Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A DIY Headboard

I am so excited to finally share with you just one of the diy projects I've been working on! On October 25th we will have been in our same space (a one-bedroom apartment) for a year. I've learned that there's a lot of trial + error that comes along with a new space - furniture arrangements, wall decor, and proper scentsy placement :) It doesn't necessarily feel just right the first way you try something. 

Especially in a small one-bedroom apartment you need to get creative with these things and I feel like we've finally gotten most things situated in the best way. Plus we know we'll be in this same space for at least another full year, so I feel like it's time to add some more personal touches that pull the space together. In the last few weeks I've been trying to give our place a prettier and homier feel, without spending too much money and without doing anything too drastic since it is an apartment. I have had to spend some money on each project I've started and I've had to "invest" in a few things that I will use on multiple projects, but seeing the final product definitely justifies that. 

I've mostly been focusing on our bedroom because it needed a little love. It's small and we found a way to fit the bed, dresser, and 2 nightstands that works well for us. But other than our furniture, we had nothing else in there. We needed to give our walls and overall appearance a little more attention. I started with the bed because all we have is a bed-frame and I wanted to make the bed the focal point of the room. 

Here's what our love shack looked like before:
And here's what it looks like now:

And here's the thing you guys - it was super easy! I'm not an artsy person. I don't have fabulous ideas. And I have almost zero experience with painting or staining. Believe me when I tell you: if I can do it, you can do it. One reason I started with our headboard project (rather than turning that blah black dresser into rocket red!) is because you really can't mess up staining. I already shared some basic staining tips here where I also talked about distressing wood. I had my mom helping me and it wasn't very hard and it didn't take too much time. Here's the low-down:

Necessary Materials:
  • 3 - 1x6x10 pine boards {I cut these in half because our queen bed is almost 5 feet wide}
  • Distressing tools {see my post here about how to distress wood}
  • Wood stain
  • Polyeurothane
  • 2 separate paintbrushes for each of the above
  • Drill and screws for mounting to wall
  • A sexy man to "install" the headboard*
*I'm kidding. You can do it yourself, too. But it was more fun watching my hubs do it.

1. Cut your boards to your desired length. If you're lucky enough to have a king-size bed, you'll obviously want them longer than 5 feet. I chose to use 1x6s (that means 1 inch thick and 6 inches wide) but depending on the final look you're going for you could use boards of different widths (i.e. 1x4s or 1x10s). 

2. Distress your boards. You could leave them non-distressed too and skip this step but I think the engravings, scratches, and ridges add a lot of character. Plus you can do fun things like this:

3. Stain your boards and finish with polyeurothane. Read my tips here.

4. I let them dry / rest for at least 2 days before we hung them on the wall. I didn't want them to feel sticky or smell at all when we brought them in our room. To hang we used 3 screws in each board and screwed directly into the wall. We put one screw in the center and one screw at either end - I'd recommend finding the studs and screwing directly into those for the best hold.

I would guess the entire project took about 4 hours and it was actually pretty fun! For the final product I bought new pillows (2 standard + 2 king size) to go with the shams and new sheets, so going to bed every night feels luxurious! I would highly recommend having lots of pillows and crisp white sheets :)

Like I said, I promise this is a project you can handle! 

Also, this is my first post where I'm sharing photos taken by my new DSLR camera, rather than my iPhone. The "before" picture was taken with my iPhone but you're supposed to always make your "before" pictures look as grungy as possible right? I love the crispness, great colors, and clarity my new camera is giving me.

These bedroom projects are still coming for me to share:
  • Jewelry Frame {completed}
  • 3D shelf {completed}
  • Rocket Red dresser {haven't even started - trying to convince my hubby this should be his undertaking}
  • Real photos in my white frame above the headboard


  1. Wow! That looks awesome, love the idea of putting your initials on it too!

  2. Hi Samantha! Love the DIY head board! I've been meaning to DIY my own head board, but I want my head board to have fabric and buttons. I saw it somewhere on Pinterest. I love the post.
    Anyways, I found your blog through Wildcard Wednesday bog hop. I'm dropping by to say hi! I'm a new follower :) via bloglovin' and GCF, and hope you can stop by my blog when you get the chance. I look forward to following your journey!
    xoxo, Jess

  3. I love this headboard! Especially that you distressed your initials in it! So cute! I would totally steal this idea but we are renting and they warned us about having "too many" holes in the walls :(

  4. This looks awesome!! I'm so impressed! It makes me want to do the same! Can't wait to see your other projects!

  5. Ok, this is the stupidest question of all stupid questions.....but how did you cut your wood? Do you have your own tools at home, or did you get someone at the store to do it? This looks incredible!!!

  6. I love how pretty your new headboard is and would love to try this projects!


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