comfort. The best part? It’s actually easier than you think to make a bold handcrafted statement with your headboard. Below we round up 10 stylish examples of DIY headboards (or ideas that can be easily adapted for weekend warriors) to get your creative juices flowing.
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When it comes to achieving the classic and timeless look of an upholstered headboard, we have good news: DIY couldn’t be easier. To mimic the look of a comfy headboard – like the designer inspiration here from Heidi Caillier – head to your local craft store to buy some upholstery foam, grab your favorite fabric and follow our simple step-by-step instructions for a piece, that you can fully do in a single afternoon.
Throw a favorite throw
Want to upgrade the look of your bed but don’t have the idea of buying a new one? Take a page from designer Phillip Smith’s book and cover your existing piece with a favorite throw. At his Hudson Valley retreat, the designer turned to a Les Indiennes quilt to add some funky flair to his bedroom, but you can pick any favorite quilt or vintage fabric scraps to achieve the same effect.
Mimic dimension with molding
From a design perspective, part of the importance of headboards can be traced to the visual weight they add to a space. If your vibe is more minimalist but you find your room lacks a bit of panache, instead of a traditional headboard, add dimension by molding a ledge behind the bed. In this tranquil space designed by Shapeless Studio, decorative flourishes add visual interest (and a Parisian charm) to the simple and tranquil space.
Rather than outfitting this primary bedroom with a traditional headboard, designer Cameron Schwabenton turned to vintage panels to add a touch of glamorous sophistication to the space. Replicate the look with a flea market find of your own, or shop retailers like The Inside for tri-fold screens you can set up behind your own bed.
Two planks of raw wood are enough to transform this minimalist bedroom into an eye-catching rustic retreat. Designers Niya Bascom and Anishka Clarke of Ishka Designs sourced these two boards from a lumberyard near the Jamaican retreat, but many specialty lumber retailers offer similar pieces. Just make sure you anchor them securely to your wall so you don’t wake up with an unpleasant (and painful) surprise.
If your heart says skip the headboard entirely, say go for it—but we do Also For example, make sure you have some really comfortable pillows on hand to provide similar support. In this retreat designed by Pamela Shamshiri, oversized lumbar pillows essentially act as padding, providing a comfortable place to lean back while reading or working from bed.
Add some edge with leather
There is a foolproof solution to balance the cloudy softness that comes from textile to textile in your bedroom and add a masculine touch like leather. Luckily for DIYers the world over, the material (especially in its faux iteration) is surprisingly forgiving and easy to work with, making it the ideal addition to any handmade headboard projects you have on your radar. Though the hanging leather headboard in this Chango & Co. room is a purchased piece (from Casamidy), you can just as easily make your own interpretation with a little creativity.
To mimic the same room-anchoring effect as a headboard — but with a little more personality — consider hanging an oversized work of art just above the line of sight of your pillows, like in this Sabrina Albanese-designed room. Not only does it add a dose of drama to your space, but it’s also a great way to divert focus from other, more unwanted parts of your space (er, like your laundry chair in the corner. We all have one).
Liven up the look of your existing headboard by sewing a simple slipcover to pull over the top. The end result will be a relaxed and approachable design (like this atmospheric bedroom by designer David Frazier) that can adapt to your tastes over the years. Not particularly quick with a needle and thread? A local seamstress or Etsy pro can quickly complete the makeover project for you.
ready to get Yes, really creative? We have good news: practical everything can be transformed into a functional headboard with the right amount of imagination (and a little elbow grease). Case in point: This artistic scene in Angie Lane’s bedroom. Thinking outside the box when considering her headboard, the designer transformed a custom door from a previous project into a bed backdrop that doubles as real art.
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