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How to Make a Full-Sized Headboard Out of Pallets | DIY tricks to create your Headboard at home

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Headboards are some of the things that add something unique to your bedroom. They’re not just there to keep your head from a cold wall — they’re also there to splash a personal touch to your bedroom. You can even say that sometimes, someone can just look at your headboard that you chose to have, and they’d already get a sense of who you are as a person. A simple white clean-cut wooden headboard? You must be someone who prefers minimalism. A bright and vivid headboard? Probably you’re adventurous, and you’re experimental in getting your creative juices flowing. I could go on and on for this, but you get the idea: a headboard is a great thing to have to personalize your bedroom.

Unfortunately, headboards are normally expensive. Just go to your nearest home store, and you’ll see that your typical headboard costs at least $100. So, how do you get to personalize your bedroom by having a headboard when headboards are out of your budget?

Easy — you do one yourself. And you know what’s an easy enough headboard to make? The one using pallets.

Now, you must be worried that you can’t do this. But don’t worry — you totally can! You don’t have to take art classes to be able to make a pallet headboard. Just read and follow the instructions carefully, and you’re good to go!

Ready to shake up your bedroom décor and make your own headboard? If yes, then let us begin.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Pallets (the number depends on the size of the pallets that you have, but a safe guess is 4)

  • Five 2×4 boards

  • Reciprocating saw

  • Hand sander and sandpaper (recommended: 60 grain)

  • Primer

  • Paint or stain of your choice

  • Miter saw

  • Drill

  • Wood screws

  • Trim nailer gun

  • Measuring tape

bed bedroom comfort

bed bedroom comfort


Step #1: Gather Your Pallets

Understandably, the first step for this project is to make sure you have enough pallets to use. The number of pallets that you might end up using will vary from person to person (it will depend on the size of the pallets that you have and on the size of the headboard that you want), but a good estimate is between 2 to 4 pallets. You can prepare more just in case.

Now you might be wondering: “I don’t have any pallets in the house, where do I find them?” Luckily for you, you can get wood pallets for free. For one, you can ask a friend or a family member who has some pallets in their basement. Or you can ask small businesses near you to give you a few pallets that are just piling up in their storage. You can even find free pallets on Craigslist. Long story short — you can find pallets for free anywhere. You just have to know where to look.

Step #2: Disassemble Your Pallets, Sand Them Down, and Wash Them

After gathering your wood pallets, now you have to dismantle them. You can use a reciprocating saw because it cuts through the nails on your pallet boards. But if you want to make this process easier, then you must remove the nails with a hammer and a nail punch. A little time-consuming, but better safe than sorry, right?

Once you’ve successfully dismantled your pallets, sand them. If you don’t know what sandpaper to get, just remember: the lower the number, or grain, the rougher it is. A lot of those people who created their own pallet headboard used 60-grain, so you can opt for that. Then attach the sandpaper to the sander and sand down the boards until they’re at your desired smoothness.

After that, wash them properly. After all, these pallets are going to be used to make a headboard, and you wouldn’t want anything dirty near your head, would you?

Step #3: Paint the Pallet Boards Using Your Desired Color

Now it’s time to paint, paint, paint! First, you have to apply one coat of primer for an even look in your final product. Don’t know what primer to choose? Here’s a handy-dandy recommendation: use grey primer for darker coats of paint and white primer for brighter coats.

After putting your primer, it’s time to paint the boards with your desired color (or you can even have more than one color if you want to! It’s all totally up to you). It’s usually recommended to have three coats of paint, and make sure you wait for them to dry before applying another coat. It’s also a good idea to sand lightly the painted surface before your final coat of paint. That way, the final coat will have a nice surface to grip onto.

Step #4: Assemble the Frame

You wouldn’t have a headboard without a frame, so it’s time to get on it. For this step, you need to prepare the five 2×4 pieces of lumber, the miter saw, the drill, and the screws.

First, get the measurements of the height and the width of your bed so that you can decide on your frame size. After you’ve made the measurements, use the miter saw to cut two 2×4 boards to the height of the headboard and two to fit within this width so that you now have a basic frame. Then form an outer frame using three of the pieces, and place the fourth piece on where you plan your headboard to end.

After that, attach the frame together using the drill and the screws. Or if you have a nail gun, use it and hit every connection about 2 to 3 times. Once you have the frame assembled and attached, measure the rest of your boards to fit the interior of your frame. Cut them up based on the measurements, and then attach the final three interior boards using the drill and the screws. Make sure the boards are spaced evenly within the frame.

Step #5: Attach the Pallet Boards to Your Frame

Time to attach your pallet boards to your frame. You can either choose to decide on a pattern and how many boards you want to see in each row, or choose to just go with the flow and be sporadic. It’s up to you.

Once you have a pattern in mind, measure your pallets so they fit within the width of your headboard and within your frame, and cut them to your chosen length. Then nail your pallet boards to the first, second, third, or fourth post of your frame to make sure that they’re attached to a sturdy frame and not just nailed to thin air. To make sure it really is sturdy, you can choose to be generous with the nails.

Step #6: Add Finishing Touches

This is the most exciting part of this project because now you will be personalizing your headboard to your liking!

Do you want to show off your painting skills? Then make your headboard your new canvas and paint your heart away!

Want to add a shelf on the top of your headboard? Do it! Once you’ve done that, you can now put your books there or some other embellishments (like for example, watercolor paintings or pots with plants or photographs — whatever you want).

Long story short — get as creative as you can! No hesitations. Just unleash your inner creativity.

Final Words

So, there you have it — your very own pallet headboard. This project may be time-consuming (it will literally take a lot of hours to work), but it will all be worth it in the end. Not only is it because it will save you money (headboards in stores cost starting at $100!), but the process is also fun! You get to be creative for a few hours! Who wouldn’t like that?

And of course, seeing the end product will be so rewarding. Now you have a pretty pallet headboard that will spice up your home decor, and no one else can have it since it’s not sold anywhere. Having that headboard is the perfect way to tell your potential guests that “Yes, this really IS your home.”


Author Bio Profile

Suki Zhang

Suki Zhang

Suki Zhang founded LoveFunArt in 2015. She has previous work experience as a Marketing Coordinator and an Art Curator Assistant. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art Design from Donghua University and completed her postgraduate studies in Marketing Management and Professional Sales from Lambton College.

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