DIY Rustic Headboard

12 Materials
2 Days
This charming rustic headboard is Pinterest inspired & was so easy! It came together so well & it took about two days from start to finish. This was one of my first big builds after moving into an apartment. I wanted a big impact but still had to stick to my little budget.
Depending on your bed size you'll need a variety of 1X4, 1X6, 1X8 pieces of wood. For my queen size bed I needed enough wood to create a headboard 60" wide. I was able to purchase longer lengths of wood & have them cut in half to double my savings. For another version of this headboard, Brittany over at Pretty Handy Girl had an awesome tutorial that helped me out so much!
After decided what size you'll need, use your drop paper to create a stencil. I rolled out the length I needed, sketched out half of the shape I wanted, & then folded the paper in half. I then cut out the shape & unfolded the paper. This created a perfect stencil that was equal on both sides/perfectly symmetrical. Before moving on to the next step I placed my stencil on the wall behind my bed to make sure I was happy with the shape.
Once your stencil is ready, lay out your wood pieces in the variation you want. Tape/flatten down your stencil to the wood pieces & begin tracing it with a pencil. The surface you're working on will become the back of your headboard so number each piece of wood to keep everything in order.
Now that your stencil has been transferred to the wood you can begin cutting our the shape. The great part of this DIY is that you're really putting together a giant puzzle. Each piece fits together to create the whole shape & then you simply have to connect them. *Remember to wear the proper safety attire when working with power tools!
Using the numbers you wrote on each piece, arrange your headboard pieces & prepare to attach them together. Pay close attention to the top of the design to keep the shape even/in place. The bottom pieces will be cut down to your desired height & to clean things up.
Before moving on to attaching the pieces together, be sure to measure how tall you want your headboard to be. Then cut down the outside pieces that become the legs. *Optional step Using a tape measure, trace a line to create clean edge for the bottom.
Attach the pieces together using two 1x4s, liquid nails, & self-tapping wood screws. The liquid nails will ensure that each piece is properly secured.
Now you can move on to painting/staining. I used Minwax 'Early American' & applied about 2-3 coats of stain. I left my headboard to dry overnight & came back the next morning to apply the sealer. To seal my project, I used Minwax Polycrylic in 'Clear Satin' & applied 2-3 coats, lightly sanding in between each coat. I let the sealer cure for most of the day but I was too excited & couldn't wait to move the headboard into the room.
Because we're renting/in an apartment, this headboard had to have legs so it could lean against the wall. I didn't want to attach anything to the wall so it's gently leaning in place. This project was completed in April 2016 & is currently holding up very well.
If you would like to know more I also have a video tutorial that you can find on my YouTube channel, Heather Moxie DIY. There you'll find more information on the supplies used & a little more details for each step.
Since making this headboard I've added on to it to create a California King sized bedframe. You can find more information about that project in the video below.
Check out my update version of this headboard! Feel free to leave any questions down below & check out my other corners of the internet. YouTube: Blog:  Twitter: Instagram:
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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • MJ MJ on Nov 19, 2016
    Love this idea and it looks totally do-able! I will definitely be trying this. Where did you get your beige, patterned bedspread? Love it too!

  • Sandra Moore Sandra Moore on Apr 15, 2018

    I to have a queen size bed.I re-arrange my rooms around and it would be a lot of extra work to move the headboard around all the time. Plus there are times I corner my bed so and not having it attached to my bed might be difficult having it lean against the wall like you're doing. so my question is how would I attach this headboard to my bed?

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  • Dora Dora on May 11, 2020

    Beautiful! You do great explaining your work, don't waste time or words and make it look so easy. Love it.

  • Pat Duval Pat Duval on Dec 19, 2021

    Beautiful results! Thank you for sharing the instructions.