DIY Pallet Head Board

Okay, okay. Re- purposing wooden pallet ideas are everywhere. AND I can’t stop pinning the ideas. I love a good DIY re-purposing project and what makes pallets even more attractive is that you can get them for free. This makes me very happy ( and my bank account). We live in a condo so we packed up our car with pallets and headed to our underground parking garage to get our hands dirty. So without further ado- here is my DIY pallet head-board tutorial.

First you need some pallets. So I went on the free section of Craigslist and found some not far from our house. (If you don’t have luck with that check your local businesses, (grocery stores/hardware stores) many have them and would be happy to get rid of them. We got about 5 pallets just to be sure. Second, you need to decide how big you want it. I didn’t want a lot of over hang on the side of my bed but I did want it to go all the way to the floor. So I just picked a spot on the wall that I thought was good. We ended up going with 61 inches tall and 62 inches wide. (We have a Queen size bed).

Then the work starts.


My husband liked this project because it meant a trip to Lowes for MAN TOOLS. He used the sawzall to take the pallets a part. He thought it was a better and easier method than using the crowbar to pry them apart. He took them all the part until we had a decent pile of boards to choose from.


(sorry about the picture quality I am a first timer at this!)

After this I sorted through the boards to find the ones I liked best. I was looking for the really beat up ones with good character. While I did that Rand measured 61 inches tall and 62 inches wide on the ground and marked the corners and we literally layed it out on the ground, like a puzzle. I didn’t want all the seams to line up so that’s why it looks a little jig-saw like.


Then following the measurements we had marked on the floor we started cutting the excess over hang of the boards. And by we I mean Rand. I sat and drank a beer.



Once we were done cutting it looked like this! I was stressing over the fact that I didn’t like the boards that were going to be at the bottom and thought we should take more pallets apart. Rand kindly reminded me that no one will even see that part. If you are anything like me you think that it should turn out just like the other tutorials you see and it should be perfect. My advice let it go. It will be fine. That’s what I need to tell myself anyway. So i am just trying to help you out 🙂


Now how to fasten it all together. We were a bit puzzled by this and here is why. The boards were obviously not all the same so some were thicker than others which made it not all lay flat the same way. Because I didn’t want the seams to all line up that also created a challenge-meaning we couldn’t run boards vertically over the seams and on the ends to keep it together. If I could do it over again I would miss match the seams but have 2 or 3 points where the seams do line up but doesn’t create a noticeable pattern. (I hope that makes sense). Then I would have run boards vertically over the seams and on the ends to create a sturdy headboard and bought colored nails and nailed it to the boards running vertically.

What we did: we used 1 1/2 in. screws and used scraps of the boards to piece each individual seam together. It worked fine and is maintaining well but it is a bit wobbly. Also, we added to thick pieces to the bottom to act as “legs.” I liked the rustic look and decided not to stain it. If you want to get a good idea of stained vs. non stained looks below are some blogs that include stained head boards.

Here is the final product!


BONUS: Our night stands!! I wanted something functional that you can store stuff in; books, knickknacks etc. I got the crates at Michael’s Craft Store and used leftover stain from my parents house and Wah-Lah. In mine are the shoes from my wedding and the card my husband gave to me on my wedding day. On his side is a boot we found at a flea market while on our honeymoon and the card I gave him on our wedding day.




night stands 1

(Before and after the stain)

So what you need:

  1. 4-5 pallets based on the size of bed you are working with.
  2. 1 1/2 in. screws or nails- depending how you decide to fasten the back
  3. A sawzall and a circular saw to make life much easier
  4. A drill or hammer because of #2
  5. An adorable husband to do the work part- let him get new tools and he will be happy.

Also, here are a couple of resources I used in researching this project (in order of my favorites).

  1.  This particular blog has a great picture on how the secured the back.
  2.  If you are looking for different ideas on how to position it behind your bed- check these out 
  3. Here is an article on the concerns about chemicals used on pallets which is worth the read

Good luck! If you have any questions or tips for others please leave a comment!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s