Pallet Headboard

Hello Everyone!

Life has gotten very crazy but two weekends ago I was able to sneak away to my in-laws to work on this awesome project!

A few months ago Jacob and I got a queen size bed! We upgraded from a full which was much needed especially now that we let a dog sleep with us. When we got this bed we didn’t have a frame for it or a headboard so right after we got the mattress we went to Sam’s club and spend around $40 on the frame. (This was WAY cheaper than buying the same thing from the mattress company!) So now our bed was off the floor but we were left with no headboard.

I spent the next month searching the internet for headboard ideas. I don’t really like your traditional bedroom set furniture idea and I didn’t really want to spend the money buying a set. Jacob didn’t really care if we had a headboard or not, what it would look like, or where we would get it. He just doesn’t like to pay much money for decorative things. And I don’t blame him. I decided that I wanted a simple wood headboard stained in a dark color.

These were the inspirations that I really liked!

6f11083b47c370714dc4f6a12f256bda drying Headboard 024_1 img_76982

At first I reached out to some wood working businesses in Nebraska and although they did amazing work they still wanted over $200 for the simple head board that I wanted! At this point I decided that I was just going to make it. Fast forward to last weekend.

On Friday night after I made it to the in-laws we headed to a local company I found that gives away pallets for FREE!!!

Saturday morning we got to work! For the design basis I used this awesome blog post I found on pinterest.

The Supplies:

Pallets – more than you think you need. Some will probably not be usuable or will break in the process

A Sawzaw or crowbar and hammer

A sanding device – 120 and 220 grit sandpaper

3 – 8 foot 2 by 4s

Screws ( I used black one)

A Drill

4 Carriage bolts

4 Wing Nuts

Stain (If you want to stain your headboard)

Total Cost: About $15

Step One: Taking Apart the Pallets

This step was terrible at first! I probably spent the first hour trying to pry the boards off with a crowbar and hammer. Many of the boards cracked pretty bad. My mother-in-law (MIL) was cleaning up broken glass from their van that had a window smashed out over night the first hour I was working on the pallets and when she was done we talked about some other ways to get the boards off. I mentioned I read online about a sawzaw. She wasn’t sure if they had one so she called my Father-in-law (FIL) Dave. And he did! So Lynda pulled it out and we got to work sawing through the nails! Man it went so much faster!


Step Two: Sanding the Pallet Wood

This step seemed to be NEVER ending. Lynda and I took turns sanding with the air compressor sander. I can’t imagine how much longer it would have taken had we used a hand sander! We sanding the boards first with a 120 grit and then with a 220 grit! It took awhile but when it was all done the boards looked and felt super nice.


Step Three: 2x4s

Next we cut the 2x4s down to the size we needed. We cut two of them to 66 inches for the width of the headboard and then two at 48 inches for the legs. 66 inches gave an extra 3 inches on each side of our 60 inch Queen sized mattress. After cutting the boards we sanded down then freshly cut edges so they were smooth to the touch. We then laid the 66 inch 2x4s 24 inches apart so they were parallel. This makes the base of the headboard.

Step Four: Laying out your wood.

Next we laid out boards in the order we wanted them on top of the two 66 inch 2x4s. I didn’t want the top of my boards to be even so I made the tallest of the boards come out 7 inches from the top of the 2×4 and the rest varied under 7 inches.


Step 5: Putting it all together

Once I had all the boards where I wanted them we screwed them into the 2x4s with black screws. Then my FIL Dave took a circular saw and cut the bottom of the boards to bed one even surface. Once that was done Dave worked on the legs to the headboard. He decided to notch out the legs of the headboard to notch in with the base 2x4s so there would not be ass thick of a back to the headboard.


Step 6: Staining

Next I stained the headboard and legs. My MIL, Lynda, and FIL, Dave, had a ton of stain around from trying to pick a stain for the dining room table that Dave was making for Lynda. I picked the stain called Honey. It is a darker color. I only needed to use one coat which was really nice.




Heading Home:

The weekend came to an end so I loaded the Rogue up with all the things! I was a bit worried the headboard wouldn’t fit but it fit perfectly.

Step 7: Assembly

Once home I could assemble the headboard and attach it to the bed frame. First I measure the distance between the holes on the bed frame that were meant for attaching a headboard. Then I traced the holes on the frame for the headboard onto the center of the headboard legs. Next I attached the headboard legs to the headboard at the distance between the holes that I measured before. Then I drilled 2 5/16 holes into each headboard leg in the area I traced.


To attach the headboard to the frame I used carriage bolts. The curved side was placed on the wall side of the headboard and the other side went through the headboard leg and through the frame. Then each of the 4 bolts were secured using wing nuts and tightened as tight as possible.

The I put the bed back together! And done!


*After finishing the headboard and sleeping with it attached to the bed it did become obvious that the headboard doesn’t sit flush or even on the wall so I am in the process of attaching some cork to the back to prevent the headboard from hitting the wall.