I've recently been a big fan of those beautiful metal frame beds that bring a hint of vintagey nostalgia to a room. While a whole new bed can be a bigger investment, faking it with a DIY headboard is cheap and easy!
The professional way involves soldering, but I'm a beginner and still afraid of "tools" so I skipped that step. The difference is soldering will make it very sturdy, while mine is a little flimsy and technically just being held together by the bed that is pushed against it. It still looks good and is staying together just fine so far, but just have to be honest about the level of (non)expertise you're reading here.
You can design your own headboard and do this all different ways, but here are the links to the exact products I used. If you need any easy checklist, just buy everything linked in this list, and you'll be all set:
2 ft copper pipes (7) -- for all the vertical pieces
10 ft copper pipe (1) -- cut this into 13 inch copper pipes (8) for all the horizontal pieces
copper elbows (2)
copper tees (8) -- this link is a bag of 10
copper pipe cutter
I used 1/2 inch pipes/fittings/cutter! Make sure everything is the same size (all 1/2 inch) so that it fits properly!
Once you have all these pieces it's pretty self explanatory: just line them all up and piece them together using the tees and elbows. Without soldering, it probably won't be secure to move around a lot, but once you paint it, it'll stay a littttle better, and once it's propped against the wall behind your bed, you should be good! If you don't want to solder but it's still not staying together, just a little glue should do the trick.
You'll want to sand everything down just a bit to before painting. You don't need to spend a lot of time on this -- just enough to give the pipes some texture so that the paint will stick well.
And that's it! Super easy, super quick, makes you feel like you're good at building things. I also added this cute garland just by stringing these wool balls together with a needle and thread :)
TIPS FOR HARDWARE-STORE-A-PHOBIA:
1. The sizes on the pipes are based on the inner diameter, unless it specifically says "outer diameter."
2. The sizes listed on the fittings are based on the size of the pipe that they go with, not the actual dimensions of the fitting itself. So if you have 1/2 inch pipes, order 1/2 inch fittings. (I learned this the hard way, thinking the inner diameter of the fitting should match the outer diameter of the pipe... but they're already labeled to make it easier for you, so just match the numbers as is).
3. The copper pipe cutter is suuuuper easy to use, but you have to make sure to buy the correct size. I thought they were a one-size-fits-all, but they're not! If you're using 1/2 inch pipes, buy a 1/2 inch pipe cutter.
4. You'll see two types of pipes -- Type M and Type L. It doesn't matter which one you use... that is only relevant if you're using it for actual plumping/electricity.
5. If you're trying to transport pipes in your car and can't fit the 10 ft poll, no prob! Just get two 5 ft polls. It's just a little cheaper to buy longer polls if you can.