apple Our Fifth House: Rope Headboard Tutorial

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rope Headboard Tutorial

My inspiration for this knockoff project actually came from two sources.  Pottery Barn was just the one I figured most people would recognize.  West Elm also has a natural fiber headboard.

Overlapping Woven Headboard

Their version is made with banana bark.  It's on sale right now, and it's still almost three times more than the cost of my diy version.

First let me just throw one thing out there before we get to the tutorial.

When you open the package of rope (doesn't matter what kind you decide to use) it will have an "odor".  My hub actually liked the smell.  I like the smell of dryer sheets.  We're all special in our own way.  The odor, smell, fragrance whatever you want to call it is not bad, but natural fibers just sort of have a natural kind of smell I guess.  This starts to go away after the rope airs out.  It smells the strongest when you first open the package.  It's been about a week since I finished this project and the smell is pretty much gone now.  I'm telling you this so that I won't get any nasty e-mails from peeps who decide to tackle this project asking me why I didn't tell them that the rope smells.  Now you can't say I didn't give you a heads up can you?  It smells.  It's not terrible.  And the smell goes away.  For that matter burlap has an "odor" too.  It doesn't bother me, but I know some people can't deal.

Moving forward, here's what you'll need.
Some pics were taken during the day, some at night.  That's why there's such a difference in the color. 

An old door works great.  Measure your bed and cut it down to size if needed.  I had to cut about 3 inches off using a hand saw.  Keep in mind that the rope will add on about half an inch to each side.  I chose to use manila, which I found at Home Depot, because I like the variations of color in the rope.  There are a number of different options to choose from though.  Sisal rope would have worked great too but I wanted something darker against the wall color.  The main thing is not to use anything too thick.  The rope I used for the most part was 3/8".  You will need some heavy duty scissors to cut this rope.  These are outdoor scissors; they'll cut through branches.

Once your supplies are gathered, start wrapping.

The only place where you will need to wrap the rope all the way around is on the ends.

About half way through this project my hub came down to the basement and asked, "Why are working on the floor?"  He then brought two sawhorses in from the garage.

So. much. easier.  I thought well since you're already down here.......

let me plug in the back up glue gun.  Gotta love that even after almost 11 years of marriage I can still bat my make-up-free-at-9:30 p.m. -eyes and get him to help me do things he'd rather poke his eyeballs out than do!  Yeah, that's right- I still got it!  HA!

Ok, so back to the tutorial.  You will want to start on one end and move in about half way and then move to the other end.

Yes, we have an air hockey table in our basement.  Don't be jealous.  When you get to the middle section and you've run out of rope, do not panic.  When you get to Home Depot and they're out of the rope you need, do not panic.  When they call the other Home Depot in your town and they are also out of the rope you need, once again do not panic.  There's no crying in diy.  There's always a plan B.  Enter the same rope but in a smaller size.

It actually ended up being a nice happy surprise.  You can tell from the almost finished photo above that as I got toward the middle of the board the rope started to curve.  This was also not planned.  The rope sort of has a mind of its own, and it's best to just go with the flow.  Using the smaller rope in the middle section actually made this surprise look more like I planned it that way.  It created a nice swirly pattern in the middle that I really like.  This is why I recommend working your way in towards the middle from both sides rather than starting on end and moving straight through to the other.

To hang this headboard I used two of these large hooks.

Well, the hubs actually did most of the work.  He didn't use the wire.  That would not work.  This was too heavy.  He attached two of those metal hangers to the back and then used two of those crazy looking drywall hooks.  This worked like a charm.  That headboard is up there.  Not going anywhere.

To give you an idea of what the back of the headboard looks like.

Yeah, it's pretty much a hot mess.  Who's going to see this?  I used a couple pieces of Gorilla Glue brand duct tape in a few spots where the rope was being stubborn.  For the most part the hot glue worked very well.

Here it is finished and hung.

I actually borrowed those pillows from my family room because I thought if I used the real ones it would be a dead giveaway that it was my knockoff project and our entries are supposed to be anonymous.  Here's how the guest room is really styled.

I still have a ways to go but this room is really starting to look like, well, a room; and the headboard helps a lot!

Here's the cost breakdown on the headboard:
the door - FREE - collecting dust in my garage
most of the glue needed I already had on hand, I spent $10 for more glue sticks
rope - 3/8" x 50 ft. - $8.21/bag x 12 bags = $98.52
rope - 1/4" x 50 ft. - $5.60/bag x 2 bags = $11.20
total cost = $119.72
I rounded up to $130 because I used 2 of those hook things to hang it and I can't remember the exact price I paid for them.

This project took a long, long time.  It's a king size headboard!  That's a whole lotta hot glue!  It was so worth it though, and I'm beyond thrilled to have this project done!

