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IKEA HACKS – What a transformation! I will show you how to make an upholstered headboard and how to turn an old IKEA malm bed into a completely new one.

Headboard - IKEA HACKSIt’s time to share my newest piece in our bedroom, one of those Ikea hacks: the Malm bed.

Last year we decided to do a master bedroom makeover. The current design that we are changing is about six years old.
I have changed the duvet cover a few times but did not make any other significant changes.

Now we are ready for a whole new look!

This is our “before” picture.

HEADBOARD makover-2-2

We really loved the black, brown and orange mix in our bedroom, but you know,
…when you see the same design for so long you kind of get bored with it.




not necessarily new, but new to our eyes

…Maybe some mix and match in styles…

elegant -modern – eclectic

Sometime around July last year, I sat down and started planning. I don’t do that often- haha!

{Pssst… I am usually very unorganized with my projects…}

Most of the time, when I start working on a project or a room design, I get inspired by a piece of fabric.

 This yellow, flowery duvet cover was my very first inspiration for our new bedroom. I spotted this lovely cover at Ikea.
They were out of stock a few times when I visited the store, but finally, I was able to put my hands on one, just recently.

I really love the floral and the yellow – white mix.

akertistel-duvet-cover-and-pillowcases__0183919_PE335010_S4I created a MOOD BOARD that included all my ideas for our new bedroom design.

OB-My Bedroom Unfortunately, we never managed to start the bedroom project last year. It became the project to star our new year instead!

We jumped right in and painted our bedroom last weekend. We chose a very beautiful, gray shade. Reading Laura’s post HERE,
on how to choose the right gray, made me decide to go with the REVERE PEWTER.

Just simply beautiful on the wall. I would recommend this color if you are not sure which gray to go with!


…Now to the headboard project…

I will show you a step by step tutorial, how we made this beautiful upholstered, tufted headboard out of



When we purchased our MALM bed set about six years ago, we bought a three piece shelving unit as well.  The shelving unit was placed behind our bed. { See picture below.} It was a perfect addition to our bed set, as it was holding decor items in the bedroom. I really loved it!

Headboard - IKEA HACKS

I had the idea to take this shelving unit apart, and attach the bigger piece of the shelving unit to the back of the bed, to make the headboard higher. If you don’t have this particular shelving unit, you can simply use a piece of plywood instead.
Visit Alicia’s blog HERE to see how she used plywood for her upholstered headboard.

I just thought it would be a perfect piece because it had the same measurements as the bed lengthwise and thick-wise.

Headboard - IKEA HACKS

Look at this dramatic change

Headboard - IKEA HACKS

Are you ready to start your makeover?


–  IKEA Shelving unit { this is what I used } or Plywood

– 2 x 4 wood, two longer pieces, about 4′ tall

– Drill and screws

– Staple gun, staples

  • – Batting, thick { 2″ }

– Fabric to cover your headboard { per your taste }

– buttons, hot glue gun

upholstered headbboard @placofmytaste

First of all, we took apart our shelving unit.


Using the drill, we screwed the 2 x 4 wood pieces onto the back of the bed.


We put one piece of long wood on each side of the bed.

Eww – It doesn’t look beautiful, but this is the back of the bed, and it won’t be visible.


Then we lifted the bigger piece and attached it together with 6-8 screws on each side.

This is how it looked after the two pieces were screwed together.

Beautiful and tall.


We wrapped the batting around the headboard and stapled it to the back of the huge piece. If you would like to have a nice and thick tufted headboard, double the batting. Make sure you pull the batting out completely straight on each side.

Once this step is done, you can add your fabric.

I chose white for my project. I am not sure what is with me and white  lately, but lots of times I am leaning towards white when it comes to color choices…Hmmm..

{If I could just turn the clock back to a couple of years ago, I would definitely have chosen white kitchen over medium brown. 🙁 }

The nice thing  about this headboard is that if I ever want to change the look of it, I could take off the fabric and staple a new one on.

