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What To Do With Old Headboards – Best Ideas

If you’re in the market for a new headboard, but don’t want your old one getting dusty and neglected, you’ll need to find out what to do with your old headboard.

For most people, the headboard is the most expensive part of the bed, and it’s not only expensive, but it takes up a lot of space.

So you’re looking for a way to reuse and recycle if possible, whether this is for aesthetics or saving some money on your next new headboard.

11 ideas to do with old headboards: 

You’ve had the same headboard for years and it has served you well.

But now you have outgrown it and want to replace it with something altogether newer.

So, what happens to the old headboard, you ask?

Here are 11 astounding ideas for recycling and repurposing it.

Transform it into a decorative chalkboard

This idea will work perfectly with a smaller headboard.

For some people, a chalkboard is an important element in the home.

It’s required for that room to have a whimsical feel, plus it looks fabulous and you can use it any time you want to make doodles and notes.

Repurposing old headboards offers a creative outlet unlike anything else.

It’s a way to make something new from something used, and repurposing headboards offers endless possibilities for decorating your home with funky and beautiful items.

Paint the edges to match room décor and put it anywhere it’s needed.

You’ll never get tired of creating on it and it will stand out as a beautiful focal point to any room.

Use old headboard to make a rustic bench

Do you ever need a tranquil spot in your home where you can relax and just sit?

Perhaps a bench on the porch or in the backyard would work well.

If this sounds like a project you’d be interested in, take an old headboard and make a rustic looking bench in your yard.

Rustic designs never disappoint and tend to effortlessly blend with the environment.

So, repurpose your old headboard and give it a rustic look that will fit in with the rest of your backyard or patio décor.

You can paint or stain it whatever color you want, or simply leave it natural if you prefer.

You’ll have a gorgeous bench for several years before you need to do any work on it again, so this is one of the best ways to reuse an old headboard.

Upcycle it into a quilt rack

If you’re a quilter and love to hang your freshly finished quilts on a rack in your living room, you’ll know how difficult it is to find something that can hold the sheer weight of them.

A wall-mounted rack just won’t cut it.

Instead, take an old headboard that’s sturdy enough for the purpose and turn it into a beautiful quilt holder that can accommodate more than one quilt at a time.

Moreover, you won’t have to do any extra work on it to create a special piece that will hold your quilts.

As long as your headboard has a rack-like design, you can mount it to the wall and rest assured that it will look great.

If you’re short on space and have pets or guests who like to chew things, this idea could be perfect for you.

Take an old headboard, paint it your favorite color, and make a beautiful quilt rack that will store lots of quilts.

All those intricate hand quilting designs you’ve worked on for the last few years can be admired in style without the added stress of trying to hang them.

Transform it into a wall shelf

If you want to turn your old headboard into a place where you can display your favorite decorative pieces, you’ll love this project idea.

At the same time, it will add a little extra space to any room that is in need of one.

All you need to do is get some basic wall shelf hardware and attach it with screws.

Then, you can start hanging personal décor accessories and your favorite pieces of art on the shelves that you’ve made.

This will also serve as a place for various Knick knacks that you want to keep handy like keys, remotes and your cell phone.

For example, if you have a small home, this is a great way to increase the space in any room by creating unique wall shelves for decorative items.

Welcome sign for your front yard

Do you have a gorgeous front yard that you’d like to add some additional décor to?

Perhaps you want to put up a welcome sign for friends and family that stop by.

Or, maybe you’re throwing a big party and want your home to be the ultimate focal point of the party.

Whatever the reason, an old headboard is a great way to create a sign or decoration for your front yard.

Take it out of the house and paint it with bright colors or whatever color scheme you love.

You could also add some natural looking decorations to the headboard, such as pinecones and pine branches, or even use stencils and a paintbrush to create some decorative borders.

A beautiful sign that’s not just eye-catching, but also functional will be sure to add a special touch to your front yard.

Backrest for a front porch swing

The truth is we naturally tend to spend more time indoors when we’re older, but it’s also true that there are times when you wish you could spend more time outdoors by your front porch.

