Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the amazing 2 dollar DIY bed headboard project!


it's true!
here's my DIY $2 headboard project.

we've just completed a makeover on the guest bedroom at my mom's home. (more photos on the complete, inexpensive before and after soon!)

our budget to redo the entire room was under $100. crazy right? yes. 
do-able/ (with lots and lots of repurposing?)

thought you'd like a sneak peek at one of the very best budget-wise projects: the $2 headboard.

i think a headboard just finishes things off lovely-like.
and we needed something extra-budget-friendly at the end of the project. (repurposing an old headboard or door was even over budget! so was buying enough paint to paint a headboard on the wall!)  so we put on our creative thinking caps and came up with this cutie!

here's the secret ...
it's kinda a fake headboard.
what could be lovelier than that?

perfect for a spare room!

here's what you will need to complete this easy project:
(i'm sure you probably have most of them at home already!) 
  • 1 roll of con-tact shelf paper in your choice of colours. con-tact paper has a decorative front and a sticky-adhesive backing. it usually comes in rolls.  (i choose lovely & solid bright white!)  = $1.00 at dollar stores. also available at most home or craft stores
  • measuring tape
  • straight ruler
  • pencil
  • green painters tape = $1 (it won't leave any marks on your wall)
  • level if you have one (i didn't)
  • scissors or exacto knife 

1. decide on a design for your headboard. 
i went with the modern & minimalist look of a geometric & straight rectangle. but you could choose any symmetrical shape. (try searching *headboard shapes* on google or take a look at these ideas here. )

2. using a measuring tape, decide on the dimensions of your new headboard. 
using a pencil, gently mark how high and how wide you'd like your headboard to be on the wall. stand back and double check that you love it. take measurements.

3. lay out your con-tact paper on a flat surface. using the easy grid lines on the back of the adhesive paper, mark out the dimensions of your new headboard. (i chose to make mine only as tall as one width of the roll, and slightly longer than the bed & matress. this way i only had to make one cut! but you could easily overlap the contact paper to make higher or wider shapes. )

4. being extra careful not to bend or crease the con-tact paper, cut out your headboard using scissors or an exacto knife.

5. rip off a few pieces of the green painters tape. with the wrong side/sticky side of the contact paper facing the wall, carefully use the green tape to HOLD your headboard in place. use the level to check that the headboard is straight. (or eye-ball it!) - erase and pencil marks that you can see off the wall. 

6. once in place perfectly, start in the top corner (i worked from top left to right.) begin to carefully peel off the backing paper from underneath. this part can be a bit tricky. i recommend going as slowly as possible so as to not tear the headboard. peel off a medium sized vertical section, let the backing paper hang, and use the straight ruler to gently push out any airbubbles in the headboard (similar to wallpapering). after that, use your finger/hand to push directly onto the contact paper to increase the bond.

7. repeat step 6 until the headboard is attached fully, with a strong hold, and there are no air bubbles.

8. tada!

i love the look. it's fresh and clean and has stayed put!


notes: the contact paper i used took on the painterly texture of my wall underneath. i like the look, but if you want a more solid look, try looking for thicker contact paper. (hey - mine was only a dollar after all!)

i considered using mod podge to finish the edges, but so far that hasn't been's stayed in place beautifully. 

con-tact paper is a brand name, but i'd guess that any adhesive back shelf paper would do! 


try it for yourself! the possibilities are endless! 
here's a peek at the before & after for the whole guest room!
what was once dark & dingy is now bright & light!
done any fun before & after projects lately? 
leave me the link - i'd love to see!

Pin It


  1. Great idea! I'd be worried it would come off. Any problems with that?

    1. thanks jennine. i was concerned about that too, but it's held on perfectly. i was extra careful to make sure i stuck it well with the ruler, and then my hand to enforce the bond. seems to be doing even better than i hoped!

  2. Hahahaha, I adore the Before border around the room. hahahahaha, classic!

  3. What a great remodel! And the contact paper is such a clever idea!

  4. What a fabulous idea and so affordable. The transformation from before to after is really impressive!

    1. so sweet of you, thanks lovely. we're loving it too!

  5. shush! that's ahh-mazing. I love what you've done with the room. I sometimes feel like I'm the only blogger that doesn't have gray walls in my home, but I love the softness of the gray & white. well done!

    1. ah thanks cutie! we're pleased with it too, thanks. i'm glad you have your own unique walls! i love that about you, sweetie. but i do have a weakness for all white, all the time. alas ....

  6. this is absolutely brilliant! wouldn't in a million years of thought of doing this! looks fantastic! job well done, K!

    1. thanks, j. much appreciated - love love love the look of your gorgeous new place. so light and bright and wonderful!


thanks so much for your comments, nicies!
it's a joy to read what everyone writes here.
thank you!