DIY Headboard Ideas in 2020 – No Muss, No Fuss!

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Not every bed comes with a headboard. A lot of modern beds usually come with just the main bed or bedframe, and that’s pretty much it. Sometimes, some people decided to opt for just getting the bedframe and mattress because they want to have the liberty to design their own headboards.

Regardless of whichever category you fall under, we have some do it yourself (DIY) headboard ideas here. If you choose to have DIY headboards, we should mention upfront that it may take some time to design it and set it up.

We will try to keep the DIY design ideas to as simple as possible to help you set it up as soon as possible. It may take a few minutes to a couple of hours. It may even take all weekend to set it up too.


Before we continue, we should mention how there are a few criteria for you to consider. There are several points of interest that should get you started on your DIY headboards.

Don’t be afraid in customizing and making your headboard look very different. As seeing how society has evolved, it is quite likely that you can be accepted as being different. Even by your bedroom choices.

That being said, if you choose to customize your own headboards it’s all acceptable too. After all, throw in a bit of color to match up your own spicy life.

Matching Colors

Colors is one of the easiest points for you to determine what kind of DIY headboard you want. Traditionally headboards often matches the mattresses and the bedframes. For example, if the mattress and the bedframe comes in tufted black upholstery, it’s quite likely that the headboard is made in the same material and manner.

Assuming that your bed does not have a matching headboard, you can choose colors that best matches your bed. If you are not big on being matchy-matchy and whatever, you can consider customizing one to your liking.


Perhaps themes is one of those points where you can further your DIY headboard ideas. Although the headboard is a small area of your bed, it can be done to match your bed and your bedroom settings.

Thematic headboards are a fun thing because it does not just bring you back to a certain point or era. It also can be customized in such a way you can sometimes even interact with it. It really can make your bedroom come to life, even when it is only a small part of your room.

Consider getting a thematic headboard. That can truly set the tone and give you a restful sleep.


The material matters because some material goes well with certain colors or customization. You may not want to get the material wrong as it can make or break your headboard.

Seek out how material can actually make all the difference in making your headboard look cheap, luxurious, and whatnot. Obviously headboards made of cheaper material can make your room look cheap.

Choose material that does not just justify the luxurious feel of your room, but for the material to be a long lasting one. Although it is a DIY headboard, it does not mean you want to replace it every few months or years. Get one that last you quite a long time. That way you don’t have to keep wasting money on it.

Other Details to Consider

There are more ways than just having to consider the material, themes, and colors of your headboard. Ways such as how interactive your headboards can be, and whether they are pet friendly or not.

Customizing and having a DIY headboard does not have to be boring. Hence, this section is included to fit any extra interesting ideas that works well for a headboard.

Headboard Ideas To Go

Now that we have covered the criteria, let’s look into how you can get started with your DIY headboards.


As mentioned previously, choosing the color to match your bed is a good way to get your DIY headboard started. Colors can also set the mood and tone of your bedroom too. That can, in turn, affect your sleeping patterns and mood in some ways.


White colors tend to be one of the most common and easiest colors to work with. Considered a hipster and minimalist color, it is a good start to branch out on your DIY headboard.

It gives your room a very clean look and blends well if your room is painted white too. In all honesty, white exudes class in its own soft ways. White usually reflects purity, tranquility, cleanliness.

White color’s immaculate shade helps to give your room a sense of safety. It has a calming effect, if we can put it that way.

The only downside to having white is the fact that it stains and gets dirty easily. If dust settles on it, it’s very easy to spot it instantly. To have a white headboard, it means you may have to clean it often to prevent staining and long term spotting.

Black or Gray

Black and gray are perhaps another 2 very common colors used in headboards. Those colors are most often found in “upscale” headboards. Meaning to say, if you are to enter a relatively high-end hotel room, it’s quite likely to find those shades of color on their headboards.

Perhaps, they are the next most common colors used on headboards after white. Sometime, people choose those colors over white because they don’t want to stain or dirty their headboards. Which is true because if you accidentally stain your black or gray headboard, the stains and the spots are less likely to show.

The downside to having black or gray headboard is that it can easily affect your mood. It affects your mood in a sense that it can easily make you feel depressed, since there is a lack of brighter colors.

