I often run into clients on a tight budget who want their house to look terrific when it sells (that's why they hire me!). But, as is so often the case, even while much of the house looks really nice, the master bedroom is the last place to get spruced up. I find a big bed - usually just a mattress & box spring on a frame - in the middle of the room with a bunch of mish-mosh furniture pieces.
Anyone who stages knows that you need to make a master bedroom a retreat and without a headboard, the room just doesn't look finished. There are lots of techniques you can use including covering a board with fabric, or using lots of pillows. But here's something I've done with several clients that looks just fabulous - and way more upscale and expensive than it really is!
I've had several clients do this project - sometimes using scrap lumber they may have - and sometimes using pre-made pieces such as wall hangings or bifold doors. Being creative is the key!
Now keep in mind that you need to have a handy homeowner (someone who can operate a few power tools) or a carpenter. But with furniture grade plywood, some trim pieces, some caulk & paint, you can create a headboard that looks like you got it at Pottery Barn. When it's finished, just attach it to the wall.
The one pictured was built by the homeowner for less than $50. I designed it using 4 x 8 furniture grade plywood and trim pieces - I think here he used 1 x 2 pieces but 1 x 4 or 1 x 6 pieces would give a more craftsman look to it. You can also add a piece of crown moulding at the top if desired. This was painted in Sherwin Williams French Roast. The homeowners did all the work in here on my recommendations. Before it was cluttered and looked like a college dorm room. Now it looks like you'd want to rest & relax.