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The IKEA Headboard Hack For Charlie’s Room That Only Took Emily One Day To Make

Today I have a fun Charlie room update for you – a new, bigger bed, with a DIY IKEA no-sew headboard. This time around I’m trying to involve the kids in their projects as much as physically (and for me, mentally) possible – while keeping it positive. I want to do some more DIY’s with them, but they need to be fairly basic and I know they need to actually enjoy the process. So we came up with something really simple to make that involved, well, a staple gun (the new trigger pull version that is admittedly very fun). Tuft & Needle had reached out about a social partnership and I love their mattresses (we have them in the kid’s bunk room at the mountain house which I actually need to shoot as I never have). Technically Brian and I didn’t need a new mattress (although after laying on this one I’m very jealous, it’s extremely comfortable). But Charlie needed both a proper bed and a new mattress as we wanted to upgrade his to a Queen (not because he needed one but more because his room is big enough to be a second guest room which we are going to need this summer as families with multiple kids will be staying here). I know that couples can technically sleep in full beds, but as an enthusiastic King bed sleeper, I figured at least a queen would be nice to provide. Here’s where we last landed when we showed you his room a few weeks ago:

photo by kaitlin green | from: designing with an almost tween boy: charlie’s room update/progress with a thrifted 80s vibe

This room now won’t be shot for the magazine (it’s just not very close and we have so many rooms to shoot) which is fine by me because I want to do a Banyan Bridges-style mural but Racheal is so busy with her show, Artfully Designed, that she won’t be able to help me til fall. But in order to keep moving we hacked this bed to give him a proper headboard (and Kaitlin took home this old frame and mattress to her daughter for her big girl bed.)

This DIY won’t break the internet (like Brady’s DIY headboard that we all still talk about) but it’s a vintage plaid that I love, over a simple IKEA frame that looks cute and does the job and simple enough that Charlie was able to help me with it (sorry, he helped the day before Kaitlin came over to shoot so no photos of him, but he is in the reel).

We bought this bed from IKEA – attracted to the pine sides and how easy it would be to hack. Realizing we wanted it taller we then added a foot with a 1x12x6 piece of lumber, secured with some straight/flat braces. We then wrapped two layers of batting using a staple gun, a 9 year old boys dream diy tool.

We thought about playing with the shape but figured once we get a playful mural up on the walls something more linear was safer.

This post isn’t sponsored by Tuft & Needle, but in case you are in the market this is their new mint hybrid mattress which has both springs and their patented foam technology and is EXTREMELY comfortable. I love a softer mattress and this one is really really good.

The fabric is one of my quilted Japanese Boro plaids that I love, and this one was dark and really pulled your eye in a good way.

There you go! It took a day of gathering stuff and a day for Gretchen and I to do – with Charlie’s staple gunning help of course. The bed itself wasn’t that easy to put together but it is SOLID.

Y’all these pups will NOT allow for a photo shoot without them. They follow me around all day and I can’t not put them in shots (which I love because it adds “life” and keeps my kids for the most part off the internet :))

I still need to figure out if I want to strip or paint that nightstand (and the matching chair) or leave its 1970s orange, which honestly does kinda work in here. Thoughts??!!

Window Treatments: Decorview
Carpet: Stark Carpet
Wall Color: Extra White by Sherwin-Williams

Outlet Covers: Rejuvenation

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Lauren H
10 months ago

Keep the nightstand and chair as is. I like the depth the wood brings to the room and the color looks fine. I actually would have loved if you left the original red art above the bed as I think it would have made the lamp pop more. I don’t think it would have been too busy (or skewed too red, white, and blue, which I know could sometimes be a concern). I know this room is still very fluid though. I’m sure Charlie is loving his space!

10 months ago
Reply to  Lauren H

Definitely love the original red art in the zoomed in shot, but maybe it was too much zoomed out.

10 months ago

Love the headboard. It pulls you in, without being too in your face about it. The 70s’ finish of the nightstand really does kinda work in here. Maybe wait with stripping / painting until the mural is done?

10 months ago

This is a perfect use of your beloved fabric. It looks so great in his room! Yay, Mom!

10 months ago

Im glad you finally found a place for this fabrics that really works! So pretty. I wasn’t really sold on your last attempts. This room is gonna be great.

10 months ago

Wow, that fabric fits so well in the room. And I would leave the nightstand in the orange-y shade. It works!

10 months ago

The fabric looks perfect!

10 months ago

The direction of Charlie’s room is SO FUN. It’s bold, quirky, eclectic, interesting, and still reasonably calm.
Also, I’m so excited to hear that Rachael is going to do a mural! Her work is so incredibly fun and life giving.
I can’t even imagine what it would add to this space. Yay!

10 months ago

The headboard is cool, and I’m so happy you’re thinking of a mural in here! Original art in a kid’s room sounds fabulous! I’m excited.

