Susan Headboards are fairly simple. Measure the width of your bed and the required height you need.If you are going for a rectangular headboard then it's a breeze. You can build the frame with 1x4 or just plywood. Add foam and batting to the plywood and staple the fabric to the frame. I used 1x4's for my project and didn't use and foam as I was on a tight budget. I spent $150. See my project here - http://www.hometalk.com/ecf1c51915/project/989
Also see what this blogger has to say - http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-make-headboard-for-big-boy-room.html
If you are looking at a shape then draw the shape on the plywood and trace the shape on the foam, add batting and staple fabric.
Hope this info helps.
Buy a piece of picket fencing, it will look great.
Another trick to create an instant headboard is look for 2 square metal decorative pieces that can be hung. Measure the width of the bed so that you purchase the right sizes and hang them next to each other on the wall and voila! A long narrow mirror or 2 mirrors or even large decorative wood pieces. Shop thrift stores or Marshalls and Pier 1 has the best decorative items too! You can also get real creative and paint a stencil on the wall to give the look of a headboard - both ideas are very inexpensive and light on labor!
There have been a couple of other cool headboard projects, in addition to Yamini's, here on Hometalk. Search for headboard in the "search posts" box above for inspiration.
I've also seen some great ones using old rustic doors, metal garden gates, wagon wheels.
Thanks for the suggestions....this give me plenty to decide on.
My granddaughter and I made a headboard for her double bed when she was in law school. She made it so she could either hand on wall or stand behind bed. She purchase a piece of plywood and had them cut to her measurements. Bought padding and approx. 1/2" foam padding to cover board. Padding stapled to board first, then cotton padding over that to make it puffy. She drilled holes in plywood at intervals to pull buttons yarn through. Once she had the padding on she covered everything with a suede type material in color of her choice and pulled covered buttons, in this case about 2" she had covered in matching fabric and stapled down on back of plywood.
It not only turned out beautiful, but that was about four years ago and she is still using the headboard with a little updating today. I had some collapsible saw horses we laid board on to work on it. I helped her because I have always sewed, but she did most of the work and really is a novice. Try it, you'll like it!
Old post, but there are lots of videos now on You Tube.