DIY Plywood Headboard

First, I want to thank you all for your kind words about Doug’s stolen bike on Monday. I was also pleased and surprised with the number of comments on the bedroom! It is a great week to be a blogger. :)

File this project under “got it done!” or “procrastination who?”

When Doug’s brother was here in San Diego last week, we hit up the Urban Outfitters downtown to see if they had any winter coats on clearance (they didn’t). While we were there, Matt, who does woodworking, took a particular interest in the fixtures which were made of mainly plywood, 2’x4′ lumber, and pipes! (Related: I found an interesting article on UO’s aesthetic.)

When pondering bed solutions, I realized that using the same materials, I could create a modern, fresh, E-A-S-Y, and cheap headboard.

I got some leftover plywood (the type I used is technically called OSB, or oriented strand board) from my dad’s garage–these pieces were actually left over from when my parents’ house was built in 1999. Vintage!  This kind of wood is normally used as a subfloor or other non-finished construction material.

The goal was to make a headboard 60 inches wide (queen size) and somewhere around 4 feet tall. As luck would have it, the boards my dad gave me were in 20″x48″ panels which means we had no cuts to make whatsoever! We did have to drop about $12 at Lowe’s for the other lumber. I will not say no to a $12 headboard.

Supplies needed:

  • Plywood (OSB) panels
  • One 1″x4″x8″ board, cut into two 4′ pieces
  • One 1″x4″x10″ board, cut into a 60″ piece and a 52″ piece
  • Screws
  • Cordless drill(screwdriver)

The plan was to line the boards up and brace them with lumber from behind–one piece down each side and two braces horizontally. Here’s a shot snapped in Lowe’s after we had our boards cut for us:

headboard frame

Originally I wanted to attach the screws in from behind but after some trial-and-error, and taking into account the way the OSB board would splinter, we decided that having exposed screw heads on the front was not the end of the world. At least I measured evenly and marked the board with sharpie so they would all line up. Here’s a progress shot–he is working on the bottom of the board:

headboard in progress

Note: we had already been to the hardware store twice that day and did not want to go out again to buy the appropriate length of screws. The drywall screws we used were too long and stuck out the back of the headboard!! I took this opportunity to break out the dremel tool we have had for several years and use the heavy duty cutter attachment to cut off the ends of the screws that were sticking out. Disclaimer: I do not recommend doing this unless you have a workshop. I did this on the apartment patio and it kind of scared the pants off me.

using a dremel

dremel-ed off screw ends

So as not to damage the walls, since the screw tips were still not flush, we covered the tips with two layers of painter’s tape. Another good option (that I still might use) is felt circles–the adhesive kind you can put on chair legs so they don’t scratch the floor.

Enough blabbing, let’s see some “after” shots!

DIY Plywood Headboard

DIY Plywood Headboard


DIY Plywood Headboard

I love the deconstructed concept and the pattern and texture the particles of wood have. The warm, cheery tone also plays well with the pillows and comforter. I know that it’s definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I decided if I couldn’t afford a real, grown up headboard right now, to head in the totally opposite direction and do something funky and exciting. I mean, I’m not getting any younger, right?

Now the big question is… what to hang over the headboard? Ideas? 

PS: More OSB love here… In all truth, I found that article through Unhappy Hipster.