DIY Planked Headboard

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Hey guys!  If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen a sneak peak of this project (you may have even asked if the tutorial was up for it ;))

DIY-Pallet-HeadboardIt took me longer than usual to get final pics (finding a time when my kids rooms are actually picked up is near impossible in the summer 😉 ) but I managed!  This is the last of my 3 kiddos beds.  If you missed the first two, you can see them HERE and HERE!  I have held off on this room because I wasn’t sure exactly what design I wanted but surprisingly, I was inspired by a reclaimed wood floor that I spotted in a restaurant – go figure 😉

*** Update – Free Printable Plans for this headboard are now available!  Click the image below or HERE to print!  And, a special thanks to Jay from Jay’s Custom Creations for creating the printable version of these plans!


So, I came home and got to work!  This is seriously such an easy headboard to build.  There’s really no wrong way to do it but here’s what I came up with 🙂  This headboard is for a full mattress but very easy to convert to add width or subtract for another size.

purebond-plywoodI started with a piece of 1/4″ Purebond Plywood that I had Home Depot rip down at 37.5″x52″.  You can read all about why we LOVE Purebond Plywood HERE!

plank-cutsNext, I started cutting planks.  This is a great project to use your scraps on!  I chose 1×2, 1×4 and 1×6 boards and you can see in this picture that I alternated them.  I put a 1×4 between each row.  The first cut you make doesn’t matter, just make sure to stagger your joints as you go.  I also tried to use longer pieces under rows where I used shorter pieces. The planks will fit flush around the edges of the plywood so that it is completely covered.

Stain-ColorsNext, I stained each of the boards using 4 of my favorite Varathane stains – Wheat, Early American, Dark Walnut and Kona (you can find the stains HERE on Amazon). Again, no rhyme or reason to the pattern, I just tried my best to mix them up so the same colors didn’t touch. Try to keep the pieces close to their original spots to save a headache 🙂 *** To stain these, I used a foam brush (one per color) and wiped on one-coat, let the stain sit for about 5 minutes then wiped it with a clean cloth.

distress-edgesOnce the stain dried, I used my Corner Cat Sander to distress the edges of the planks.

glue-planksThen, I glued each plank onto it’s spot on the plywood

pallets-glued-downand placed them exactly where I wanted them.  You can move them around a bit while the glue is drying.

Nail-palletsOnce they were where I wanted, I used my brad nailer to shoot 1-inch nails through each of the planks – at least get a few on the ends of each plank and the center.

drill-pocket-holesOnce the glue was dry, I drilled 1 1/2″ Kreg Jig pocket holes into the back sides of the planked headboard (this will help attach the legs).

attach-legsThen, I attached the legs with 2″ Kreg screws (the pocket holes are circled in the pictures).  The legs are 2×6 boards cut at 53″.  I stained the boards before attaching them to the headboard.  You can use any stain for the legs, I chose Dark Walnut for mine.

headboard-with-legsProgress so far!

apply-glue-for-trimTo dress the top up a bit, I applied a line of Gorilla Glue wood glue along the top of the headboard

attach-first-trim-pieceand used my brad nailer with 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach a 1×3 to the top. (the 1×3 trim is cut at 65″ and centered on the headboard so that there is an overhang on the front and back side.

attach-top-trim-pieceFor the top trim, I attached a 2×4 board, cut at 67″, with 2 1/2″ spax wood screws and wood glue.  I like to use my impact driver when I’m drilling into 2x boards – saves the arms!  You can also use your drill for this part! This board is centered on the 1×3 so that there is an overhang on the front and back and there will also be a 1″ overhang on each end.

trim-attachedHere is the headboard with the trim pieces.  I do recommend staining the trim pieces before you attach them – apparently I was just too darn excited to get this sucker done 🙂  It was a pain to stain it after.

distress-legsI also distressed the legs once the stain was dry.

headboard-completeWoohoo!!!!!  One last finishing touch!

thumb-tacksWhat I loved so much about the restaurant floor was the exposed nail heads on each plank.  So, I picked up a package of nickel thumb tacks at Home Depot – athey did the trick 😉

hammer-thumb-tacksI just hammered them in to the corners of each plank.  This part doesn’t have to be perfect, just eye ball it.  I did off-set mine from plank to plank.




DIY-Pallet-HeadboardNow, all of my kiddos have their mattresses up off of the floor and on really cute (cool for my boys) custom beds 🙂  And, the best part is….I can start on mine!!!!! I found the quilt at Pottery Barn Teen but I don’t think it is available anymore. You can look at their quilts HERE!

I do love the platform bed that I designed for this headboard and you can find the Free Plans for that as well HERE!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Here are the beds that I build for our other kiddos 🙂

DIY-Storage-Bed-2Twin storage bed for my daughter

DIY-Platform-Bed-on-WheelsPlatform Bed on Wheels for my teen son


  1. JoEllen on April 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Can you post measurements for a queen bed? I love this bed you did a great job. It looks fabulous.

  2. Victoria on November 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Do you have the measurements to make the planked headboard in a queen size? Thanks!

  3. Angie on August 22, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Hi can you give me measurements for a king bed please

  4. dwayne on March 18, 2018 at 2:06 am

    do you have measurements for a queen size bed

  5. Marcia on January 31, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Hi there! LOVE LOVE LOVE your website!

    This seems to be the “how to” for a twin bed..or…full. If I wanted to do a king sized bed headboard, what dimensions would I use? Is there an easy way to find that out? Thanks

  6. Jaime on January 18, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you for the pattern!! I made it this weekend and have gotten sooooo many compliments. It was so easy to make as well for an amateur!

  7. Hailey on April 3, 2017 at 9:04 am

    What are the measurements for a king size?

  8. Kori Levine on October 16, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Did you only use 4 stains for the headboard? I know you noted 4, but it looks like there’s one lighter than the Wheat stain. Thank you.

    • Shanty2Chic on October 17, 2016 at 5:47 am

      No, I just used those 4 🙂

      • Kori Levine on October 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm

        Thank you so much. Wanting to do this in my older sons room once I get a few smaller projects under my(tool) belt first. My kreg jig came in this weekend and excited to get started

  9. Cayenne Trostle on July 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    What was the final dimensions of the bed frame once you had the finished product? I am trying to figure out if I planned the conversions for a king size the right way but am just not too sure

  10. Samantha on June 28, 2016 at 10:31 am

    How would you adjust the dimensions for a Queen headboard?

  11. Tommy L. on January 29, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Here is my spin on the headboard. Thanks for the design and plans, I think it turned out awesome!

    Things I changed- I Didnt have a pocket jig, so I used (3) 1×6″ boards top, middle and bottom to mount the 2×6″ to the plywood.
    Also, I mounted the individual planks with screws from the back, along with liquid nails.

  12. jmm907 on January 2, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Just finished the headboard. I am really happy with the final product.

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