Reclaimed Wood Headboard {DIY} | Sugar for Breakfast: Reclaimed Wood Headboard {DIY}

Friday, July 24, 2015

Reclaimed Wood Headboard {DIY}

Before I even begin this post, I must apologize in an advance that it may get a bit lengthy.
And photograph-heavy.
It is just because I AM SO DARN EXCITED about this you guys!

I finally got my act together and made a headboard for my headboardless bed!
My bedroom is nowhere near a sanctuary that I know people are supposed to have. 
It is cramped. It houses my husband's computer/desk and all his fishing crap priceless things in it (think electronics and lure making supplies, exciting stuff - I know).
It is a hodge-podge of furniture with no real direction or unity.
Kind of like my entire house...
Sad, but true. 
My hubs and I bought our house when we were just youngens who knew nothing about home-ownership. 
We barely were adults and had no real taste. 
Needless to say, we have now lived in our house for 11 years (way too long) and I have decided that it is time to make it how I want it. 
Plus, if we are ever going to sell it and move into a bigger house, this stuff needs improved anyhow.
I might as well have fun with it while doing it, right?
The first thing on my list?
Making my bedroom an adult bedroom.
I finally want a room that when I walk into it, I feel comfort.
I don't want that feeling of dread and claustrophobia due to clutter to overtake me. 

This ^^ just wasn't doing it for me anymore. 
Notice my dog curled up on the bed? 
Where do I begin? I mean really?
My hubs likes everything to be "conveniently located" for him. Which means, wherever it lands, it stays. 
The lamp by my side was broken and the shade always fell off, the knob is missing on the little nightstand...the hooks on the back of the door hold my hub's bulky robe and a random backpack. (These are now nicely tucked away in my closet and a mirror is mounted on the door instead).
I mean, what is going on here? I just tossed crap on the walls without thinking about what I really want up there. 
But guess what?
I'm poor :*(
By poor I mean, my daughter is in dance  where will we come up with extra hundreds to improve everything that needs to be done around my house (which is sadly too much to even list).
So I lie awake some nights, collecting my thoughts on what I like and what I don't.
Colors that please me, and those that don't.
Things that make me happy, and things in my house that don't.
Finding my own taste.

I always thought that when you have a small house you need light colors to make everything feel brighter,..more open. That's what I always read in home decorating magazines and what they would say on home improvement shows. So it has to be true.
Guess what though?
Lighter colors=dirty mess when you have dogs, an outdoorsman for a husband, and run a daycare in your house.
When I redid my bathroom late last year, I totally threw the lighter colors for small spaces out the window and you know what happened?
I freaking love my dark colored tiny bathroom!
Can you guess what I did in my bedroom?
I went BLACK.
I am on a mission to repaint every room in my house, and I thought my new headboard will be nicely housed on my new dramatic black accent wall. 

It takes a good two or three coats to get it a nice solid black.
Glidden now sells it in ready-to-go cans of paint, which is awesome! I used one quart to paint this wall and the door. 
Yep. I am serious about change around this house. 

Okay, you now know the back story of this project, so let's get to the nitty-gritty.
How much did this thing cost to make?
How hard was it?
Is it worth it?

$50 (I installed lamps on it which cost the most)
Super easy!
TOTALLY worth it.

We have a queen-sized bed, so I made this 66 inches wide and 40 inches tall.
I knew I wanted to go for a rustic feel, so I wasn't worried about perfection at all while making it. 
I wanted there to be imperfections (not straight edges for the wood to meet up) to give it more character. 

I totally nailed it.
It fits my style exactly. It improved the overall feeling in our bedroom just with this alone. I haven't even painted the rest of the walls yet!

So how did I make this?

  • old wood
  • bucket 
  • water
  • dish soap (blue Dawn)
  • scrubbing brush
  • sunlight (seriously)
  • lots of screws (1 1/2 inch)
  • 2x4 (6 feet long)
  • table saw 
  • wood stain
  • old rag
  • polycrylic (or polyurethane)
  • paint brush
  • mountable lamps (if adding lighting)
  • level
  • electric drill
I had a bunch of old wood from my grandpa's basement that my dad had used many moons ago to make plant stands out of.
They are 1x10 boards in varying lengths.
I brought them home and we didn't know what we would ever do with them, so they have been sitting outside propped up against our garage for over a year now.

I laid them out in my driveway (on a hot, sunny day) with a bucket of water and dish soap.
Make the water really sudsy, then scrub the wood clean, making sure to scrub the ends. I then let the boards sit out in the sun to dry.

You can see where the wood had faded and where the ends were badly weathered. After I cleaned the boards really well, I then chose which side I want to use as the front and which ends I wanted to cut off (the weathered stuff) and arranged them how I wanted the end headboard to look.

For my reclaimed wood, I ended up having to cut about 1 inch off of each side of every board to get the nasty stuff gone.
I measured each row, accounting for what I needed to cut off and then gave them to the hubs to cut for me.
You can tell in the photo that I also had to cut off some wood length-wise because one of the boards was narrower than the others for some reason. 
Take special note to the knots in the wood, I wanted those to really be visible and put them towards the top of the headboard.
I used a pencil to mark the order of the boards so I wouldn't get them messed up.
Starting in the top left, I marked it 1/1, then 1/2, and 1/3.
The next row was 2/1, then 2/ see where I'm going with this?

Then my hubs got busy cutting the wood safely on his makeshift sawhorse of an old end table and my dad's old saw. Never mind using the table saw,..because you know, fishing gear is sitting on it and it's too much work to put it way on the shelving units that we bought for that stuff. 
So I may be a bit passive aggressive. But we really did buy shelving for the garage. 
And they are mostly empty because piles in the middle of the garage is easier, right?

