DIY: Head Board

Headboards are one of those things that can make or break a bedroom. It can work as a great artistic centerpiece that sets the aesthetic for the room. The issue is is that they can be expensive.  When I was designing my bedroom, I knew I wanted something simple but still rich and bold, but I wasn't finding anything within my price range. I was seeing a lot of really beautiful wooden headboards that had a really simple design but they were pice well over $200. That's when I settled on the DIY route. I'm honestly not a huge DIY person, BUT this was too easy and cheap not to do.


  • (4) 10'' wide boards 60'' (or 5 feet) long
  • (2) 2x4 board 54" long
  • (1) can of interior wood stain, color of your choice. (We went with Red Oak)
  • (1) can of semi-matte finish
  • A box of wood screws 1 1/2 inch. 


  • Screwdriver 
  • Tape Measurer
  • Pencil
  • Staining Brush
  • Rags 

This DIY Headboard will transform the look of your bedroom and can accommodate almost any style you have in mind. For my bedroom, I was going for a midcentury rustic/eclectic look. I selected boards that had a worn and distressed look, full of knots and textured grains. I also selected a stain that was a rich, warm color. After selecting these materials that fit the look your going for, gather the rest of your materials and get to work. All in all, this only took us an hour to assemble, 2 hours to stain, and a day to apply the finish as you have to wait for each coat to dry  before applying the next. 

Step 1: Purchase your materials. Home Depot cut all of the wood for us. So if you don't have a saw or sawing skills, never fear. 

Step 2: Lay out your four wide boards in the order of your choice. Make sure that the ends all line up flush. With the four boards laying tightly together, lay one of the 2X4 boards across the four wide boards. Position it so it’s 1” down from the top and 2” in from the side. Make sure to measure and mark it with a pencil. Mark the top and side edge of the 2X4 board on the first (top) wide board. Go down to the last (bottom) wide board and again measure in 2” from the side and mark it. With the 2X$ board lined up with your top and bottom marks, you can now draw a line down the edge to ensure it’s straight while you drill your holes and fasten your screws. On that pencil line, mark ever 9 inches where you will fasten your screws. Now you're ready to screw in your screws. This method will disguise your screws so that you can't see them from the front. I actually wanted the screws to be seen, so I followed this same process, except I placed the 2X4s on the ground first and placed the wide boards on top so that I would screw them from the front. 


Step 3: Apply the stain. Follow the individual stain instructions of the stain you purchase. We went with Minwax Wood Finish. I like to gradually bring the stain to the shade I want, so I air on leaving the stain on for only a few minutes (3-5) and then wiping it off. I applied 3 coats of stain, leaving each stain on for three minutes before wiping off. 

DIY Headboard - Lifestyle Blog

I like to gradually bring the stain to the shade I want, so I air on leaving the stain on for only a few minutes (3-5) and then wiping it off. I applied 3 coats of stain, leaving each stain on for three minutes before wiping off. 

DIY Headboard, Lifestyle Blog, Wood Stain

4. Assemble and style! Allow the stain to dry, waiting at least 24 hours before bringing it in the house. The kind of bed frame you have will determine how you attached the headboard to the bed. For this, we easily slid the supporting posts into slots that were in the frame and screw them in through the screw holes. And viola! 


I was so excited to style this space with the headboard as my anchor. I am a lover of white with pops of color.  The white duvet and cushions are from Ikea and the stark white horse print is from Hobby Lobby. I wanted a fun, bright color to pull it together, and my grandmother's knit wool blanket acted as the perfect inspirational starting point. I loved the bright orange and used that to select my pop-cushion color.

DIY Headboard

I followed that with a boho orange candle holder from Anthropologie and the chartreuse lamp from Ollies (which was only $6). I found this cute minimalist bedside table with the white drawer from Overstock

If you have similar experience with a DIY headboard, we would love to hear about it! Send us your pictures of how you styled it or post them below! 

Jessica Fowler