How to Make a Headboard Out of Old T-Shirts

Kids often have a hard time parting with their favorite T-shirts even after they've outgrown them. Use their old T-shirts, sport jerseys or old blankets to create a collage of color over their bed.

Project Overview

  • Cost: ⚫⚪⚪⚪
  • Skill Level: ⚫⚪⚪⚪
  • Time to Finish: Less than half a day


  • jigsaw or circular saw
  • paintbrush or roller
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • miter saw
  • hammer


  • (1) 4' x 8' sheet thin plywood (luan)
  • (1) 4' x 4' sheet thin plywood (luan)
  • paint
  • wood glue
  • batting material
  • 12 T-shirts
  • 3-4 yards hook-and-loop tape
  • wood filler (if needed for mitered corners)
  • small nails
  • ply cap trim, two 8' pieces
T-Shirt Headboard

15 Easy DIY Headboards: T-shirt Collection

Kids often have a hard time parting with their favorite T-shirts even after they've outgrown them. Use old T-shirts, sport jerseys or old blankets to create a collage of color over your child's bed.

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

The possibilities are endless with this easy and inexpensive headboard project. Use floral pattern fabrics, old concert shirts, souvenir shirts or beach towels.


Cut the Luan to Size

Cut the full sheet of plywood close to the size of the bed, but make it a little bigger than you need just in case you have to adjust the size later, and leave enough space for trim.

Prep the Trim Pieces

Miter cut the trim pieces. Paint them and set them aside to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.

Cut the Squares

Cut the half sheet of plywood into twelve 10" x 10" squares.


Cover the Squares

Cut the batting into twelve 11" x 11" squares. Cover each of the wood squares in batting, wrap the edges around the back and use hot glue to hold them in place.


Cut the T-Shirts

Cut the T-shirts a little bit bigger than the batting squares. Wrap each T-shirt around one of the squares and use hot glue to adhere it onto the back of the square.


Lay Out the Squares

Position the T-shirt squares onto the large piece of luan. Check the size to see if you need to cut some off, but remember to leave enough space on the edges for the trim.

Fasten Trim Onto Plywood

Attach the trim to the luan panel using wood glue and small nails. Weigh down the trim and let set up for 24 hours if necessary.

Attach the T-Shirts

Add one side of the hook-and-loop strip to the back of each T-shirt square, then attach the other side of the hook-and-loop strip onto the luan panel. Push them all into place.


Cover the Bottom

Add an extra T-shirt below the squares to cover bottom of luan panel.

Attach Panel to the Wall

Attach the T-shirt panel to wall by finding the studs and putting the T-shirt squares over the screws.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.

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