All you need to make a grid of small covered panels is plywood, a staple gun, some batting and some good picture hangers.
Design Sponge's crafty Grace Bonney gives Martha a run for the money. Her spectacular homemade headboard shows that choosing the right fabric makes all the difference. This was made in much the same way I made mine (plywood, staple gun, foam, batting and that stunning fabric), but with a fancier cut on the plywood. If that seems daunting just keep in mind that this would look amazing as a big rectangle too. Here's her very helpful how-to.
A trifold room screen — minus one panel — set on its side and painted. Voilà.
A salvaged garden trellis give this pale room its shabby chic cherry on top. As with anything that has peeling paint, spray a piece like this with a sealant to keep potentially toxic flakes at bay before using it in your bedroom.
This is a freight elevator door turned on its side (notice the "Danger" stencil).
Consider going muted and simple on the headboard and a little wild on the wall. Here what's behind the headboard is just as important as the headboard itself.
You can find old painted shutters at any salvage shop. Just remember to seal them before using them as a headboard.
Unpainted shutters add to the earthy, exotic feel of this room.
A large, framed piece of corkboard does double duty as a bulletin board and as a ... well, as a headboard.
Hurray for pallets! They are often free (check first before taking), and they make excellent places to hang stuff on as well.
Old fireplace mantels are salvage shop treasures that frame a simple upholstered headboard beautifully.
In many places earthquakes prevent hanging anything remotely heavy over the bed (lest it fall on someone's head during the next tembler). This fabric art looks like an extension of the plain, nearly invisible headboard here and adds a danger-free way to decorate the wall.