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20 Cool Headboard Alternatives

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Headboards add character and style to the room. A headboard helps fill in that awkward wall space above the bed and makes the room look more complete. Some beds may have small headboards while others not have them at all, so if you are seeking for a creative solution here are the twenty cool headboard alternatives.


Shutters have texture that can add detail to the bedroom decor. They can be used in a worn out state for a shabby chic look or freshly painted to fit with the room’s color scheme. These can also be positioned vertically or horizontally depending on your wall length, bed width or preference.


Big framed mirrors make for great headboards. For a more classic look go with the gilded frame mirror. If you want a shabby chic look go for a distressed antique lot. Beside giving the bed a finished look the mirror will visually enhance the space and reflect light in the room.


Doors are popular as headboards as well and since they can be found in various sizes and styles you can find something that really suits your bed. They can be repainted or stripped of unnecessary parts and used only as frames. Before transforming the old doors into a headboard make sure they fit with the bed’s size and the room’s style.


Aiming for a coastal bedroom decor? Paddles emphasize the sea/beach theme and make for great wall decorations. If you have different sized paddles, they can be arranged and grouped together anyway, just look at the example above.


A soft headboard can cost a small fortune. On the other hand a few rows of throw pillows can help you create one for a fraction of cost. It can be one color with the wall or you can create a pattern using pillows of different colors.

Folding Screens

Folding room dividers make for beautiful headboards. There are various screens that can be used for it and they come in a wide variety of styles. For a more airy look go with patterned screens, but if you want to add a picture to the wall choose a screen with artful decoration.


Mantlepiece can be transformed into a headboard and used to display objects right there as well. Mantles are commonly quite decorative so it makes them a perfect alternative for a headboard.

Picture/Artwork/Mirror Frames

Frames or framed pictures and objects can be used as an alternative to a conventional headboard. Decorative frames are good by themselves and can add a lot to the bedroom design.

Twigs & Branches

Use what nature gives. Gather up broken branches and twigs from your backyard to create an eco-friendly, recyclable headboard. Use colorful thread to tie the twigs together in a random pattern to achieve an asymmetric headboard.

Signs & Posters

Vintage signs or posters can really add a touch of history and nostalgia to the room.

Wood Pieces

Reclaimed wood, driftwood and other wooden pieces are great headboard alternatives. The natural design and finish will add fresh touch to the decor while a lacquered wood piece will also make for an impressive statement.

Wall Decor Arrangements

No headboard? No problem/ Use pictures, plates, gerbarium and other wall decorations to create eye-catchy arrangements as an alternative.


Paintings add a lot to the room decor so using them as headboards is only natural.


Silhouette headboard provides with a sense of detail while requiring no actual detail. The best part of such a headboard alternative is that you can have (paint) a headboard of your dreams.


A curtain headboard adds a dreamy feel to the bedroom, but it can also add a splash of color to it. Patterned curtain headboard will add detail to a neutral bedroom, but you can also have fun and put some inspirational or funny writings on it.


Shelves provide surface for storing and displaying things. Use this feature to create a decorative headboard with family pictures and other display items.


A mural is a great way to decorate a wall but it can also substitute for a headboard. It can be printed on wallpaper or fabric or painted by an artist on the wall behind the bed.


Palettes can be used to build almost anything including a headboard. Unfinished gray palettes add a rustic/industrial feel to the room.


A piece of wallpaper can easily add a pop of color and detail to the room. Why not use it as headboard? Choose wallpaper design that will fit your bedroom style. Determine the form and shape of the headboard you would like to create (it doesn’t have to be perfectly rectangular or square) and simply install the wallpaper headboard at the bed head. You can install it directly on the wall or a thin wooden panel.

Old Garden Gates

Small old garden gates sometimes look like old headboards. This is a great opportunity to recycle them all the while creating a dreamy bedroom.

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Category: DIY


  1. Daphne
    October 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Very interesting headboards, love the creativity.

  2. patty
    March 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    brilliant ideas love it!

  3. chris
    June 3, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Would love to know the origin of the headboard under the “picture/artwork/mirror frames”.

  4. wall art canvas sydney
    June 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Greetings, I do believe your website might be having internet browser compatibility problems.
    Whenever I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.

    I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Other than that, great blog!

  5. Vickie McKinney Russell
    October 25, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Love all of it. From shabby chich to glamorous.


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