Monday, August 27, 2012

how to make a cool, rustic headboard

A few weeks ago, I needed a headboard in a hurry. We were moving Patrick into his new college room and we didn’t want to spend much money, because we already needed a new bed and dresser.



This was my inspiration photo.

I loved this rustic headboard, especially the bold, cheerful script in yellow.


source: unknown (let me know and I’ll credit)

But I liked this photo too; I think adding molding to distressed wood looks so cool. But when I showed Patrick the photos, he could care less. His one stipulation? No words on anything! Keep it plain, and oh, and by-the-way, do I even need a headboard?

Ok. Now you know something about the men in my life. Not that it mattered. ‘The Momma’ wanted a room that was not only organized but looked, you know.. nice. So of course, I kept moving forward but with Patrick’s words in mind. I showed my Dad the top photo and we went the cheapest route. We went to Home Depot and bought

  • 8 pieces of dog-ear redwood fence @ $1.88 each


And this is the finished project.

(We lifted the curtains to get enough light for my phone camera, pretend you don’t notice)


It’s a simple, rustic headboard without any bells and whistles…for under twenty dollars. You could easily spruce this up by using barn wood, painting and distressing it, building it taller for drama, and writing a favorite word on it….

Do you want to know how to make this?

I didn’t take photos during the process, but I tried to put some together afterwards, to show you how easy it is.

I’ll be giving you the measurements we used to make a full-size headboard: 54 inches wide and 27 1/2 inches tall.


First, this is what dog-ear redwood fence looks like. These were 1x6, but there’s always some variation in width.


Our headboard was for a full-size bed so it needed to be 54 inches wide. Determine how tall you want your headboard to be, then cut your 2 end posts.

Steps 1: we cut two pieces 48 inches long. This is the height for the end posts.


Step 2: Start from the bottom of each end post and measure 20 inches up. Draw a straight line. Cut. This is where the first board will be placed horizontally between the two end posts. Using these two lines (one on each end post) will guarantee your boards are straight.


Step 3: Cut each of the remaining boards the width of your headboard. This is what it looks like when you lay them out. We staggered them for a rustic look.

Step 4: Attach. Dad used Elmer’s wood glue and nails to attach these pieces to the end posts.


The glue goes under each wood piece. The green marks are where Dad added nails to make sure the boards were securely attached.


When you turn over the headboard this is what you see. This is the back view.


Step 4: Attach one wood piece diagonally across the back of the headboard for added stability. Measure the distance between the end posts. Cut the edges of this piece at an angle so it will fit snugly between the end posts and then attach. 

Step 5: Attach the end posts to the bed frame.

Voila! That’s it. And the best part? Patrick ended up loving his new room. He liked his inexpensive Ikea bedding that somehow didn’t clash with the lime green wall that was already there.


And Papa got lots of compliments on his headboard project…


And I got to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions…

Have a wonderful day,


I’m linking up at:




Janet said...

Love it!!! Great look...

Unknown said...

wow! how creative! I love the look of it!

I"m your newest follower from the Monday Mingle :)

Lisa said...

Looks great! Very creative. I love the rustic cozy look. Thanks for sharing.

Katherine said...

Very cool headboard!

Mindy Harris said...

hooray that's the kind of headboard i want, and know my hubs can make it!
found u thru the naptime review bloghop and follow thru GFC now.

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing your awesome headboard at Gettin' Krafty!

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