Looking for an inexpensive way to make over your master bedroom or guest bedroom? We’re over the moon for this elegant, contemporary take on the headboard, which provides an eye-catching, but not overwhelming, focal point—and a guaranteed conversation starter. With its clean, unfussy look, it’s both he- and she-friendly, and dresses up a space in an upscale yet laid-back way. From start to finish, the headboard can be whipped up in a single weekend, using a handful of easy-to-find materials and tools. The best part? You can customize the pattern, so you’ll get exactly the look you want.
What you’ll need (for a queen-size bed):
1 headboard “blank” (see here for how to make it), or a premade flat, unfinished and undecorated headboard
6–8 squares each of ¾” birch plywood, cut into the following dimensions: 1’ x 1’, 8” x 8”, 4” x 4”, and 2” x 2” (approximately 32 squares total)
Pneumatic staple gun or nailer
1 ½” staples or nails for the above
Wood putty and plastic putty knife
Spray paint (we used Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2x Satin Spray)
How to do it:
1. Start by laying the largest squares first. Take advantage of the straight edges at the top, bottom, and sides of the headboard by aligning several in those areas.
2. Place your center square. It doesn’t have to be exactly in the center, but should be in a spot that looks visually appealing. Measure from the sides and top of the board to ensure that it’s mostly centered and the sides are straight when compared to the top and bottom of the headboard.
3. Try out several different configurations, laying the squares up to three deep, until you get a pattern you like. Be careful as you’re leaning over the headboard not to knock the squares out of place! (We know of which we speak on this one.) If it will help you remember the placement, snap a few quick photos with your cell phone or digital camera.
4. Using a pneumatic staple gun or nailer, first nail down the pieces that are touching the headboard; staple at least two of each square’s four corners. Then staple or nail the second and third layer of squares. Nail carefully, to avoid making the headboard bounce (and dislodging your other squares) while you’re working.
5. If any staples or nails aren’t sunk properly past the surface of the wood, use a nail set and a small hammer to set them. Then spread wood putty over the staple or nail holes with a plastic putty knife. Allow the putty to dry completely, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
6. Using a sanding sponge, smooth the putty until it’s flush with the surface of each square.
7. Blow the sanding dust off the headboard with some canned air; you want it to be completely clean before painting.
8. Spray paint with your favorite shade, making sure to cover all exposed areas, including the tops and sides of the squares, the top and sides of the headboard, and the legs of the headboard.