Introduction: How to Make an Amazing Surfboard Headboard With Just a Few Tools

About: My love of making things started young, with a mom who was always coming up with projects and a dad whose tool collection still gives me envy. I got my love of bright colors from mom and my love of working wi…

As I was putting all the final touches on my Caribbean-themed guest room, I felt in my bones that something big was missing. It wasn’t until I jolted awake one morning that I realized what was needed the most in this beautiful, bold room were more natural materials to balance everything out. I knew then: a wooden headboard would do the trick.

Luckily, this headboard is super straightforward. Even a novice with no experience and just a few tools can do this!


Measuring tape

1X4’s for the frame (amount depends on size of headboard)

1×6’s for the front panels (amount depends on size of front panel)

3″ x 3″ T Plates (2)

8″ Flat corner braces (4)

Flat head wood screws

Poster board

Painter’s tape (I used wide and narrow)

Bolts, nuts and washers (I used 4 sets in total)

Drill with drill bit

Wrench (to tighten nuts/bolts)

White latex paint

Wood stain of your choice

Step 1: Measure Your Bed Frame and Decide Height

  • Headboards come in all shapes and sizes, and factors like the placement of your bed (in front of a window, etc.), desired aesthetic and more can influence your decision.
  • Before you begin, measure the width of your bed frame to determine how wide the headboard needs to be, and then decide how tall you want it to be for height.
  • The headboard pictured in this instructional was created for a full-sized bed, and it’sdimensions are 62" wide, 45.75” tall, and the front panel is 27.5" tall.

Step 2: Lay Out the Headboard Frame on the Floor.

  • Place the two long 1x4s on opposite ends. These will be your legs.
  • Place the two shorter 1x4s horizontally on the inside edge of the legs, one flush to the top, and the other flush to where the bottom of your front panels will end.
  • Place the middle support in the center of the open rectangle.

Step 3: Secure the Frame.

  • Place one corner brace in each of the four corners, where the horizontal 1x4s meet the vertical ones (legs).
  • Attach brace using wood screws in each of the holes provided.
  • For the middle support bar, place one T bracket on top and one on the bottom. Attach bracket using wood screws.
  • See the picture here, which shows the placement of the braces/brackets. Note: The hardware didn’t show up as well on the unstained wood, so I have provided this view instead).

Step 4: Attach 1x6s to To Form the Front Panel.

  • Flip the frame over so the hardware on the headboard frame is facing the floor.
  • Starting at the top, attach the first 1x6 to the frame. Use 2 wood screws on each end, as well as 2 in the middle.
  • Repeat these steps for all 1x6s, working your way down, ensuring that you place them as close together as possible.

Step 5: Stain the Wood

  • Using a stain of your choice, follow the instructions on the container to stain the wood.
    • Tip: If you want a distressed look, hit the board with a hammer and heavy chain or other hard objects before staining.

Step 6: Create the Surfboard Templates

  • As the stain is drying, cut a basic surfboard shape out of poster board. My surfboards are approx 22” tall.
    • Note: The size will be determined by the height of your back panels. Use your discretion, but keep in mind that pillows may cover part of the finished design.
  • Once the stain is dry, use painter’s tape to secure the templates on the wood.
  • Create desired designs on the surfboards using painter’s tape. You can go crazy or keep it simple with stripes. Mix it up and have some fun!

Step 7: Paint the Surfboards on the Headboard.

  • Paint over the templates using latex paint, being careful to not get paint under the edges of the poster board templates.
  • When the paint is tacky, but not fully dry, remove the templates. This ensures that no part of your design sticks to them and/or is damaged upon removal.

Step 8: Attach the Headboard

  • Place the headboard behind your bed frame and use pencil to mark the holes for attachment.
  • Using a drill bit wide enough for your bolts to go through, drill holes in the legs of the headboard frame.
    • Tip: If completing this step in the room, p[lace the legs on spare blocks to have enough space to drill through without damaging your floors.
  • Use bolts, nuts and washers to attach the headboard, tightening with a wrench.
  • For this size headboard, I used two bolt/nut/washer sets on each leg.

Step 9: Enjoy!

And that's it! Enjoy your handiwork.

For more fun, coastal-themed decor ideas, head over to Just Might DIY.

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