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 totally LOVE redecorating my kids rooms we started looking at 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
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 as 64 1/2″ wide. Since I wanted the headboard to be a few inches wider than the bed frame we decided to make the headboard 68 1/2″ wide and 54″ high from the top of the bed frame.
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 they only cost about $17. Cheap!
3. Build Support Posts
We built three support posts out of left over 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 moulding. We had an old scrap piece of moulding that we used to measure the difference in length we needed for the support boards.
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.
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.
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.
Minwax water based interior 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. The stain was applied using an old clean rag.
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.
We carried it up to my daughter’s room and held it in place. It looked perfect! Just what we wanted.
8. Hanging the Headboard
After seeing the completed headboard I decided I didn’t want to drill holes through the front to secure it to the wall. 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.
We pushed the bed back against the wall and marveled at our handy work. We were super proud of ourselves! And our daughter loves her new bed!