My wife was wanting a headboard for our bed. I had some used pallets I had gathered for other projects so I decided to build a headboard. I searched around the house and scraped enough material to get started. I mixed and matched pallet planks and used left over 2x4's and this turned out beautiful. I had to buy the lights of course which ran around $45. I also had to purchase the polyurethane which was about $30 for a gallon. I was unsure of how much Poly I would need so instead of buying a quart at a time for $10 I just went ahead and grabbed a gallon. The bolts to mount the bed frame to the headboard were around $4. So, the entire project ended up costing me around $100.
Start by measuring the bed frame that you are attaching this headboard too. Then measure the desired height you want the headboard to be. Keep in mind, that if you are building this outside your home and you plan on moving this inside that you will be able to get it in the door. I measured from corner to corner of the exterior door I planned on entering to make sure I could get it inside. The height I chose to use was 80" tall by 83" wide. The boxes were roughly 28"x24". These boxes can be adjusted to get the desired size allowed for the width of your bed. 10-2x4x8 will build the frame. The 2x4's I used were left over from a project earlier in the year.
Step 2: Recovering Pallet Wood
After building the frame, I started tearing down the pallets I had collected in the backyard. The kids joined in and helped pull nails and dismantle the pallets. I had roughly 10 pallets from various places as well as my neighbor finding a few for me. Once you've taken the pallets apart it's time to cut and fit the 1/2" to 3/4" thick planks to the front of your frame. I tried to stagger the joints so not all joints were on the same part of the 2x4 frame, this also breaks up the pattern so not all areas are the same.
Step 3: Filling in the Voids
Now all that's left is filling in the void square boxes and cosmetics. Use the planks to nail to the back of the frame to fill in the square voids. I also trimmed out the voids with planks to cover the frame up. Next, I trimmed out the ends and the top. Measure the thickness of the two ends so you can cover planks you nailed to the front so you're not left with rough ends. For the top, I left a 1" overhang across the top front and ends to cap off the top. I also left about a six inch section of the end trim pieces to allow for any adjustments need for the bed frame itself.
Step 4: Light Sanding and Poly
Now its time to bring out the beauty! Lightly sand the entire headboard to get rid of any sharp corners and splinters. Once you've sanded this down with atleast 100 grit sandpaper use an air nozzle and remove as much saw dust as possible. You can start applying your polyurethane. I chose a semigloss but you can use a gloss to really get a shine. You may have to apply several coats, its up to you.
Step 5: Add Lighting and Move In!
Now it's time to put the finishing touches on your headboard. I researched different lighting options and the only one that would work for me was at Lowe's. Lowe's had Cyron 9" LED Light Bars that had 4 light bars and all connections needed for easy installation. I mounted 1 light bar in each of the recessed boxes and matched those underneath the top cap on the back of the frame. The lights, once mounted, can be turned to get the desired accent. I only had to drill one hole in each of the recessed boxes to get the wires through to the back of the frame. I used the ties from the packing to straighten up the loose wires on the back of the frame. You could drill holes in the back of the frame like wiring a house if you want too. Now that you have your lights completed its time to move the headboard inside. I stripped the bed down to the bed frame and cut another 2x4 to nail across the legs so I had a place to mount the bed frame. Line the bed frame up so its centered on the headboard and drill holes in your 2x4. I used 4 - 5/16x2-1/2" hex bolts, 16 - 1/4" washers, and 4 - 5/16 hex nuts. Attach the bed frame to the headboard and put your bed back together. This headboard turned out better than expected but it is extremely heavy due to using 2x4's for the frame. You may want to use smaller dimensional lumber for the frame so it's not so heavy.