Do It Yourself Headboard: Spending Less Than $90 to Make a Headboard

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I am going to show you how to make a wooden headboard for less than $90.

Our master bedroom had become the catchall for everything in our house. It is the last room to get cleaned. And, being that it is challenging enough for me to keep the common areas of my house spotless with so many boys living under one roof, our master bedroom is the very last place to get a good scrub down. All of this said, the room is certainly not not warm and inviting- until now.

My husband agreed that if I could revamp our bedroom and be thrifty about it this was a project we could take on.   It is amazing what wall texture, paint, and some wood can do to makeover a bedroom.

Here is a peek at the do it yourself headboard. Now here is how you can make your own headboard too.

do it yourself headboard

Headboard Supplies:

Note: I am sharing Amazon links to some of the supplies we used so you can see what I am talking about. With that said, some of these supplies (like hammer and nails) you will likely already have on hand. And much of what I am linking to on Amazon we paid less for at the home improvement store than the prices listed online.

Preparation Before The Headboard Construction Began

Two of my sister-in-laws, one of my cousins and one of my brothers were eager to help us make this happen. My brother, James, is very handy and creates things for my sister-in-law, Lynn, all the time. We found the headboard idea on Pinterest. I trusted that the two of them could pull this off 100% with their DIY skills. I helped some but did more watching.

Before the construction of the DIY headboard began, Lynn and I finished texturing my bedroom- something I started when I was nesting and preparing for baby Matthew and never finished. He will be four in March. Look, give me a recipe or a seasonal craft to make and I can go to town. But home projects went out the window for me about seven years ago when my life went from one child to four children in no time flat.

We texture all the bedroom walls using compound mud because I hated the current spackle texture.

Once we finished texturing my sister-in-law Crystal painted. Yes, I have a sister-in-law named Crystal. Crazy, hua? Well, she is a superb painter, so I knew she was the gal to do it.

I knew I wanted one accent wall in the room and I loved this shade of blue in my comforter. (I have had this discontinued Pottery Barn comforter for seven years. It has been washed a million times and it showing wear, but I cannot part with it. I love the patchwork quilted look. And I like that blue!)

pottery barn bedding

For the accent wall this is the paint color we went with.

eucalyptus leaf

My cousin Jackie painted the three remaining walls this color by Behr called Innocence.

(This is also the cream color we used for whitewashing the headboard.)

innocence behr paint

I also wanted to incorporate my favorite color in this headboard.

Yellow has been my fave for years. The shade of mustard yellow I am particularity fond of.

These mustard yellow beads that I found on clearance a couple of summers ago at Old Navy for a couple of bucks were taken to the home improvement store to match for paint. A small  7 oz. container of paint was made to match the beads.

mustard yellow

Do It Yourself Headboard

Now, for the meat and potatoes of how to make this very easy and affordable headboard.

Take your cedar 1x6x8 boards and use a pocket knife to carve the edges of the board down. This is done to make the wood look used and old.

cedar wood

Then, lay the boards out and take your hammer to them. Just beat the heck out of them leaving hammer marks in them.

I did not get a picture of Lynn doing this, but it really helps to give character and age to the boards.

Now you are ready to stain your boards.

minwax wood stain

You want to do one board at at time. Paint the stain all over the board which will take a few minutes to fully cover.

Depending on how dark you want to stain your wood determines how long you leave the stain on.

Use a paper towel to wipe the stain off the board. We wiped these off with in 2-3 minutes.

how to stain wood

(I love the gray under tone of this stain! It goes perfectly with the blue and mustard paint.)

Next, take your creamy colored paint and sparingly and sporadically brush it onto the wood.

white washed headboard

Next, take a clean paper towel and quickly wipe off excess white/cream colored paint. This will also help to smear the paint into the wood.

Take your sandpaper and sand the white paint down to give a whitewashed and aged look. Sand more in some areas and less in others.

Some of the natural wood color will show through. This makes it even more beautiful!  (I have no picture of this step.)

Now, put another layer of stain over the whitewash.

Wait 1-2 minutes and wipe it off with a clean paper towel.

And sand the wood again to even out all the colors.

making a headboard

Once you have done this process to all 7 pieces of wood, you are ready to hang them.

We used a nail gun, but you can certainly use a regular ol’ hammer and nails.

Determine where you want your headboard to be. I chose the center of the blue accent wall.

Begin hammering (or nail gunning)  the 1x6x8’s into the wall one of top of the other like this:

nail gun

Nail the boards to the wall ensuring that the bottom of the last board is placed just below where your mattress starts.

I love how the boards show some of the blue paint in between.

I am also 100% fine with my headboard being nailed right into the wall. We have not moved our bed as long as we’ve lived in this house. Because of the way our room is laid out, there really is only once place to put our bed.

Each cedar board has six nails in it. Two at each end and two in the middle.

cedar headboard

Once all of the boards are nailed to the wall, use a pencil to write whatever you want on the headboard.

Use your sponge brush to go over the pencil tracing to write the word.   (That glare on the headboard is from a mirror.)

diy headboard

And you’re done!

wood headboard

More to come as I show you how we are revamping on the cheap.


  1. Love this idea & we need a headboard! We don’t have a matching bedroom suite, so this would be a great pick me up for room until we find the perfect set!

    1. Glad you like it Elaine.

      Wait until you see how we redid a wooden dresser set. It was falling apart and had severe scratching to the wood. It looks brand new and it was very easy to revamp. That tutorial is coming soon.

  2. Kim Idell says:

    That looks great Crystal! You guys did a great job. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kim. It really was awesome to see it all come together.

  3. Beth @ The First Year Blog says:

    I love the yellow colored writing!
    I am co-hosting a link party today called Tell Me Tuesdays! I’d love for you to come check it out and link up!!
    Beth @ The First Year Blog

  4. Love your project. Pinned. We do move our bed, so I’m a little uneasy about nailing head board to the wall, but man that makes this project so much easier:) Love the wood finish and wall color makes it pop!!!!

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