Before & After: Turning a Basic IKEA Headboard into a Chic, West Elm-Inspired DIY Masterpiece

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Robin found herself dreaming West Elm dreams while on an IKEA budget. Luckily, she’s an intrepid DIYer so she set out to turn her standard headboard into an upholstered leather masterpiece. All it took was one weekend and a little inspiration to create a chic new look for her bedroom without breaking the bank.

From Robin: I started with the IKEA Hemnes bed frame. While it was a great inexpensive bed frame, it needed some sprucing up.

After seeing the West Elm leather tufted headboard I was in LOVE. But the price point just didn’t make sense for my current living situation. Right then and there I challenged myself to make the best knock-off version I could.

The entire headboard took me around eight hours, by myself, spread across a weekend. A lot of that time was testing and figuring out what I wanted before really tacking anything down. That made the entire process a little bit of a surprise since I tend to just throw myself into projects and figure out as I go! Hopefully the full DIY which I wrote up for my blog, And Then We Tried, details more of those work-through-it moments so others avoid the same dilemmas!

I love that I was able to take the basic IKEA bed and make it my own. The new headboard is warm and inviting and has changed the feel of my entire room. The only thing I’d do differently is possibly position the buttons a touch higher since decorative pillows can cover them up.

Robin’s words of wisdom: I’d say go for it! Upholstery looks intimidating but a headboard is the most basic shape to cover and can easily be done. It lets you tailor the look to your exact style. Plus you can add the buttons, or not, add the seams, or not. Pick your adventure and play with whatever you feel comfortable tackling.

Resource list:

  • IKEA Hemnes bed
  • Pegboard- cut to the same size as your headboard
  • Drill and wood screws
  • High-density foam
  • Batting
  • Basting spray or spray adhesive
  • Leather fabric
  • Button kit
  • Florist wire
  • Heavy duty staple gun
  • Heavy duty staples
  • Upholstery needles

Thank you, Robin! You can see this project and more on Robin’s blog And Then We Tried