DIY mud-cloth inspired headboard

Photo credit

Mud-cloth. This intricately patterned cotton fabric, also called ‘bogolan’ – is a textile unique to Africa.

The process involved to create this lightweight cloth is given away in the name. Narrow strips of handwoven cotton are stitched together and then painted with geometric patterns and symbols using aged river mud. The result is a unique cloth with a charming handmade look.


Photo credit Pinterest

Why am I talking about mud-cloth? Well, after re-decorating my bedroom in a bohemian style, I wanted to change the plain grey headboard to something more in-keeping with the new look.


How the headboard looked before I began

I wanted something patterned, with a monochrome colour scheme, and I started researching mud-cloth, as its simple, black on white designs appeal to me.

Try as I might though, I couldn’t find any I liked that were available to purchase from a British store, and any possible options I discovered abroad were very expensive.

So I decided to experiment creating something with the look of mud-cloth, that would cost me a fraction of the price of the real deal. So here’s what I did:

After purchasing a couple of metres of inexpensive, heavyweight, plain cotton fabric from, I gathered together my tools – a measuring tape, pencil, black fabric pens, scissors and a staple gun. I already had a headboard to re-cover, but if you don’t, you can watch a tutorial on how to make one here –


I lay the fabric on the floor, smoothed out the wrinkles, and then placed the headboard on top.


From here, I cut away the excess fabric using my scissors (fabric scissors would have been handy) leaving around 20 – 25 centimetres to fold over onto the back, ready to staple into place.


I find it best to start stapling from the middle. Do the top first and then the opposite side (bottom) and work your way outwards towards the corners to ensure the fabric is nice and tight.


Once you have stapled all the way round, you can focus on the corners. I created a few folds and stapled them together to give a neat edge.

After turning the headboard over and checking the finish was of a good standard, I used a measuring tape and pencil to mark the centre of the headboard.


I had decided based on the photo below that this simple chevron pattern was what I wanted to replicate using my fabric pens. There are many different geometric designs, so you could choose something more intricate.


Photo credit google images

I kept a close eye on this reference photo as I drew the chevrons onto my headboard. The great thing about this look is that it doesn’t have to be exact; imperfections and wonky lines are all part of the charm.

I drew (using the chisel nib end of the pen) from the middle point I’d marked with my pencil, to the outer right edge in vertical lines, and then did the same from the centre to the outer left edge.


If you wanted a more polished look, you could draw very light vertical pencil lines to ensure everything was placed exactly in the right position.

I am so pleased with the result of my DIY headboard cover – it co-ordinates beautifully with the room scheme and it’s always so satisfying to admire something that you have created yourself, and all for under £20!


I’m so pleased with my new, stylish headboard

I hope you feel inspired to create something similar in your home!

Kat x


    • May 15, 2018 / 6:10 pm

      Ah that’s great – I’m so glad it has an authentic look to it. So easy to do too 😊

  1. Gemma
    May 15, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    Looks so amazing Kat! Very crafty and original! Xx

    • May 15, 2018 / 6:09 pm

      Hi Gemma! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment! So glad you like it! Xx

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