A new color, a new print, a new fabric choice will provide a whole new look again.

I wrapped the fabric over the batting, pulled the fabric out on each corner to make sure it is not wrinkled, and as the final step,
I stapled it to the back of the board.

upholstered headboard-ikea malm hack@placeofmytaste.com--2

We measured 9 spots for the buttons, using a tape measure, counting equal distance from each side.

Then using a staple gun, we stapled each spot { 9 } for the buttons.

upholstered headboard-ikea hacks malm hack@placeofmytaste.com--4

We glued each button to the headboard with a hot glue gun.
I was hesitant to glue with a hot glue gun, but I was hoping to see the buttons stay on. They did!


upholstered headboard-ikea malm hack@placeofmytaste.com--3

The project was done in a few hours.

My total cost was:


{including batting, fabric, buttons – I already had the rest}

You can not beat that for a new headboard!

upholstered headboard-ikea hacks malm hack@placeofmytaste.com-5491

I am totally in love with our new look.

It is so different and elegant – and most of all , new to our eyes!

upholstered headboard-ikea malm hack@placeofmytaste.com-5493

upholstered headboard-ikea malm hack@placeofmytaste.com-5497

I think it turned out just beautiful.

Ikea Malm Headboard Makover @placeofmytaste.com

I will have some other fun projects coming up, so stay tuned to see our whole new bedroom makeover.

Ikea Malm Headboard Makover @placeofmytaste.com

Here is the image to PIN FOR LATER to remember for this excellent post

How to upholster a headboard - Placeofmytaste.com

Check out our beautiful, yellow nightstands. They were spray painted to perfection.

painted ikea nightstand

And this new Herringbone Stenciled lamp was upcycled in no time

Herringbone Lamp makeover @placeofmytaste.com-

DIY Sunburst Mirror made out of paper

Sunburst mirror@placeofmytaste.com-2

So, what do you say–YAY or NAY??


So I think it’s time to show you an updated bedroom of mine now. It’s been 2.5 years (we are in 2016, October) since I’ve done this project. Since then I sold my headboard and I built a new one:

 Yeah, the crazy DIY gal I am! 🙂 Check it out!


tufted headboard (2 of 10)

And if you like some other fun DIY projects and IKEA hacks,
here are a few more for ya!


Ikea Billy Bookcase Builtins (1 of 12)


ikea tv stand hack (10 of 15)-2


DIY reclaimed wood buffet- ikea hack


IKEA STOOL HACK (10 of 12)

WOW! Looking back to some of these projects made me feel ants in my pants to get on some fun DIY now! But first I have to finish my bathroom makeover project for the ORC!


Thank you for reading!

Have a great day!

aniko sign




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      1. Hey Aniko! I just love what you did to refresh your bedroom!!!
        I was wondering what kind of fabric you used?
        Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Oh Cathy, I love our new headboard…I just want to stay in bed all day now- haha:-)Thanks for stopping by.Have a great night!

    1. Thanks Taryn! I have been wanting to do this forever but never found the time.It finally happened and I LOVE it.Thanks for stopping by!Xoxo~

  1. Love this. Tried something similar a couple years ago for my little girl’s bed. Did you attach this to the bed or wall some how?

    1. Christina,I attached it to the bed with 2 pieces of wood. If you scroll back to the full post,pictures will show how. Good luck with it if you try it again. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Yes, Melissa…I chose the easiest way-haha…There was a question from a reader -if the buttons would stay on or would pop off easy using the hot glue…? So far it did not come off at all – so I can say that this is a pretty nice and easy way to make anything tufted!Thanks for visiting!

      1. I was thinking the same thing, I have never seen anyone just staple the fabric, what a great idea! I am all for doing things the easy way =) Love your color choices,I am in love with white, grey, yellow and sometimes blue together and you did a beautiful job with these colors!

