You can get some felt, cut it into different shapes, and make it into a patchwork which can then be sewn onto the headboard. It can also be done in fabric using a variety of materials ranging from cotton, linen, taffeta, to velvet. For older daughters, choose a luxurious, heavy satin or velvet fabric in jewel tones.
If the existing bed comes with a wooden headboard, then just create scalloped edges at the top with a saw, and sandpaper them to get rid of any rough edges. Now, paint this in a neutral color and add colorful stickers to it. This is one of the most cost-effective ideas which also makes for a great bedroom dècor.
Another great idea is to purchase mini adhesive tiles and stick them in a beautiful pattern over a wooden or metallic headboard. These tiles are not very expensive and are available in any good hardware store.
If you have some old picket fences in your garden shed, then attach them side by side with super glue and paint them in white color. This charming picket fence headboard design will be very appealing to college going girls.
Attach a folding screen to the wall behind the bed to have an instant headboard, decorate it with ribbons and silk flowers to give a garden-like effect. Twin headboards work if you have a queen-sized bed. If you are creatively inclined, then stenciling a pattern into a wooden one can make it look as good as new.
You can create your own stencils or download them online. Placing an artist's canvas behind the bed can also work if the dimensions of the bed and canvas match. The canvas can be decorated by painting it with acrylic or metallic colors.