Build a King-Sized Pallet Headboard

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Step-by-step project guide on how to build a king-sized pallet headboard from scratch. This style headboard can be made for any size bed. Read more to see what I did with this pile of wood.

This project goes with the king-sized platform bed frame build I completed in April. Check it out here:

Earlier in the week I talked about my inspiration board (previously on Rachel’s Pinterest…but now I have my own!). By now you should know at least this much about me: I dig beat-up, recycled, rough looking furniture. A quick search for “headboards” on Pinterest and I found just the kind of headboard I was looking for. Now it’s time to build it!

First things first: I didn’t re-use a pallet. While it may have been easier that way (in that I wouldn’t have had to create my own wear and tear on the wood), I’ve read multiple articles regarding the hazards of re-using chemically treated pallets. There’s some debate on the topic, and I’m no expert, but I’d rather not sleep on it (get it?).  See for yourself.

I picked up (5) 1×6’s and used scrap 1×4’s and 1×2’s.

The platform bedframe I built is 80″ wide and so…this will be too! I cut the two “legs” at 50″ in height and used them to line-up the inside 1×6’s. I made random cuts, making sure to stagger the joints in each row. There is no way to mess this up, as long as the planks add up to 80″ in length.

Here’s the rough layout. See how I threw in a couple 1×4’s and 1×2’s?

I drilled each plank with a 13/64 bit to simulate a disassembled pallet look. I also roughed up the wood with my sander, hammer and random hardware.

Here’s a closer look…

Late last night I stained the planks with rustoleum dark walnut. If you saturate the wood with water prior to brushing on the stain, the wood won’t absorb as much stain, thus giving it a lighter tone.

Looks cool!


I flipped everything over and started screwing the slats into the supports and legs. I will be putting supports every 20″, 3 supports total. The smaller pieces that dont make it over a support will be bracketed.

Just when things were starting to roll, the weather started getting crazy. I had to rush out back and bring in the grill as we were getting 60mph wind gusts!


3 minutes later…!

I packed it up once I heard the BANG! from the grill falling over and lighting striking too close for comfort.

I finished assembling the headboard yesterday. Here’s how it looks:

As I stated earlier, I have (3) supports 20″ apart along with brackets wherever they were needed. This makes the headboard EXTREMELY sturdy and fairly heavy.

I attached the top piece of moulding by counter sinking 4 screws into the top legs and slats. I covered them up with wood putty and will go over the putty with stain before I clearcoat.

Here’s how it looks uncoated! Stay tuned for the final update with pictures in the bedroom later this week (I’m going to give the clearcoat a few days to dry out).

After putting on one coat of polyeurethane, I lightly sanded the headboard with 220-grit paper. I put on a generous final coat and called it done!

Because we have a platform bed and it sits very low, I’m opting to attach the headboard to the wall and not the bed frame.

I had a bunch of scrap 2×6’s lying around, so I cut them down to 4″ and made a 45 degree cut with my miter saw. The idea is to have the bottom piece mounted to the wall (with a 3-1/2″ screw in a stud) and the top piece mounted to the back of the headboard.

I have 4 sets of these to secure the headboard to the wall. One for each stud.

Speaking of studs! It’s my sleepy assistant!

Alright so I’ve got them all mounted and LEVELED. Very important.

mount pallet headboard
I have the headboard supports mounted with 2″ wood screws. I pre-drill before screwing to eliminate wood crackin’.

Here’s a closer look.

I lift the headboard up with my he-man strength (this sucker is heavy), and tuck the top supports into the corresponding wall supports.

pallet headboard
This is when I took a deep breath of relief. IT STANDS!

Not going to lie…I had a dumb smile on my face when it was secure and all my measurements lined up.

Lookin’ good with those ikea hemnes nightstands I refinished.

Check this out…

This was back in early April.

pallet headboard
And this is now!

pallet headboard
I had a lot of fun with this one. If you have any questions on process, products used or just want to say meh, it looks OK…leave a comment below!

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