This is one of those "I wonder if this would work" projects that had no inspiration file or how-to video to accompany it. (I have learned since then that those are very helpful.) I wanted a massive, interesting headboard for my massive, uninteresting bed. So six years ago (yes, six) I saw these art panels (minus the chalk paint and distressed finish) at Tuesday Morning and said, "Yes! These could work!" Unfortunately, I don't have any before pictures of the panels but they had mahogany-stained wood around the perimeter and a patterned relief in the center in dark browns and gold. With a little chalk paint and distressing they started to resemble tin and that was the look I was after for my mostly-white bedroom. I lined them up behind my bed and didn't think about them again. Fast forward six years. "Hmmm...I wonder if I should actually turn these panels into the headboard for which they were intended?"
Using a Kreg Jig I built a simple frame that matched the height of my bed frame and was low enough to clear the window above our bed. With my staple gun I attached the panels to the frame. Then I trimmed it out with 1x3's stained in Dark Walnut. Distressed the stain job with my sander and got my men to carry it upstairs.
I never actually attached the headboard to the bed frame because the weight of our bed is pinning it pretty securely against the wall. (I would never be satisfied with that if I had young children sleeping in our bed with us, but that ship sailed a long time ago.) Keeping it freestanding makes it a lot easier to move when I want to change our room around. (You all do that too, right?)
My tip to all you home-decor bargain hunters out there -- keep an eye out for unique items on clearance that could serve a much different purpose! If you get them cheap enough, you won't feel guilty ripping them apart, distressing them, stapling them...and then, voila, you now have a one-of-kind piece for your very interesting home! This really is fun....