Headboard Made From Reclaimed Lumber

Reclaimed tongue-and-groove redwood is used to create a custom headboard.


Tools and Materials:

12 pieces of 1”x 6”x 8” reclaimed tongue-and-groove redwood
two 3/4” sheets of plywood
wood glue
water-based wood stain
paint/stain tray and stir sticks
paintbrush and roller
table saw
miter (chop) saw
belt sander
Brad nail gun and 1” nails
air compressor and hose
impact driver or drill with 3” wood screws
tape measure


1. Create the backing for the headboard. Using the table saw, cut the plywood to the desired size. We laid two pieces of plywood together to get the height we needed. Plan to have the redwood overhang the plywood by at least one inch on all sides so the plywood won’t be visible.

2. Lay the two pieces of plywood together horizontally making one long piece. Ours is 5’10”x 7’10”.



3. Use the miter saw to cut all redwood to the same length.

4. Use the belt sander to sand down the reclaimed redwood, making it look and feel like new again.

5. To start, take a piece of redwood and apply glue the backside then lay it onto the plywood backing. Lay the redwood in the opposite direction you put the plywood together. It should crisscross the plywood seam and the tongue should be facing the unfinished part of the project. Make sure your pieces are flush as you work down the line.

6. Use a nail gun to fasten the pieces onto the backing. Nail at an angle through the tongue so the nails are hidden.

7. Continue this process until the headboard is complete. Cut the tongue off the last piece, making it flush with the rest of the board. Also, if the last piece is overhanging too far, simply rip it down to the desired width.

8. Nail the last piece to the plywood. The last one will have to be nailed on the face since there are no more pieces to attach it to.



9. Stain the headboard using the roller. Use the brush to clean up the grooves.

10. For extra support, screw a nine-inch wide piece of plywood on the back of headboard centered across the seam. Attach a three-inch wide strip along the bottom as well for stability when mounted.

11. Make a French cleat to hang the headboard onto the wall. Cut two long strips of plywood at least three inches wide. Cut a 45-degree angle lengthwise on one edge of each piece. Before attaching the cleats to the wall and to the headboard, make sure both pieces interlock at the angle. Measure both the headboard and the wall cleat to verify it will attach and hang at the proper height. Use a level when attaching both cleats.

12. Once you cleats are on, mount the headboard. Lift the headboard slightly higher than the wall cleat and let it gently glide downward until it locks into place on the wall.

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