So I set out to make a Headboard as a surprise for my wife. We had been looking at them in the furniture stores and could not really find one we liked or fit our personality.
I decided to build her one and planned to go purchase all the wood required. My uncle always has some good ideas so on the way to the hardware store, I stopped over his house to run my plans past him. While we were discussing, I shared that I had contemplated using pallet wood and he suggested we go out to his garage.
In the back corner of his garage, he had a pile of old cedar baseboard that he had removed when he renovated his dining room several years ago. He had quite a bit of it but it was all stained a very dark brown. Even though, when I flipped it over, it was still the raw cedar and it looked very cool.
Onto my project...
Step 1: Supplies
So I tried to pull together a list of all the items I used in this build, I built this about two years ago so here is my best recollection:
- Reclaimed Cedar Baseboard
- Scrap 2x4s
- Wood Screws
- Wood Stain (I used 4 colors but this depends on what you want to do art wise)
- Stencils as required
- Light - (I used an outdoor light I purchased as Lowe's greatly discounted as it was a display $9.95) this light was "nickle" looking so I spray painted it dark brown with Rustoleum's hammered paint
- Replacement plug with inline switch for the light
- Power Strip for charging phones and what-not
Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Remove All the Nails...
So I borrowed this image for illustration purposes only, I did not take pictures of my uncle's scrap pile before we went to work. The moral to the story here is to talk to your friends and family and share your ideas, you never know who will have a similar scrap pile laying around and taking up space...
The "gather" activity was extremely easy as he had it all together in a single pile. On the other hand, the "remove all the nails" part took much more time. As this was all previously used as baseboard, it was filled with finishing nails with those tiny little heads that make pulling the nails so much fun.
After about an hour of struggling to pull them out with a hammer, it became clear that it was much easier to hammer them back out and then pull them with a pliers. We divided up the tasks and switched on and off, first he would use the hammer and I would use the pliers and then we would switch. In about another hour, we had pulled out all the nails and were ready to move on...
Step 3: Wood Planer - (or As I Like to Say, Wood Renovator)
So I failed to mention that my uncle also has a fairly well stocked shop. This proved a lifesaver as in his shop, he has a planer and this was the right tool for the job. As I mentioned, all the wood had dark stain on it, it was almost espresso brown and that would not look right in the bedroom plus, it was somewhat rough and not a smooth finish.
We ran all the boards through the planer and as this was my first time using one, it was pretty amazing to see the transformation. It went in looking like crap and in less than a foot, came out the other side looking like it has just been milled from the tree.
This is a very fast process, each board runs through twice (one on the face and then flipped over on the bottom) and that is it, out comes "new" wood to be used as you see fit. I processed all the wood he had because it was so much fun and I figured, we would use it for something in the future.
Step 4: Design Work
Ok, this really should have been the first step but as I said, I had only stopped at my uncles for ideas on the way to the lumber store so I was really not done my thought process at the time. Once we had all the wood through the planer, I sat down and designed what it would look like.
This is not a complicated design, what I wanted to build started like this:
- "Floating" Design - no legs or visible mounting
- Integrated Power for charging phones and such
- Something personal that let's her know I made it
- Raw wood look - no paint
- Lighting - our bedroom lights are tied into the switch on the wall currently and we hate getting out of bed to turn it off so this needs it's own lighting
Step 5: The Build...
This was also a very simple step.
- Build a 2x4 frame to mount the reclaimed wood to and to use to mount onto your wall so it "floats" - the frame I built measured 28 inches high by 26 inches wide
- Next, screw your boards onto the frame
- Stain your wood with your stain of choice, I used a Minwax Polyurethane that had a very slight tint to it
- Mount your light and wire it to a plug
- Add personal touches - I used a stencil and some freehand work and added the heart with our initials on it in the upper left and another stencil with the leaves on it on the right
I think I went too heavy on the Red Heart so I would suggest toning that down a bit - the wood really absorbed the red color and I think it looks okay but is much darker than I wanted - the green leaves came out like I was hoping.
I drilled three small holes in the center of the headboard to mount and wire up the light. I used the replacement power cord to finish the wiring of the light and the in-line switch makes it very easy turn the light on and off without getting out of bed.
Step 6: Wall Mounting
I used a stud finder and mounted a 24 inch 2x4 to our bedroom wall with a few lag screws. Next, I pre-drilled three holes into the top of the frame on the back of the headboard and positioned the headboard on top of the wall mounted 2x4. An extra set of hands helps to hold it in place during this step. Next I secured the headboard to the wall mounted 2x4 with three long wood screws and that is it!
Lastly, I mounted the power strip onto the frame on the side so we can plug our phones in.
The other two pictures are of a headboard that I built using more of the wood and a desk that folds down in my son's room. The Shark picture was also done by me using reclaimed pallet wood.
Thanks for viewing and if you saw something you liked, please vote for me in the Reclaimed Wood Contest.