Making a headboard with added lighting does not require advanced electrical or construction skills; it does require thought about the purpose of your lighting and the feel you want to create in your bedroom to decide what direction to take the project. Headboards provide an opportunity to create a comfortable, serene resting spot or to draw attention to a fantastic found object or large piece of art. Textiles, paintings, walls and doors all make great headboards; pair them with creative lighting to bring out the best in your bedroom.
Install antique wall sconces on a weathered barn door. Hang the barn door above or behind your bed with fixtures designed to securely support heavy objects on your type of wall (wood screws for hardwood; bolts for cement; drywall mounting kits for drywall). Mount the sconces to the barn door according to the sconces' package instructions. Pair stormy grey barn doors with candle sconces of smoky, tarnished silver or vibrant red barn doors with orange stained glass. Use sconces as task lighting.
Hang holiday lighting around a textile. Use a textile that you love -- a geometric wool quilt, a large woodland creatures tapestry or a bold vintage print -- and pair it with lighting that coordinates with the textile. Pair flashing strings of fat coloured bulbs with an afghan showing off a single kitschy motif like a big deer's head, or nest small white lights around a handmade quilt of Japanese silk to illuminate the fabric's sheen.
Attach inexpensive self-adhesive mirrors to the wall above a long shelf holding a collection of candles. Find self-adhesive mirrors at home accessory stores, purchasing a single row longer than the width of your bed, or several dozen to make a grid. Stick them to the wall by removing the adhesive backing. Install a ready-made shelf or have your own cut from hardwood at the lumber yard. Paint it the same colour as your wall. Assemble votive holders, candlesticks and a collection of candles on the shelves. Mixing multicoloured spheres and triangles says warm and playful; all-white votives and tapers in various sizes reads romantic. When you light them, their reflections will make the whole headboard glow.
Cut a pattern of holes in plywood with a drill and illuminate it by installing lighting behind it. Shape the top of the headboard by cutting it with a jigsaw. Sand, stain, paint or varnish the plywood or leave it raw, making the lit holes the main attraction. Add lighting that is easy to conceal behind the headboard; floor lights that you can aim towards the holes are a good choice.
Enlarge a print you love and mount it on canvas, making it large enough to set off side lamps placed on a table directly in front of it. Use a big city scene to show off faux streetlamps in different heights, or a Wild West scene to set the stage for lamps made of cowgirl boots on rustic side tables made from gnarled wood. Choose lamps that function as task lighting for doing work or reading in bed.
Never fall asleep with lit candles in the room; you risk causing a fire.