Follow these 8 simple steps to build your pallet headboard. It’s an easy DIY project that can be completed in just one day. By using inexpensive fence posts you can create this rustic but pretty headboard.

pallet wood headboard with monogram in white bedroom

As our daughter became a teenager she outgrew the style of her bedroom furniture she had since she was a little girl {insert sob}. I was a little sad but she was ready for something new. And since I love redecorating my kid’s rooms we started looking on Pinterest for ideas. We kept coming back to pictures of pallet headboards while we were looking for inspiration for her teen bedroom makeover. She decided on a style and color she loved and I got to work with my husband’s help.

DIY Wood Headboard Using Fence Pickets

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gray and white stained wood pallet headboard with gray bedding and pink accents

1.  Measure to Determine the Size Needed

She chose this bed from Ikea in a queen size. After putting it together…thanks Ikea…we measured the bed at 64 1/2″  wide. Since I wanted the headboard to be a few inches wider than the bed frame we made the headboard 68 1/2″ wide and 54″ high from the top of the bed frame.

gray and white stained wood pallet headboard

2.  Buy Wood from Home Improvement Store

I decided to go with new wood fence pickets for this project instead of reclaimed pallets. The fence pickets were inexpensive and easy to find at our local Lowe’s home improvement store. We bought the wood fence pickets in two different widths….5 1/2″ and 4″ wide. These particular fence pickets were rough, which is what I liked about using them. They looked more rustic and similar to reclaimed wood pallets.  But I didn’t have the extra work of taking pallets apart and removing all the nails. Simple! And all the boards we needed for this project only cost about $17. Cheap!

wood fence pickets lined up before building

3.  Build Support Posts

We built three support posts out of leftover wood we had from our master bedroom board & batten project. Since we wanted the headboard to attach directly to the wall we used 2 pieces of wood so that we could build it around the baseboard molding. An old scrap piece of molding was used to measure the difference in length we needed for the support boards.

wood fence pickets lined up with floor molding

4.  Design Headboard Pattern

Using fence pickets in two different widths allowed me to create a random design for her wood headboard. Our design used 6 of the 5 1/2″ boards and 5 of the 4″ boards. The 11 fence pickets gave us the 54″ height for the headboard. Numbering the back of each board helped keep everything where I originally laid it out while going through the next steps.

building wood pallet headboard

5. Trim Fence Pickets

Once the design was laid out we measured each piece and marked it with a square. Then trimmed each fence picket at the mark using a circular saw. A table saw would have been great for this project but we don’t have one. Maybe someday soon I’ll have to invest in one. The pickets had a dog ear style top which we cut off to make each board 68 1/2″ long.

cutting fence pickets with circular saw

6.  Sanding & Staining

I lightly sanded all sides of the pickets with a palm sander because I wanted to keep the headboard looking rustic but didn’t want anything to get caught on a rough patch.

sanding fence pickets for headboard with palm sander

Minwax water-based wood stain in Coastal Gray and Marshmallow were the perfect colors to stain the headboard to match her new room decor. I also combined those two colors to create a third variation in a light gray. Then the stain was applied using an old clean rag.

staining wood with minwax
stained wood pallets

7.  Assembling

Once all the boards were stained and had time to dry we attached them to the back supports.  We secured the stained fence pickets to the back support with 3/4″ finishing nails.  The boards were nailed from the back so that they were not visible.

back of assembled wood pallet headboard

We carried it up to my daughter’s room and held it in place.  It looked perfect!  Just what we wanted.

front of assembled pallet headboard

8.  Hanging the Headboard

After seeing the completed headboard I decided against drilling holes through the front to secure it to the wall.  Instead, we ordered this french cleat to hang it. Two horizontal boards were added between the back supports so that we could attach the french cleat. The headboard was super secure because of the interlocking brackets.

french cleat for hanging pallet headboard on wall

Once the headboard was secured to the wall…we pushed the bed back against the pretty new pallet headboard and marveled at our handy work. Haha! We were super proud of ourselves and more importantly…our daughter loves her new bed!  A white painted monogram from Etsy is the perfect finishing detail in this project. 

gray and white pallet headboard with monogram

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pinterest graphic of pallet headboard in white bedroom

2 Comments on 8 Simple Steps to Build a Pallet Headboard

  1. This is so beautiful! Thanks for the really clear directions. I think my husband and I will try building one for our master.

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