This can be remedied by throwing it a bit of colorful designs to ease out the complete darkness. Add in a bit of lace or have it tufted. Either way, it can help you with making your headboard less depressing.

Brown or Bronze

Brown and bronze are considered mid-ranged colors. They don’t exactly brighten your room, and neither do they make you feel depressed. Brown colors and shades tend to be rustic by nature.

When it comes to brown shade, it is very easy to think of the countryside or cowboy settings. Brown shades tend to give your bed and your bedroom a rustic and homely feel. At the same time, it’s reminiscent of young teenage girls who have a love affair with mid-western cultures.

But it fits. It fits really well into a bedroom setting and make it look like a very well-tended place. Maybe add in a bit of flowers and greenery and it can become something that walks right out of a tropical country.

Brown (and bronze) shade headboards don’t quite stain as easily as people think it to be. It can still be subjected to stains like any other shades and colors. It’s just that it’s less likely to show on a brown shade.


There are plenty of headboards that come in multi-colors. Multi-colored headboards often reflects how interesting, lively, or bold the person’s life is. Consider it the bohemian headboards of all headboards, but not held to its stereotypes.

Multi-colored headboards are often found in much younger people’s bedrooms. It reflects their youth and vivacity. In all honesty, such colorful get up often can liven up your bedroom. It can easily do so because of so much colors in one area.

There are no faults in having a multi-colored headboards. After all, it’s a happier and livelier approach to your own bedroom.

The only issue with multi-colored headboards is that it takes a lot of planning to work out the right color matches and palettes. That and the fact that it means you may need to spend a bit more money in customizing such headboards.

But then what can we say? If you spend a bit more time in customizing your DIY headboard, you may as well do it right. And right you will get out of it, which in turn helps with brightening up your room.


Themes are another way for you to create your DIY headboard. However, if you choose to incorporate themes, it will take more of your time to plan and create it. After all, the more diversified the theme is, the more complicated your preparation time for the final product will be (of course).

Themes can be divided into several kinds. You will find the most common themes are usually the ones from a different time period, or from different fandoms. At the same time, we can also say that country and cultural themes are also quite common (to show patriotism and appreciation).

Fandom Themes

This is perhaps one of the most common themes you can incorporate into your DIY headboard. Spelling adventurous and the curious mind, fandom themes are a tad bit harder to incorporate in a sense that there are elements to consider.

Fandom themed headboards basically screams that you are a geek, a nerd. You probably went to bed with your favorite superhero doll. Maybe you have outgrown those toys and have decided to move to something more mature. That usually reflects in your room’s settings, and your headboard hasn’t escaped that.

In fact the easiest one we can think of is having fandom characters painted across or carved into your headboard. Such themes requires a lot of preparation and planning time. But hey, if you are a huge fan, the preparation time is definitely worth it.

To be frank, the long preparations into making such headboards can easily be counted as a family heirloom in the long run. It’s something you can pass down to your kids in the future (if you have any). Since you have spent so much time preparing it already anyway, so why not.

If painting or carving the characters across your headboard is too much work, why not do just the designs that represents the fandom? It speeds up the preparation, planning, and creating time by a lot. What more it is a lot less complicated to create, and takes a lot less time from you too.

The worst case scenario that can happen is to paint your headboards in your fandom’s colors. That is perhaps the easiest and non-complicated way to create a fandom-based DIY headboard.

Time Period Themes

Do you know what time period themes mean? That you are a history buff. You like anything before the 21st century and would love to live in such settings. Maybe your room is even in such time period settings too, who knows.

Time period themes are a very interesting one of its kind. Perhaps you are someone who grew up around a lot of history and sociological books and movies.

In a time period themed headboard, we will usually think of more rustic colors and material. It can be made of all the glitz and glam colors depending on which time period you choose. Having such colors to add to your time period piece is a good way for people to step into such era without trying much.

The most common material we can think of when it comes to time period themes are laces and frills. Probably throw in a bit of lace and cotton to represent the culture of whichever time period of your choosing.

