Satisfy your artistic urges by turning t-shirts and stretched canvases into a geometrically inspired headboard. It’s easy; each block of color is a single stretched artist’s canvas covered with t-shirt fabric secured on the back with staples. Look for t-shirts in a color scheme that works with your bedding and decor. For prettiest results, use a mixture of colors and patterns in a coordinated palette.

What you’ll need

  • Kraft paper
  • Scissors
  • T-shirts in a variety of solids and patterns
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Artist’s stretched canvases (we used 12-inch squares)
  • Metal ruler
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Small nails or Command™ picture-hanging strips

Using a pencil and one of the stretched canvases, trace a series of squares on kraft paper and cut them out. Place each square over the backside of the canvas and mark the hanging point on the paper with the pencil. If you’d rather avoid holes in the wall, mark the spots to apply Command™ picture-hanging strips instead.

Tape the squares in a grid on the wall above the bed to determine placement and the number of canvases you’ll need to fit two or three rows of squares within the width of your bed. When you’re happy with the layout, mark guides on the wall to apply the Command™ strips. Or if using nails, tap guide holes in the wall with a nail according to the hanging points marked on each square. Remove the paper and hammer small nails into each hole.


Using a rotary cutter and cutting mat and a metal ruler as a guide, cut fabric squares from t-shirts a bit larger all around than each canvas. Allow enough fabric to fold over the side of the canvas to the back on all four sides.

Center your cut piece of fabric onto the front of the canvas and smooth. Fold around the top and secure the fabric on the back with staples along the inside of the stretcher bar. Pull the fabric around the bottom edge so that it’s tight but not stretched and staple in place. Repeat for each side and continue until all canvases are covered. If using Command™ strips to hang, apply them to the backs of the canvases.
M588_Headboardcopy Before hanging, play with the arrangement of the squares, alternating solids, patterns, and colors for the most interesting design. When you’re satisfied with the composition, place the finished squares in a grid above your bed. Enjoy changing them around periodically for a quick refresh.

Photos by Steven McDonald, produced by Jodi Mensing Harris

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