How to Build a Headboard From an Old Picket Fence

Learn how to make a headboard from some scrap wood and a salvaged picket fence.

Project Overview

  • Cost: ⚫⚪⚪⚪
  • Skill Level: ⚫⚫⚪⚪
  • Time to Finish: One day

Tools

  • miter saw
  • scrub brush and a bucket of water/bleach solution
  • level
  • tape measure
  • stud finder
  • drill gun

Materials

  • salvaged picket fence pieces
  • beadboard
  • salvage lumber for the frame
  • wood screws (size depends on thickness of your fence piece)
  • paint
  • sealer — varnish
  • wood glue
  • sandpaper
Picket Fence Headboard

15 Easy DIY Headboard: Picket Fence

This rustic-chic headboard was made from an old picket fence. The pickets were cut up into small pieces, cleaned and then refinished in a few different stains. Then the pieces were fitted into a frame made from more weathered lumber.

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

This rustic, chic headboard was made from a section of an old picket fence. The pickets were cut up into small pieces, cleaned and then refinished in a few different ways. Then the pieces were fitted into a frame made from more weathered lumber.

Cut and Clean Fence Pieces

Determine the size of your headboard. We made ours 72" x 36".

Separate each picket fence slat and cut them into random sizes using a miter saw. We used a solution of bleach and water to scrub each piece clean. Let them dry.

Build a Frame

Build a frame for the headboard. We used scrap wood for the header, sides and bottom of the headboard, and a piece of beadboard for the back. Fasten the frame pieces to the beadboard from the back so the screws don't come through the front of the wood.

Before fastening the bottom piece onto the frame, do a dry-fit layout of the of picket fence pieces to make sure they fit horizontally so you won't have to make any lengthwise cuts. Remove the picket fence pieces and then screw the bottom board in place.

Create a Headboard Pattern

Create a pattern of your pieces. We left some picket fence pieces in their natural state, and we painted some and whitewashed a few others. Do not glue down any of the pieces until you are comfortable with your pattern and colors.

Original_Headboard-Picket-Fence-measuring-pieces_s4x3

Fill in Spaces

There will be some spaces that you will need to fill with smaller fence pieces. Place those pieces in random locations on the headboard and cut them out last after the rest has been glued down. This way you can measure the exact size and cut them to fit.

Glue Pieces onto Frame

Glue all the pieces down and place a tarp over the top and weigh it down to help the glue adhere. Let dry. Varnish the whole piece. Let dry. Apply second coat. Let dry for a few days.

Attach to Wall

Find the studs in the wall and screw into place behind the bed.

Next Up

How to Make a DIY Tufted Headboard From Pool Noodles

Pool noodles in the bedroom? Yes, it sounds sketchy but trust us — if you can handle a staple gun, you can make this dreamy DIY headboard. Dive on in!

How to Paint Wood Furniture

Learn how to strip, sand and paint wood furniture.

How to Clean Wood Furniture

Say goodbye to water stains, ink marks and polish buildup on your wood furniture by following these simple cleaning tips and tricks.

How to Whitewash Wood: Whitewashing and Pickling Techniques

Easily brighten and add rustic charm to furniture and a variety of wood surfaces with these budget-friendly whitewashing and pickling techniques.

How to Clean Wood Cabinets

Grime and grease don't stand a chance with these tips for cleaning wood cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom.

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own DIY retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Clean, Condition and Protect Leather

Learn tips and homemade solutions for cleaning leather, including white leather. Plus, find out how to remove water stains, oil, mold, ink and road salt from leather.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips.

How to Fix a Squeaky Floor

Keep it quiet with these troubleshooting tips.

How to Reupholster an Arm Chair

Upholstery can be an intimidating project, but it seems more complicated than it actually is. A thrift store arm chair with simple lines, a sturdy frame and good padding makes a perfect subject for a novice upholsterer.

What's New in Handmade

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.