Upholstery is big on this one, so to speak. People may think that time period headboards look like something you stole out of your grandma’s closet. It does not have to be that way. Find an updated fabric design, you can live in a much more modernized time period of the same era.

Even if you insist in having the same old upholstery made to resemble the ones during the time period, by all means, you can. It didn’t matter if people may see it as old-fashion and drab (though it does not have to). It’s your bedroom and your headboard after all. What does it matter if someone else didn’t like it anyway?

Country and Cultural Themes

Choosing to design your headboard in your country’s or culture’s colors reflects how patriotic you are. There is nothing wrong with designing your headboards as such. Although it does come across as tacky, so to speak.

The most stereotypical design we can think of when designing your headboard in your culture or country’s colors, is to have the flags and insignias painted over it. Throw in a few mini flags, perhaps it does get a feel of a sporting event even.

Some people have tapestries with their cultures woven into it in place of headboards. Headboards does not necessarily have to be one big piece of wood or metal. It can be in forms of fabric, sectionalized wood, and many more.

Alternatively, you can leave the headboard out of it and insert an alternative in its place. Perhaps a woven flag with a few insignias woven into it. Throw in a bit some amulets to make things a bit more interesting.

Anything that fancies you and makes your headboard look like the one you imagined to be. We can think of many other ways that we can incorporate your culture into your headboard. Those were just a few examples of how you can get about it.

Bohemian Theme

The bohemian themed headboard is more popular among the young female population than the male population. All for obvious reasons. Imagine having a lot of flowers, lace, trinkets, and everything effeminate.

Think of your stereotypical young girl who is all things pretty. The kind who often have cheesy taglines like “Live. Love. Laugh” emblazoned across any of their items. A lot of flower head wreaths. That sort of girl with that sort of personality.

Their headboards often not just include a lot of flowers. It possibly includes a lot of fairy lights too. The headboards may be made of wood to give it a rustic, home far away from home feel. Throw in a few pictures (maybe even in sepia) of them travelling the world.

Probably some place fancy, classy, far off and dreamy. Paris during the summer. London during winter. Maybe even their trip to New York in the summer. Imagine the pictures plastered across their headboards.

Yeah. That’s what bohemian themes are like for you. Although it does not really mean every bohemian themed headboards are like that, we can say there are elements that is common in every theme.

Bohemian themed headboards just so happened to have such kinds of elements that are similar. It is the kind of theme that is well-liked and well-received by the younger female population.

Music Theme

We can say the music theme is on par with the time period theme and the fandom theme. It does get its own section in a way because musicians are a special and separate group of their own.

Think of your stereotypical musician who most likely have their headboards in the designs of a piano keyboard. Or even guitar strings. It may look bewildering to see such headboard designs.

The truth be told. It isn’t. To be quite honest music themes are widely acceptable more so among the geeky atmosphere.

It does have certain charms to it. Some people actually went to the extent of making their keyboard headboards “playable”. They may not play music like how you would have imagined. It’s a headboard that has playable keys.

Some people may rip out the keyboards out from an old and broken keyboard. Then used it as part of their headboards. Some may even painstakingly take out the keys to an old piano or organ to have it customized into their headboards.

Some people went to great lengths to make their headboards look special. Musicians are no exception to this.

Headboard Material

The headboard material is another aspect that can make your room look the way you want it to be. Some material are long lasting, while some others may not. At the same time, so material are easy to clean than the others.

It’s all a matter of whether if you clean your headboard regularly or not.


This is one of the most common material you can find in making a headboard. It can be an entire piece of wood. Or it can be carved, chopped, or customized into the shape you want.

Wood is often the go-to choice for parents who have young kids. It is one of the leading choices of young parents because it’s less likely that wood (especially laminated wood) will “hurt” their child.

Not forgetting to mention, wooden headboards look a lot softer than a metal headboard. Mostly because wood is often in brown shades, which makes for friendlier and more rustic looks.

The downside to having wood as your headboard is that it may be subjected to rot and discoloring. That is if you expose it to prolonged dampness, direct sunlight, and have termite problems.

You will have to do a quick wipe down of your wooden headboard every now and then to avoid any staining or rot. Do not wipe it with a cloth that is too damp, as it may cause the wood to rot in the long term.

