DIY Headboard Tutorial

Handmade Home features a slew of contemporary DIY ideas and inspiration for your home. With an emphasis on easy, affordable and down-to-earth DIYs, we love to deliver original and creative projects that empower you to give it a go and express your inner maker!

Elly Keen

Now you can finally get around to replacing that standard slat bedhead with this easy DIY tutorial. It takes less than a weekend to makeover your existing bedhead and for as little as $30 you can have a stylish, custom cane headboard for your home.


Cane Headboard 001

The slat headboard is kind of like the vanilla ice cream of bedheads. Yes, it’s a classic and everybody likes it, but if given the option they prefer chocolate, right?

Well, if you have putting up with that ‘vanilla’ headboard in your home, while wishing for chocolate, then this tutorial is definitely for you!



Cane Headboard 002

The project is affordable due to the fact that we are reusing, recycling and upcycling! This process of refreshing what’s already in your home is a must-do for stylish renters and home owners alike.

Not only is it extremely beneficial for sustainability reasons but also, why buy a brand-new headboard when you already have a perfectly good one at home?

Simply make few easy changes, and poof, you can improve what you already have for less. Magic!


Cane Headboard 003

“The slat headboard is kind of like the vanilla ice cream of bedheads. Yes, it’s a classic and everybody likes it, but if given the option they prefer chocolate, right?”

Instructions for DIY Cane Headboard


The materials you will need for this bedhead makeover tutorial are:


  • A slat headboard
  • A matchstick cane blind measuring 1.5m in width
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Two lengths half round decorative pine moulding measuring 1.5m
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Electric Sander
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Staple gun


Just to let you know… My headboard measures 1.6m, meaning the cane blind and moulding needed to be at least 1.5m in width.

Keep in mind that the required amount of cane blind and pine moulding could differ depending on the size of your headboard.


Measure and mark a chalk line across the width of your cane blind.

1. Firstly, start by measuring and marking a chalk line on your cane blind.

This should be the same size as your headboard, i.e. my headboard measures 800mm high and therefore the portion of cane blind required is slightly smaller at 750mm.


Glue the pine moulding to the cane blind using a wood glue

2. Next, take your two lengths pine moulding and glue to either side of the chalk line.

This step is necessary because as soon as you cut your cane blind, the individual matchsticks will start to fall apart. The pine moulding will ensure that the blind stays together and also gives you a nice, neat edge.


Use heavy objects to apply pressure whilst drying.

3. Use a heavy object, such as stack of books or magazines to apply pressure whilst drying.


Gently remove slats from the headboard using a hammer.

4. Gently remove the slats using a hammer.


Fill holes using a colour matched wood filler.

5. Fill the holes left by the slats with a colour matched wood filler. Leave to dry for around 30 mins.


Sand headboard.

6. Sand the headboard.

As you can see, my headboard was old and in bad condition therefore I chose to completely sand it back. But if the quality of your headboard is still good, then feel free to skip this step!


Apply a layer of clear polyurethane.

7. Apply a layer of clear polyurethane (or stain depending on your preference).


Staple along the back of the pine moulding.

8. Once you have left the wood glue to dry for at least 24 hours, flip over the cane blind and staple along the back of the pine moulding for extra security.


Cut the cane blind along the chalk line.

9. Then, cut the blind along the chalk line.


Remove stray pieces of cane.

10. Remove the excess pieces of cane from the blind.


Using scissors, trim any excess thread from the edge of the blind.

11. Trim any excess thread.


Lay the cane blind over the back of the headboard.

12. Lay the cut portion of blind on the back of the headboard.


Staple the middle and all four corners of the blind to the headboard.

13. Using the staple gun, staple the blind to the back of the headboard.


Cane Headboard 004

Couldn’t help but add a kitty photo, sorry-not-sorry!

“The project is affordable due to the fact that we are reusing, recycling and upcycling!

Cane Headboard 005

The end result is this eclectic cane headboard that would work with almost any interior space.

Keen to be featured? Send your DIY cane headboard photos via my website below and show me how you style this bedhead in your space!

Elly xx



Elly Keen

Eclectic Creative Blog Contributor


Elly Keen realised her love for interior styling while decorating her rental gem in New Zealand’s coolest little capital, Wellington. This enjoyment for styling objects and spaces led to Keenie / DIY, a lifestyle blog where Elly regularly contributes clever DIY ideas and home decorating inspiration. Elly’s styling and photography has a deeply personal touch, reflecting her own home environment that is eclectic, warm and constantly evolving.
Connect with Elly on Instagram: @keeniediy | Pinterest keeniediy | Website keeniediy.com

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