        1. how do you make the fabric over the top form to the form of the underneath fabric?
          looks amazing!! i have the same bed and would love to do this with my bed

          1. Carrolin, First I applied the batting which was thick and stapled it to the headboard then I added the fabric on top and it nicely formed on the batting. You just need to pull the fabric so it stays smooth and won’t leave wrinkles. I hope this helps. Can’t wait to see what you create!Have a great week!

      2. how do you make the fabric over the top form to the form of the underneath fabric?
        looks amazing!! i have the same bed and would love to do this with my bed

    1. Charlotte, I thought about it and I decided to give it a shot and see if it will stay or come off easy. So far so good:-). Fingers crossed…Have a great night!

    1. Thanks Shannon, I was very happy with spending so little money and using what I already have;-)Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend!

  2. Wow! It looks SO good. I did an tufted upholstered headboard, and tufting the thing was really, really hard and hurt my fingers so much. I love that you just stapled it and glued the buttons on. That is genius! And I am kicking myself right now for the frustrations and sore fingers! (P.S. If you have a second, I would absolutely love it if you linked up at The Makers link party over on my blog. 🙂

    1. Alexis, thank you for hopping over and commenting. Yep, it was much easier than “real”tufting. Coming over to link up right now…Xo~

    1. I have been dreaming about this makeover for a longest time…and I am so excited that is finally happening!Thanks for stopping by!Have fun with your makeover;-)

  3. WOW!! I Just saw this on The Pin Junkie and I LOVE it! I am going to share this on my blog FB page right now, and I am hoping you will link up at Domestic Superhero tomorrow!! WOW!!!

  4. This is amazing Aniko! What a huge transformation for under $30! I love the simplicity of it and the tufting is absolutely perfect. When I get to my bedroom I want to try this. Thanks for the inspiration and for linking up at The Makers!

  5. I have the Malm in my bedroom and have been dying to figure out how to make the headboard more substantial since we purchused the “low” version of the headboard. Do you recall what the piece of shelving was called that you attached to make the head board highter? If not, I’m sure I can just buy the headboard itself and attach the two in the same manner. This tutorial was awesome and BY FAR the simplest one I’ve seen! Can’t wait to do this!

    1. Lauren, I am glad you like this project. I checked online at IKEA and I couldn’t find that piece anymore. It was a 3 piece headboard-shelf set. { Bought it about 6 years ago }You can easily substitute that piece with a thick plywood.Thanks for stopping by !Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. We LOVE our Malm bed set.We have it for over 6 years now. I just needed a fresh,new look:-) Go for it!Have a great week!Xo~

  6. I love this and you’ve inspired me to try to update my 2007 malm bed rather than spend $2,000 on a new bed.
    Can you tell me if you upholstered the entire headboard (I.e. down to the floor) or just the visible bits. Did you have to dismantle the headboard from the sides of the bed?


    1. Hello! I am glad you like this project. As you see the pictures in the post, I actually made my headboard higher by attaching another piece { see in post } to it. I only upholstered it until the mattress part and with that said I did not dismantle the headboard. It was huge money saving for us and we created a totally new look for our MALM bed. Let me know if you have any questions! Have fun with it!!Have a great day!

  7. gorgeous and (apparently) so easy !! I am planning to put a headboard onto my headboard-less bed and this is inspiring me.

    (came here via Apartment Therapy, who is featuring your good work today)

  8. I love this ! I was looking for something to do to give a new life to our old Ikea bed, thanks for the inspiration !
    White fabric would be just great against a dark brown wall in our bedroom, but with 3 young kids, I’m not sure white is right !

    1. Elsa, thank you for stopping by today! I have two little munchkins myself and I wasn’t sure if white will be a great choice.I just LOVE white lately, and I did not regret I chose white over patterns this time. Glad you got inspired! Have a wonderful week!

  9. Awesome makeover!!! I wish I was that handy with a drill! I need to know where you got the super cute owl on the bedside table?

    1. Thank you so much! I love owl ans I got his cutie one at ROSS-Dress for Less.:-)Thanks for stopping by today and have an awesome day!

