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How to Make an Industrial-Style Headboard With PVC Pipes

Create a headboard that mixes industrial and country design styles by using PVC pipes and twine.

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Courtesy of Design by Joanne Palmissano, Photo by Susan Teare

PVC pipes painted silver make this bedframe look like metal. Twine is strung between the pipes then clothespins are used to display vintage postcards. This is a great headboard for a kids' room -- they could hang their artwork, photos or their favorite soft-cover books.

We made another version of this same headboard frame and hung a sail in between the pipes instead of twine. Any piece of sturdy fabric or canvas would also work.

How to Make a Nautical-Inspired Headboard With a Sail

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Materials and Tools:

- chop saw (or PVC cutter)
- level and tape measure
- grommets and grommet tool
- 2.5" PVC pipes (see below for queen measurements)
- PVC pipe primer and PVC pipe cement
- hammered-silver spray paint
- twine and clothespins
- postcards, photos or other mementos
- 2 PVC elbows, 2 PVC tees, 2 PVC adapters (if needed for the flange to match pipes) and 2 PVC floor flanges (get pieces that are smooth on the inside, not the screw-in kind)

Cut the Pieces to Size

Measure out the size of headboard, then cut the pieces of PVC piping with a chop saw or a PVC cutter. Here are the dimensions for a queen-size bed:

two horizontal pieces at 59"
two bottom pieces at 38"
two top pieces at 24"

Build the Frame

Lay out the pieces (Image 1), then dry fit them with the connectors to make sure they fit. When you're ready, use the PVC primer (purple, seen in Image 2) and then the PVC cement, and push the pieces together. Use a level to make sure you have them straight before letting the pieces dry.

We needed to use an adapter insert inside the plumbing floor flange because it was larger than the PVC pipe (Image 3).


It is helpful to have two people when putting the whole thing together. Again, make sure everything is level before letting it dry. Cover the whole thing with the PVC primer (purple). This will help the paint adhere to the piece.


Spray-paint the headboard with silver-hammered paint for a metal look. You can also try it in black. Let dry. Turn the headboard over and do the other side.

Wrap the Twine

Take a roll of twine and twist it around the bed frame in various positions. Keep it tight. Add clips with postcards and other fun mementos.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.