After a crazy busy October, I am excited to be back on the blog train. I have some exciting things to show you through the holiday season!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw our hand made barn wood headboard this week. This one was truly a labor of love. I had an idea of what I wanted (from Pinterest of course), but it wasn’t exactly my vision. Thank goodness for a creative husband! He took my idea, ran with it and created this masterpiece in just one afternoon. Here is a breakdown of the DIY!


  • Barnwood (we had several beat up pallets given to us. Andrew took each piece apart (this was very tedious, the nails kept breaking. We ended up jig-sawing the slats off the base since the wood kept splitting. Old wood, what can you do?)
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer/Crowbar (to pull out the old, rusty nails)
  • Scrap wood
  • Wood glue
  • Bed base (We used the white Malm bed  from Ikea.)
  • Piece of Scrap Paper big enough to fit the width of your bed size. We actually used paper that was packaging up the Malm bed. This is for drawing the stencil for the headboard design.
  • Permanent Black Marker
  • Sealant (We use Behr Premium Sealant, available at Home Depot)

*Disclaimer: I totally forgot to save my pictures along the way. I will do the best to describe the steps using the final product!

Headboard DIY Final

Step 1:

Select your wood and clean it up. We removed all of the the nails from the pallet wood. We also wiped down each piece with disinfectant wipe.


Step 2:

Create your template for the design. If you would like, you can do a straight across design. I wanted something a bit more romantic so my husband drew out the design. Now this part is very important, you must measure the width in which your bed will be! We have a queen bed so we knew how far across our boards needed to be. The bed frame we bought from Ikea actually had several packing sheets that were large enough to draw the design to scale.

**The two wood pieces on the end we picked to be especially long. We wanted it to be the longest on either end to screw directly into the frame.**

If you look on the bottom right, you will see how the farthest piece to the end is longer. We had the exact same on the other end to connect to the existing bed frame.

If you look on the bottom right, you will see how the farthest piece to the end is longer. We had the exact same on the other end to connect to the existing bed frame.

Step 3:

Transfer design to pallet wood. We took a sharpie to draw on the FRONT of the boards. I say to do the front of the boards because transferring the design can be difficult if you need to flip it. Also, you can sand down any sharpie that is showing at the end.


Step 4: Take the jigsaw and carefully cut each board. This is where I am glad I had my hubs. The saw scared me!


Step 5: Time to assemble! At this point, we flipped each board carefully to the backside, keeping the design in tack. We had several pieces of scrap hardwood laying around. Andrew began attaching these to the back of the boards. You can see that it isn’t the prettiest job but it kept it all together. Andrew also screwed 2 screws each into the 2 end boards. The bed frame we are using is the Malm bed from IKEA but you can use any bed frame you would like.

Headboard DIY               Headboard DIY Headboard DIY    Headboard DIY    Headboard DIY

Step 6: This is the cleanup stage. We sanded down the top anywhere we saw the black sharpie. We also continued to sand down the boards so we didn’t have any pieces dropping on our heads at night. 🙂

Another must-have is wood glue! We used very old wood, so naturally there were some errant splits along the way. We used quick-dry wood glue to bond them back together.

Lastly, we decided to seal the wood. We finished the headboard with Behr sealant that we used on our exposed brick fireplace. It has worked like a charm.


I am so obsessed with how the headboard turned out. I still want to attach pallet wood to the foot board to match and cover the white IKEA foot board .

Hope you all enjoyed this tutorial! The pallet wood was given to us and the wood used to secure it was scrap. The only real cost incurred was purchasing the bed frame. I saw several headboards that had a rustic feel but were way too polished and also extremely costly! This one was affordable and now has great memories with it! Please let me know if you  have any questions! I am happy to help! 🙂


Written by


Thank you Cindy! I appreciate it. It was super easy. Totally an afternoon project!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *