DIY · Home Decor · Uncategorized

DIY (and with friends) Pallet Headboard

Good morning and Happy Valentines day shyers! This Valentines Day weekend I spent with my friends and of course I roped them into my very first DIYshy project. On Friday I decided that I absolutely needed a headboard, and naturally it was made out of pallets, for my apartment. Luckily, I live in a small farm town so it was easy to find guys who were willing to put in some hard work and help me out. Keep in mind, I had no idea what I was doing..I just kind of winged it. So here’s my step-by-step process for making a pallet wood headboard.

First, you need to find friends who have pallets. I was originally going to buy them (the pallets, not my friends) online but they were over $100 for just a few pallets. That’s a little too much for a poor college student like myself. Like I said earlier though, I live in a farm town. This means I know lots of farmers who happen to have pallets laying around their farms…and they also gave them to me for free! Score! I took six pallets that were all in a grey tone in order to match my style.

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Disclaimer: these are grey..the lighting in my workshop is just horrible.

With each pallet you want to get a wire brush and lightly brush all the dust and dirt off. I also sprayed them with insecticide because there’s just no way I’m going to have a bug crawl on me while I’m sleeping. That’s definitely not my idea of a restful night.

So, with the pallets all moved into my workshop my friend Abbi and I set out a plan. She made a template on word and that’s what we always referred to. We then went to my bed frame in my room and measured it, since it’s a queen and that’s what I’ll have in my apartment.

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Once that was done, we made the frame with your basic 2X4. We used the measurements and simply cut them to size. It is important that you have a right angle to make sure everything will be even when you’re done. I also learned a new phrase “measure twice and cut once.” I learned this because like the newbie that I am, I forgot to take into account that there were two inches on the top and bottom for the middle structures. Luckily, I measure it too long so it was an easy fix…but still, lesson learned.

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Next, I enlisted my man-friends to pry the individual wood pallet slats off their original structure. I’m not going to lie, this was hard. You needed to use a crow bar to loosen the boards a bit and then go in with a saws-all (I called it sawzaw and got laughed at so much, so don’t do that) to cut the nails out of the board. You then use a punch (it’s kind of a long iron stick) that you place on the top of the nail and it hit it with a hammer to make the nail come out cleanly.

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That’s Abbi using a punch..what a great friend.

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This is Utter, is last name is Etter but we’re from a farm town so it makes sense to call him this, using the hammer to pry up the boards.

After all the pallets were off, it was time to measure and cut. Once we got the first measurement out of the way it was pretty much smooth sailing. To find your initial cut you simply lay the two boards on the frame and get your angle. You measure the angle size and set your mitre saw (I called it the swivel saw because that’s what it looked like) to cut the right angle. Then you cut the first two boards.

When cutting, flip one of the boards to the ugly side you don’t’ want to use so that way when you flip it over you’ll have a flush angle. I used 2 inch nails to secure the boards. The first two boards should look something like this…

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I chose a V shape because it think it makes the headboard look a little more professional than just a straight across design. When we first started putting the boards on I noticed there was some gaps in between the boards so I just simply painted the frame a grey stain color so you wouldn’t be able to tell a difference.

You continue the cutting process until all the boards have filled the area. There is going to be excess wood hanging off the edges so we just put the headboard on a couple of saw horses to lift it off the ground. Once again, with my extensive knowledge I called it a seahorse…but hey, my friends knew at this point that I just made up my own names.

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Utter then used the saws-all to cut off the edges. It ended up looking like this.

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In hindsight we should have used a table saw to ensure nice, even edges but oh live and learn. I love all the different color boards. It adds such an interesting aspect for the eye to follow and also adds so many dimensions!

Next up, were the finishing touches. Once again we used pallets to put boards on the front edges and also the sides. We also chose to put a small board in the middle to create a more polished look. That was my friend Michael’s idea, I was a little against it at first but he convinced me to do it and I’m so glad he did. We then found a long part of the pallet and put it on the top of the headboard to create a ledge.

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And of course I couldn’t have done this without my amazing friends. They knew so much and made this task so much fun. I could also pay them in beer..making this headboard even cheaper haha.

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This is Michael, Utter, Abbi, and me. (Once again, the lighting is horrible in my workshop so please forgive me.)

Speaking of price..this headboard cost me a total of $50. All I had to buy were the nails, wire brush, insecticide, and beer. You can’t beat a professional looking headboard for only 50 bucks. That’s a win in itself!

The best part about this is that it’s not perfect. Every time we would mess up our excuse was “it’s rustic!” so don’t be afraid if every little line isn’t perfect. Chances are, no one will notice. Another great thing about this headboard is that I had so much fun making it. It was hard work, but the memories and fun we had doing it made it that much better.

From my eye for the shy,



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