17 In DIY/ Lifestyle

How I Built A FREE Rustic Wood Headboard

Hey girl! I’ve been dreaming of a rustic wood headboard for years now and my grandpa and I were finally able to accomplish my dream! I had always wanted to build it myself but the task always seemed extremely daunting and like a lot of work. I had thought about purchasing one to take the easy way out, but buying a rustic headboard from Etsy costs around $300 or more! Quite a bit out of my price range 😉 But when my grandpa came to visit we decided to go for it, and within three hours we had built a headboard completely for FREE!

What You Will Need:

  • Palettes – and lots of them! The more variety the better! If possible try to get pallets of all different shades and colours. I scored my pallets from Rona for free. They were just near the dumpster and were being thrown out! You can probably try any hardware store and ask if they have any pallets you can have or if you know anyone on a farm or acreage they might have some too! If you can’t find any at hardware stores, look on sites like Kijiji or your local Facebook buy and sell for people wanting to get rid of their palettes for free!
  • Nails – we took the old nails out of the palettes and re-used them for the perfect rustic look!
  • Hammer – already owned
  • Drill – already owned
  • Tape Measure – already owned
  • Table Saw – already owned
  • And that’s it!

Again, I didn’t have to purchase anything! Score!!!

The Vision:

The Steps:

Step 1: Take apart the pallets:

Go through the pallets and pick out your favourite wood pieces that have the coolest colours or unique features like knots in the wood that you like. Next, I laid out all the pieces on the ground to figure out how I wanted them arranged. I tried to alternate between lighter and darker pieces of wood beside each other so it looked even and balanced. Try to avoid two light pieces beside each other and vice versa. Check out the picture at the next step for an example of how I layed out what I wanted for my headboard.

Note: Remember to keep all of the nails you take out in a little container because you’ll need them for later!

Step 2: Cut off the sides of the pallets:

Rip off the side pieces from the pallet. They will be your structural pieces used to hold up the boards going across. You won’t see the posts standing up behind the headboard so they don’t have to be the prettiest. I have a double bed, so we wanted the headboard to be 55 inches wide. So we needed four separate beams going vertically to hold up the boards (one on each end and two in the middle) Look at the bottom of my headboard to see the posts coming through.

Then we took one full-sized pallet piece and then we needed a half pallet piece beside it to make up 55 inches across. We alternated which side the shorter piece was on. Check out the picture below to get a better idea.

Step 3: Measure and cut the wood:

Measure each of the pieces and cut them so you have multiple rows that are 55 inches across (55 inches if you have a double bed, otherwise measure your bed for your width). We used a tape measure, then marked it with a pencil, and then cut the pieces with a saw (which my grandpa did for me, of course)

Step 4: Pre-cut where the nails will go:

Once you have the pieces laid out on the supporting beams so that the transition from the different pallet pieces going across are resting on a vertical beam, pre-drill holes for the nail to go into. It is important to drill a hole first before putting a nail in so that the old wood doesn’t split when you put the nail in. If you prefer to just use screws that will work just as well, but I preferred the look of the old nails.

Step 5: Finish the top of the headboard:

My grandpa and I put two pieces of wood across the top of the headboard so that I could rest anything on the top if I needed to and to keep the headboard a little out from the wall for chargers and such. If you prefer a lip on the top of the headboard that works too but I prefer the flush front look. Whatever you prefer! In the photo below you can see from the side the two pieces on top that we added.

Extra Note: If you want to sand or stain your headboard you can too! But I fell in love with the unpolished wood look and the natural colours so I didn’t want to add a stain on top. But again, all up to you and what you prefer!

Step 6: And you’re done!

Congrats you’ve made a rustic wood headboard, FOR FREE! If the explanation sounded complicated, it’s really not once you get going! I suggest asking someone who is handy to help you like your dad or your grandpa, I couldn’t have done it without my grandpa!

Ignore my outdated duvet cover and pillows haha, I’m hoping to purchase some new ones soon! I would love to purchase a simple white ruffled duvet to keep it less busy and some new pillows since I’ve outgrown the ones I have. I am thinking some boho-inspired pillows and possible some pillows with blush pink and maybe even a yellow one, we’ll see!

Comment below if you want to see an updated room tour once I purchase some new bedding and rearrange my decor! Also, don’t forget to comment below what you think of my headboard!

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  • Reply
    11/05/2019 at 6:08 pm

    This is so pretty, Taiya! <3

  • Reply
    11/05/2019 at 8:58 pm

    Ooh that is so pretty! I’d love to see an updated room tour! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Anne
    11/05/2019 at 11:05 pm

    A room tour sounds great!! Love your blog

  • Reply
    12/05/2019 at 12:24 am

    Omw it’s so pretty!!! Super easy and heap, too 😀 Thanks for the tutorial! I’d love to see a room tour when you finish updating.

    • Reply
      12/05/2019 at 12:25 am

      *cheap xD

    • Reply
      Taiya Maddison
      10/06/2019 at 5:38 am

      Yay, I am so glad you want to see a room tour!!! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    Gracie M
    12/05/2019 at 2:45 am

    Omgosh!! That is so cool!! I love it so much 😀 Great job!

    • Reply
      Taiya Maddison
      10/06/2019 at 5:38 am

      Awww thank you Gracie!

      • Reply
        Gracie M
        19/07/2019 at 1:14 am

        Might make one! How does it work? Like is it just leaning against the wall? Or did you attach it to the bed frame? 🙂

  • Reply
    Reyna Carrera
    15/05/2019 at 9:37 pm

    Nice Taiya!!!🙂👍

  • Reply
    06/09/2019 at 4:07 pm

    this is so cool! i’ve been wanting one of these for a while so it was really helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    28/02/2020 at 7:50 pm

    sooo cute

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