Repurposed Headboard Ideas

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Turn old pallets into a great looking headboard. Photo courtesy of Sprig

Every bed deserves a headboard. Though most headboards serve no practical purpose – aside from those with built-in storage or other amenities – a headboard balances the large vertical plane of the mattress, and visually anchors the bed to its position in the bedroom.

Though furniture stores are full of headboards of every type and style, there’s no reason you have to use a conventional piece of furniture if you don’t want to.

Headboards are one of the easiest pieces of bedroom furniture to swap out with something repurposed, a big plus if you’re on a tight budget. So if you’ve been making do without a headboard, or are ready to try something new, consider switching up your bedroom décor with a headboard that goes beyond the expected. It’s a great way to create the bedroom theme you love while showcasing your creativity.

Repurpose It

Repurposing means taking an item originally intended for one use, and pressing it into service as something else. The beauty of repurposing is that it helps the environment by cutting down on consumption and keeping items out of the landfills, AND it is generally easy on your wallet. There are lots of ways to repurpose a headboard.

Pallets: Do you have access to some old wooden pallets, a free afternoon and at least rudimentary handiness with a screwdriver and a measuring tape? Then why not turn those pallets into a wonderfully rustic headboard?

Check out the full directions and photos at Sprig.

Antique door: Old doors are a far cry from today’s hollow, cheaply made doors. You might have a solid wooden door with wonderful character stored around your home, or you might find one at a salvage yard or garage sale. Once you have your door, check out instructions from Pottery Barn.

Whether you choose to keep the natural wood of your door or paint it a cheery new color, you’re sure to end up with a great looking headboard that adds to the character of your room.

Folding screen or shutters: Not every repurposed headboard has to be an elaborate project. If you have a tall pair of old wooden shutters or a decorative folding screen, simply position them between the top of your mattress and the wall for a funky new look.  

Surfboards: Here’s a repurposed headboard idea that is sure to please any beach-loving child or preteen – drill holes through two or three old surfboards, and fasten them to the wall at the head of your child’s bed.

Wooden ladder: Looking for a touch of rustic charm? Look no further than an old wooden ladder, preferably a barn ladder without a triangular support leg. If your ladder does have a support leg, simply unscrew and remove it. Now all you have to do is attach the ladder horizontally to the wall above your bed. Add to the fun by hanging photos or small paintings between the rungs.

Fireplace mantel: Just because you don’t have a fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t have a fireplace mantel. An ornately carved mantel makes a delightful headboard, with a vibe that manages to be formal yet quirky at the same time.

Depending on the fabric you choose to fill in the mantel’s open space, and the color you paint or stain the mantel, your new headboard can have any look you can imagine. Check out Small Notebook for the how-to’s.

Bookshelves: If your room is large enough to spare some floor space, highlight the head of the bed with bookshelves. Fill in the shelves with collectibles, books, a small lamp or two, or artwork you’d like to show off. For safety’s sake, don’t set anything too heavy over your bed. Apartment Therapy shows several ways to use bookshelves as headboards.