If you have any questions - post them in the comments section.

Have you been inspired to knockoff anything lately?

Today I'm also over at Decor Adventures talking about Fall.  Head on over!

 Furniture Feature Fridays Photobucket


  1. It's beautiful, great job! Looks much more expensive than $130.00!!!


  2. Awesome! Lots of work but worth it at $130! I never would have thought of that! :)

  3. I cannot even tell you how much love I have for this! You have reached rock star status.

  4. I already *really* liked this project when I saw it on CWTS (yes, it is cool enough to have the abbreviation...and why is the word for that so long???), but I *LOVE* it with those different pillows even more! I'm totally impressed with your design chutzpah, 'cause you know that is what it takes to do a project like that! Well enjoy...until your next project! (c:

  5. It looks amazing. So well done. I love it.

  6. Thanks everyone! I'm really happy with the end result although I may never use a hot glue gun again!

  7. Wow! This looks great! I've been eyeying that headboard from PB for years. I found one on clearance one time a the outlet, but it still was really expensive! Yours looks awesome!

  8. gorgeous result and loved your entertaining commentary. come visit anytime!


  9. Love Love LOVE this!!!!!! I enjoy your sense of humor and the way you explained the process you took (hubs flirting and all) to get the final result. I am your newest follower!

  10. Wow. I saw this on Sew Dang Cute Crafts. Wow. Wow. It looks so well done and the tutorial is way easier than I thought it was going to be!! Which is always a plus. :) thanks for sharing. I'm pinning :)

  11. Hello! I love your headboard idea!! I run a decorating website, and would love for you to share this idea! It is easy to do! You upload a few photos and tell about your project! Once approved a live link to your blog will be added! Your page will become permanent! I have two pages, JUST on headboard ideas! But, I do not have a rope headboard idea! Love it! So, come by and share!

  12. ummm, seriously?1 That's just WOW. I have so many old doors that I've been wanting to turn into a headboard and I've never seen such an cool, unique idea!!! Just LOVE IT! Would you please share this over on our first ever Trash to Treasure Link Party over on Kammy's Korner?

  13. Sure I'll share Kammy - thanks for the invite!

  14. that is so genius, carmel! love it! i have missed so much in my week off- are you still in it? i hope so!

  15. This looks awesome! I love how the curvy section ended up in the center! I like yours better than the Pottery Barn version!

  16. That is a magnificent piece and I love the look. Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

  17. What an ambitious project! It looks great! Kudos to getting your man to take glue gun duty! Your home is just lovely by the way! Can't wait to see that kitchen!

  18. did you make the rose red pillow? If so, is there a tut?

  19. This looks great! I have always admired the seagrass headboard at PB, too, but yours looks just as good for a lot less.

  20. Love love love this! Thanks for the inspiration. I too have seen these at PB and WE and have longed for them to be in a bedroom! Yay.

  21. It turned out amazing! I love this idea!!

  22. sensational! you guys did a fabulous job.

  23. This is beautiful! But I also really adore your bedding, where is that duvet cover/comforter from?

  24. It's from Target. I love it and I think it comes in a lilac color too.

  25. You are one creative woman. Love the headboard. I just had to become a follower.

  26. How can one person be so talented I am so jelous of your creative mind. This project was so awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Love the headboard! I've been looking at headboard ideas for a few months and like this one the best. Two questions: Do you use hot glue the entire length of each strand? And, do you secure the end of the rope with a tack or nail until the glue holds firm? Thanks!

  28. Yes you use glue all the way down each strand. I just held the rope with my hand until it was stuck on pretty good, but a tack or a nail sounds a heck of a lot smatter!

  29. Hi! Wanted to tell you that I LOVE your headboard, and you did a great job! Using a door and rope is brilliant!

    I'm featuring this on my Friday's Fabulous Furniture Finds at Chase the Star!

    Please go check it out, and grab a button! Congrats!


  30. Is this your master bedroom or just another bedroom in your home? Either way, it looks great! I wish that I had the flair that you have in decorating! I have moved several times, but I still don't have a great talent for decorating.

  31. This is a fantastic way of decorating a master bedroom on a budget. I love finding these easy ways to decorate on a budget.

  32. Thanks for the tutorial! I was going to make this, but then my hubby got some woven mat stuff that I used instead. Here's mine:

  33. Hi, I was so excited until I read it took a long time and a lot of glue:( Do you think I could use a roll on glue?

  34. Hi Carmel! I just sent you an email about being featured on Remodelaholic -- I wanted to leave a comment here, too, because sometimes my emails get caught in the email vortex :) Let me know if you're interested in being featured; you can drop me a line at Thanks!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C

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