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DIY Headboard with Nicole

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Let’s Talk Headboards

Through 8 years of university, I had a wide range of bed frames and headboards - from milk crates to poster and frames, to wooden palettes and other structurally questionable items (don’t tell my dad who’s an engineer!).

When I was finished school, the last thing I had budgeted for was a beautiful headboard, however in an effort to create a more ‘grown-up’ space, I was on the hunt for an affordable and stylish option and stumbled upon a headboard made out of wooden boards.

Sound simple? It is both in appearance, offering a finished look and requires minimal effort. The kicker? The project can be done in a weekend, and for approximately $50.

Getting Started
To get a start your headboard, measure your bed’s width, and decide how high up on your wall you want it to go. This will help you determine how many wooden boards you’ll require. Remember that your pillows will cover the lower portion, so you may want to place the bottom plank a bit higher up from your mattress, depending on the look that you want to achieve.

Picking Out Your Lumber and Stain
Once you have your measurements, head to a local hardware store and ask for some help selecting pine boards, cut to the length you desire. Depending on the look you want, you’ll need to choose from the variety of widths available. The width of your bed and the desired height for the headboard will impact your cost. For ours, I used a 1x6 pine, though you can certainly go smaller and have more boards, or go for a wider look as well.

Next, you’ll need some stain. I love the dark wood look, but some of my favorite Minwax stain colors are Ebony (used here), Jacobean and Classic Grey. The store will have samples there of the various applications, or you can ask an associate for help. Barn board is also another fantastic choice for this project, which you can source locally, or at the hardware store in prepared bundles. If you source your own, avoid nightmares by doing a bit of sanding to ensure bits of wood and splinters aren’t falling onto your bed. For pre-prepared bundles, some come with tongue and grooves for easy applications for accent walls and other projects. You’ll require a saw (and maybe a hand!) to remove the piece for your bottom and top pieces.

If you’re staining boards, when you get your boards home, you can do a little test spot to ensure you love the color, and if not, you can easily flip it over for a second chance. Give the boards a good coat with even pressure, and long strokes. I highly recommend wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands from staining, and doing the staining outdoors (when seasonally appropriate!), in a garage, or if doing it inside, ensuring you lay down plastic to avoid a big mess. Ensure that you give the boards a day or so to dry, as the stain can have a strong scent, that will dissipate once dry.

Assembling The Headboard
If you’re renting your space, or a little nervous to put holes in the wall, because they’re so light, these boards can be placed on the wall by using 3M strips. Ensure that you look at the weight they can hold and that you’re placing enough of them on the backs. For ours, I used 3M strips when we were renting, and then when we bought our Stone’s Prestige Home, knowing where we would have our bed and that I loved the look, I secured them using nails.

I would recommend using a level when placing your first board on the wall. From there, you can either place the next one directly on top (so no space in between as pictured here), or you can use a scrap piece of wood and place it sideways (so the width facing upwards) to get a consistent 1” space in between the boards.  

Decorating The Headboard
I love the trend of string lights, so I’ve attached a set of string lights to ours which not only look beautiful but function well in lieu of turning on a lamp. I hung the lights up with, to no surprise, 3M hooks to ensure a damage-free option on the boards, in case I change my mind. The boards create the perfect space for art above it, and I’ve also seen some people add faux greenery or florals as well. You may even come across vinyl lettering or signs that you can easily attach to it as well.

On the next blog, I’ll share another easy (but not as easy as this one!) way to make a headboard using MDF, batting, and fabric!

Sweet dreams and happy crafting!

Nicole Leblanc HeadshotAbout Nicole
Hi, I’m Nicole! My partner John and I have owned a Stone’s Prestige Home for over 3 and ½ years, and we love our space! With a passion for DIY, I’ve had so much fun personalizing and really making our space our own. I love to craft and get creative, and like all DIY’ers, I’ve had my fair share of fails. I’m excited to share ideas, inspiration, and projects, and a few tips along the way to help you along your DIY journey!

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September 28, 2022