Repurpose a Fireplace Mantel into a Headboard

A mantelpiece is grand over a fireplace, but it just so happens to also be the perfect fit behind a queen-sized bed.

Let’s pull back the covers and I’ll show you how we turned this mantel into a headboard.

We found the mantel on Craigslist. It was originally in an old house in the nicer part of town, and the owners were renovating. The mantel was already painted white.

The gaping hole where the fireplace would be is covered with a piece of plywood, which is padded with two layers of felt and topped with linen. We wrapped the fabric around to the back of the plywood and stapled it with a staple gun.

Once the fabric was in place, we mounted the plywood to the mantel on the back using 3 L brackets on both sides and 4 along the top. The plywood only goes down as far as a couple of inches below the top of the mattress (the part that you see), not all the way to the floor.

Since we live in an apartment, we didn’t want to do any heavy installing to permanently mount it to the wall. It’s mostly held in place by the mattress and box spring, and a lone L bracket attaches the top of the mantel to a stud in the wall, to prevent it from tipping.

It’s a big space-spacer for our bedroom, since we don’t need bedside tables. We just set our drinks and books on top of the mantel.

The bed sits on a $40 metal frame.

The silver serving trays were inherited from Doug’s granny. They still have her name written on stickers on the back from times she took them to church suppers. They are hung on the wall with big plate hangers. If it’s pretty, then we want to display it. We wouldn’t want to buy wall decorations while something pretty stays stored in the closet.

Looking for more DIY headboard ideas?

Wallpaper headboard from Blueprint

French Inspired Fabric Covered Headboard from Centsational Girl

Door headboard from Martha Stewart

Grace’s upholstered otomi headboard from Design*Sponge

Lydia’s embroidered headboard from Design*Sponge

Burlap headboard with nailhead trim from Imperfect

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. That is absolutely beautiful!

    Sleepy Cat Hollow´s last post…For Today ~ 3 March 2010 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

  2. So elegant and unexpected – I love it!

  3. I really like this. I probably would have painted the brown area inside white just to blend it in better. But what a fabulous idea.

    ~ Sarah @

    Sarah Sarniak´s last post…Fluffy Slippers From Old Towel

  4. That is amazing– lovely and practical! Makes me want to haunt our Habitat Center and Craigslist for one!

  5. I love this. My headboard is similar- but made of shutters. It has a paneled-mantle feel. I’m taking your silver platter idea and running with it- I have so many that we’ve inherited- I will love seeing them like this every day. thanks so much!

  6. Goodness, you have such an eye for beauty. The simplicity in this makes it absolutely stunning.

    Elizabeth´s last post…Displaying Artwork

  7. I love this idea. We were trying something similar with an old pannel door. Still not up yet nd now I might need to go look for an old mantle. I love repurposing things in unexpected ways!

  8. You are SO creative…I love it! Wish I had more of your eye for decorating. :)

    Thanks for sharing your lovely ideas.

    Lydia´s last post…Monthly Spending Summary

  9. Oh my goodness! When this picture popped up on my reader this morning I was amazed. This is gorgeous! Makes me want to get rid of my way-to-expensive store bought bedroom set and do this. I love it!!

    Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last post…New Monthly Goal – It’s a Party!!!

  10. I’ve been looking for a unique idea for a headboard, but never thought about using a mantel. I love this. Ebay, here I come!

    Marjorie´s last post…What about the dogs???

  11. Looks nice! Great idea.
    I also love your bedding! May I ask where you got that prettiness?

    • Our bedding came from JCPenney several years ago. It was quite a challenge to find something we both liked.

  12. I love this idea! We’re trying to decide what to do with our king-size bed. This is my favorite so far!

    Kacey´s last post…French Side Table – Before & After

  13. The “master” bedroom in our 90-year-old house came with a fireplace and a beautiful mantle, however it’s unusable because the firebox doesn’t meet code. After three years of having it collect dust, I moved our queen-sized bed in front of the fireplace and suddenly the rest of the room just worked.

    Lousy Housewife´s last post…(Un)happy New Year

  14. that is lovely! great work!

    Cori´s last post…braided sourdough

  15. It looks so elegant and stately! I love the silver trays, too. Now I’m foraging in my basement to see what I can hang up. ;-)

    Adele´s last post…Yellow Tulips

  16. Oh wow! That is beautiful! I love your master bedroom.

    Mrs. Money´s last post…How Much Money are we Spending?

  17. Denise C. says:

    So beautiful! I also love your bedding. I need to get something nice for our master bedroom here. It’s the most neglected room in our house.

  18. You guys are the mantelpiece gurus!

  19. Love the headboard…not crazy about the trays above it. Just being honest.

  20. I love your use of the dining room and great room in the bedroom. Smart thinking to ensure it is mounted to the wall … that would be heavy to fall on you in your sleep!

  21. ruth ann says:

    love it!!

  22. Amy Dunn says:

    I absolutely love your use of the mantle and silver trays. And while I can’t duplicate the bed, you have sent me scurrying around the house in search of everyday objects of beauty to hang. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Pretty!

    Theresa´s last post…saving the planet starts at home

  24. I’m in awe. It looks fantastic! And I love how you decorated it with antique family candle holders and trays! Such a unique bedroom.

  25. Did you do anything to attach the bedframe to the mantle, or do you just have it pushed up against it?

  26. I love this so much! Another DIY headboard that I’ve done is made using contact paper(see it here: Not permanent at all, very cheap and it’s pretty cute and super easy. Love your blog!

    meredith tuttle´s last post…Her Shadow

  27. oops! this should work better!

    meredith tuttle´s last post…Her Shadow

  28. Beautiful!! I so want to make one of these! We haven’t had a headboard for years and i think it completes the room!
    Thank you for this wonderful idea!

  29. This is way cool. I have a beautiful bed frame that I am suddenly rethinking… Just curious, how much did this mantle set you back?

    Liz´s last post…Sprouting seeds