6 DIY Headboard Ideas – Simple but Attractive

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  April 12, 2022
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Any DIY project is fun and it helps to develop your skill and creativity. We have enlisted some popular, easy and budget-friendly headboard project for your review.


You can execute these projects as we have depicted and you can also customize these project with your own ideas. We have kept enough space for customization in every idea. 

Easy Steps to Make a Headboard from Recycled Pallet

Before going to the main working steps I would like to give you an idea about the necessary tools and materials needed for this project.

Required Tools and Materials

1. Wooden pallets (2 8ft or 2×3’s pallets are enough)

2. Nail gun

3. Measurement tape

4. Screws

5. Linseed oil or stain

6. Sandpaper

For ensuring safety you need the following safety equipment:

We highly recommend not to ignore the safety equipment. After gathering all the required materials and tools you can start your project of making a headboard from recycled pallets by the 6 easy and simple steps discussed in our article.

Step 1:

headboard step 1

For any kind of wooden project, measurement is a very important task to be fulfilled.  Since you are going to use the headboard for your bed (you may use it for any other purpose also but most of the time people use headboard in their bed) you must take the measurement carefully so that it matches with the size of your bed.

Step 2:

After cutting the pallets into small pieces you need to clean the pieces properly. It is better to wash the pieces for better cleaning and after washing do not forget to dry in the sun. The drying should be done with good care so that there remains no moisture before going to the next step.

Step 3:

headboard step 2

Now it is time for assembling the dismantled wood. Use the 2×3’s along the width of the frame and between 2×3’s use 2×4 pieces for providing structural support to the headboard.

Step 4:

Now open your toolbox and pick up the nail gun from there. To secure the assembly you need to drill holes and add screws to every connection of the frame.

headboard step 3

Then attach slats to the front part of the frame. The critical work of this step is cutting the small pieces in an alternating pattern and at the same time, you also have to maintain the length accurately to span the headboard.

You may wonder why the alternating pattern is necessary. Well, the alternating pattern is necessary since it gives a rustic look to the headboard.

Once this work is finished take the slats that you have recently made and attach those using the nail gun.

Step 5

Now notice the edge of the headboard. A headboard with open edges does not look good. So you have to cover the edges of your headboard. But if you prefer en exposed edges you can skip this step. I personally like covered edges and those who like covered edges can perform the instruction of this step.

To cover the edges take the proper measurement of the height of the headboard and cut 4 pieces of the same length and screw those pieces together. After that attach those to the headboard.

Step 6:

To make the look of the whole headboard uniform or to bring consistency in the look of the headboard add linseed oil or stain to the edges.

You may wonder why we are recommending to use linseed oil or stain only to the edges, why not the whole body of the headboard.

headboard step 4

Well, the cut edges of the headboard look fresher than the body of the headboard and here comes the question of consistency in color. That is why we recommended using stain or linseed oil to bring consistency in the look of the whole headboard.

Finally, to remove the hard edges or burs you can now sand the headboard with sandpaper. And, the headboard is ready for attaching to the frame of your bed.

headboard step 5

You can also watch this video clip to understand the process of making a headboard from the recycled pallet more clearly:

Final Touch

You can keep your headboard simple as it is. Then it will look rustic which will give a warm look to your bedroom or you can customize it with any other design.

For example, you can change the pattern of the slats or you can color it or you can décor it with any other decoration idea.

I already have mentioned that it is a cheap project and so you do not have to face a major loss even if you want to change it after some days. In fact, the projects that are made out of pallets like – pallet plant stand, pallet dog house do not require much money to execute. Moreover, the headboard project does not require a lot of time to accomplish, you can take it as a fun project for passing your leisure time.

6 More Cheap Headboard Ideas

We have included those headboard ideas into our list that you can make easily. The ideas that do not need any rare material or expensive material are included in this list.

On the other hand, the cost is an important consideration that you never can avoid while making any project. Most of the time we try to find out better things at less price.  Keeping all of these important parameters in mind we have made our list of 6 cheap headboard ideas.

1. Headboard From Old Door


If there is an old door in your storeroom you can use that for making a headboard for your bed. It will save your money and also turn the old unused wood into something necessary and beautiful.

