How To Build A Vintage Headboard For Your Charming Bedroom

A DIY headboard is a wonderful way of adding some character to the bedroom. Headboards are fairly easy to build, especially if you choose to give yours a vintage look. The best materials in this case would be wood. You can use reclaimed wood from previous projects, old floor boards and other sources. Since it’s meant to look worn and vintage, there’s no need to bother with the little things and this makes the project a lot simpler.


You can make a simple headboard look vintage by covering it with burlap or coffee sack fabric. Grain sacks are also perfect. In addition to the fabric, you’ll also need some medium-weight batting, a staple gun, a pencil, scissors and an iron. You’ll need to craft a cardboard template which you’ll be using to give the headboard the desired shape. You can use insulation board or some plywood for the actual frame. Once you’ve cut it and given it the desired shape, staple the batting onto the board and cut out the excess. Then cover it with fabric. Do this for both the front and the back of the headboard. At the end, iron out any wrinkles.

Vintage bedroom furniture - white washed

As it turns out, it can be easier to repurpose something into a headboard than to actually make the whole thing from scratch. A really good idea is to turn an old door into a vintage headboard. The transformation would be simple. First take the door and measure it. Measure the bed as well and decide how high the headboard needs to be. This way you can figure out the dimensions of the frame you’ll need to build so hold the door up. Two simple boards would be enough for that. {found on reclaimedrustics}.

Barn door master bedroom design

In case you don’t have an old door to use as a headboard, you can still make your headboard look like one. You can make a barn door-inspired headboard using reclaimed wood such as the boards from a wooden pallet or some wood from an old barn. Align the boards and the headboard will start to take shape. Then place two thinner boards diagonally over the aligned one to get that barn door look. You can find a few more details on ourvintagehomelove.

Nautical reclaimed wood bedroom

Since we mentioned pallet wood, let’s see how you can use it make a beautiful-looking headboard. The whole project is described in detail on thinkingcloset. As you can see, this headboard is pretty big and goes almost all the way up to the ceiling. Obviously, you can make yours as small or as big as you want. Depending on the size you want, you can decide how many pallets you’ll need to take apart. If the boards have different colors or finishes, you can mix and match them for a more interesting look.

DIY barn wood headboard

Using reclaimed wood is an excellent idea if you want the headboard to look vintage and to fit nicely in a rustic décor or in a space decorated with a nautical theme. So go ahead and find some old barn wood or something similar. Decide how big you want the headboard to be. One with a simple, rectangular shape would be really easy to put together. When cutting the boards, try to give them different lengths so the whole piece looks more interesting. You’ll find some great inspiration on fiveoeight.

White washed headboard design

Even if you don’t use reclaimed wood, you can still give your headboard a worn and vintage look. It all has to do with the way you stain it. It would be nice to first paint the headboard (or to use an already painted one) and to sand down the wood a little bit, enough to get rid of the paint but not completely so you can still get a textured look. You can then stain it with tea. This ingenious idea comes from beingbrook and you can definitely adapt it for your own project.

Reclaimed wood bed project

If you want your headboard to look vintage but not necessarily because of the unfinished and worn look, you can choose a more well thought-through design such as the one featured on theaccentpiece. The project starts with some old wood board. After laying them out side by side, the outline of the headboard was drawn on a large sheet of paper and that became the template. The boards were cut and then nailed together and the headboard started to take shape. After staining the wood, the piece was complete.

Vitange door turned into a headboard

Turning old doors into vintage headboards is a wonderful idea and there are many great ways to customize such a piece. For example, you can either leave the hardware such as the doorknob on or you can remove it. Also, you can customize the door headboard with sconces such as shown on bydawnnicole. Here you’ll also find out how to make a similar headboard.

Vertical headboard bed

A single door will most likely be too short and will have to be positioned horizontally and lifted with a frame. But if you use two doors then all you have to do is let them rest against the wall behind your bed without any other support. Of course, if they’re tall, you might want to secure them to the wall to avoid accidents. You can find out how to do that in a step-by-step tutorial provided on averielane.

Doors used like headboard for a vintage look

Another lovely bed with a headboard made of two old doors was featured on dreamywhites. As you can see, the doors were sanded down but there’s still some paint showing through. This is actually a desirable look for a vintage headboard made of reclaimed materials. Also, the doors don’t have the same exact dimensions so the headboard is not totally symmetrical. Once again, all these imperfections make the piece more interesting and charming.

Old turquoise painted window shutters used like headboard

Instead of doors you can also use shutter to make a unique and interesting-looking headboard with vintage charm. For a symmetrical look, you can use four shutters. The two in the middle can be taller and two other can be shorter, thus giving the headboard a nice shape. You can paint the shutters to give them a custom look. Turquoise is a nice color for vintage furniture in general. Find out more about the transformation on samanthaelizabethblog.

Vintage headboard project

In case you want to build a headboard that shares some similarities to a barn door, you should have a look at the project featured on littleyellowbarn. The materials needed include some wood, a saw, a drill, a hammer, pipe clamps, wood glue, screws and wood stain. The project is pretty easy if you follow these steps. Decorate the finished headboard with a pair of sconces.

Vintage white headboard

Of course, there are also other designs and ideas you can use if you want to build a beautiful vintage headboard. For example, you should check out the vintage sheet headboard described on happinessishomemade. It was made using square wall art pieces which are made of smooth MDF. They were arranged in a grid and the openings were filled with white foam. Then patterned fabric was added. The headboard is really lovely and stylish.

Headbord from old books with a vintage flair

Another interesting idea is to make a headboard out of old books. Start with a piece of wood as big as you want the headboard to be. Then take a lot of old books, open them and use them to cover the wood. Once you’re happy with the look, nail the books to the wood so they stay open. We found this unusual and ingenious idea on designeverydayblog.