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Cheap DIY Pine Board Headboard

Everyone has a story. Everyone’s story starts somewhere. My love for anything DIY started here when I made this Cheap DIY headboard for our master bedroom after I felt like the bed frame needed something. 

It all started on Pinterest (don’t most projects?) where I kept seeing tons of easy DIY headboard ideas. My search kept bringing met to these wood board headboards. I figured, how simple is that? A few simple wood boards stacked and nailed to the wall really created a focal point for the room and looked to be a great option and easy way to spruce up a bedroom. 

That’s when I realized that creating a headboard for your bed doesn’t have to break the bank or be super complicated. This is also a fantastic guest bedroom idea if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy bed frame or store bought headboard.  

Enough about my beginnings,  here we go with a step by step tutorial on this super simple cheap DIY headboard project. I highly recommend this project especially for a DIY beginner. Is there such a thing? Lol. Off to the hardware store…

Materials and Tools Required

Creating a DIY headboard can be both cost-effective and satisfying. The key is selecting affordable materials that meet your aesthetic and functional needs, and gathering the right tools to ensure a smooth building process.

Choosing Budget-Friendly Materials

I chose to purchase six(6) 1″ by 6′ by 8′ standard pine boards for this project. They cost over $10 per board. If you are looking for a cheaper option, consider ripping a sheet of plywood instead of buying individual boards. 

  • Plywood or MDF: These are sturdy and can be cut to size. They serve as the base for fabric or padding if down the road you choose to turn this into an upholstered headboard. Material TypeEstimated Cost RangePlywood (4’x8′ sheet)$20 – $40MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)$25 – $50

Another cheap option is to consider buying a shiplap paneling sheet and cut it to size. These sheets run a little less than $40 currently. This is a great option if you are looking to paint your headboard white since most of the shiplap paneling sheets already come pre primed (white). If you are looking for a more rustic look and want to stain the boards yourself, I would suggest sticking with individual boards. 

If you are looking for another type of wood board, you might want to read about the best wood for DIY furniture here. I went into a lot more detail about different types of wood in this post.

First thing, let’s grab some supplies. 

Basic Tools for a Simple Headboard Project

The toolkit for a headboard project typically includes the following:

  • Measuring Tape: Essential for accurate sizing of materials.
  • Saw: For cutting wood to the desired dimensions. A handsaw or electric saw will suffice, based on the user’s skill level and budget. A miter saw is the best option. 
  • Hammer and Nails or a Nail Gun: For assembling any framing or attaching the headboard to the wall.
  • Screwdriver and Screws: For securing parts together or mounting brackets for the headboard.
  • Level: To ensure the headboard is perfectly horizontal during installation.
  • Sandpaper or an Electric Sander: For smoothing any rough edges on the wood before painting or upholstering.
  • Stain: for adding color to the boards. Check out colorful stain products here or light wood stain products here.

Cheap DIY headboard

Let me show my old headboard project and how I easily created a lovely feature wall with a few (six) pine boards. 

Staining or Painting the Boards

Before you assemble your own headboard, make sure to either paint or stain the wood. You headboard can be tons of different colors if you want! The sky is the limit.

A few tips; for painting, one should select a semi-gloss or satin finish paint that allows for easy cleaning. A prime coat is recommended before applying two layers of the chosen paint color.

When it comes to staining, one should first apply a wood conditioner, followed by a stain of choice, ensuring even application for a consistent finish. Allow the stain to penetrate deeply into the wood before wiping off any excess. It’s easier to complete this before they are installed.

I chose to use a Minwax stain in the color dark walnut. If you are using an oil based product, make sure to apply the product in a well ventilated area as the fumes are fierce!

Assembling the Headboard Frame

If you are mounting the boards directly to the wall, you don’t necessarily need to assemble a “frame” and you can skip this step. 

Once the materials are cut to size (I had Home Depot cut my boards to size):

  1. Lay the large board flat as the headboard’s main panel.
  2. Attach vertical support beams at both ends using wood screws. Secure them from the back to hide the screws.
  3. For shelves or decorative elements, screw these pieces into the front, ensuring they are level and evenly spaced.
  4. If adding posts on the sides for a freestanding headboard, screw them in place and make sure they are perpendicular to the floor.

Wall-Mounted Headboard Installation

I chose to mount the boards directly to the wall and forgo attaching them together beforehand. 

To install the wall-mounted boards:

  1. Measure the distance between the hanging points on the headboard.
  2. Transfer these measurements onto the wall, ensuring they are level.
  3. Install wall anchors or find the studs in the wall to attach the mounting brackets.
  4. Hang the headboard onto the mounted brackets, checking for stability.

And thats it folks! This cheap DIY HEADBOARD PROJECT was super easy. It was a great way to add a focal point to the wall.

Below you can see pictures of the room with the headboard and our rustic bedroom decor!

Cheap DIY headboard

So now you know my DIY beginnings. Where did your DIY story start?

Make sure to check out this post about how I painted a wall to look like a headboard here! This was a fun and easy project too.

paint a wall to look like a headboard


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  1. […] This room was an easy fix; paint a little styling. I did add that DIY headboard.  […]

  2. […] like a “shelf.” It just so happened that I had some old wood I previously used as a headboard in our old home. I thought I could lay it on top of the bench to make it look more […]

  3. I’ve been looking for ideas for a headboard for my guest room. I love this idea, frugal but makes an impact. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Love the headboard…so rustic and pretty. What a cute idea to decorate it with the monogram garland. #HomeMattersParty

    Life With Lorelai

  5. Michelle James says:

    I love your headboard & the way you decorated it! So pretty! I tried those strips on a small pallet board over my bed. It held about 3 days then fell on me in the middle of the night & gave me a black eye! Never again! Really loved having you as cohost of #homemattersparty

    • Thanks Michelle, and oh no, I can’t believe it gave you a black eye. The same thing almost happened to me, although I was able to catch the board before it hit me. It’s been great being a part of this party, and hope in the future I can join again!

  6. It’s so pretty. I can’t believe you had a board fall on you in the middle of the night! I would never think to use 3M strips to hold up large pieces of wood ????

    • Crazy about the board right! I had read a ton of other blog posts who had used the 3M strips, and they said it worked great! Yea right. AND the 3M strips said they held up to 10 lbs EACH.