The Best (and Cheapest) Way to Make a DIY Headboard

The Best (and Cheapest) Way to Make a DIY Headboard
Photo: Denys R, Shutterstock

Bed frames and headboards can be expensive, but a comfy, inviting bedroom is a must for even the simplest decor tastes. You can get the best of both worlds with a DIY faux headboard, whatever your decorating tastes and budget are.

Why you need a headboard to begin with

A headboard is often considered just a decoration, but it’s also functional. Sitting up in bed to read is much more comfortable with some support. In addition, having something between your head and the wall, especially if you toss and turn a lot, can save you bumping your head a bunch.

What you’ll need to make a fake headboard

For this project, you don’t need much in the way of tools, but a tape measure, a stud finder, and some hooks for your wall. There are really a lot of different hooks you could use, but the best type will be dull enough to avoid damage if you run into it by accident.

You’ll need two hooks that can be securely attached to the wall on top of a stud behind your bed. If you don’t have studs in the right places, you can use a piece of picture rail that can span between studs, or just a board the width of your bed that you can screw your hooks into. The other thing you’ll need is a cushion that’s about the width of your bed. (Not a pillow the size of the header photo above, but a huge version that spans at least the width of your bed.)

Find the right bench cushion to use

To determine the placement of your hooks and the width of your cushion, measure the width of your bed. Then you can choose a cushion that fits well. Bench cushions are a good candidate because of their shape, but you can also have a cushion custom made for relatively cheap. A bonus for this type of cushion is that they come with ties already attached so they’re easy to hang. These come in many different colours and fabrics, so you’re sure to find something that’s right for you.

A great cushion alternative, if you know how to sew

If you know how to sew, you can also make a custom cushion by sewing four pillow cases together and adding ties to the top two corners. Leave the opening of the pillow cases facing out, and the closed side in the centre. Then, put one pillow in each case and you’ll have a custom large-sized cushion that’s just the right size for your bed. One major advantage to this method is that you can wash the cover to your headboard in a regular machine, making cleaning a breeze.

How to install your faux headboard

Once you’ve chosen your cushion, it’s time to install your hardware. Measure the width and height of your cushion. Measure up from your bed the height of your cushion, and then install a hook on the wall for each corner. If you’re using a board or picture rail to span your hooks, find your studs and attach the board or moulding first, and then screw your hooks into the added piece. Then use the ties to hang the cushion and you’ve got a super simple, functional, and cost effective faux headboard.

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