July 28, 2010

Almost Free Headboard Tutorial!

I say "almost free" because all you need is a can of chalkboard paint and some chalk and you can have any headboard you want at any time- all for the cost of chalk (once you paint your wall, that is)!  I think you can get a quart of chalkboard paint (covers an 8x12' space) at Lowe's or Home Depot for under $15. 

I am NOT claiming this to be an original idea, I totally jacked it off of the cute little movie, 500 Days of Summer.   Once I saw it, though, I knew I had to do it.  I have used chalkboard paint before in my son's room, but just made a rectangle with a faux frame around it for him to draw on.  But I painted a whole wall (the wall where the head of my bed is placed) with the paint and have had fun with it for almost a year now.

I know I probably should have cleaned/spruced up my night stands, but this is just how I roll.

I've been wanting to draw a headboard for a while now, I just haven't found one I liked.  So I went to a few different websites and ended up using this as a reference photo.

So once my son helped me move my bed out of the way, I got my chalk ready and pulled up the reference picture on my computer.  I have to give a shout out to my son, Q, for taking most of the pics.  He was a good sport, watching a movie in my room, but every so often he would turn around on his own and check out how it was going and snap a pic- I didn't even have to ask him!

This may not be a full fledged tutorial since I just drew on my wall, essentially, but I'll give tips under some of the pics...

I draw and write notoriously crookedly (can I use two adverbs back to back like that?), so I tried really hard to "eyeball" it throughout.  There was much stepping back and looking, correcting, and frustration at times, but it was well worth it!

I kept a rag with a small bowl of water handy to correct mistakes; it dries quickly, thank goodness!

I started out just sketching the outline of the headboard.  I didn't make the lines go all the way down, because the pillows will cover that part; even though getting chalk on those pillows will be inevitable, I wanted to reduce the chances as much as possible.

Then I went back and added some highlights.  I really wasn't too careful about this because my attention span is small when it comes to projects.  I also knew that once I stood back and looked at it, the end result would still be really cool.

(That's my "concentrating face", I guess- I was looking at the reference picture on my computer to get the highlights right).

Here it is before I put the bed back into place...

...And here's the finished product- not perfect, but not bad either.  I think its looks really cute behind my bed!  Any suggestions for what else to draw on the wall?  I'm open to ideas!
If you decide to do this, this is the decorating blog I went to- http://www.decorology.blogspot.com/ - she has a whole list of products you can buy for your home on the right side- that's where I found the pic I used for reference.  Happy painting and drawing!


  1. Very cool, Emily. I'm going to try and diy an upholstered headboard soon, the chalk seems so much easier though.

  2. Thanks, Maggie:) I love that I can change it on a whim!

  3. great idea! you're a talented artist!

  4. Gorgeous - what an awesome idea! Also love the "concentrating" pics. :)

  5. This is awesome! There are so many possibiliites with a chalkboard behind a bed. I am highlighting this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  6. wowser!...that's freaking awesome!...can you come draw one at my house?...not kidding!...

  7. So going to do this. I will use the bistro chalk markers that way there is no chalk dust on the pillows! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Thank you all so much! I'm so glad you like it:) Greenbean- if you're anywhere near St. Louis, I'd be happy to draw it for ya!
    MJaG- Bistro chalk=genius!

  9. Heyhey :)
    first of all: It looks really awesome!!!! I love it

    but second: I've got a question. and it's this. I was thinking about this whole chalk-wall for some time but it ended up with the question: Isn't it really messy when you paint with the chalk and al this (annoying^^) chalk-powder is going down???

    greetings Jojo

  10. Brilliant idea.
    The word 'Reve' above the bed would be special as it means 'dream' in French.

    xx Felicity

  11. love this! will definitely be doing it sometime in the future.

  12. I sooo love it!! I am definitely doing it this weekend!! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I was hoping someone would have answered "Anonymous's" question above.

    How the hell do you keep your linens clean with something like this?

    I guess sitting up and reading in bed is out of the question, too.

    I don't even want to think about the inevitable moment when one would inadvertently run a fingernail across the wall. Gah!

  14. hello all! hannah here from flychicks! to answer the question of the century...the chalk would wipe off if you rub up against it, but thats the whole beauty of this project. you can change it again and again and again. you aren't locked in to any one design! also, i think they now make a "pain chalk" that would probably stay on a little better :) and for those of you that are crazy sleepers, maybe wear gloves to bed if you tend to flail your arms around while you sleep. :) just a suggestion. hope you enjoy.

  15. I saw your photo and tried it myself. You can see the final result here: http://www.twitpic.com/9m0xif

    Greetings from Riobamba, Ecuador

  16. Very awesome! You could easily add a stag head, a chandelier, a faux window (well, I guess it's all faux haha), a frame, curtains, a coat stand, or a fireplace (maybe if you did a different or adjoining wall).

  17. I adore this tutorial and have shared it on my blog. Here is the post.


    Thank you so much for sharing. Have a lovely Day and hope to see you at My Dream Canvas. Anu

  18. Wow, that's cool you've done this back in 2010 and now with all the chalkboard art craze going on it's making a comeback all over the internet! I just had to link this to my DIY headboards post as well today, for inspiration!

  19. Thank you all for the features and interest! And Paul- great job! It looks fantastic :)

  20. This is Awsome!
    We love the poetic concept!
    I have made a post about it with links to this beautiful tutorial:


    I think this tutorial will work really great with Posca Markers for a semi-permanent drawing

    thank you for sharing this beautiful ideas!


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