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DIY Wood Headboard

Today I am going to share with you this DIY wood headboard that I built for my daughter. She just moved home from college and wanted something a little more grown-up. I think this beautiful headboard fits the bill. Now I am going to show you how I built it!

My daughter just graduated from college and has moved home. We have been renovating her bedroom so that when she comes home it will be comfortable for her and fit her style.

Now that she is a grown-up she didn’t want the neon lights and more college-looking decor. She was ready to move on. She loves the look of light-colored wood and saw this headboard online and asked me to make it.

A sage green wall with a light wood headboard and white and cream bedding.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

DIY Wood Headboard

Now as I mentioned I cannot take credit for the design of this headboard. This particular one came from Plank and Pillow. They made it for their daughter and mine loved it just as much.

There are a few things that I did differently. I don’t feel comfortable giving the full tutorial because that would be ripping off what Plank and Pillow has done. But I will show you what I did that was different.


Plank and Pillow must have created their headboard for a full-size bed because the width was 54 1/2″ wide. That is about the same size as a full-size bed.

I needed to create my daughter’s headboard for a queen size bed so the width of the boards total 60″. That is the width with the frame on it. The 1X6 and 1X3 boards were cut to 58 1/2″ long. The frame pieces on each side are 3/4″ wide. When you add it all up you get 60″.

The other difference was the total height of the boards without the frame. Theirs came to 30 5/16″. This is all the boards with a quarter in between used as a spacer.

A tape measure showing the measurement of a piece of wood.

Mine came out to 30 3/16″. Why is that? Most likely it’s the difference between the boards in the manufacturing process. They were just slightly off and the difference came to about 1/8″.

Materials List

I did find one mistake on the materials list in Plank and Pillow’s post. They call for 5 – 1x6x6 but you actually only need 4. You can see from the photo they only used four so it was just a simple typo.

  • 4 pieces of 1″ x 6″ x 6′ Poplar
  • 3 pieces of 1″ x 3″ x 6′ Poplar
  • 3 pieces of 1″ x 2″ x 6′ Poplar
  • 2 pieces of 1″ x 12″ x 8′ 

I considered using a sheet of 3/4″ plywood instead of 2 pieces of 1×12 but then I checked the price and it was about half the cost to use 1×12 so I decided not to use the plywood.

The 1×12’s can be any type of wood you want. I wouldn’t get poplar because it’s going to be much more expensive than pine or common boards.

How to Build a DIY Wood Headboard

This build is actually pretty easy! First, cut your 1x6x6 and 1x3x6 boards down to the correct width. For me, since I was building a queen bed that number was 58 1/2 inches.

The cut wood all laid out on the garage floor.

Then you need to cut the 1×12 the correct height, for me that was 30 3/16 inches. Always make sure you check your measurements. As they say, measure twice cut once.

Start attaching the 1x12s to the top and bottom boards. Then add the inside pieces of wood alternating 1×6 with 1×3. I nailed it from underneath so you wouldn’t see any nail holes.

The cut wood nailed to the back wood on my driveway.

Then add more of the 1x12s to the back. You will likely get to a point where you need to rip down a board to finish the back.

The rest of the wood backboards attached except for the one last cut that needs to be made.

I had this small section left that was 2 1/8 inches wide. So I ripped down a board and nailed it inside.

Build a frame

Now it’s time to cut and attach the frame. I mentioned before to measure twice and cut once…sometimes even I forget that.

The frame laid out where I made an error cutting the wood too small.

Yep. I had this big gap so I got another piece of wood and cut it correctly. Then attach the frame to the headboard with nails.

Finish the Headboard

Sand your headboard down with a very fine grit sandpaper. I used 220 grit. Then you can decide if you want to stain it or just go right to polyurethane.

My daughter loved the color of the wood so we just put some poly on top and called it a day.

I used a french cleat from Home Depot to hang the headboard. It is very heavy and this thing holds up to 300lbs!

And here is the finished product. We painted the headboard wall Sherwin Williams Glacier Stream and the other three walls Sherwin Williams Pure White. I think the wood headboard looks amazing against this sage green color.

The finished headboard with white bedding and cream throw pillows.
A sage green wall with a light wood headboard and white bedding.
A sage green wall with a light wood headboard and windows next to the bed.
Sage green wall with a light wood headboard and white bedding.

I love the combination of sage green, white, and light colored wood. Her room is coming along and I can’t wait to show you the finished room soon!

Other Wood Builds You Might Be Interested In:

A sage green wall with light wood headboard, white bedding and windows to the left of the bed.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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