Headboard From Wooden Pallets

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Introduction: Headboard From Wooden Pallets

About: To see more of my work, be it wood, painting, or other stuff, find me on Instagram at AMATEURHOUR87.

A few things the reader should know:

This is my first Instructable.

I am pretty much learning as I go with wood working which is why, along with the pleasing aesthetics, I began using reclaimed wood from old pallets.

I will welcome any constructive comments that will help me better my skills.

Parts you will need:

About 2 wooden pallets worth of wood (I called around to lawn and garden stores and factories in the area to find my wooden pallets.  Most places are happy to part with a few)

Preferred color of wood stain (I used Miniwax Golden Oak)

Polyurethane

Screws (dependent on the thickness of your wood)

4" Bolts

Black latex paint (optional)

Light fixture (optional)

Black Spray Paint (optional)

Tools You will need:

Circular Saw

Reciprocating Saw (optional but will make things easier)

Drill

Electric Sander (also optional but will make things easier)

Step 1: Get Some Reclaimed Wood and Supplies


After disassembling the pallets (by hand at first until I bought a reciprocating saw which made it much easier) I laid the wood out to get a general idea of how much space I could cover.  For my bed it had to start two feet off the ground and be about 4' by 3'.

Step 2: Cutting and Sanding (lots of Sanding)

After sketching out the shape on paper and figuring out the dimensions it was time to cut the wood and sand it.  Once the wood was cut and smooth I began to assemble it into it's final shape.  I have limited space and had to construct it in my driveway which meant I had to move the wood when not working on it.  To remember where each piece went I numbered them with pencil on the back.

Step 3: Screwing It Together

As I said I'm not the most experienced wood worker and have been learning as I go.  I thought about how to attach all the wood and decided to use four boards cut just under the height of the headboard to screw to the back.  This worked well and ended up being pretty sturdy too.

Step 4: Staining, Painting, and Applying Polyurethane

Now that it is all put together I applied the stain (Miniwax Golden Oak), sketched and painted the design (with black latex paint) and applied two coats of Miniwax Gloss Polyurethane (sanding in between the first and second coat of gloss). 

Step 5: Adding the Light Fixture

I thought it would be cool to have a reading light for the headboard so I purchased a light fixture. After salvaging an inline switch and cord from an old Halloween decoration, I wired it to the lamp fixture.(Note: the neutral wire in the cord is the one with a slight ridge to it).

Step 6: Attach the Legs and Enjoy!

I wasn't exactly sure how to attach the legs but after walking around the nuts and bolts aisle long enough I found some heavy duty 4" bolts with rounded heads.  After spray painting the heads black (to match the nails, design, and fixture), I drilled two holes per each leg (matching them to holes drilled in the headboard) and bolted it together.

I'm pretty happy with the end result, especially since I learned as I went.  Hope you like it and feel free to let me know what you think.

4 People Made This Project!

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54 Comments

Why isn't the back shown. It would help tremendously or is that part of the premium download?

1 reply

This was also my observation as I read the tutorial. I agree with summerof48; could we have an image of the rear too, please? Great intstructable all the same and a fantastic end result, well done.

Love it! You give novices hope!

well done! Love the look! Thanks for sharing!

Very nice! I think I'm gonna have to try this one.

awesome job on this. I enjoy seeing stuff made from shipping pallets .....and enjoy making stuff from them as well. keep it up and hope to see more from you.

That's awesome, I really like the light built into the headboard

That's awesome, I really like the light built into the headboard

Looks amazing!! Something like this would look awesome just hanging on a wall as a piece of art!!

Liked this so much, I made my own. I got some (free) scrap cedar baseboard trim, an old outdoor light that I spray painted and some stencils along with a little left over stain and here you have it...

Thanks for the inspiration.

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This is pretty cool! I'm looking to make a headboard for my queen size bed, but I'm thinking I want a shelved headboard. This may work, just put a frame around it and add some shelves! Thanks for the instructable!

awwww. I was making this very Instructable and you beat me to it! haha Since I had no idea what to stain it with, I kept putting it off. Thanks for giving me the exact brand name and color because that is EXACTLY the look I was going for. I even have a silhouetted tree painted on the bedroom wall that matches your painting. If I didn't know better, I would ask my wife how you got in our bedroom. LOL. Great first Instructable!!!! Keep it up.

Absolutely gorgeous! I've been looking around for an idea to make my own and I just found it. Thanks so much!!!

Stunning and inspiring design! This is the best I've ever seen pallet wood treated for interior, since it's all too often installed as-is -- straight from the pallet. That can look pretty gross...
Great work!

Looks great! The head board turned out really nice! I've done a couple of headboards before. An option is to skip the legs and mount it directly to the wall behind the bed.

I've done a number of odd little projects with pallets, but I never thought of this. very nice.

Great first Instructable! The design and accent elements really add to it's appeal.

Again, be VERY careful with pallets! Most are impregnated with pesticides, many with arsenic compounds--remember, not all are made in the United States. Besides, you never know where the pallets have been, what they've been immersed in, what leaked onto them. You may have noticed that you can't get Tylenol any more--because it was being shipped on toxic pallets. It's best to get your lumber from some other source that you're sure of. Sealant or no sealant, I would never sleep every night with my head a few inches from pallet lumber!

1 reply

Actually, most pallets are not treated with pesticides or arsenic compounds. That may have been the case many years ago, but in 2001 the EPA abolished the use of arsenic in the treatment of soft-wood pallets. Oak or other hardwood pallets used for domestic shipments are not treated. After 2006, most international shipments use heat-treated pallets, so pallets coming in containerized shipments do not contain toxic pallets. Over a thousand pallets a day pass through my business from both domestic and foreign sources and I have over 24,000 pallets used to store product in my racks and none were treated with pesticide. Yes, there will be some old pallets out there that were made before the ban even though the average life of a shipping pallet is less than two years. But it is very easy to determine if you have a 'safe' pallet. There will be a stamp, in black ink, on side or end of the pallet with the letters "HT" for 'heat treated.' There are some pallets out there that were treated with methyl bromide, a particularly nasty chemical, but they will have the letters "MB" stamped on the side. Leave these alone but I haven'e seen any of these in years.

Really like what you did here - great job!