A friend of mine just moved back to town. She’s on a budget, so for her new place she’s relied on hand-me-down furniture, thrift-store finds and plenty of creativity. When she told me she got a headboard for just $10, my first thought was that it had to be hideous. Wrong. It was genius. She purchased a $10 wooden door from Reuse Hawaii, painted it yellow and attached it to her bed frame.

There are plenty of ways to make headboards or improve upon existing ones. They can be inexpensive, eco-friendly conversation pieces that double as focal points.

Curtain call. Hang a curtain rod above your bed and suspend fabric of your choice from it. Just remember to use enough fabric so that it can drop behind your mattress, and hang the rod so that it sits wider than your bed on both sides.


Foam party. Use foam board, fiberfill and fabric to upholster a wooden headboard. Cut the foam to match the shape of the headboard. Then, cut the fiberfill to the same shape, leaving some extra on the sides (5 to 6 inches) to pull up and around the foam and headboard. Lay your desired fabric down, then place batting on top, then the foam on top of that, followed by the headboard. Use a staple gun to attach the fabric and batting to the back of the board. Trim the excess and affix to the wall with flush mounts.

Stick it up. Decals come in ready-to-stick options, and some even come in headboard shapes. Fabric can work in the same way. Find a fabric you like and cut it to the shape and size you desire. Then, spray the back with liquid starch and let it sit overnight. Tape it to the wall to hold it in place while you iron over it. Then, remove the tape.

Headboards don’t have to cost hundreds to make a statement. Get creative and you could have a custom look for a fraction of the price. The best part is you don’t even have to be handy to do it.

On another note …

In last week’s column I suggested using rocks for drainage in container gardens. A gardening expert recommended it to me years ago, and I’ve been passing along the advice. It turns out it’s a common misconception that this improves drainage. As pointed out by a local horticulturist, studies have shown that water does not move easily across differing materials. Instead, the best method is to mix potting medium with perlite and/or cinder.