21 Design Ideas For Making Inexpensive Upcycled Headboards

Move old junk into your bedroom. No, seriously. Check out these unique designs where salvaged items were turned into beautiful new headboards.
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March 25, 2015

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Funky Junk Interiors

Photo By: Funky Junk Interiors

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Susan Teare

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: Frank Murray

Photo By: unknown

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

An "Oar-ignal" Design

New and vintage paddles are stood up to create this swimmingly fantastic headboard. See more photos of this beach-side bedroom.

Truck Bed

Cedar logs are mixed with a tailgate from an old pickup truck to make a one-of-a-kind, four-post bed. Design by Tommy Mitchell of Log Heads.


Shabby chic meets plush in this pretty bedroom. A recessed-panel door laid on its side is topped off with a metal garden gate. An old ladder and wood tray add to the room’s vintage charm. Design by Funky Junk Interiors.

Wood Shipping Pallet

If you can score some free pallets you can build this headboard for about $20. When we made this, our only cash outlay was for fasteners, sandpaper, paint and a top coat. Design by Dylan Eastman.

Grocery Signage

A vintage sign serves as a headboard and as a focal point in this salvage-chic bedroom. Design by Funky Junk Interiors

Natural Wood

A slice of unmilled wood was simply stained then hung on the wall behind the bed. Bohemian-colored pillows and a set of midcentury-modern side tables and lamps make for a fun yet sophisticated setting. Design by Daniel Bodenmiller.

Wood Crates Turned Nightstands

Tiered storage crates were transformed into a set of nightstands then a shelf was made to span the top of the two crates and frame the bed. Design by Dylan Eastman.

Barn Gate

The ever-so-talented Junk Gypsies repurposed an old barn gate into a headboard. Along with the foot bench, the headboard’s rough timber creates a stunning contrast to the crystal chandelier and ruffle-friendly linens.

Sail Off to Sleep

For a nautical look, a piece of sail from a sailboat was used to make a headboard. The headboard frame is not metal, it is PVC pipe painted the silver. The sail was cut to size, grommets were added to the corners and then it was strung in between the pipes. Design by Joanne Palmisano.

Fireplace Mantel

Instead of a warm fire, a padded floral-pattern headboard sits inside a classic-style mantel while soft white linens make up the hearth.

Feature Wall/Headboard

Instead of paneling, six reclaimed interior doors line the wall to create a focal point and a place to lean your head. Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to build this wall.

Exterior Window Shutters

Two-tone shutters in off-white and pale blue set the stage for this sweet cottage-style room. Design by Layla Palmer.

Rug Heaboard

Add texture and color to your bedroom by using fabric for a headboard. Hang a sisal, shag or flat-weave kilim rug or try a tapestry, throw or bedspread. Design by Joanne Palmisano.

Picket Fence

This rustic, chic headboard was made from a section of an old picket fence. The pickets were cut up into small pieces, cleaned and then stained in a few different colors. Then the pieces were fitted into a frame made from more weathered lumber. Design by Joanne Palmisano.

Plantation Shutters

Indoor window shutters were used to top off a king-size platform bed. The staggered height of the shutters lends to the visual interest and allows room for the driftwood artwork. Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to build this bed.

Double Doors

Use a set of reclaimed doors and decorative molding to make a budget-friendly headboard. We painted our headboard gray-green to get a French-country style. But, with an antique finish or white-wash paint, these doors could become a pretty shabby-chic headboard.

T-Shirt Headboard

Not sure what to do with all your old concert shirts or your kid's camp shirts? Display them proudly over the bed. Design by Joanne Palmisano.

More Shutters

Recycled window shutters are paired with cherry wood to create a shabby chic headboard with a touch of Art Deco style. Design by Chris Hill.

Tin Ceiling Tile

A sheet of reclaimed tin-ceiling covering was cut into tiles to make this Americana quilt-pattern headboard. Design by Meg Allen Cole.

A Headboard With a Message

Picture frames purchased at a thrift store were all painted the same color. We spelled out "sweet dreams" and embellished each letter with flowers. Create your own personalized message or spell out your child's name. The headboard frame was also made from upcycled lumber. Design by Joanne Palmisano.

Room Divider

A white-tufted headboard is paired with a room divider to add a little elegant glam to this lovely master suite.

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