Before and After: An IKEA MALM Headboard Becomes a Glam Tufted Masterpiece for Just $70

published Aug 10, 2022
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"Before" picture of a bed with a plain white headboard

IKEA bedroom furniture is nice and budget-friendly, especially if you’re looking for sleek, no-frills pieces that let your duvet covers and pillows do the talking.

But even if you’re looking for something more textured (or upholstered), IKEA furniture makes a great base. DIYer Lucy Pittinger (@luvinou) turned her IKEA MALM into a pink tufted beauty with just $70 of materials, and because the queen-sized bedframe itself cost about $250, she spent about $310 total on a bedframe that looks much more expensive.

To get the channel-tufted look, Lucy first bought three yards of velvet fabric, some batting, and nine 8 x 7″ boards to create the three-dimensional look she was going for. She added two pieces of batting (cut to the size of each board) on top of the board, then wrapped pinkish nude-hued fabric it, affixed it with a staple gun, and repeated the step nine times. “I made sure to pull my fabric pretty tightly so that there’s no wrinkles underneath it,” Lucy explained in her TikTok tutorial.

Her advice is to buy a fabric that has a bit of elasticity to it so that this step is easier.

Once each panel was wrapped with fabric, Lucy attached them to her plain MALM headboard using a drill and screws (two screws for each plank.) Lucy says the only tricky part was that some of her wooden planks were warped and not flush to the headboard, which made lining everything up and attaching it a bit of a challenge that required an extra set of hands.

“The one thing I would have done different is buy more expensive and treated wood,” she says. But in all, she’s pleased with the new high-end look created from a simple DIY.

“The first day I was stapling the batting and fabric to my wood planks, and the second day I was attaching the wood planks to the headboard,” she says. “I love that the upholstered headboard makes the room look entirely different and it adds an element of luxury … it looks like a store-bought headboard!”