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bedroom design

DIY Reclaimed Barnwood Headboard

DIY Reclaimed Barnwood Headboard

Headboards are one of the main style focal points in bedroom décor, so you want a headboard that sets the tone for the rest of the room and complements your textiles and other furnishings. In recent years, wall-mounted headboards have become a popular alternative to headboards affixed to a bed frame.

Some of the advantages of this style of headboard are:

  • They offer more stability and support than a headboard that’s attached to the bed, since they are secured to the wall.
  • You can create a more dramatic focal point (if desired) by creating a taller option than what would traditionally be available for headboards that are attached to the bed.
  • You can choose a style that complements the rest of your bedroom while creating something that is entirely custom and unique.

Building your own headboard is an effective way to get the look you want. Right now, one of the hottest looks in interior design is reclaimed barnwood, and George Loizidis, chief engineer for Barron Designs, walks us through how to make a headboard using Barron Designs’ faux panels.

“Every project will be a little different, because it depends on the size and height of your bed, but this is an easy weekend project,” Loizidis says. To begin, you’ll need to determine whether you want a “floor-up” headboard, which (as the name implies) begins at the floor and goes as high as you choose to make it. The second option, which is simpler and less expensive, is to create a headboard accent panel that begins where the top of the mattress meets the wall.

In both cases, you’ll need to determine what height the headboard will be before you get started. That’s a personal choice, although Loizidis says the average height of a headboard is 30 to 32 inches above the top of the mattress.

“You can go all the way to the ceiling if you want; it’s all a matter of how you want your room and your headboard to look,” he explains.

How to create a DIY Headboard using reclaimed barnwood panels

Creating Your Headboard

If you choose to create a headboard from the floor up, your first step is to measure the space and determine how much paneling the project requires. With the floor as your starting point, measure the distance up to the desired headboard height.

Barron Designs’ reclaimed barnwood panels measure 101 inches across and 24 inches high; your width will vary based on the size of the bed and how much overlap you want on each side of the bed. Additionally, you’ll want to add trim on the sides and top of your floor up headboard. The Wellington faux Reclaimed Barn Board Trim is the perfect complement to Barron’s Reclaimed Barnwood Shiplap Paneling.

Trim adds an additional three inches to the height and width, so take that into consideration when planning your project. (Note: You do not need to add trim at the bottom if you choose this project, since that will be concealed by the bedframe.)

If you choose the second, more cost-effective approach, you’ll create a panel that is attached to the wall above the mattress. This will require trim on the top, sides and bottom, but it will use just one panel, which makes it less expensive.  

Before You Begin

Once you’ve received your materials, make sure you have the right tools for the job. You’ll need a saw to cut the panel(s) and the trim pieces and also screws, adhesive or glue, and caulk. If you have questions about what materials are required for your project, be sure to use our online chat at or call our customer care line at (800) 651-4223.

Since you’ve already marked out the area where the headboard will be, measure the space one more time before you begin cutting. You’ll also want to clean the wall where you’re attaching the panel; this can be a cloth for most surfaces or, if the surface is harder, use a wire brush. Before cutting, decide how you’d like the corners to look so you’ll know how to cut them.

Build the trim of your headboard project first; visit this page to find detailed instructions, including a printable PDF, on how to work with trim.

Installing Your Headboard Panel

Once you’ve completed the trim for your headboard, you’re ready to install panels inside the trimmed area. Cut your panel to size (again, measure twice, cut once!) and apply adhesive or glue to the back of the panel before sliding it into place. Use a slight twisting motion to make sure there is good contact between the adhesive or glue and the wall. Make sure that the panel is level and that it fits properly within the frame, then fasten the panel to the wall using screws around the perimeter.

Follow this link to get step-by-step instructions on installing a panel.

Installing a headboard accent piece is an easy project that can transform the look of your room. Using Barron Designs’ reclaimed barnwood shiplap panels gives it a look that’s on-trend and fits in a variety of design schemes. And, since it comes in three colors and two styles, you can select the look that works best.

“This can add a custom style to your bedroom and give it a whole new look,” Loizidis says. “The wonderful thing about our products is that the only limitations are your aesthetic tastes and your imagination. There’s so much you can do with them. It all comes down to one question: What look are you going for?”

Summary: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Determine the height of your headboard. This can be done by determining how high above the mattress you want your headboard to reach. (The average headboard is 30 to 32 inches above the headboard.)

Step 2: Determine the width of your headboard. This is based on the size of your bed as well as whether you want it to be flush with the sides of your bed or if you want it from the floor up with a bit of overhang on the sides.

Step 3: Calculate how much trim you’ll need for the job. 

Step 4: Order your materials and make sure you have the proper tools: a saw, screws, adhesive or glue, and caulk.

Step 5: Cut the trim to the correct size.

Step 6: Clean the wall before attaching the headboard to it.

Step 7: Build the trim of the headboard on the wall first. 

Step 8: Cut your panel to size, apply adhesive or glue to the back, and slide it into place inside the trim frame.

Step 9: Enjoy your new headboard!