DIY headboards are one of my favorite projects because they’re so easy to build and customize to create a unique book for your space.
I built this headboard as part of an organic modern room makeover I did a couple years ago and decided to re-purpose it for one of the bedrooms at Mulberry manor — the 1840s house I’m renovating with my best friend.
This headboard was inspired by a dorm room, headboard, DIY project Emily Rayna created using poster board and placemats. I loved the idea of the cute texture and affordability of the placemats so I decided to build a more permanent queen size version for my space.
These placemats were originally from Walmart in around three dollars each and Wall. This exact placemat isn’t in stock anymore. There’s a lot of really similar options across Amazon and even IKEA so you can re-create this DIY project add an affordable price point.
what you’ll need:
watch the process
Step 01 – build a frame for your headboard
To create the frame, I first determined the dimensions I wanted my headboard to be. You can customize this based on your bed size as well as the height you want.
With the size of my place mats in mind, I measured out how high I wanted the headboard to go so that I could use an even number of placemats and have room to wrap about 3 inches around the sides for a finished edge..
To build the frame I cut down 1×3 pine boards to size and used my Kreg pocket hole jig to create pocket holes so I could join them together using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
If you’re new to woodworking, pocket holes are diagonal holes drilled in the end of a board that allow you to drive a screw at an angle to create a fairly sturdy wood joint. A pocket hole jig. Hold your drill at about a 45° angle so that you can drill this diagonal hole easily.
One of the most popular pocket hole jig brands it’s Kreg. They offer a variety of jig options at different price points. My favorite is the larger jig with the built in clamp but if you want a more affordable option you can use the Kreg 320 Jig and follow my pocket hole tutorial here.
With the pocket holes drilled, I attached the boards together using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
Step 02 — create a plywood backing for the frame
Once the frame was built, I attached a quarter inch plywood to the front using wood glue and ¾” wood screws to create a surface I could attach the placemats to.
You can attach this to the frame then cut it down to size using a circular saw. If you don’t have a saw, you can plan out the dimensions and have your wood cut down to size for you in-store at Home Depot.
Step 03 — attach the placemats
Starting in the middle at the top, I begin hot gluing each jute placemat to the plywood backer board using heavy duty hot glue.
I alternated the direction of the Jute from vertical to horizontal to create a woven pattern.
You just want to make sure you apply plenty of glue and press the placemat in place until the glue cools and sets. Also make sure you get glue along all of the edges so none of the placemats come loose later.
Step 04 — create & attach jute spirals
In the middle where the placemats met there was a little gap due to the placemats being rounded on the edges. To fill in this gap, I used to twine and hot glued it in a spiral to create a little flat disc.
I started by creating a knot in the twine and adding glue along the string in about 1-2” sections as I wrapped the twine in a circle around the knot pressing everything flat as I went.
I continued this until the spiral disc was about 2 inches wide.I hot glued the jute spiral everywhere the four corners of placemats met.
Step 05 — wrap & secure the edges
Once the placemats were attached and the spirals were glued in the corners, I stood the headboard up and began wrapping the placemats around the sides to create a finished edge.
I applied hot glue to the side and back of the wood frame and wrapped the placemats tightly around the edge to secure.
Then I stapled the back with a staple gun just to be sure they were held in place securely.
Step 6 — install the headboard
Once the headboard was built, I moved it into the space and attached the bedframe to the bottom wooden legs of the headboard using wood screws. You can also mount or anchor the headboard to the wall if you want an extra layer of security.
That’s it! This headboard is so easy to customize with different place mats or creating it in a different size to fit your space.