By the way, it is recommended to use good wood (like mahogany and similar) than the ones that are a lot weaker. Good wood tends to last a lot longer for obvious reasons.


Metal is another very common material you can find in headboards. They are quite popular in a sense that it lasts longer than wood (obviously) and is easier to clean.

Metal may not be the easiest element to work with, but it lasts and it works.

To be honest, metal headboards does give your room a minimalist and bohemian feel. We can see several ways of how it can be turned into such. Add a lot of flowers, fairy lights, pictures. It can easily turn into a bohemian sleeping space.

We can say that metal bedframes can be very vibrant to work with. Want something snazzy? Make use of multicolored metal headboards. Want to make it look chic? Throw in some silver headboards. Heck, why not give it an updated feel and have one in rose gold?

There are so many possibilities with using metal.

Not forgetting to mention how it is very easy to clean too. All you need to do is to wipe it down with a damp cloth and you’re good. Just remember to not wipe it with a damp cloth too often. That’s because it may rust when exposed to too much dampness and air.

Metal is a good material to work with if you are willing to put in the extra effort. Only issue is that it can be quite heavy if it is in one whole piece. Smaller pieces are often easier to work with.

Fabric or Cloth

Fabric or cloth headboards are uncommon, but not unheard of. They work as a stand in for headboards and often look very chic.

Fabric “headboards” are often found with cultural elements. It’s quite common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures. Present day finds us seeing similar in your basic female bedrooms with some really colorful and interesting patterns.

Fabric headboards often have very pretty patterns woven into it. In some fabric headboards, you may see a short story from another culture woven into it. It can be anything, really. It’s usually made in such a way to make your room feel very rustic and Middle Eastern.


Yes, velvet headboards. They exists, but mostly in more older generations’ bedrooms. Velvet usually gives off this vibe where only middle age people will use it. That may be right up to an extent, but it does not mean younger generations don’t use it.

Velvet headboards does give off a very classy feel and vibe to your room. It ebbs evening dinner and elegance. A night filled with wine and fine dining. It even gives off an air of passion, if we can put it that way.

Usually velvet headboards come in tufted designs to make it look luxurious. We don’t think you will spend all that time tufting your velvet headboard. Maybe you will. Most tufted velvet headboards come ready made and you can easily find them in a lot of furniture and home stores.

The downside to velvet headboards? It traps and emits heat very easily. If you live in hotter climates, then velvet headboards may not be the right choice for you. Furthermore, once you stain it and didn’t remove it quickly enough, the stain will leave a very ugly mark on it.


There are so many interesting and cool ideas for your headboards to try out. It all depends on your taste and choice. There is no “right way” to create a headboard. It all comes down to what ideas you have in mind and committing to it.

Some headboards may take longer than the others to make. As mentioned previously, it all depends on how committed you are in wanting to get the perfect headboard done. As long as it’s something that you like, and it fits, then it’s all worked out in good favor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q: What can I use instead of a headboard?

There are many things you can use instead of a headboard. Get on your creative side and you can find a lot of things that can be substituted as a headboard. Some people use a canvas or a mural as a headboard. Some other people customize it with wood, metal, or both. It all depends on what you are looking for.

Q: How do you make an inexpensive tufted headboard?

There are several ways you can make an inexpensive headboard. Below is one of the fastest way you can make it, all under budget.



Q: Is it easy to make a headboard?

It depends on what kind of headboard you are looking to make. The ones made from scratch are usually a bit harder to make. It also takes up a bit more time to make it also.

Q: What’s the point of a headboard?

The headboard is a piece of furniture that attaches the head of a bed. It serves to isolate sleepers from drafts and cold in less insulated buildings historically. They are usually made of wood back in the day, which is less thermally conductive than stone or bricks.

Q: Can I use a headboard without a bed frame?

You may not need to attach a headboard to a bed frame sometimes. Some of them come with a platform or slats so you do not need a bed frame at all.

About the Author Jessica Larsen

I am a big advocate that having great sleep is something everyone deserves. With over 10 years of experience in this field, I would love to use this platform as a means to help you achieve a good night's sleep.

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