Starting with an all-wood bed for $200 from JC Penney, A Penny Saved blogger created a custom upholstered-look bed. All it took was 1/8" plywood, fabric, batting, and velcro strips:
We imagine you could use foam core in place of the plywood if you aren't handy with power tools. As completed, Penny accomplished this project for only 27 bucks! The results are drastic, lightening up the look of the dark wood bed. Read up on the project at A Penny Saved.