DIY Headboard From Old Shutters

Brooke Bowman
by Brooke Bowman
3 Materials
2 Hours
Our guest bedroom is a space that we wanted to make beautiful, but we didn’t want to invest a ton of money into it. All of our friends and family live close by, so we don’t anticipate having too many guests stay overnight, but we had a spare bedroom and decided to make it up just in case. We were gifted an old queen-sized bed from a family friend, so we were already saving money in that regard. To cut costs even further, we sourced a few old shutters from our local salvage shop. For under $10, we were able to create a custom, rustic headboard to go behind the bed. We’ve gotten tons of compliments on it and for the minimal cost and work involved, it couldn’t have been any easier. Here is how we transformed the look of that room for less.
First, we found the shutters at our local salvage store. You likely won’t find a complete set at one of these places, but as long as you have a few that match, you’ll be fine. We settled on two sets of hinged shutters for our project. There was evidence of a little bit of termite damage on one (learn more about how to spot those signs and why it’s important), so we sanded down the worn part and turned it over so any cosmetic flaws would be under the back side of the bed and wouldn’t be noticeable.
Then, we painted the shutters a deep, hunter green. This shade complemented the yellows and greens that we already had in the space and as the tone was a little darker than our usual pastels, it helped to anchor the space. I put two coats of paint on the shutters, waiting a day in between coats to ensure each one was totally dry. Then, I applied a thin layer of polyurethane to the shutters to prevent the paint from chipping off. After that step was finished, the shutters were ready to hang!
I’ve seen a few projects like this where the shutters were just propped against the wall. That could definitely work as an option, but we decided to nail ours to the wall with small nails to ensure they didn’t slide out of place. Our bed is on wheels and even though its on carpet, it can slide fairly easily, and I figured the more movable it is, the greater the likelihood of the shutters changing position. I definitely didn’t want one falling down or on me in the middle of the night, so we just used a drill to drill the top and bottom corners into the wall.

As you can see, the shutters reached all the way to the bottom of our bed frame. If you have a bed skirt, you could get by with just purchasing half shutters or ones that come just to the edge of the headboard space. That way, you’re saving even more money and have less legwork to do. Yet, we wanted a full-length look, so we just bought the full shutters and didn’t cut them at all. It was ideal that they hit at just the right spot on our wall. If you find ones that are too long, you could always cut them with a saw to make them the correct dimensions.
To keep the space simple, we just decorated with an all-white comforter and pillow shams in a coordinating color. I also hung a small, rectangular floating frame above the shutters with pictures of a favorite trip to Chicago that our family took. Overall, this was a simple project that packs a powerful punch. It would also look equally beautiful to leave the shutters as raw lumber if you can find some like that, or to play up the eclectic and rustic look with weather-worn ones covered only with a thin coat of polyurethane. This is a quick and easy alternative to a traditional headboard and one that will leave guests talking.
Suggested materials:
  • Shutters   (Salvage Store)
  • Drill and Nails   (Hardware Store)
  • Paint   (Hardware Store)
Brooke Bowman
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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