Home Decor

Make It: Rustic Glam Headboard DIY

March 9, 2015


February has come and gone and Sawyer and I have officially been in our new apartment 2 months. I’ve been dying to make a headboard for our bed since we moved to SF over a year ago, but alas, no car = no home improvement DIYs. We have wheels now, and since I’ve had this rustic headboard DIY pinned on Pinterest for about as long as we’ve lived on the West Coast, I thought it was about time I tackled it! It was a fairly easy project with only ONE TRIP to Home Depot (!!!). I’m so happy with the way it turned out.


Supplies you’ll need:

  • 5 1x6s of whitewood cut to the width of your bed (we have a California King bed, so ours were cut to 72″)
  • 1 1×3 of whitewood cut into 30″ sections (we needed 3 30″ sections due to the length of our headboard)
  • 80 grit sanding block
  • Rubber glove
  • Small can of Minwax in Jacobean
  • Rag or old sock
  • Drill
  • 12 1.5″ wood screws
  • 9′ hanging wire
  • Stud finder (and if you buy a new one, also buy a 9-volt battery)
  • String of twinkle lights (optional)

drilling1. We closely followed the direction of this tutorial, but needed to make a few tweaks along the way. First, lay down all of your wood and dry fit (make sure all the planks fit nicely together). With each plank, decide which side is going to be the front and which side is going to be the back. Since we used whitewood (which is cheaper than pine), one side of every board had machine markings on it, making it pretty easy to figure out. Place all the planks together, good side down. Note: I would suggest staining the wood prior to screwing it together. We didn’t and wished we had.

drilling-22. Evenly space the 30″ pieces of 1×3 on the planks. Since we used 3, we placed two on either side and one in the middle. If you’re making a smaller headboard, you’ll probably only need two pieces. You’re going to drill a screw through the 1x3s into each of the planks on both sides, so it helps to drill pilot holes first so the wood doesn’t split. Carefully drill the screws in, taking care not to drill through the front of the headboard.

drilling-33. Make sure to leave each top screw sticking out about 1/4″. This is where you are going to tie the wire.


4. Once everything has been screwed in and the headboard feels secure (doesn’t wobble or twist), prop it up and give it a quick sand with the sanding block. The edges of our boards were still quite rough, so be sure to sand those thoroughly to prevent accidental splinters.


5. Put on your rubber glove (I wrapped my hand with a plastic bag and it didn’t work very well…). Cover your gloved hand with an old sock or rag and dip directly into can of stain. Apply the stain to the wood in a buffing motion. We only ended up needing one coat of Minwax Jacobean, so definitely buy the smallest canister of stain available. Allow to dry in a well-ventilated area for an hour or two.

staining-26. I didn’t include photos, but once your stain is dry, string the hanging wire onto the top screws of your headboard. Once the wire is on as tight at you can make it, use the drill to finish screwing in the top screws. This will anchor the wire and hold it taught. Using the studfinder, find two evenly-spaced studs above your bed. Drill two screws into the studs. Carefully hang your headboard. The first time we did this, our wire wasn’t tight enough and the headboard drooped lower then we wanted, so it might be a little bit of trial-and-error.

finished-1TA-DA! The headboard gets the Buddy stamp of approval!

diy-headboard-1For a glam touch, string up some twinkle lights. This DIY really was fairly simple and headache-free! I only spent $63.07 total for all my materials and tools (not including a drill). Our bedroom has finally been elevated to ADULT status! Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.