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Very Simple DIY Wood Plank HEADBOARD

Connor’s room is getting closer and closer to being complete.  We finished painting and then added those crisp horizontal paint lines several weeks ago.  And then, well, half of his stuff still sat out in the hallway while we decided what else to add to his room.  Poor kid.  He just kinda rolls with things, so he didn’t really care.  But I did.  Mostly because the hallway has been a disaster…..and made me cranky every time I looked at it.  Until now.  Because we have pretty much finished his room and hauled everything back inside.  Hooray!


And now, the kid has a headboard.  And I’m in love with how it turned out for him.


This Wood Plank Headboard is a lot more boy-ish than a traditional headboard and let me tell you, a lot cheaper than buying something fancy from the furniture store.




And those white-washed vertical stripes along one side, really give the headboard a little pop of texture.




I decided to rough up all the planks of wood and really make it look a little more used and loved.  Which, for a boy’s room, is perfect.  Because now it won’t really matter if he throws metal airplanes at it or whacks it with his play sword.  Meh, no biggee……no one will ever notice. ;)




The wood I chose is tongue and groove and has a nice bevel to it…..but any planks would work.




Oh, and the SOAR above his headboard leads to that metal plane you have seen around before.  And yep, those are just tiny little pieces of vinyl that I cut up.  (And yeah, that shelf is so nice and clean for now, but will surely house robots, lego structures, and rows of army men.  Soon enough.  But for now, they are all hidden down in those wicker baskets.)




Ahhhhh……..Connor finally has his bedroom set up and actually has a bed up off the floor to sleep in.  And he is LOVING it!  Now, just a few more walls to add a few details to, but for now, it’s mostly done.


And I have to admit, now I’m wanting a wood plank headboard for our king size bed.  Hmmm…




Want to make your own headboard?


Okay, let’s hop to it…


First, decide what type of wood you want to use for your headboard and then how wide and high you want the main portion of your headboard to be.  How high above the mattress do you want it? How far below the mattress do you want it to sit?  How wide do you want it on each side?  It’s totally preference….anything goes. (My headboard was made to fit a twin bed and I decided I wanted the main section of the headboard to be about 47 inches wide and 45 inches tall.)


Cut each piece of wood the correct width and then cut as many as you need to achieve the desired height.




I chose some blue pine paneling (from home depot) that has tongue and groove along each side and some beveled edges.  I just liked the look.  However, even if your wood pieces have small gaps in between and don’t fit together perfectly, it will still look great.  Just go with what you prefer!




On the bottom side of the wood, there was another bevel, so I had the option of making it look like I was using more narrow planks…..but I went with the non-beveled side.




Arrange each piece of wood in the order you want (mixing up the grain and wood color) and then turn all of the wood over.  Cut two pieces of 1 x4 lumber that are tall enough to reach from the very top of your wood pieces down to where they will reach the floor.  (The height will depend on your mattress, box spring, and bed frame….but mine ended up being 59 inches tall.)  Just be sure that you attach the 1×4’s so that they will line up with the bed frame, and can screw them in.




Next, I purchased some wood conditioner and some stain.  I haven’t ever used wood conditioner before but the guy at Home Depot explained that it would help the stain cover a little more even and keep the wood moisturized and less likely to split, etc.  (I also chose water based stain because I’m pregnant and it worked great!)




Here’s the color I chose.




Then, I took the headboard out to the messy saw-dusty garage and sanded down all the rough edges.




Then, I followed the instructions on the can and applied the wood conditioner.




Then I applied the stain, making sure to get along along those beveled grooves and along the outer edges…




…and then wiped with a clean cloth.  I let it dry and applied a 2nd coat.  That was enough for me.  (But you can apply as many layers as you’d like.)




Once the stain was completely dry, I roughed up the edges a bit with the sander.  I just really wanted to see all of those beveled edges and give the headboard some extra texture.  And even more, if the headboard ever gets ding-ed or abused (which is pretty likely in a little boy’s room), it will just add to the whole look.




Then, I decided to add some vertical paint lines along one side.  I watered the paint way down so that it looked more like a white wash and painted my stripes right onto the wood.  (Actually, I tried to add tape lines first but let me just tell you what a terrible idea that is on unfinished wood.  The paint leaked right under the tape because it’s so porous without any type of glaze or finish on it.  So, I hand painted the lines and made them a little wider than the original lines that had leaked and were a mess.  It worked out fine…..but skip the tape.  If you want to draw lines and try to stay within the lines, that would also be helpful.)




Let the paint dry.


Then attach the 1×4 legs to your bedframe with bolts.  And that’s it.








Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Very simple diy wood plank headboard
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  4. Paula says:

    I love the outcome!! However I was curious to how you attached them to the each other and the 1×4 via nails or glue?

    1. Ashley says:

      We just used wood screws and screwed the 1×4 right into the back of the slats of wood. Just be sure they aren’t too long or they’ll poke through to the front. :)

  5. Ashley says:

    Can you please tell me where his bedding is from?? I have to have it! Everything is darling!
    Thanks!! :)

    1. Ashley says:

      I must have missed this and you probably figured out something else by now…..but in case anyone else is curious, I bought it from Pottery Barn Kids but it was years ago. :)

  6. Meagan says:

    Maybe I am just totally missing it, but how did you put the paneling together? Did you glue them together before attaching them to the 1×4 or are they just attached to the 1×4 and not each other? Thanks!

    1. Ashley says:

      We just used wood screws and screwed the 1×4 right into the back of the slats of wood. Just be sure they aren’t too long or they’ll poke through to the front. But no, the slats aren’t attached to each other, other than the tongue and grooves. :)

  7. Amity says:

    That quilt is adorable!! Where did you find that? My son’s room is an “outer space” theme, and that would look great!!

  8. lejimada says:

    It is very nice :)

  9. Preethi says:

    The overall look of the room has really turned out great!

  10. Jennifer says:

    How did you attach the letters to his wall since you have textured walls?

  11. Reg says:

    Great job on the headboard…. and what a nice roon for your son. You didn’t mention using polyurethane after you stained the headboard, is that necessary when you stain wood, or optional?

  12. Chelsey says:

    We’re getting ready to put 2 kids in the same room in prep for the baby coming and this is getting me excited about how good decorating can look and still be simple. I love that everything in his room is simple but still decorative. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing all of your fun.

  13. Nancy G. says:

    This turned out so cute, what little boy wouldn’t be thrilled to have this for his bedroom. thanks for sharing

  14. Kate says:

    Your post says ?? x ?? for the size. I imagine those were just placeholders until you measured it ;)

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha……that’s totally what I did. I was writing it up downstairs and was going to go upstairs to measure when I was all done. Whoops! But thank you……all fixed! :)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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