Thursday, April 28, 2016

DIY Pallet Headboard for Under $20!!

For the longest time I wanted to build a pallet headboard, but couldn't find the right plans for the one I envisioned on my DIY bucket-list. Yes, I'm terribly corny and created one as soon as we moved into our home;-) I'm not one to really use plans or follow them anyhow so I just followed my instincts and here is what my husband and I put together...

The "scratch look" and imperfections are two things I was really striving for. Nothing seems to fit, but everything flows together nicely like a pallet puzzle. Putting the boards together in the "perfect" spots took more than a few tries, but we really are happy with the outcome and it ended up being everything I dreamt about:)

Each pallet board has a different shade to it, a different imperfection, scratch, dent, mark, and just full of texture and history. I love that!

We haven't attached it to the frame (or wall) yet because we are going to paint the walls, build a new wood bed frame out of scratch and possibly a footboard to match the headboard. 

We attached bolts for appeal and function and spray painted them copper for an unexpected accent.
Each bolt cost $1 each and the copper spray paint we already had but originally cost $4.

I think it is safe to say that I may have a new love for copper.

It has almost a rustic fireplace mantel look to it that I am currently obsessing over!

If you love it just as much as we do, keep scrolling and we will show you how we did it!

Just a girl and her dog admiring the view!! :)

 Let's get started!!

First and foremost... If you don't have any pallets, you'll have to find them. A lot of retail businesses will stock them up behind their building for trash pick-up. Perfect opportunity to snatch them up. If you aren't 100% sure, ask an employee or manager if you can have them. There are plenty of places to find them if you know where to look. Craigslist is a great place too! Most times, they are in the free section!!

After you have collected a stack of pallets (we used all different types and sizes), you will have to take them apart. It can be time consuming, a lot of work and kind of tricky if you've never took apart pallets before. I like to use a flathead screw driver, a crowbar, and a hammer to do the job. Make sure you have a fairly decent amount of pallets because taking them apart can make some of the boards unusable. If you have a little bit of wood splitting or damage, don't worry, a lot of the boards can be sanded down enough to be used. And we like the imperfections anyways;-)

After you pick all your boards out that you want to use, sand them!

 Next, you will either want to make a frame or find a base to work on. 
We decided to use an old piece of plywood left over from another project to attach the boards to.
I cut it down to size for a queen sized bed headboard. Most standard headboards are 64 inches wide. 
I made mine 48 x 64 in.

Next, you will want to measure out all your boards to cut and fit on the plywood base.

We decided to use an old board left over from another project that was weathered pretty nicely into a "barn wood" shade as the top of our headboard. We decided to cut it to "hang" off the base 6 inches on each side.

Our table saw did the job nicely.

We decided to use wood glue to attach the boards to the plywood.

If you are going to buy Gorilla glue "white", I recommend getting 6-8 of these small bottles if you can't find the larger ones. You are going to need a lot of glue!

We used large clamps to help hold the board down a
nd add the pressure we needed for quick,even drying. 

After we were finished with the top board, we cut and glued the side boards that frame the headboard.

After you "frame" out the headboard, place your pallets on the plywood where you like them. Once you figure out your "pallet puzzle", cut, place and glue. CPG! You shouldn't need the clamps to hold down the pallet boards, but pressure is key to drying. We put 15-20lb weights on top to keep them down while the glue dries.

You will notice that the boards at the bottom run off a bit. We decided to leave it as is in fear of the delicate wood splitting. (plus my mattress will cover the bottom anyhow ha!)...

Once you are finished attaching all your boards to the plywood, figure out a way to elevate the headboard so you can get under it rather than behind it to keep the boards in place while you complete the next step. You should use wood horses but we improvised with the oversized coolers we had in the garage. Sometimes you just have to use what you got!! 

This next step is very important... securing the pallets!!

We decided to use a staple gun instead of a nail gun (or hammer and nails) to fasten the boards onto the plywood from the back.

Make sure you staple all the boards to the plywood. 
You can never go over board with securing something!!

Don't forget to cut or sand off any excess plywood!! (or measure correctly haha)  Or you will have this boo-boo.. >.<

But, its ok because we are going for imperfection anyways!!

You will want to "round off" any sharp edges and corners of all your boards if you haven't already. 
It is always good to sand again before your finished!!

This board was a "must use" with all its character!

Make sure you sand enough to be able to run your hand across all the boards without getting any splinters!! Keep sanding off those corners!! The smoother the better and safety is key!!

Once all your measuring, cutting, sanding, glueing, stapling and sanding again is finished, admire your work haha..

Next major step is to attach the "legs"...
We couldn't find the wood we needed so we bought 2 by 4s in pine (they will be unseen so no need for staining, weathering, painting, etc...)

Pre-drill the holes in the frame for the bolts we will use for appearance and function.

Then pre-drill the holes in the "legs"...

We decided to use copper spray paint we already had for the bolts.

Of course, do that step outdoors!

Finish pre-drilling for the nut & bolt then sand out the edges (something I wish we did better haha!)

Once that is all finished, attach the legs with nuts and bolts (copper painted). We used 6 altogether, 3 on each side. Only 2 are really visible once the headboard goes up and the mattress covers the others, so you can attach these closer together if you want them all to be visible on the frame.

After everything is attached, you are finished!! 

I am absolutely in love with the result and can't wait to finish the bed frame 
and maybe even a footrest to complete a whole bed!! 
The best part about this project is that we spent under $20 to complete it!!

The one thing I love most about this headboard is that my husband and I created it.. I almost want to carve a heart with our initials in one of the boards!!

Thank you for taking the time to share the experience of my dream pallet headboard project!! 
Hopefully sometime soon I will have a Master Bedroom Makeover post to share as well!! 
I'm off to cross more projects off my bucket-list!!
Happy DIYing!!