Whether it’s reading a book in the evening or simply rocking away on your porch swing with a glass of lemonade and a beautiful view, it’s nice to be able to have some extra comfort while seated outside.

A backrest can provide that extra support and make sitting outdoors even more enjoyable.

Get that old headboard in the shed that’s been in the family for years and make a backrest for your front porch swing! You can paint and decorate the headboard with any theme you like, such as one that matches the décor of your front porch.

Add some cushions along with armrests to complete the look and feel.

Make it durable by using a waterproof protective paint so that it’s water-resistant and will last throughout harsh weather conditions.

Entryway coat hanger and organizer

Let’s face it, entryways need organization.

Whether it’s your front door or a decorative piece that is in the entryway, everything is designed to be easy to find and get out of the way.

If you want to make your life easier, take an old headboard and turn it into a coat hanger or an organizer for hats, scarves or even sweaters when they need to be hung up.

You can create an attractive coat hanger that will easily fit your old headboard and stand out against the rest of your entryway décor.

For a more personalized feel, you could paint the headboard a color that complements the rest of your entryway.

Practical baby or pet gate

Are you trying to keep a pet or baby safe?

In most cases, a pet gate is necessary to keep them in one specific area.

At the same time, it would be nice if they could also enjoy some fresh air by going out into the yard or even room.

A headboard can be turned into a durable gate that will keep your pets and kids safe while keeping them out of dangerous parts of the house as well.

Accidents at home are no fun for anyone, especially when it can happen in a blink of an eye.

That’s why it’s important to have a pet gate in your home.

So, take an old headboard and turn it into a pet gate that will keep your pets safe while they enjoy their freedom outside and in other parts of the home.

A durable headboard is also the perfect way to keep babies safe as well since it won’t interfere with their mobility.

Make a garden bed

A garden bed is a great way to turn an ugly garden or unused space into a wonderful space.

It’s also an amazing means to give your backyard some character and enjoy the outside.

There are so many ways to introduce a garden bed into your yard.

In this case, have the headboard and bed frame on opposite sides.

This will make the bed look like a giant square garden and you can use it to grow fresh herbs, vegetables and other plants.

Opt to paint the furniture instead of staining it.

It will look more attractive and the paint won’t wash off as easily.

Make a decorative wall hanging

Want to turn your old headboard into a beautiful decorative wall hanging?

If so, then this is the project for you.

All you need is an old headboard that’s sturdy enough to hold up against the wall, along with a few basic supplies and tools.

Then, attach it with small screws or nails and you’ll have a gorgeous piece of art that will be sure to add some charm to your home.

Add some personality to any room in the house by mounting an old headboard up against the wall and writing any message or saying on it.

You can paint the headboard with a bright decorative paint if you want, or add a border if you want to make it look more like a work of art.

Make a corner bench

If you’ve been looking for a way to add some extra size to a room and also make it feel more spacious, you may want to consider adding an old headboard.

It’s not uncommon to see an old headboard used as a corner bench because it’s sturdy when used in the right way.

So, instead of having an armoire or dresser at the corner bedroom, transform your old headboard into a corner bench.

This will give you additional space and an attractive piece of furniture that everyone will enjoy.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, our homes are often filled with furniture that is far older than us.

Instead of seeing it as junk, we can turn it into something beautiful and functional.

Old headboards are one way to bring some personality and style into your home while still making it look more like you’ve had a new piece added to your home.

So, whether you have an old headboard that’s too small or is broken beyond repair, there are many ways to make a useful item for your house that is also beautiful and welcoming.


How do you modernize an old headboard?

Upholster it! Always a classic look, and you can do it in any fabric you like.

The only requirement is that the fabric you choose is at least half an inch thick for strength so your headboard doesn’t sag over time.

What are headboards worth?

The value in a headboard depends on what it is made out of.

For example, a pine or hardwood headboard with a distressed finish may be the showstopper in the room.

On the other hand, a leather headboard is going to be much more valuable than a wood, and still more valuable than a metal or plastic headboard.

The level of detail, condition and additional enhancements also determine the value.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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