Taking the old door out of the storeroom clean all the dirt and dust from it. If needed then wash it with water and then dry it under the sun. You have to dry it properly so that there remains no moisture left.

The initial requirement of any wooden DIY project is taking the measurement. Depending on your required size you have to take the measurement and saw the door down according to that measurement.

Making headboard is really an easy wood project that rarely needs any complicated cutting. If you want to make it in a complicated design then you need to cut it in a complicated way but if you want a headboard of simple design you do not have to go for any complicated work.

Anyway, after cutting the door into your required size you have added some chair rail molding and a little paint and the beautiful is ready. It does not take a long time to make.

2. Headboard from Cedar Fence Picket


Cedar fence is a popular material for making a headboard. Cider fence pickets do not cost much. It may cost you $25 depending on the place from where you are purchasing the pickets.

If the pickets are not properly cleaned you have to clean it properly, otherwise it may cause your problem while painting. After gathering the cider fence pickets you have to cut it with a wood cutting tool like hand saw or miter saw according to your measurement and design.

After cutting you will find the cut edge rough and obviously you do not want a rough headboard. So to make the rough edge smooth sand it with sanding paper. Actually, the cider fence pickets require quite a lot sanding, so do not forget to buy enough sandpaper.

After cutting the parts and sanding those you have to join those using glues and screws. When the joining is complete it is time to paint the headboard. You can choose a stain color or just sheer coat it if you love the natural look of cedar.

Overall, cider fence picket headboard is easy to make and does not cost so much. You can take this project for execution and it will not take a lot of time of yours.

3. Rustic Pallet Headboard


If you are looking for a cheaper headboard project you can choose this project of making rustic pallet headboard. This project is much cheaper as you do not have to spend on purchasing the main raw material i.e. pallets for this project.

You might know that pallets are often given away at home improvement stores, lumber yards or even flea markets and you can collect those free pallets to execute your project of a beautiful rustic looking headboard.

How many pallets you need depends on the design, shape, and size of your intended headboard project. It is better to keep a few more pallets in your stock than necessary since there may happen a few mishaps and you may need more pallets than the calculated number.

Besides the pallets, you will also need 2X4s for framing, nuts, and bolts, cutting tool, etc. for executing this DIY project. This cheaper project may cost you a maximum $20. So you can understand how much cheap it is!

4. Padded Headboard with Nail Head Trim


If you do not like wood headboard you can try a padded headboard with nailhead trim. While the wood headboard gives an ancient flavor to your bedroom, this padded headboard with nailhead trim provides a classy and elegant look to your bedroom.

You need plywood, fabric, nailhead trim and a few other tools for this project.  Though it looks complicated it is not hard to make. Once you start to make a padded headboard with nailhead trim you will find it easier and it is an enjoyable project too.

5. Tufted Headboard


If you want a soft headboard you can take this project of the tufted headboard for execution. You can give any shape you want to the tufted headboard.

You can do some homework to fix the design. You can see several designs of the tufted headboard and then customizing those designs make a unique design of your own.

You basically need some fabric, foam, and plywood for this project. Cutting the plywood according to your intended design you cover that with foam and then cover the foam with fabric. You can customize or décor this tufted headboard as you want.

The tufted headboard is quite costly than the previous projects depicted here. It will cost you around $100 but if you have already some materials on hand then the cost will be lesser.

6. Headboard from Monogrammed Fabric


It is a wooden based headboard project. If some leftover materials from other projects remain in your collection you can use those materials for making monogrammed fabric headboard by applying a little creativity.

For making a headboard from monogrammed fabric you have to cover the wooden base with fabric and staple it down so that the fabric remains attached with the wooden based properly. After that add the monogram in whatever material you want. To use the monogram as a template you can print it using your computer and printer.

If you do not want to add monogram you can also decorate it by painting with your favorite paint. To make a unique headboard making headboard from monogrammed fabric is a great idea and since the cost is an important parameter to take into consideration for any project I would like to inform you that it is a budget-friendly project.

Other DIY ideas like DIY dog bed ideas and Outdoor furniture ideas

Wrap Up

All the ideas of our list are cheap and easy to execute. Some of the ideas need the basic skill of woodworking and some needs the skill of sewing.

If you already have those skills you can smoothly complete your intended project. If you do not have those skills do not worry you can develop the necessary skills through these projects.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.