When designing our bedroom, we decided to choose white everything because it’s a tiny room and we thought it’d make everything feel bigger. 

While that worked, it also made the room look surgical and cold. It’s bothered me for ages and after I discovered this IKEA headboard cover, I was convinced that changing the headboard would solve my problem and make the room feel homelier. 

We thought £90 was a bit steep, so I thought I could do it cheaper. And then somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered seeing someone stick vinyl planks to furniture to make it look wooden.

After a quick search, I found this video of someone upgrading their IKEA MALM bed and knew I had to do it. 

In the end, it cost £15.43 as I borrowed the tools from my dad and I can’t explain what a difference it’s made to the bedroom. Obviously you can do this with any headboard, but below has all the measurements for an IKEA MALM double bed. 

Hope you enjoy!

You’ll need:

  • Self-adhesive wood vinyl planks (we used these ones)
  • Spray adhesive (we used this one)
  • Stanley knife
  • Metal square
  • Measuring tape
  • Clamp
  • Protective equipment (plastic bags, cutting board, etc)

How to do it

Getting your wooden planks ready

  1. Measure the width and height of your headboard and work out the m² using an online calculator. Ours is 149.5x62cm, meaning we needed enough wood vinyl to cover 0.93m².

    We bought this pack of floorboards which contained seven 91.4×15.2cm planks. It covers 0.97m². 
  1. Next, you need to figure out how to arrange your planks. Divide the height of your headboard by the width of your planks to calculate how many rows you can fit on. Our planks were 15.2cm, meaning we could fit four rows (62/15.2=4.08) with a tiny gap at the bottom.
  1. If you can’t find planks to fit the entire width (which is unlikely!), you ideally want two planks per row. This means you’ll probably need to cut one of the planks to make up the width.

    For example, our planks were 91.4cm long, so we needed an additional 58.1cm to cover the 149.5cm width. With seven planks, this meant we needed four full-length planks and four cut bit. Obviously that doesn’t add up, so we did the following:

We used the scraps of a cut plank which ended up being 33.3cm long. If you’d like, you can cut another one of the planks to fill in the gap, but we chose not to because the gap sits behind our mattress and you can’t see it. But it’s your choice!

  1. Now you’ve finished all that math, it’s time to cut your planks. Measure your planks and mark with a pencil on the back where you need to cut. 

    Using a metal square or ruler (the square makes it easier to get a perfect line), place your plank on a cutting board and cut a line using the Stanley knife. 

    You’ll need to do this a few times to get a clean cut. Also, make sure you’re not cutting directly towards your body!

You should have four full-length planks, three cut planks and one ‘scrap’ plank if you’re following along. Remember to arrange it like the image above, alternating between lengths, as it’ll give it a professional look.

Now it’s time to mount the planks! I’d recommend taking your headboard off and laying it flat somewhere as we had a few issues doing it straight onto the headboard. 

We initially stuck the planks to the headboard using the self-adhesive, however they all fell off throughout the night so we used a spray glue adhesive to secure them properly. 

Mounting the planks

  1. If you have a small gap at the bottom like us, start from the top of the headboard. Spray your adhesive on both the plank (after removing the protective backing) and headboard, making sure to protect the surface and wall if you haven’t removed it from your bed. 

  2. Wait the recommended time (around 30 seconds) until the glue is sticky and then press the plank firmly to the headboard. 

  3. Then glued a plank directly below it and used a clamp where the edges meet and wait half an hour.

  4. Repeat until the entire headboard is covered!

It’s not difficult to do, but slow but steady works to make sure your planks are secure and flush. 

If you’re working directly onto the attached headboard, the planks will probably slip down (thanks gravity!). As I said earlier, I’d probably take the headboard off if I did it again, but where I couldn’t use the clamps in the middle of the headboard, I used some tape to try and hold it in place which worked.

Finally, once your headboard is completely dry (wait 24 hours to be safe), wipe off any excess glue and you’re finished! A beautiful rustic headboard for basically £15!

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