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When viewing homes online or watching DIY shows, I’m surprised to see so many bedrooms with beds that don’t have a headboard.

If you don’t have a headboard on your bed, you’re just starting out with your first apartment or you want to furnish a little-used guest room, you might not want or be able to make a major investment in furniture. The seven ideas below will help you create a great look that’s easy, fast and inexpensive. (Note: No matter how you create your headboard, always be sure it’s secured to the bed frame or wall.)

Paint

Outline in pencil on a wall exactly where you want your faux headboard to go. Be sure to use a straightedge to create straight lines. Tape off the lines with painter’s tape and fill in the headboard area with the color of your choice. In just a few minutes, and for less than $10, you can have both a headboard and a colorful focal point for your bedroom.

Curtains

Hang curtain panels or fabric panels at the top of the ceiling behind the bed. Or create a canopy with the curtains. With a few hooks, some cheap fabric panels, and a step ladder, you’ll have a soft, luxurious headboard in a snap.

Dividers

Room dividers can make instant headboards. A plant trellis is another headboard option. Put two or three wooden ones together and paint. For a canopy-style headboard, look for an inexpensive plant arbor. Many garden centers and discount home stores carry these, and they can be quickly converted into a headboard.

Doors

Old doors create beautiful headboards for beds. Hinge two antique doors together and stand them behind a bed. Or, turn them on their side to create a headboard. Screw the door directly to the wall or mount it to some scrap lumber legs and bolt into the bed frame. Or, take two dirt-cheap hollow core doors and hinge together. Then paint, wallpaper or upholster for an inexpensive custom headboard.

Shutter

Pick up three or four shutters and hinge them together. Be sure to anchor these to the wall so that you have a firm headboard to lean against. Paint them to match your bed linens and you have a smart, beach-casual headboard.

Artwork

Try placing four square prints into a diamond and hang over the bed. Or, look for metal wall hangings to go behind the bed for a faux headboard. These can be found in home decor stores and in some garden centers. Fabric wall hangings and tapestries can also be employed as makeshift headboards.

Footboard

Many times a footboard is the perfect headboard option, especially for beds that need to fit beneath a window. They make a great headboard stand-in.

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