I've played around with making my own headboard for years--painted squares, tiles, wall hangings, even cloth-covered boards. but not until C got me hooked (and I mean hooked) on these internet design sites, did I ever think of embroidering a wrought iron bedstead.
and it was fanastically easy--and cheap: 1 8'x4' tyvek insulation board ($8), 3 yards of the cheapest unbleached artists' canvas ($9), 1 skein of charcoal cotton yarn ($5), and 1 embroidery needle ($2.19 for a pack of 5). and that's it. I sketched out a design (the simplest possible), and then started embroidering with a large chain stitch. if it comes out wonky, it just adds to the charm. if you make a mistake, take out the stitches and start again.
after I finished with the embroidery, I just took an old comforter, wrapped it around the insulation board and sewed up the corners tightly so that it stayed on. then I stretched the canvas on and did the same.