Creating a DIY Rustic Wood Headboard for Less than $50

Bed-with-old-wood-headboard

I love tackling a new project around the house and after I laid hardwood floors in our bedroom and living room, we had a good bit of wood leftover.  I was trying to figure out what I could do with some of the extra and we decided we would make a vintage-looking solid wood headboard for our master bedroom.

The finished product:

rustic hardwood headboard

 

Ingredients

  • Utility Grade Solid Oak (Lumber Liquidators is the cheapest I found at 97 cents a SQ Foot)
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • (1) 8 Foot 2×4
  • (4-5) 4″ Lag screws
  • White Paint

How I did it

I regret to say that I didn’t take pictures during the building of this, but I think the project is easy enough to understand that we can get by with me including a few other images instead.

Step 1: Order your supplies

If got my wood from Lumber Liquidators as their utility grade wood is really cheap.  As I mentioned before we installed it in our bedroom and living room. I will say it is a lot more work than laying a “normal” hardwood floor because you have to sort through all the junk pieces to find useable ones, but you can’t beat the character of this wood.

hardwood-floor-living-room 

Ordering Your Wood

Start by figuring out how wide your bed is and then how high you want your headboard.  Ours is a king, so it is right about 6′ and we went with a little less than 3′ tall.  3′ X 6′ = 18 Sq Feet of wood needed.

But, even if you are ordering just for a headboard, I would recommend ordering extra as this is scrap wood and some of it may be unusable even for a rustic headboard.

All the other ingredients should be able to be found at the local hardware store.

Step 2: Putting the floor boards together

Start by measuring the length of your bed and then put the wood pieces while cutting each row to the appropriate length. As for height, I would just keep adding them until you get a height you are happy with – we went with 36″.

When putting them together use a little wood glue on the tongues of each piece.  Then let it dry for 24 hours (or until your glue is completely dry).

Step 3: Add bracing to the back

I wouldn’t trust any glue to hold these pieces together while hanging, so I’d suggest adding bracing to the back of your headboard.  I just added 3 vertical braces (using the same wood flooring) by screwing them in to each board to make sure the whole thing is secure.

headboard-bracing

 

Step 4: Install the French Cleat to hang it

The headboard is very heavy and you are going to need a little more than a screw in the wall to hang it on.  I created a french cleat by cutting a 2×4 at a 45 degree angle with my table saw.

French cleat to hang headboard

 

Once I had it cut I just screwed the heck out of one side of it into the 3 braces on the back of my headboard.  I then found 4 studs in the bedroom wall and mounted the other part of the 2×4 using 4″ lag screws and a level (of course).

I also added a couple 2×4 blocks to the bottom of the back of the headboard to make sure it laid straight on the wall.

 

Step 5: Paint (or stain) the headboard

We were looking for a whitewashed kind of look, so I just grabbed an old can of white semi-gloss that we had laying around and I watered it down a whole lot.  I don’t know exactly, but I would guess it was probably at 10:1 water to paint ratio. Obviously if you want to less of the wood just add more paint.

I found when I was whitewashing it the paint/water mix was bubbling up as I painted it.  I just went back about 5 minutes after I finished my coat and just brushed over it again, that seemed to help with the bubbles.

I ended up doing 2 coats.  Then I let it dry for a while and hung it up on the french cleat.

A couple more pics:

DIY-hardwood-rustic-headboard

oak-flooring-headboard-close-up

 

 










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