The DIY Shiplap Headboard We Made With What We Had in the Garage

2 materials
3 Days

One thing that had been on my mind for months was finding the perfect headboard for our guest bed. It had been sitting on a frame for over a year, but I just couldn’t settle in on the perfect choice.

I searched around for a while until I lost interest and moved on to the next project, leaving that room feeling ever so slightly neglected and unfinished.

That is until we were stuck at home on a pretty week and decided that a new project was in order.

We had recently done a DIY Shiplap Feature Wall in our master bedroom using plywood, and it turned out better than we could have hoped.

And lucky for us we had some plywood left over!

We couldn’t really go anywhere to snag more materials, and that’s when it hit me… Shiplap Headboard!

I mean, why not? We could frame it up, add shiplap, set it up against the wall, and call it a day.

So that’s what we set out to do!


To begin, we measured our wall, the bed, and created a plan for how large we wanted this headboard to be.

I had a big statement piece in my mind… almost like a mini feature wall that wasn’t actually connected to the wall.

Our ceilings in our guest room at 8 feet tall, and the queen sized bed we have in the room was a little less than 6 feet across.

So we decided to go with a 7' tall, 6' wide shiplap headboard.


With those dimensions, we grabbed some 2x4s and got to work! We created our outside frame first so it was the height and width we wanted.

We used our HART Power Drill and a simple jig to create pocket holes and screw the frame into place.

Then we thought ahead and determined we didn’t want our shiplap to go all the way across the headboard. We wanted it to break up.

So we grabbed some 2 feet by 4 feet plywood sheets. We decided since our headboard was going to be 6 feet across, we could use 4 foot long boards and 2 foot long boards to stagger as we went.

With that said, we needed some posts in the middle of our frame so we could nail our shiplap to the frame in the center.

So we placed two posts 2 feet from each side, securing them into place with pocket holes and a little wood glue for safe measure.


Then we took our plywood and decided we could cut our 2 feet by 4 feet sheets into 3 boards each using our HART miter saw.

Keep in mind by getting plywood instead of real shiplap boards, you’re not only making it easier on yourself to cut and nail, but you’re saving tons of money!

All you need are the right tools on hand, and you’re set! We love our HART tools and recommend them to everyone!

So anyways, we got to cutting! We ended up needing 5 plywood sheets (and used about 4.5) for our headboard.

Once we were done cutting, we got to installing!


We don’t have a nail gun, but just grabbed some common nails and a hammer and got to work!

Since we were just using plywood, it wasn’t hard to do this part by hand. We actually love nails in our shiplap for that good authenticity, so we kept it as ‘real’ as we could and added 2 nails per each side of the boards.

We installed from the top to the bottom (so that once we reached the bottom, if the boards were a little off from the base of the frame, it wouldn’t matter).

We also installed from left to right, starting with a 4 foot long board and finishing with a 2 foot long board. Then, on the next line, we started with a 2 foot long board and finished with a 4 foot long board, so the shiplap lines would stagger all the way down.

It was pretty easy! We were a few inches from the bottom on our last row and left it because it was just the base of the frame showing!


I then took some leftover Bit of Sugar white paint by Behr and painted the headboard!

I went over it with 2 coats. Luckily, plywood soaks it right up so it dries crazy fast. I was basically able to get both coats done in about 30-45 minutes.

Something to note here — plywood is very thin! Once I painted, I noticed my 4 foot long boards bowing in the center since we didn’t nail them to the posts in the center. If this bothers you, take some brad nails or finishing nails and secure the middle of your boards to your post!

Once we got ours up, I didn’t notice this as much so I left them slightly bowed.


Once it was dry, we somehow got that sucker up the stairs and into our guest room, and it turned out even more perfect than we ever imagined!

We didn’t have to screw it into the wall — we simply propped it up against the wall and allowed the bed to hold it into place! If it worries you, you can always secure it into your wall!

And that’s truly it!

It ended up being a very straightforward project, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!

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