10 months ago

Great hack. The boro really makes it. Absolutely love Keith Haring’s Barking Dog poster above the bed. Wanted to point out that the Keith Haring Foundation has a kids section and lesson plans for children. Well worth checking out.

10 months ago

Amazing headboard!! Absolutely love it!
you and your dogs’ matching hair is so wonderful to look at 🙂
I wish we could stop with all white bedding, tho 🙁

10 months ago

Love the new headboard, current finish of the nighstand and chair, and pictures of the dogs!

10 months ago

I dig the 1970s orange-y nightstands! What a lovely use of your vintage fabric.

10 months ago

I think it would look good to paint the raw ikea wood black. There are too many wood colors happening for me.

10 months ago

Keep the table as-is!!!

🥰 Rusty
10 months ago

Loving the way you’re inviting and including your kids to create and make with you.💓
Thanx for the cute scruffy-dawg pics.
The fabris is stunning.
Leave the chair and bedside table as they are – it’s a cool vibe in Charlie’s room.
– What does Charlie think???

10 months ago

Love the easy headboard DIY! That fabric looks great in there! And leave the vintage finish on the nightstand and chair. It adds so much more to the room than refinishing.

10 months ago

Yes!! I haven’t been able to get that fabric out of my head! I’m so excited to see a place for it, and the use is so fun and memorable. Also, I’m team orange wood! It has always read so cool and laid back to me personally.
I would also like to add that I’m loving all the posts about your house Emily! It’s so exciting to watch the process, and as someone who is in the post renovation decorating phase as well, I feel so VALIDATED by your experience!!!

10 months ago

Are you finishing the pine bed frame? If so, perhaps you might wait before painting/changing the other wood furniture.

10 months ago

Love love love! We did a similar DIY headboard for our ancient SleepNumber bed when we moved into our house and it’s still one of my favorite things. So simple and easy but so much impact!
I vote to keep the 70s finish on the table– orange is the complement to blue so it really works with the new headboard fabric.
Speaking of those wonderful fabrics– I don’t know how many you have in your stash but I for one LOVE seeing them sprinkled throughout your new home. They will provide a really wonderfully unifying through line.

10 months ago

It’s inspiring to see the progress of creativity in the kids’ rooms. I’m in love with the use of the Japanese boro fabric on the headboard. To my eye, the chunky table is good and the chair is good. I might fool around with a color for the Ikea table not that it isn’t fine the way it is. Go Emily!

10 months ago

This is great, and beautiful use of that fabric!

Roberta Davis
10 months ago

Nice! Love the doggies and love the 70’s vibe, even if it is orange!

10 months ago

I do like this! But I probably would have constructed the padded headboard using plain muslin and then sewn a “sleeve” of the plaid that could slide down over it (maybe with plain navy on the back, since it wouldn’t show). That way you’d be able to wash the plaid slipcover as needed. Everything in my kids’ bedrooms needed to be washable!

10 months ago
Reply to  Diane

folex carpet and upholstery cleaner works in a pinch. Plus scotch guarding multiple coats helps keep it clean in the first place.

10 months ago

I love it! And I love that Charlie got to use the staple gun on it!

I would leave the nightstand as is. It looks really good with the fabric. That orangey toned wood is due for a comeback anyhow. In fact, since you just featured it on your blog, it’s probably already happening. Please just go on ahead and Em-fluence us all into liking that shade of wood again so my kitchen cabinets will be back in style.

10 months ago

We had those IKEA beds for our boys. 20 years later when we donated them to a family who needed them, they still looked brand new and were solid.

10 months ago

This is a fantastic use of your vintage fabric! The height provided by the new headboard fills the wall space proportionately – the nightstands are very simpatico w the blue fabrics and also with their vintage age. Can’t wait to see the mural!

10 months ago

This looks so gorgeous! Can you share the type of staple gun you use?

10 months ago

Hi! New subscriber. Adorable room as is! Random question – what kind of dogs do you have? So cute!

10 months ago

The DIY headboard looks great! And I vote for leaving the nightstand and chair as is. The orange-y color looks good in the room, and particularly with the pop of red in the lampshade…

10 months ago

Great fabric choice for the headboard! I’m really liking all the vintage pieces and art in this room! I’d leave the nightstand and chair with their original vintage finish. Blue and orange is the most appealing color combination to humans, which is why you see a lot of movie posters and advertising with that color combo.

Lori S H
10 months ago

What a fun idea! I love the vintage plaid in Charlie’s room! The best part about this room is that is able to grow and evolve with him over the years!

10 months ago

Love this room and would keep the nightstands as is. It doesn’t scream orange to me- it looks perfect with the headboard!

10 months ago

I actually stopped to ogle at the nightstand in the first pic with the bare mattress, at how perfect it was! I think it works great in there, the shape and heaviness as well as the original vintage vibe. It seems to pick up on the wood of the table lamp on the right side as well. I love it as is! The DIY headboard is awesome and just inspired me to try the same in my sons room! Thanks!