What are the Best Ideas for Unique Headboards?

B. Miller
B. Miller
Stencils can be used to paint designs on headboards.
Stencils can be used to paint designs on headboards.

There are a number of ideas for unique headboards that go beyond the traditional wood or wrought iron look. A unique headboard in a bedroom can be a great way to change the look of the whole room and make it look more stylish. One of the best ideas for unique headboards is to simply use paint or wallpaper to design a flat headboard on the wall; though this will not provide any additional support to the bedframe, it is very inexpensive and looks very interesting. Other ways to create a unique headboard might involve hanging things on the wall behind the bed, such as tapestries, shelves, or prints on the wall.

Paint may be used to create a unique headboard.
Paint may be used to create a unique headboard.

Most unique headboards are not attached to the bedframe, but are rather mounted on the wall. Painting a headboard on the wall, cutting one out of wallpaper, or purchasing a pre-designed wall decal that is designed to look like a headboard are some of the cheapest and easiest ways to create unique headboards. Stencils that may be used for painting a headboard can be purchased online, though decals may be a better choice for people who live in an apartment. They can often be simply peeled off the wall without causing any damage.

Fabric wall-hangings can make great unique headboards as well. These can be tapestries, for example, or even an old quilt. One easy way to create a sturdier headboard is to purchase a piece of plywood and then cover it with batting and upholstery for a unique padded headboard. More detailed instructions for this DIY project may be found online. Pre-made decorative panels, either painted or covered with fabric, can make unique headboards as well; in addition, a tri-fold screen may be placed behind the bed to function as a headboard, and this will not need to be mounted onto the wall.

Other ideas for unique headboards include mirrors, a large framed photograph or cluster of framed photographs, or shelving. When installing anything above the bed, it is extremely important to make sure that it is sturdily affixed and bolted to the wall. This is especially true in areas where earthquakes occur; in this type of area, it is best to avoid mounting anything on the wall above the bed at all. Of course, one might always choose to simply place the bed under the window in a room and eliminate the need for a headboard altogether.

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Discussion Comments


I have got some great ideas here for some unique headboards.

I am almost embarrassed to say I have had the same headboard for over 20 years. It is not very unique, but is practical.

It is really a big shelving unit with a mirror in the middle. My husband doesn't want to get rid of it because it holds a lot of books.

We both love to read in bed, and know that a good book is right there. I am just ready for a different look, and think I might need to find another place to store my books.

A different headboard sounds like an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of the whole room.


I don't think there is much right or wrong when it comes to coming up with a unique headboard. As long as it is something you like and feel comfortable with, that is what matters.

Your bedroom should be a place where you instantly feel relaxed and the perfect place to unwind after a busy day.

One of the most unique headboards I used was an elegant, folding wooden screen. I had come across this screen at a thrift shop and knew I would find the perfect use for it.

I placed this behind my bed, and it blended in perfectly with the colors and design of the bedroom.

The height of the screen behind the bed also helped make the room look a little longer.

Those were the days when we didn't have much money, and had to make do with what we had. Those days also taught me how to be resourceful and realize my home is what I make it, not how much money I spent.


I really like the idea of painting a headboard on the wall or using a decal. This seems like it would look really neat and not be too much trouble. But how about taking that idea one step further, into the digital age?

How cool would it be to project a headboard onto the wall somehow? You could change it whenever you wanted to, and you wouldn't have to worry about painting over it or taking it down if you had to move!


@JessicaLynn - Thrift store shopping for *wooden* furniture is a great idea, but I don't know if I would do it for upholstered stuff. Bed bugs are back on the rise here in the states, so you might get a nasty surprise if you buy used upholstery.

Anyway, I think there are a ton of great ideas online for making unique headboards. I've even seen a few websites dedicated to "hacking" IKEA furniture into unique, one of a kind pieces. I would try something like that before I totally gave up and just bought something. Most of those kind of projects look pretty easy.


I know this sounds a big paranoid, but I could never dream of making a headboard out of large photographs or anything hanging on the wall behind my bed. I have this weird fear that it might fall on my head while I'm sleeping. I seriously don't think I could sleep if I had this kind of headboard.

Anyway, back to the idea of unique headboards. I think the best way to find a unique headboard is obviously to make it yourself, as a lot of other people have said.

However, not everyone is "handy" enough to make their own headboard. So I think the next best option is thrift store shopping. You can find a lot of cool, one of a kind stuff like double headboards for really cheap.

Just make sure you clean it before you use it!


Do you think it is a good idea to buy oak headboards that have the shelves built into them?

My wife is a bit worried about the functionality of the bookshelf on a queen size headboard as she is sure anything we put on it would be blocked or hit by pillows. While I can see her point we really need some extra storage space for our books and it seems like a bookshelf headboard would be the way to go. Right now we have a simple black headboard and while it is functional it doesn't really do much to help us with shelving.


@manykitties2 - One of the easiest ways to make your own headboard is to buy a large piece of particle board cheap and use it as your headboard wood. Once you have it cut to whichever shape you like just add some batting material like you would use to make a comforter to the front of the board and staple it into place. Make it is thick as you want for your headboard.

The last step is really easy as all you need to do is stretch fabric over the wood and batting and staple it in place. Doing this makes a very sleek and simple headboard. If you get your fabric second-hand or use some old curtains you can keep your costs way down.


Does anyone have any suggestions for how to make your own unique upholstered headboards?

My husband and I are redoing our bedroom and trying to cut down on some of the costs of furniture by making some things ourselves. We've seen some really unique headboards for beds on design shows but they all seemed a bit elaborate for our abilities.

We really need to find a way to make one of those unique upholstered headboards without breaking the bank or needing to buy a bunch of new tools. Something basic but stylish is best for us. We're hoping that we can keep the cost for all supplies under $100.


@seag47 – I also have a headboard composed of pillows, but mine is attached to the wall. I knew that the pillows would move around too much if I didn't secure them.

I used my husband's staple gun to attach the pillows to the wall right above the bed. I had gotten some decorative pillows for Christmas one year from my mother-in-law, but I had no use for them. I pulled them out of the closet and carefully stapled their backsides to the wall.

You can't see the staples at all. It looks like I glued the pillows there. I think it turned out really well.


My nephew frequently has trouble falling asleep, so my sister decided to have a mural painted on his headboard. She hired an artist to paint mountains, trails, rivers, and woods in a way that would let him use his imagination, hoping this would tire him out.

He likes to lie there before going to sleep and make up stories about what is going on in the scene. The artist even included some animals, and he likes to give them names and tell about their lives.

My sister lies down with him each night, and this unique bed headboard has inspired him to tell her his own bedtime stories, rather than the other way around. This seems to work for making him sleepy.


@orangey03 - My friend had the same problem as you with hard headboards. That's why she decided to remove hers altogether and try something new in its place.

She collected decorative pillows, so she had plenty to experiment with. She scooted her bed out from the wall just enough to fit some pillows placed upright in the space. She piled them up until they reached the point where she would stack pillows up if she were trying to read in bed.

So, she now has a headboard made of pillows. I can't think of a comfier arrangement.


I move around a lot during my sleep, so I often hurt myself on wooden headboards. This is why my husband decided to make a padded headboard for our bed.

Our comforter and curtains are a deep burgundy, so we got some velvet upholstery to match. He used dark stained wood to carve a fancy, arched outline. He put soft stuffing between the upholstery and wood and we stapled it down on the back side.

It doesn't hurt now when I bump my head on the headboard in my sleep. I wake myself up doing it, but since it is padded now, it just feels like part of the mattress.

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