How to Make a Nautical-Inspired Headboard With a Sail

Create an industrial-style headboard with a nautical touch by using PVC pipes to form the bed frame and stringing a sail in between the pipes.

By: Joanne Palmisano
PVC Pipe Headboard with Nautical Flag Attached

Nautical PVC Pipe Headboard

PVC pipes painted silver make this bed frame look like metal. Instead of a sail, you could hang a canvas, a flag or any type of sturdy material.

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

Tools and Materials:

  • miter saw (or PVC cutter)
  • level
  • tape measure
  • grommet tool
  • 2-1/2" PVC pipes
  • hammered-silver spray paint
  • twine
  • a sail
  • (2) PVC elbows, (2) PVC tees, (2) PVC adapters (if needed for the flange to match pipes) and (2) PVC floor flanges (get pieces that are smooth on the inside, not the screw-in kind) piece of salvaged sail to fit inside top section
  • PVC pipe primer and PVC pipe cement

PVC pipes painted silver make this bedframe look like metal. Instead of a sail, you could hang a canvas, a flag or any type of sturdy material.

We made another version of this headboard without the sail. We strung twine along the top section, then clipped postcards onto the twine.

Cut the Pieces to Size

Determine the size of the headboard (ours is a queen-size), then cut the pieces of PVC piping with a miter saw or a PVC cutter. Here are the dimensions for a queen-size bed:

  • (2) horizontal pieces at 59"
  • (2) bottom pieces at 38"
  • (2) top pieces at 24"

Build the Frame

Cut PVC pipes to the right size to create your nautical headboard.


Lay out the pieces (Image 1) and dry fit them with the connectors to make sure they fit. When you're ready, use the PVC primer (purple, Image 2) and then the PVC cement, and push the pieces together. Use a level to make sure you have them straight before letting the pieces dry.

We needed to use an adapter insert inside the plumbing floor flange because it was larger than the PVC pipe (Image 3).


It is helpful to have two people when putting the whole thing together. Again, make sure everything is level before letting it dry. Cover the whole thing with the PVC primer (purple). This will help the paint adhere to the piece.


Spray-paint the headboard with silver-hammered paint for a metal look. You can also try it in black. Let dry. Turn the headboard over and do the other side.

Cover the whole frame with purple PVC primer to help the paint adhere


Cut the Sail

Cut the sail, hem along the edges that need it.

Add Grommets

Place grommets along the edge by following the grommet package instructions. Make sure the grommets match the grommet punch.

Hoist the Sail

Add line and attach the sail to the headboard.

Add grommets around the sail of your nautical headboard.


Add line and attach your sail to the frame.


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