In this post: Need a headboard for your bed on a budget? Make this reclaimed wood headboard with NEW wood for less than $50 and minimal DIY skills!

diy wood headboard with new wood for less than $50

Okay, so truly this is a super easy project. Like almost 1, 2, 3 easy.


And it is a total cheat. It’s not reclaimed barn-board at all! Shhh. It uses all new wood. Because let’s face it, reclaimed wood can’t always be found and may not be desirable to use on a headboard.

The only prep work is to decide how big to make the headboard. Since we have a queen bed, we decided on five feet wide by almost six feet tall. That’s about the approximate width of the bed and slightly taller than the width for height.

Make Your Own Reclaimed Wood Headboard with New Wood! 

diy reclaimed wood look headboard



Step 1: Decide where to put your headboard. Find the studs. Mark vertical lines with a pencil.

 Step 2: Sand rough spots and edges off of the boards. This is a headboard, people!

Step 3: Starting at the bottom (@ baseboard or floor), screw the first board to the wall using the stud marks you made in Step 1. Continue stacking the boards one on top of the other and fastening in this way all the way to the top (last) board.

Step 4: In a well ventilated room, and perhaps wearing a mask (trust me, this stuff STINKS when wet!), rub the minwax stain into the wood. Be careful to avoid the drywall around the headboard – tape it off with frog tape or slide a heavy piece of paper between headboard and wall as you stain. I only needed to do one coat, but if you would like it darker feel free to stain again. We also stained this once it was on the wall and slept in another room for a couple of nights. FEEL FREE TO STAIN THE BOARDS AND LET THEM DRY FIRST!

Add a few embellishments if desired, like the love banner below.  

See, didn’t I tell you it was easy?! 

And it was inexpensive! Here’s the approximate cost breakdown:

  • The wood was $2.97 per 8 foot length. That was the shortest the HD had. Times twelve boards = $36.
  • We had the stain. But if you were to buy it I think it’s about $9 for the small container. I used half that. Effectively $4.50.
  • I had to buy screws because somehow in our buckets of hardware we had no 2″ flat head screws. Go figure. $6.

So for $46.50 (plus tax depending on where you live) – voila!!!!

Any questions? What do you think of our Reclaimed Wood Look Headboard? 

PS. We loved the look of this headboard so much that we recreated it when we moved into our current house too! See it here.

Make Your Own Reclaimed Wood Headboard With NEW Wood

shannon pixie photo and signature

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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  1. I LOVE your headboard! I need a headboard so bad. I’m planning to DIY one…and I love how yours turned out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I LOVE that you did it with new wood! I was just having the conversation the other day that I want a reclaimed wood headboard… but we’re not in an awesome area like LA where scrap wood yards are turning over new materials on like a daily basis. I was nervous about the wood becoming rotted from spoiling in the rain… {yuck}
    So! Figured I’d just buy new wood, and make it look old… fantttastic!
    I love your simple idea of attaching it to the wall, rather than the bed.
    Yup! Following your lead and keeping this in my mind while I do mind.
    thanks so much!

    Pamela @

  3. What an awesome idea!!! I love the impressiveness that it adds to your bed. Thanks for sharing the tutorial! Great job!!!!

    xoxo laurie

  4. Love the cheat! Reclaimed wood may be the rage…but itโ€™s just not always that easy to find! Thanks for sharing how to get the look!

  5. Absolutely beautiful! I’m going to have to pass this idea along to a girlfriend who is looking for a headboard idea for her son. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You are so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment Bethany. S. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I am in love! My daughter needs a King headboard – thinking this would be an awesome design. Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is a great idea! You mentioned that the minwax was stinky. Does the finished headboard still smell like the minwax or does the smell go away once it’s dry?

    1. Good question Krista! No, the stain no longer smells. Our unscientific explanation is that once the thinners in the stain dry, the smell goes away. Really it doesn’t smell at all after the stain is comepletely dry. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Hi I just made a headboard similar to your and I love it. I let it dry out side for a couple days and today I let it sit in direct sunlight all day. It feels dry to the touch but still smells a bit. Do u thinks its ok ? I have an 11 month old that sleeps in the room with us. I have the bathroom fan on and tge celing fan. It just stll smells kinda.

    3. Hi Anthony,

      That is going to have to be totally up to you and what you’re comfortable with. The smell does eventually totally go away – and I have a very sensitive nose. But with babe in room, be careful. Their lungs are littler than ours!


  8. Wow! I’m loving this. I want to build my own coffee table and this is exactly what I want the top to look like! And now I know what kind of wood to get too! Thanks so much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Ashleigh! The stained spruce does make for a beautiful reclaimed wood look. Would love to see your coffee table when you finish it! S.

    1. Oh a door would be lovely too! We would love to see what you come up with. S.

  9. Could you just put two 2 x 4’s vertically up the back and affix the boards to that instead of directly to the wall so it is easily removed? Just curious…

    Might need to do this with my little boys big boy bed but it is a rental so I don’t to put in on the wall…


    1. You totally could. Just be sure it’s going to be safe and not fall over if the bed gets scooched out from the wall (by playing, jumpin and other such things small children tend to do!). ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe secure with an ikea strap that’s made for securing bookshelves to the wall?

  10. Love this project, your style is awesome. You had me at the LOVE banner! That’s what I can my husband. Im a follower now because just the few minutes looking around, we have similar thrifty ideas. Come on over and visit me too!