  10. This is wonderful! I have the exact same bed and have been getting sick of the color and low headboard. Totally going to do this! 🙂 how much fabric should I be looking at? Thanks. 🙂

    1. I am so glad you like it♥ i believe I got 2 yards of fabric…I used the fabric width for the headboard height and the 2 yards covered the headboard width -which is about 60″. Hope it helps.Have a great weekend!

  11. Wow! There’s so much light and life in your room after the makeover! I love the bright and cheery white and yellow. It feels soooo airy and fresh, just like the daisies on your nightstand. c: -Cait (The Lush Scouts)

    1. Thank you so much, Reshma! Malm is a great series from Ikea but you can make it custom and unique by adding some to it.I know that eventually I will change that white fabric over to an absolute different design and pattern;-) Hope yo have a great night!

  12. Your bed looks amazing and is JUST what I needed for my daughter’s malm bed. We just purchased the low twin malm for her first big girl bed and I was hoping to somehow add height and upholster the headboard to make it more toddler friendly. Was very happy to find your tutorial and it seems easy enough. I read in a previous comment that you only upholstered to the mattress part. How did you make it look “clean” on the sides that are showing? Just fold under the edges of fabric and staple? Also, what kind of fabric did you use? Any special kind of staple gun, or will just a regular one work?

    Ahh, so excited to try this on my daughter’s bed 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Katie! I am glad you like this project and I hope you will be able to upholster your daughter’s bed nicely. Exactly , just fold the fabric and staple. I will add additional picture, bc it’s seem like lots of readers have the same question. It was a very inexpensive ($5 ) fabric, bit thicker.Regular staple gun will just work fine.
      Let me know if you have any other questions, I am happy to help!Have a wonderful week!Xo~

  13. This is awesome! I have the higher version of the Malm so I won’t even have to add height to it. Question though, did you staple directly into the headboard? And if so how is it holding up? I’m a little concerned that the particle board won’t hold on to staples for too long.

    1. Kelley, I am glad you popped over here. I did staple directly to the headboard. Perfectly holding up!!Give it a shot! We are loving our “new” bed and I am sure you will too! Have a fantastic day!

  14. I am not buying that you made this headboard ! I have made several tufted headboards and you do not get that tufted look from gluing the buttons on the fabric.

    1. You are right, with JUST gluing the buttons to the fabric, makes no sense. If you read the tutorial, I did not just glued the buttons on the fabric but stapled the fabric to the wood panel first on those 9 spots where the buttons were glued. Stapling it really made the tufted look. Also, I used thick batting that also helped to get the tufted look. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Have a wonderful day!

  15. This just made me so happy!
    I purchased the Ikea Malm bed from my best friend when she moved away and I love it, however I still love the look of a big gigantic headboard which this bed is clearly lacking. I went searching for some sort of DIY headboard attachment hoping someone else had the same idea in mind and came across this! Its absolutely perfect! I plan to give my matching occasional table and nightstand a little upgrade as well! So much cheaper than going out and purchasing an entire new bedroom suite.

    1. The shelving unit I used was available to purchase with the MALM bed set. It was a shelving unto that was sitting behind the bed (MALM series). Hope it helps:-)

  16. Okej! You wouldnt be able to find a link where I can see this unit that you mean? It would be really helpful 🙂 Thanks!

  17. Hey, amazing job with the headboard. I have the malm high bed and would love to replicate what you’ve done. Which ikea shelving unit did you use? Also what size plywood do you recommend if I cannot get a hold of the shelving unit. Thanks!

  18. Thank you for posting this! I am stealing this idea!!! I love it so much! We’re just getting a king sized Malm because of the drawers you can add underneath… We have a small bedroom so in order to fit the king we have to have the drawers!! The Malm on its own is fine, but it’s pretty basic, so adding an upholstered headboard is exactly what I was thinking we should do. Now to see it done DIY and look so sharp is impressive! Great! Super!

  19. Hi – this is fantastic! We have the same bed and it looks like you’re my inspiration for my bed makeover. Thank you for posting this! Are the buttons still holding up?


