I am so very excited to be writing about my very first BIG build. Besides some brainstorming with my husband, I did this completely on my own! I have been slowly collecting wood pallets that people having been throwing out and once I gathered enough I knew I wanted to make a headboard. I am so glad I did because it turned out amazing! Our bed is such an eyesore with nothing really giving it that wow factor. This headboard knocked my socks off when it was finally finished, and absolutely adds some much needed character to our room.
Like I said, this was my first big build. I think this is the perfect first project for any beginner or any building pro. It was fun watching my idea on paper transform into this awesome headboard, I urge anyone who is thinking about buying one, to try and make it yourself. For the how-to’s of this project, keep on reading below.
[We have a standard queen size bed, adjust the measurements to fit your needs.]
- 2 wood pallets taken apart
- 3 2 x 4’s
- 2 1 x 3’s
- 1 1/4 in. wood screws
- 3 in. wood screws
- miter saw
First you have the dreadful task of taking apart the wood pallets. Be sure to remove all of the old nails and staples from each board. Wear gloves and safety glasses, this part can get crazy!
Now its time to measure your bed and how big/tall you want the headboard to be. I wanted the headboard to be 64″ long and 46″ in high. I didn’t want the pallets to go much past the mattress, so I also measured where I wanted them to stop. Here is my rough sketch of all of my measurements:
When you figure out your measurements you need to decide how you want to place your pallet wood onto the frame. I wanted them to look staggered like how bricks sit. Measure and mark each piece with a number so after the boards are cut, you know where each board goes. I had a total of 7 rows, with each row being 60″ long. When everything is marked and measured, you can cut the wood where you marked it. (NOTE* I sanded each piece of wood before I cut them so I wouldn’t have to sand such small pieces)
Put all your cut and sanded pieces together to make sure they fit together how you want them. I wanted to stain all of the boards in 3 different colors. I chose Classic Grey, Pickled oak, and Weathered oak from MINWAX. These colors together are like heaven.
While the stain is drying, cut the boards for the frame. My side pieces were 46″, my top piece was 64″ and my bottom piece was 60″ .
Now lay your stained pallets in their order and place the frame around it, make any adjustments at this time.
Screw the top piece onto the two side pieces. (I used three screws for each side.) Screw both side pieces into the bottom piece.
To hold all of the pallet boards in the frame you will need to make slats using the 1 x 3’s. I laid them over my stained boards to determine how many I would need to be sure each board would be secured. Secure the slats by screwing them in through the top and bottom boards.
Once the entire frame was put together, I painted it a crisp white to really play off of the stain colors.
Turn all of your pallet pieces over so they are still in numbered order, and lay the frame (front side down) over them. Using the shorter screws, attach all of the pallets to the slats. I wanted to drill in from the back so I wouldn’t have a bunch of screw heads showing on my pretty stain.
After you’ve secured every board you can stand up the entire headboard to make sure each piece is placed how you want them to. I ended up having to make a couple extra slats to really secure some of the boards.
Overall, this was a totally fun project. taking apart the pallets was the worst part but it was also the hottest week of summer. There was a lot of trial and error when it came to the headboard, but I think that is part of any building process.
If you have ever made a headboard let me know, I would love to see your results!