For Reese, it dates back to college. For Ricks, it goes all the way back to her days as a cub reporter in Tuscaloosa.
It’s not that we didn’t want headboards, but in Reese’s case, she never saw any that she liked when she shopped for them. She also had a wild-hair idea about making one, but never got around to it. Ricks knew what she wanted, but had been truly lazy about making it happen.
When we decided to share a house this year, we both decided to stop procrastinating and get super serious. Reese’s original plan was to piece together different types of shutters to make a headboard. So she headed to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Alexandria, Va., to look for old shutters. The ReStore is a great place to find reasonable, affordable goods for the your home, and it helps the great cause of getting people into permanent housing.
Instead of finding different shutters to piece together, she found sets in beautiful condition and knew that her project was going to be much easier to execute. The sets were wide enough to fit her bed and tall enough to take up the massive amount of wall space in her room. She bought two sets for $10, cleaned them up because they were seriously dusty and hung them on the wall. She used two sets of interlocking flush mounts for $1.29 each from Amazon. It took her about 30 minutes of measuring and marking, but the results were well worth it.
Ricks’ vision was always to use some kind of folding screen that could double as a headboard and a filter for the light coming in her room. She’d priced folding screens at places like World Market but found nothing that she liked under $100, even on sale. She was going to check at a local thrift store for some options, but guess what we found hidden in our basement? A screen — and it was free!
To prepare the screen she cut out some of the rectangles using an X-Acto knife and replaced them with sheets of last-chance fabric she got from IKEA for 99 cents a yard.
Hanging her headboard proved to be tricky because she had to work around a window frame. Ricks’ bed is anchored on a wall with a window right in the middle of it. To solve the problem, she purchased a pre-cut strip of wood from Home Depot that was roughly the width of her window frame, sawed it in half, and mounted the headboard to the pieces of wood. She used the same flush mounts Reese did before adhering it to the wall. The final result gives her exactly the look she wanted to achieve while allowing light to come in through the room’s only window.
Using low cost and free materials, both of us now have headboards that cost less than 15 bucks.
If you’re interested in making a headboard and need inspiration, spend some time Googling DIY headboards or check out Pinterest. You’ll find amazing options.
Ashante Reese and Markeshia Ricks are the creators of www.toothriftychicks.com. They live in Alexandria, Va.