I just made a simple plywood headboard- of which there are instructions for all over the internet so I won't go into too much detail. I got a piece of plywood cut down at Home Depot (which I cut down further at home once I settled on how wide I wanted it). By the way- we found out from this excursion that my friend's trunk/backseat is exactly 6'x3'. haha! It was really nice of her to drive me to get the wood- there was no way I could have taken this on a bus.
Then I picked up a 2 big bags of quilt batting from Michaels with 50% off coupons and cut it up to make as many layers as possible. Originally I was going to buy thick upholstery foam from the fabric store, but it was SO expensive and I didn't have a coupon. My many layers of half-off batting worked out fine! I just cut it up into as many layers as possible to fit across the front, and then two longer layers wrapped around to be stapled to the back.
Unfortunately, when I started making it my staple gun ran out of staples, and then jammed irreparably when I tried to reload it :(. I hate stopping in the middle of a project, but it was late and the hardware store was far. I borrowed my Dad's staple gun when I saw him the next day and got back to work!
I first stapled all the batting down, then I stapled down the fabric after. I love the fabric! It is by Mill Creek, but all the googling in the world couldn't find the exact name of it. I found it at Fabricland in the discount pile and only paid $12 total! It is really luxurious in person, with bits of gold sparkling in places. It wasn't at all what I envisioned myself buying, but it goes well in here and if I ever change my mind, it was cheap enough not to worry about!
The headboard was a heavy, awkward beast when I was done, so I decided to hang it on the wall with a nice big bracket that was good for up to 200 lbs. Plus, with this type of bracket I could just slide the headboard over it and I didn't need to try and line up any tricky hook-and-eye type things, which would be hard to do with no ability to see the back, thanks to the alcove. This wall is also cement (yay condos), so I busted out my hammer drill and concrete screws. It ain't going anywhere.
All in all, I am loving finally having a headboard and having the bed look more "complete". I don't know what took me so long! It was an inexpensive project too!
Batting (2 bags)- $30