    Lucky 7 Design

  11. Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you have much i LOVE this idea!! I was googling for something similiar and love how yours turned out!! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to make mine.

    1. Thank you Jennifer!! I’d love to see pics of yours when you’re finished. S. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Fabulous! I love the fact that the lumber is new. This just goes to prove what character new wood can have. Gorgeous photo!

    Shared this on FJI Facebook for SNS 87. ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. Would it work if I stained the wood first and then nail it? I’m worried about getting it on the wall:)

    1. Absolutely…in fact I would recommend staining it first. Truth be told we were just too lazy and wanted to get it up on the wall pronto!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. I absolutely love it! How do you think it would look if we did a white, shabby-chic look? Im just wondering if doing a wood colored headboard would go with my white furniture. Maybe I’ll give it a try! THanks for the inspriation!

    1. I bet it would look gorgeous in shabby chic white!!!!! Maybe dry brush it?? Please show us pics when you’re done!

  15. I actually just had a bed made and want to do the reclaimed look. My wood is cypress. Will the stain react differently to cypress? Do you have any suggestions for making new cypress look like old cypress? Thanks so much.

    1. Stain will always react slightly different depending on the wood. I would test the stain on a scrap piece or somewhere not visible on your bed to see how you like it.

  16. So simple yet so elegant and beautiful!
    My sister just made a burlap light cover for her bedroom, I will have to show her this idea. Great job!

  17. Did you use a finish over the stain? I just stained wood for a headboard like this and am wondering if it needs a finish like polyurethane or something…thanks! Love it!

  18. I am very ecietxd about your post. I found Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at a local antique mall! It was $38.50 per can. I don’t think that is a bad mark-up at all. It is much better than a large shipping fee. I urge everyone to check their local antique shops…you never know! Hugs, Jan

  19. I’m totally using your idea to put a new top on my old coffee table. I just happen to already have a headboard that I love or I’d do this too!

  20. I love this headboard so much!! What a great idea! The way you styled it with the burlap love banner and pillows is just right. Great work!

    1. We adore our headboard too – it’s finally the perfect fit for our style!

    1. I saw an even simpler version where someone just hung there’s on the wall with those 3M Command strips!!! No tools required!

    1. Um, good question. I think they’re about 7″ from point to center of the top and maybe 5″ wide (at the top).

  21. How did you stain the headboard? How dark did it turn out? Am I correct when I say that it looks on more of the lighter side than darker? I just had my hubby stain mine with the same color and it looks way darker:/ He only did one coat, but he used one of those foam brushes. Do you think that would make a difference? Thanks!

    1. Did your hubby wipe off the excess stain with a lint-free rag after a few minutes? If he didn’t, that may account for how dark it is. And yes a foam brush will put a LOT of stain onto the wood!

    2. I don’t think he did. I think we are going to try and sand it and restain it. How did you put your stain on? Did you use a rag to wipe it on and then another to wipe it off? Thank you for your help!!

    3. Often I will use a foam brush to put it on and a rag to wipe it off. If you don’t like how dark the Dark Walnut is, you could try Special Walnut or Puritan Pine instead.

    4. Hmm…. We did use Special Walnut. I think we are just going to start over;) Thanks for all your help!

  22. Hi, how do you make some parts lighter than others? do you just wipe it out unequally or it just comes out like that?

  23. Hi. I know this post is a bit old to be commenting on, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with your headboard tutorial. I’ve linked to your post, on my site: In A Mini Skirt.

    1. In many cases, yes. And in fact we did paint the wood before-hand at our current house’s bedroom. But at the old house, there was no room to lay out all the boards and the weather was bad. So on the wall it was!

  24. I love it, but I have a small bedroom, and unfortunately, in order to fit everything in our room, we have to butt the head of our bed against a window. So no place to nail a headboard to the wall.

  25. I just discovered your blog from Ana White’s site and I am totally addicted! With six kids our bedroom is pretty far from a “master”, more like the dumping ground for all the stuff that has nowhere else to go. I have printed off several bed/headboard plans for my husband (hint, hint) and so far still nothing but an old metal frame. This, however, looks like a project I could do myself. It’s like a giant version of some wall dรฉcor that I have made using furring strips to hold the wood together. Our bed must be in front of a window, do you think I could attach the boards to vertical pieces of wood rather than to a wall? I absolutely love your headboard and you are just brilliant to have come up with a simple yet awesome headboard.

    1. I know a few readers have used something like furring strips instead of mounting the headboard directly to the wall.

    2. Thanks for answering! I am so excited…our 16th wedding anniversary is next month–to have an actual headboard after all this time, woo hoo!

    1. Absolutely! We actually did that at our current house. There wasn’t room to at the old house. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I was wondering if it would work to mount the wood onto 2×4 and then hang on wall rather than drilling holes into the wall?

    1. Yes, you could totally do that! We just had a really small room and didn’t want to lose even an inch of space.

  27. Love this and it was so easy. The only thing is I couldn’t imagine staining it while it was up. I stained it and left it outside for a couple days and it still left a stain odor in our room for awhile. Anyway thank you so much I love how it turned out. No I am searching for the right pillows and comforter. Monogrammed the headboard with our last name initial in the middle, mine on my side and his on his side. It is still in the chalk stage. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you made one for yourself, Jen! We actually slept in another room the first night it was up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Have you ever painted pallets I’m making a pallet headboard I’ve already sanded it just not know what kind of paint to paint it with anything you could help me with would be highly appreciated