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How to Attach a Headboard to a Dorm Bed: A Quick Guide

DormEssentials November 27, 2020
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While moving into dorms is never easy, it is a very exciting time. For most of you, this is the first time you live without your family. Many of you are unsure about the entire idea of sharing space with new people. We understand that it takes time to make a dorm feel homey and cozy and to acclimate to dorm life. A dorm headboard can make a dorm room feel more permanent and cozey. So, let’s make your dorm life a bit better and discuss about how to attach headboard to dorm bed. As you go to learn about how to attach a headboard to a dorm bed, make sure to check out our favorite dorm headboards!

So, how do you Attach a Headboard to a Dorm Bed?

Most dorms come with their own set of rules. The most common of them is you can’t drill holes or pin stuff in the walls. This rule makes life a little bit harder in the dorms. It hinders a lot of things you might want to do to that dull grey room. Here we will cover what you can do to have a headboard in that little structured dorm bed.  

In a place where drilling holes or any hook attachments are not allowed, command hook strips are your best friend. Command hooks and command strips are plastic adhesives with the backs of strong peelable stickers. All you have to do is peel the top layer and place the hook or strip where necessary. They are removable and washable. They do not leave any marks behind, making them dorm friendly. With these command hooks, you can hang almost anything within their capacity.  

There is also Velcro. Any ordinary Velcro will only help hang lightweight things like a tapestry or other clothing like material. But the stronger industrial strength Velcro will attach almost anything. These are the DIY and budget-friendly options for your dorm decoration. You can also opt for professional help with a slightly more budget. Custom headboard with footing is all the rage now. They might cost a bit more, but if you are in your dorm for the long haul, they are a good investment. You can also tweak the designs to double as additional storage in the small dorm room.  

Using the command strips or velcro, you can effectively secure the dorm headboard to your dorm wall. You can then align your bed so that it is against the dorm wall and flush against the headboard. In a sense, the way to attach a headboard to a dorm bed is actually by attaching it to the wall!

Now that you heard the best way to attach a hardboard to a dorm bed in college, here is some ideas on the types and DIY headboard ideas to consider.

Our Favorite Dorm Headboards

DIY Headboard Ideas

We know you see so many beautiful things on Pinterest and wish to decorate your dorm room likewise. But being a student, it is hard to come with such massive cash amounts. And let’s face it, most of these headboards can be expensive. So, we say it is time you put those craft hands to fair use. Here are a few low-cost headboards that you can make for yourself.  

Flower Headboard  

Remember those Pinterest photos in front of those beautiful flower walls? We are saying you can have one for yourself in your dorm room.  

You will need a 2-inch Styrofoam slab in sizes that you prefer, some faux flower, and some craft glue. We suggest getting the flowers in a similar color wheel and different sizes. Get the Styrofoam and poke some holes in it. Make some rough placement of the larger flowers first.

Play around with the size and shades. Subsequently, fill in the gaps with smaller flowers. You can also add in the leaves. Before the final placement, add some glue to the stem of each flower. Let dry overnight. Then hang it up using some Velcro straps. And now you have an Instagram worthy flower wall. 

Faux Leather Headboard  

For this faux leather headboard, you will need a wooden frame and some faux leather. And that’s about it. You will find the faux leather in your local craft store. And if you are lucky enough, you can get the frame for free at any junkyard.  

Clean the frame and cut the faux leather in long horizontal strips. Fold and attach the trips to one of the horizontal sides and another vertical side of the frame. Next, weave the strips in tight neat weaves, over and under. As you reach the end, tuck it all in and secure with glue. Hang the frame using command hooks.  

Using the same faux leather, you can also make other patterns like the herringbone pattern. You can also choose to get three individual smaller frames and make the patterns on each frame with a different color of faux leather. This will give you a unique pattern look and also make your room vibrant.

Cushioned Headboard  

For the more luxurious cushioned headboard, you will need plywood, stuffing, and a piece of fabric. As for tools, you only need scissors and a staple gun.  

Get plywood from your local home depot. You can also replace the plywood by using cardboard from your shifting boxes. How to attach headboard to dorm bed? Whichever you choose, measure out the size.

Next, add the stuffing on the top layer by folding over the back hem and stapling it to the board. Add as many layers of stuffing you wish. And then similarly add the top fabric. You can add velvet for a cushier feeling or silk for a satin-smooth feel. Once all secured, now only left in decorating it.

You can tuft it or add rhinestones. You can also panel a strip of LED light on the back of the headboard for a backlit headboard. Next, simply hand this lightweight structure to place using Velcro or command hooks. For this particular DIY, we suggest using Velcro.  

DIY Fabric Headboards 

Get sixteen or twenty-five dollar tree frames according to the measurement of your bed. Also, some cheap fabric from your local craft store, preferably velvet.  

Strip the frames apart and cut the fabric in the frame sizes. In the holder where you should have attached the picture, place the cut of fabric and glue them in place. Do so for all the frames and then hang them up in any pattern you wish over your bed. We suggest you use command hooks for the job. You can also choose to do different color fabrics and sizes of frames for the DIY. But make sure you have the layout correct first. 

You can get some cheap fabric from the local store or use an old bedcover for this. Next, get some paints. Tie up knots in the material at random spaces by twisting them and folding them. Bleach the fabric if it was an originally colored one or dye it if it was white. Let it condition overnight and let dry the following day. Open up the knots to reveal a beautiful pattern. And there is your self-made tapestry.  

For this idea, simply gather all your old camp t-shirts. Cut off the t-shirts with the front logo in a 16×16 square. When you have enough, sew them all up sidewise and downward. You can also attach them using fabric glue. With this, whenever you look up, you have a headboard full of memories.  

Either of which you choose, hang the fabric using command hooks.  