    1. Perfect;) glad you found some inspiration here!! Yes, the buttons totally holding up- unless my kids are picking them off with their little fingers-lol;). Shoot me a picture of your project , i love seeing other creations. Have a great day

  20. How did you secure the fabric at the bottom of the headboard? My husband and I have the Malm bed frame and I want to try doing the plywood extender and tuft a headboard! Just not sure how to finish the bottom of it? Thanks!

    1. Hello there! The fabric I used was pretty wide and I think I bought 2.5 yards. Just measure your surface that you need to cover and be sure to buy a little more so you can fold it on each sides. Hope this helps! Send me pics once your project is done:-)

  21. Thanks for the inspiration. I had seen a slipcover that tied on the sides, but this is so much more sophisticated looking! On another note, I also have the black-brown Malm bed, and I’m wondering if anyone has found a way to keep it clean. Mine, literally, is dusty again before I even finish wiping down the whole frame! I’ve tried furniture polish, hoping it would repel the dust, but it isn’t much better. Any advice? I’m ready to drag it to the curb and hope someone takes it!

  22. Hi! I was wondering –does that mean the rest of the body frame does not match the headboard? Or did you paint it also? Thanks! Love your post!

  23. Thanks so much for this wonderful tutorial. I love the mood board and step-by-step pictures – you’ve definitely inspired me! I will be using this post to refer to when I make my own Malm headboard this week 🙂

    1. Rakhee, Thanks for dropping this nice comment. I love to hear when people get inspired by my projects..:-) Shoot me a photos once you tackled your Malm project! Xo

  24. Beautiful headboard! My husband wants to try the same thing. Can you tell me what the depth of your Malm headboard is? It looks like it’s about 1-2 inches?

  25. i love this idea! Question. lets say i move and i have to disable my bed because the frame doesn’t fit through doors like that..is there a way to disable it?

  26. Hi. Just wanted to drop by and thank you for this tutorial, and mostly for the idea itself. My Malm headboard was a little banged up and now it looks quite fantastic thanks to you. I did it in black though, as it fit my room better. I also added LED lighting all around the headboard from behind. I also did not use glue for the buttons, as I didn’t feel comfortable with the long-term solidity. Instead I pierced the fabric with a cutter then a soldering iron, then pierced through the headboard with a 6mm bit to attach the buttons from the back using standard nylon-based thread. This is a lot more secure imho.

    I can always provide pictures if you’d like, just send me a quick email. Thanks again for sharing your creations!

  27. Hi! I love this idea, just curious, what kind of IKEA shelving did you use? I have the same bed frame and this idea is perfect! So glad I stumbled across your site! 🙂

    1. Hey! It’s listed in the post. I was part of the bed when we purchased it. It’s a long, shelving unit that was placed behind the bed. I am not sure if IKEA still has it…There is another upholstered headboard tutorial on the blog ( search tufted headboard) that you might want to see,:-) Good luck!

  28. Hi There! I have the IKEA malm bed. However, I do not have the shelving unit. If I use plywood would I have an issue of the plywood not being plush with the current headboard? Do you know if it can be done? Thanks ! I’ve had this bed for 6 years and would love slight change!

  29. Hi!!! I LOVE this tutorial! I’m getting a queen malm bed in a few days! So this is perfect timing, I was just wondering how you created the folds in the Navy blue headboard. Both were beautiful but I think the navy one was absolutely stunning I’m just trying to figure out how I’ll do that. Also I’m new to the DIY world so sorry if this is a dumb question but when I go purchase the plywood to extend the headboard is there a specific thickness I should request?

  30. Hi, I love this! I have the same bed and was wondering if I still need the wood in the back of the headboard if I dont want to make it higher or do I just staple the fabric to the back of the headboard?. I’m scared that the staples would just come out if I staple directly to the headboard.

    1. Erica, I think it’s fine the way you wanted to do it. Staples won’t get through the headboard part! Send me a pic once it’s done!:-)

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