Save those scraps you cut off! 
We are reclaiming wood here! 
We are on a budget (FREE) here!
They are still okay, just not visually pleasing...
I flipped the boards over, face side down, in the correct order, and then used the scraps as brackets to hold the boards together. 
Then we just drilled them into place.
We ended up using a lot of these wood scraps to make sure it was sturdy, you'll see more in a bit.

I then stood it up and stained it.
I wanted the hubs to carve our initials into it, like the wood came from an old tree, but he said his carving skills aren't on-point. 
So I took it upon myself to try something else, I painted the words "love always" in white paint before staining the wood. I stained over the paint, then sanded it away lightly afterwords. 
It came out okay. Glad I wasn't going for perfection. 
More "rustic" to have imperfections. I mean, notice it isn't even at the bottom? 
For the stain I used min-wax wood stain in espresso.
One coat on, then wiped it with a rag. The wood took the stain really well.

After the stain was dry, I then wanted to give it a good sealing coat of polycrylic. I chose this instead of polyurethane just because it is SO much easier to clean up and the fumes aren't as offensive!
I mean, my pillows will be touching it and I don't want it to snag my pillows or anything. 
Plus a bit of glossy shine is always good.
I ended up putting three coats on, letting it dry well in between each application.
I never did sand the wood. Since it was really smooth to begin with, I didn't find the need to.
Depending on your reclaimed wood, you might want to consider doing that before staining it.
I brought it inside and let it cure up for about 4 days before we got to hang it up!
You see the cracks in between the boards? I purposely wanted them so I could slide the cords to the lights in them and behind the'll make sense in a moment.
I just love it's non-perfectness. Just like the hubs and me :)

Then the hubs and I the hell are we going to get this heavy thing on the wall? 
We could have added posts to each end and bolt it to the bed frame. 
We decided on just hanging this sucker right on the wall!
With some deliberation, we settled on making a French Cleat for it.
A what?
Basically it is a piece of wood you cut at an angle, mount one piece of it to the studs on the wall, the other to the heavy wood piece, in this case - the headboard, and they sit together on the wall.
It is nice to do it this way because it distributes the weight of it among several studs. 
In our case, we were able to get it into three studs. 
You can also slide the headboard to get it placed where you want it. 

The hubs took a 2x4 and cut it down to 40 inches in length. 
He then cut the wood at a 45 degreeish angle:

When you mount one piece on the wall, you want it so it "catches" the heavy object. 
The piece to the right is the one we mounted to the studs in the wall.
So, he first measured everything out (the wall and then the headboard) so we know they will at least match up pretty closely, and mounted the piece to the left in the picture directly onto the headboard.

Make sure it is straight!
Then mount the other half of the cleat to the studs you find in the wall:

We then took the remaining bit of the 2x4 and mounted it to the bottom of the headboard so that it would sit straight against the wall and not at an angle. 
**This is important to have the space available behind your headboard if you are going to install lights to it. I used plug-in lights since hard-wiring lights isn't my thing. And again, I'm poor and didn't want to hire an electrician to come in and do it. 
The bottom of the headboard comes down just to the top of the mattress. 
In fact, the mattress slides under the headboard perfectly so it looks as though it is all just one big piece of furniture.
Make sure you measure everything out, considering the height of your bed, headboard, and where the cleat is mounted at on the back of the headboard. It is all important!

Then we mounted the lamps (I bought these swing-arm lights at Menards for $16 each) directly onto the headboard. We waited until it was up on the wall so we could place them where we wanted them. 
I did change the lampshade and spray-paint them, which you can find out more about in this post.
Since they aren't hard-wired this is where the little gaps between the boards comes in handy for hiding the electrical cords. 

I've got to give our six-year-old daughter credit for taking a lot of these pictures for me!
I was busy holding wood and grabbing tools, so she took it upon herself to help out!

We were able to slide the cords into the gap and behind the headboard to run it to the outlet. Since the switch to turn the light on is on the lamp itself, we didn't have to worry about having the cords exposed more for the switch. I could have drilled a little hole to run it through, but the little bit of it that is visible doesn't bother me much at all!

Instant total room transformation!
My hubs didn't think that this headboard was going to be any big deal.
I made him leave the room after installing it while I put the bedding on and got the bed side tables in place (which I spray painted metallic gold).
And when he came in, he was shocked!!
"I must admit it looks pretty sweet" was his Facebook comment when I revealed the headboard proudly to my friends.
He then told me that it feels almost like a hotel now. 

A retreat.
Slowly, my bedroom is transforming into a sanctuary. 
A place I can finally be happy about. 

  • reclaimed wood = FREE
  • wood stain = $5
  • polycrylic = $5
  • paint brushes = already had
  • mounted lamps = $32
  • screws = already had
  • light bulbs = $3
  • 2x4 = leftover from our deck building
  • scrubber, bucket, soap = $1 each from Dollar Tree

I did purchase the bedding while browsing Target a night before we installed the headboard.
It was on clearance for $23, a savings of over $60 for the entire bedding set.
Another thing I did was spray paint our bedside tables with a can of metallic gold paint. A new knob is now on the one and now on the hub's side. I pulled out the table my sewing machine was sitting on to use on my side. 
The metallic gold with the black wall just really blends well together.
I'm totally happy with my first bigger DIY project.
Now I need to get cracking on the rest of my bedroom!

1 comment :

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