Dorm Headboard Ideas

Ah, the dormitory. It’s your temporary home where you’re forced to live with another student as you seek higher education. It’s your space where your privacy and space is limited. It’s your pad where you get boring bed and furniture that are just like everyone else’s.

But living in a dorm doesn’t have to be too bad. Yes, it may lack the comfort, space, and style of your room at home, but there are a lot of things you can do to make it more livable. Start with the focal point of your dorm room – your bed. Make your dorm a better place by getting creative with your headboard. Here are some clever ideas and solutions:

1. Upholster your own headboard

A bed with an upholstered headboard would cost you hundreds of dollars. Plus, you shouldn’t even need to buy since a.) you are just living there temporarily, b.) there is already a bed provided and c.) it’s just not a practical thing to do. So, if you’re stuck with a plain, unattractive bed frame (and perhaps if there’s not even a headboard existing), you can mount a comfortably padded panel across the width of your bed.

Just get piece plywood that has a size enough to be able to rest on the bed’s beams that hold the mattress. Then, shop for a fabric with a pattern you like, some quilt batting and a staple gun. Cover one side of the plywood up to the edges with batting, then staple it on the back side to keep it in place. Get your fabric – make it would reach the edges up to the back of the wood – then staple it on the backside. And, you are done! Just slip it between the real headboard and the mattress, then admire your creation.

2. Make a simple, temporary headboard

If you don’t have the guts and the will to make your own upholstered headboard, then opt for a simpler but more temporary version of it. You won’t need to use any construction supply like wood and staple gun – you just need stable cardboard, tape, and fabric of choice. A little bit of tip: choose a fabric with an interesting pattern and color – something that will catch attention – since that’s the reason why you’re going to make a headboard anyway.

Cut out the big piece of cardboard to the width of your bed. You may have to double it to make it sturdier. Then, it’s up to you if you want to cut out a pattern on top for added design, or just leave it rectangular. Both ways, you will be taping the fabric on the backside of the cardboard.

3. Frame a fabric

Do you have a favorite color that you love so much, that you won’t use any pillowcases, blankets, and linens if it doesn’t have the same color? Well then, pick a fabric that suits that particular taste and frame it. Yes, you read it right. Install a band of fabric into a frame, just as you would with a painting or a photo. Just make sure the frame is wide enough to be as big as a real headboard perfect for your bed. The fabric of your new headboard will always work to tie with the color scheme of your bed. Then, choose a frame material that will suit your desired look: a dark-colored wood for a rustic touch, a matte-painted wood for a youthful vibe, or a metallic frame for an elegant feel. Be sure that any frame you choose would blend or complement your fabric.

4. Frame a corkboard

Speaking of framing things, a corkboard is another feasible idea. Plus, it is actually functional. A corkboard headboard can open up a lot of creative possibilities for you. You can pin your reminders, notes, calendar of activities, inspirational photos, scrapbook materials, and basically anything light you want to decorate a corkboard with. You need a corkboard that is not only wide enough but also long enough to occupy the vertical space of a wall against your bed with ample space to pin stuff. It’s also a space saver, especially if you don’t have enough wall space in your dorm to put up a personal bulletin board.

5. Repurpose shutters or lattice fences

Shutters and lattice fences are perfect for adding texture, pattern, and dimension to a boring and plain wall. If your bed looks floating in your dorm room due to the lack of headboard, you can bring old shutters or parts of your old lattice fence from home, and repaint them to make a cute and quirky headboard. Just attach them side by side, standing between your bed frame and the wall. You won’t need to do anything to make it stay in place as long as your bed is always fixed to the wall.

6. Use headboard decals

There are a lot of wall decals available now, and there are variants that have the look and shape of a headboard. Talk about optical illusion. At one look, it would seem like there is an existing headboard, but if you look closely and touch it, it’s actually stuck on the wall because it’s just a sticker! Wall stickers have become more realistic nowadays. Now, you can’t look at your bed the same way it was before!

7. Make it double-duty

To save space, you can put a shelf or a dresser behind your bed so it can serve as a headboard. Living in a dorm means being tactful and resourceful when it comes to storage. Putting it on your bed would surely save some precious square inches in your dorm room, plus, it makes a grabbing your books a lot less burdensome for you. Not to mention it actually makes your bed look a lot cooler.

8. Stick scrapbook paper or a large poster

If you simply want a solid, non-wall material to see on top of your bed, you can simply tape a big poster or use scrapbook paper in pretty prints and patterns. A poster would be an easy choice, but if you want to get a bit more creative, go with scrapbook paper. Pair up some prints and patterns to make a larger rectangle that will serve as your bed’s backdrop. Use double-sided tape to keep the look clean, or a washi tape for an added pop of colors.

9. Hang a tapestry

For an easy makeshift headboard, hang a tapestry. Tapestries are the kind of textile that effortlessly brightens up a bland wall. You can just hammer in the edges of the tapestry on the wall with a push pin. Yes, push pins do leave some holes, but they’re just very tiny so don’t worry.

10. Get artsy with washi tapes

Make your own temporary decal that will serve as a faux headboard by using washi tapes. Create geometric shapes and patterns to decorate. Or you can imitate the lines and shapes of traditional headboards and recreate it with your artsy placement of washi tapes. And when you’re ready for an upgrade, or for leaving, just peel it off as nothing happened.