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DIY wooden headboard makes your bedroom instantly farmer-chic

Lisa Silfwerbrand

A headboard is a beautiful way to personalize your bed and bedroom. It speaks of your style and desire to create an environment that reflects who you are and what you love. Having a headboard on your bed can be a big expense though, especially if you are on a tight budget.

This headboard, built from pine, was inexpensive and provides a striking focal point for a relaxing and rustic room. It can be built even in the smallest of spaces with limited tools.

DIY wooden headboard

What you will need: 

  • 6 pieces of wood several inches longer than the width of your bed (Tip: Home improvement stores usually have a cutting area where they will cut your wood to the correct length you desire for a small or no fee.)
  • 2 narrow pieces of wood (used as supports on the back)
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Paint
  • Water
  • Sandpaper


  1. To make this headboard, you can use either new or reclaimed wood. If you are using new wood, you can create a rustic look by roughing up the wood before painting. By banging up the wood with a hammer, screws and nails you can achieve dents and dings that will make the wood look weathered and worn after it is painted. Sanding down the edges and corners of the wood will also give it a rustic and aged feel.

    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows

  2. Once the wood has been roughed up, give it a wash of gray paint to make the wood look like aged cedar. Create a paint wash by watering down your paint, so that it is thinner than normal. For this project, milk paint was used as it has an authentic, all-natural look and feel that was ideal.

    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows

  3. After each board is given a wash of gray paint, each one is painted with a creamy, white-colored milk paint. The layering of the different colored paint allows you to create a look that is reminiscent of an old piece of furniture that has been painted many times over the years. When the paint layers have completely dried, lightly sand the edges and corners to reveal the color underneath. Light sanding also brings out the beauty of the dings and dents you created making the wood look old.
    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows
  4. To finish the headboard, once all of the wood pieces are painted and sanded, lay out the newly painted wood and arrange it in the order you would like them. The boards don’t need to match up evenly or perfectly — having them a little bit off will help with the rustic feel.
    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows
  5. Use two thinner pieces of wood as supports to hold the boards together. Screw two wood screws into each board on each side. This will keep the boards supported and secure, so that they do not shift once in place. The two thin support pieces should be measured and cut to the height that you want your new headboard and should reach down to the floor at the head of your bed, as they will support the entire piece.
    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows
  6. Once the boards have been attached to the support pieces, you can slip your new headboard in place in between the head of your bed and the wall. Your bed will keep the headboard securely in place without having to attach it to the wall or your bed.

    Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows
Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows
Image: Lisa Silfwerbrand/SheKnows

It is amazing how easily a little bit of wood can be transformed to look like it has been around for 100 years. You now have a beautiful headboard that can be left as is or decorated and changed up with the seasons.

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