I love home decor as much as the next DIY junkie.
The problem with this, however, is that it gets expensive. I remember my last trip to Ikea, where I wanted to purchase everything in the store, despite being fully aware that it would not fit in my cottage style home.
I’m the type of person that can’t throw anything out; I prefer to find a use for everything. So after staring at a sheet of plywood from circa 1970 I stashed in the basement a year prior, I noticed the wood grain was fabulous but it was an awful honey tone. Then it came to me! After all this time of wondering how I would ever fit a standard headboard and frame in my tiny room, why couldn’t I make it myself – customize it to my room and improve the space.
So how’s it done?
First off, this DIY recycled headboard is directly nailed to the wall. So if you are concerned about nailing into your wall or not being able to find studs, you may consider supporting the planks using a 2×4 on each end then attaching to your bed-frame so that it is free-standing.
If you have plywood sitting around your house, make sure it is at least 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick for durability purposes, and long enough to cover the width of your bed where it meets at the wall. My four headboard planks were cut 6″ wide because I prefer the chunky look of the wood. The best thing about DIY is that you can make it your own, so use any width you’d like! If you don’t have a table-saw or skill-saw handy, the kind folks at Home Depot or any home improvement store would be happy to cut the wood for you. Most stores also have pre-cut planks; if they have your desired size then you’re all set. Ideally you’ll need four to five planks to get an appropriate height for a queen size bed. It’s better to have an extra one just in case there is a flaw in the wood staining process or you find that you’d like the headboard to go higher on the wall.
Now that you have your four to five planks, you need to pick out a stain colour! I got my ‘Espresso’ stain at Home Hardware. It cost only $7.00 for the stain and $5.00 for the clear seal. You’ll get by with the smallest can of stain as it goes a long way. Any kind of wood sealer will do as well, just make sure it is clear! Also, the best tool for stain application are foam brushes, found in the painting section. Here are the products you’ll need:
And that’s it! You’re ready for staining. Make sure you are wearing gloves and have a towel handy, and this should really be done outside or in a well-ventilated workshop/room.
Apply one light coat of stain to the visible parts of your planks and allow to dry. Drying time is variable, so refer to the directions on the can. Generally when staining, you would wipe the stain after application. However, since the plywood was so dry and “thirsty,” we left the stain on and it turned out great. After the first coat dries, you can repeat this process until you’ve reached the desired stain intensity – my planks took only two applications of stain. After you have ensured that the planks are completely dry, you can now apply the wood finish. The aim is to seal the wood so the stain does not transfer onto your wall/bedding, and so that the stain is preserved. Two coats of the finish is plenty enough to seal the headboard, and make sure this is completely dry as well!
Use a level (or eyeball it) to make sure your planks are straight and begin applying the hardware. There are 24 nails keeping my headboard to the wall. I used so many nails because I have very old, awkwardly shaped plaster walls in my bedroom; this many nails ensures that it’s not going to move. This stage is a two person job, and the planks can get heavy. You can either choose to cover up the nails with matching paint, or leave them bare. I chose to leave the nail heads bare because it adds to the rustic look of the piece!
And there you have it!
You have just added simple style to your bedroom at low cost and low effort. The time required for this project is two days (maximum waiting time for stain to dry) including about 1.5 hours of actual work time. The cost of the project will vary from $15 to $40 depending on the materials you already have on hand, and that sure beats the price of buying one at upwards of $170!