Skip to Content

How to make an easy DIY Headboard

This project has been brewing for quite some time, initially put off by a lack of woodwork skills I was prompted into action when Reloved magazine accepted the proposal as a project for their magazine! My neighbour Ray kindly offered to assist me in making the headboards – I learnt so much from working with him. Here is my easy DIY headboard. If I can make a headboard so can you!

This easy DIY Headboard is created with old wood sourced from a reclaim yard. This adds real personality to any bedroom. You can find instructions for making the quilt here, the cushion here, and the side tables made from old pallets at Grillo Designs where I am delighted to be guest blogging today. If you have not visited Medina’s blog before you are in for a real treat. Her styling and imagery are to die for, jam packed full of upcycles and makes.

How to make an easy DIY headboard

The instructions are for a headboard for a single bed – the photograph shows two single beds placed together.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.



  • Reclaimed planks of wood
  • Tea
  • Vinegar
  • Piece of steel (kitchen steel scrub, rusting metal)
  • Fabric
  • Foam board
  • Batton 2 by ¾”
  • Screws
  • Bed board fixing kit

     Equipment Needed:

To make:

Measure your bed and the width of your planks. Work out the number of planks you will need to create the headboard. In this case, each single bed measures 35” across. I have used six planks measuring 6” each per bed. Cut the length of wood at varying lengths from 28” to 33”. Your reclaim yard may cut to size for you.

Sand each end of your planks. Check the sides and sand where required. You may choose to use an electric sander with a coarse sheet for speed.

Prepare your tea stain. Steep your tea for an hour. Prepare vinegar and steel wool, tease the steel wool apart and place in vinegar for twenty-four hours. Apply a coat of tea to your wood using a brush. Allow to fully dry. Next paint on the vinegar. The vinegar will react with the tea darkening the wood.

Mark your heart shapes on the back of the pieces of wood. Use a circular drill piece to mark the top two circles of the heart. Drill the holes, then using a jigsaw cut out the rest of the heart shape. Sand the heart shape.

Iron your fabric. Cut out pieces of foam board into rectangles, which are large enough to fit behind the hearts, these measure approx. . Apply PVA glue to the foam board, carefully press the fabric over the board ensuring there are no wrinkles, set aside to dry.

Place your planks in a pleasing random order. You may wish to have similar heights for the planks at the outer edges.

With your planks face down place two wooden batons across horizontally. Mark your drill holes. These planks are placed at 2 1/2 “  and 17” from the base of the headboard. Drill holes through the batton where marked. You may choose to counter sink the screws for a flush finish if so drill your counter sink. Using a bradawl mark through the baton to the headboard, drill a small pilot hole. Be careful not to go through to the other side. This extra preparation makes all the difference to the crews smoothly fitting. Screw the horizontal supports in place.

Measure the fixing holes on the bed base, the height of them from the floor and the distance apart, measure the height of the top of the mattress. Mark the centre position on your horizontal supports then measure out equa distance the width of the bed board holes. Mark as a guide for the vertical supports.

Place vertical supports the height of the bed plus ¾” down from the bed board, in alignment with your marked horizontals. Use a piece of wood long enough to run from the top horizontal to the floor. Drill hole for screwing to bottom vertically. Secure the vertical support at the top, and drill in a hole for bed board bolt.

Place bed board next to bed. Using a headboard fitting kit attach the headboard to the bed. Adjust until aligned then add final two screws into vertical supports to attach to bottom horizontal.

Attach the fabric squares to the back of the hearts, place glue around the heart shape on the back of the headboard, press the foam board fabric facing to the glue. From the front, you can see the beautiful texture of the fabric contrasting with the reclaimed wood.

Top tips – ensure the jigsaw has fully stopped before removing the blade, if you remove the blade whilst the jigsaw is still running you risk the blade breaking. If like me your bed has only one hole for attaching the headboard you may find the board has a little give if you sit back against it. This can be fixed by reducing the height of the headboard you make. Alternatively, attach a piece of wood along the back so that as you lean against the board this piece of wood rests against your wall.

Easy DIY Headboard, transform old planks of wood into stylish headboard, tutorial

Here’s to fabulous neighbours who are so generous with their time and skills.

Sign up for the newsletter, which includes access to the resource library – this includes a top hints and tip sheets for selecting the right drill piece.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Really awesome guide. I'm really surprised by youramazing process. I am working as a carpenter for over 9 years. Your very awesome idea to make gorgeous headboard have been fascinated me. I will try.


Thursday 12th of December 2019

Thanks for writing this piece. i learned a few things that will hopefully going forward.

Nam Hải

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Ý tưởnb sáng tạo, đẹp nhưng nếu có vét dầu bóng lên sẽ đẹp hơn đấy.

Best Saw Guide

Monday 15th of April 2019

I am really surprised by your beautiful process. I am a carpenter for over 20 years. Your very simple idea to make gorgeous headboard have been fascinated me. I will try once soon.

Thanks for your simple idea.


Saturday 21st of April 2018

Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write if you have time visit to my blog


Monday 7th of May 2018

Hi, In the welcome email you will have received a password and link to the resource library, you will find the PF in the resource library :) Vicky

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.