Pallet Headboard 

This DIY can be done with some paints. The pallets should come to you free of cost if you look around hard enough. 

Gather four to six pallet boards. Clean them out and dry them properly in the sun. Next, you will have to sand them down. If you want some textures, you can even skip this step. Finally, add in a coat of stain or paint over it with some solid color. Dry the pallets. Finally, hand them individually side by side and downwards with some command hooks. This headboard can easily double as a pinboard as well. 

Alternative Types of Headboards

Headboard Pillow  

A headboard pillow is deceptively simple. This is a robust and sturdy pillow. These pillows are skeletally wired, making them sturdy. This helps them stand upright. They are somewhat hard and not that fluffy. But they come without the hassle of any instalment process. Just put the headboard on top of your bed frame. Then lay your bedding as per usual. And now, you have a fully functioning headboard.  

This headboard gives you all the vibe of a real headboard. It looks the part and plays it well. This is a good option for the stricter dorms who don’t even allow any wall attachments.  

Overbed Shelves  

This is the time that you can put to use your high school wood shop education. This headboard idea can be a DIY or a store-bought front. We will discuss both. An overbed shelf if few wooden shelves over the bed head that will stand on its own. As a result, it won’t require and wall plugin or even glue.  

You can add as many shelves as you want. You can customize the layout as you wish. You can get a few MDF boards and some nuts from your local hardware store. Design the layout and measure out the pieces. Cut them out accordingly and attach them sturdily with nuts. Do not forget to use a leveller for better results. Simply place it over your bed, and now you have extra storage space over your bed. You can stain the shelves to match your room aesthetic as well.  

Alternately, the overbed shelving is available at sites like overstock.com or Ikea. These units are ready to be assembled and used. You can also opt to buy them from here directly.  

Bed Canopy  

A bed canopy is a hoopla hoop that is curtained with some net fabric. A bed canopy is easy to install as an alternative to a headboard. For changing a bed canopy, attach a vertical command hook on your ceiling. Remember to center the canopy; otherwise, it can be off-center, making it look not very interesting. Next, let the netting fall around the bed. And you are done. You have a bed canopy for a headboard, completing the ethereal look of your room. 

Tapestry  

Tapestry is a version of textile art that is traditionally made by hand or a loom. It is commonly done by a weft-faced weaving pattern. The tapestry is big enough to cover an entire wall. Tapestry comes at many prices. And now it is a very common decoration piece. Or you can ask your grandma to weave you on.   

Get a piece that matches your aesthetic. And then simply hang it by your wall. You can command hooks at each of the top sides. If your tapestry is more expansive, we suggest adding a command hook in the middle as well. As an alternate, you can use Velcro. For a secure bond, add a Velcro strip across the top and up to mid-length vertically. Using sparsely would suffice too. That helps to get boho-chic aesthetics to your room quickly.  

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!  

Dorm rooms can be awfully small. The tiny living space often is not spacious enough for a student’s books and essentials. To ask for a beauty hub, there is a luxury no administration can afford.  

You can get a mirror at any home depot store. How to attach headboard to dorm bed? We suggest getting a simple, framed one. Make sure to bring accurate measurements. Once back, hang the mirror on top of your bed using command hooks. Now, you have a space in that tiny room for your self-care routine but also doubles as a headboard. 

Panel Headboards  

We understand there are a few of you whose technical skill is as low as a dime. But that shouldn’t mean that you can’t have a comfortable and pleasant dorm room.  

The panel headboard targets precisely the likes of you. The panel headboard is a stiff piece of modified wood that is covered with linen and has a stuffing. The panel headboard stands on the floor. It is wedged between your bed and the wall. This a hassle-free, zero instalments headboard idea. If you make this by your local hardware technical, you can even customize the shapes to circular, scallops, rectangular, or even asymmetry.  

Custom Headboard   

This idea of a custom headboard is the queen of all customization. It is specifically made for your bed.  

These headboards are made on a stand. These stands stand on your bed and fit perfectly without any hardware usage. You can have it in any pattern and shape. Shops like Etsy sells them specifically. These headboards are sturdier and more collected. And if you want to twin with your roommates, they even offer bulk prices for order more than one.  

  • Backrest Wedged Pillow  

Some of the dorms have the old school stainless steel frame or iron frame for a bed. The only thing it comes with is a mattress. These beds are most likely to have an upward extended frame. These beds can be quite tricky to have a headboard with.

Attaching anything over the headrest doesn’t honestly give you the headboard feel. The best option for those of you stuck to these beds is a backrest wedge pillow. These pillows come in a wedge-like shape. They are mostly made of velvet cloth to give a luxurious feel.

However, you can find other fabrics too. You need only place the pillow behind your regular pillows, and you are done. The tufted design of this pillow gives a cozy and luxurious feel to the dorm. It also adds warmth to the cold winter days.  

The pillows are washable. If you take care of it properly, this will last you beyond your dorm years.  

Headboard Cushion  

Command hooks are every dorm dweller’s best friend. In this article, we can’t stress these words enough even if we repeat a thousand times.  

This solution is for all of you. Headboard cushions are long, lightweight cushions. These are panelled and aesthetically pleasing. They come with strong Velcro straps. You can glue the hook part of the Velcro to your wall and wait at least 24 hours for it to dry.

The other part comes already attached to the pillow itself. Simply hook it up to the wall now. Your headboard is now fully functional and hanging from the wall. Place your bed in front of it, and your setup is complete.  

Summing it All Up

So, we discussed every possible way to have a good headboard, whether it is store-bought or a DIY. You know the rules, but rules shouldn’t let you stop having comfort in your rooms. So, to explore further about how to attach headboard to dorm bed, use any one of these methods and add a flare of your aesthetic to your room. Whatever you do, make sure to check out your own dorm rules to avoid confusion later on.


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