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

    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:-)

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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~

    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!

  6. 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)

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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)

  11. 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!

    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~

  12. 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!

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