9 beautiful DIY headboards with a vintage look

Beautiful DIY headboards with a vintage look

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If you’re looking to make a bedroom look a little retro, take a look at these DIY headboards with a vintage look.

Coming to you from the 1950s & 1960s, they may be just the inspiration you need for some old-fashioned home decor.

DIY headboards with a custom look cost little… easy to make (1956)

This article is from Woman’s Day magazine – May 1956

1) Aluminum tubing for a ladder-back style headboard

A modern ladder-back that’s equally at home in a traditional room. Its appealing simplicity is achieved with aluminum tubing and wooden uprights

Aluminum tubing for a ladder-back style headboard - Vintage DIY headboards


2) Interwoven cowhide belts in a wooden frame

For a good-looking headboard, there’s nothing like the richness of leather. Interesting texture comes from the interweaving of cowhide belting strips, set in a natural wood frame.

Headboard with interwoven cowhide belts in a wooden frame


3) Make use of shiny brass curtain rods

Newest favorite, the brass bedstead, has Victorian sentiment and contemporary design.

Slenderly-proportioned wood frame supports the smart row of shiny brass curtain rods. The brass knobs add that essential finishing touch.

DIY bed headboard with shiny brass curtain rods (1956)

DON’T MISS: Did married couples really sleep in separate beds back in the ’50s?


4) Window-screen style bed headboard

This striking effect comes from the unusual material we’ve used. It’s aluminum, with sheer, silvery look that’s much like caning. Wooden frame has pickled finish.

Vintage 1950s DIY window-screen style bed headboard


5) The same pattern all over this bed, headboard and bolster

Gaily patterned from head to foot. The three fabric areas are headboard, bolster, and spread.

Headboard can be an old one padded and slipcovered, or new frame can be built.

The same pattern all over this vintage bed, headboard and bolster


6) Vintage sign-shaped headboard with a fabric panel

All the warmth and charm of an Early American setting, with emphasis on the headboard. 

The idea for its shape is from a colonial shop sign. Fabric-covered panel can be omitted to show solid wood back.

Vintage sign-shaped headboard with fabric panel

ALSO SEE: Vintage ’50s master bedroom decor: See 50+ examples of retro home style


7) A field of quilted flowers (1964)

There’s never a faded flower in this pretty wall hanging turned headboard!

We used a smooth-textured fabric for the background, then machine appliqued brilliant blooms using a satin stitch at maximum width. We added a few deft touches by hand.

With a greater variety of fabrics used, the more decorative the applique becomes. We suggest blending soft textures, waffle leaves, alluring velvets and others to this simple composition. 

The width can be expanded or compressed — all depending on your bed size.

You can also try tucking a tulip or on the edge of a coordinated sheet or dust ruffle to complement the colorful blossoms.

Floral bed headboard DIY craft project from the 1960s
From Ladies Home Journal, 1964

8) Frosty rose vintage DIY quilted headboards made with sheets (1966)

Lady Pepperell fashion sheets: Every Frosty Rose sheet is a complete fashion package

Decorate with our sheets as sheets. Or (1) shower roses floor to ceiling with Frosty Rose as wallpaper. (2) Add a touch of luxury with a quilted headboard. (3) Sew a matching bed flounce. 

Frosty rose vintage DIY quilted headboards made with sheets


9) How to make a DIY drapery rod headboard (1969)

From Better Homes & Gardens – January 1969

Your drapery-pole headboard can be ready by bedtime, if you paint poles and finials with quick-drying spray lacquer or enamel.

A DIY drapery rod headboard (1969)

Directions to make this headboard:

First, cut a 1×6 board the width of the bed. Attach poles to board, using two screws per pole.

Next, position 1×6 on frame; mark where attachment holes of frame meet the 1×6.

Drill and bolt in place. Attach chains to drapery poles with screw eyes. (See diagram below.)

How to make a DIY drapery rod headboard

MORE: 70 beautiful vintage canopy beds from the 1970s

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