Monday, June 17, 2013

DIY Simple, Cheap Shabby Chic Headboard

The Man's mother is coming for a visit soon which has forced me to amp up on my guest room revamp.  I really have been inspired by people using shutters and pallet wood as headboards, but I couldn't find any affordable shutters and I was having trouble finding nice looking pallets, so I decided that I would just make my own from supplies at Home Depot.

Of course since I'm a newbie at the whole making furniture thing and I'm also kind of broke, I decided to take it easy and design something that would be simple and CHEAP.

The end product looked like this:

I already had the paint, sand paper and caulk, but everything else cost me less than $30 to build this headboard.

What you need:

  • 5- 1x6 boards cut to the dimension of your bed frame. This is a full bed so the boards were cut to 53 inches. 
  • 2-- 1x4 boards cut to the length of your headboard including any gaps between the boards and if you want them level with the headboard or if you would like them to be a little lower. This is all preference.
    • Our headboard length of the 1x6s (without gaps) was 27.5 inches. We added 1 inch for the total of all gaps, but I wanted the vertical boards (1x4)
      slightly shorter than the total length of the headboard so we subtracted an inch so I would have 1/2 inch difference between the headboard and the vertical board on both the top and bottom. Therefore, the vertical boards were cut to 27.5 inches. Whew! I hope that made sense! 
  • Wood Screws (I used 1 1/2 inch)
  • Anchors with screws (size 8, 1 /3/4 inch length)
  • A Level
  • Paint (either spray paint or actual brush paint)
  • Sand paper (recommend at least medium)
    • The more rounded you want your edges, the higher grit you should use. A rough sandpaper will help you get the soften look faster, but then you'll need to go back over it with a fine sandpaper to smooth out the roughness. With a medium grit sandpaper, it isn't necessary to go back over it with a fine sandpaper, but you can depending on your preference. 
  • Caulk 
Start by sanding because that really is the most important step! 

I used a medium grit sand paper for the edges and I was aggressive because I like them to be a bit rounded so they are a little softer. 

I used my hand held sander because it's much easier on the hands. I love that thing! If you can, it's also nice to go over medium to heavy grit sand paper with a finer sand paper to smooth things out anyways. 

While I did all the sanding, the man was cutting the 1x4. He is amazing when it comes to wood work! I swear he can do anything. I told him that I wanted it to look softer and within a couple of minutes he hands me a board and says "Is this good enough"? Perfection.

I'm a lucky girl. I can't tell you how he did it and he says he can't tell you how he did it because he free handed it without any guides (I told you he was amazing), but I know that you can ask the guys at Home Depot to cut angles for you and I think that would work just as well.

After I finished sanding and he finished cutting, we started to put it all together!

First, I decided what sides of the boards I wanted to be the front and in what order I wanted them to be in. 

I decided that I wanted the 1x4 to be 3 inches away from the outer edge, so we measured that and marked it on the board with a dot to represent the outside edge. We used a level to draw a straight line across each 1x6.

Then we flipped the boards over because the backside is where you will drill into so it'll stay pretty. We measured the width of the 1x4 (don't assume it's 2 inches), divided that in half and then added that to the 3 inches which we decided that the 1x4 will be from the outer edge. This is your center point for your screw.

We marked that on the board and we drew a line across each board with a level and lined them up to make sure it all was straight as a precaution.

This is the place where you will attach the 1x4 to the 1x6. We drilled into the 1x6 about 3/4 of the way into the board for a guide hole. This is where you will drill the screw to attach the 1x4 to the front. 

Then you flip the boards back right side up. Pick your bottom and top 1x6 boards because those you will want to place first. The reason is because you may want 1/8 of an inch gap between the boards but if you're a little off... well, then you will have to redo it or leave it with one large gap at the top.

If you put the top and bottom together first then you will be assured that the 1x4 will have the same gap on the top and bottom (the 1/2 inch), then when you add the center board you will have created equal gaps between all boards.

Remember those lines we drew on the front of the board? Well, use them to line up your 1x4 on your top 1x6.

This is when a second person comes in handy, but you can also use wood clamps. One person will hold the board in place in relation to the line while the other person drills into the board. 

The boards will be a little wiggly so don't worry if they don't stay in your perfect 90 degree angle. If this bothers you then you can add a second screw to stop the movement. 

Repeat with the other side of the 1x6 and then add the bottom 1x6 and then the middle 1x6 until it looks like the picture on the left.

Now paint. You paint at this point because if you added all the wood, then you wouldn't be able to get into the seams between the 1x6's. 

So paint! I did a very, very thin layer because I wanted to be able to see the wood grain and make it look like it's a little bit older. But by all means-- slap on the paint if you want something a little fresher looking. 

Now flip it back over to it's back and then add the last two pieces of wood (that are already painted). 

We are lazy so we didn't paint the back, plus we wanted our line to keep those last two boards in line. 

This is what mine looked like when it was assembled and painted. 

We mounted it directly to the wall using anchors and size 8 screws that were 1 3/4 inch long. We had two anchor points on top and one that was centered on the bottom 1x6.  We caulked them and will repaint tomorrow. I just couldn't wait to post pictures!! 

Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!

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