Furniture made from wooden pallets can be easy and fun. Not to mention, cheap! Reclaimed wood has always been a great source of materials to create unique crafts and furniture. One of the easiest and cheapest forms of reclaimed wood is from typical wooden shipping pallets. They are extremely common and easy to find. In fact, most stores around your location likely have an abundance of old wooden pallets that they aren't using and are just stacking up outside the store. Sometimes asking nicely can get you a few of them, or offering them some money for the pallets can sweeten the deal. One of the appealing features of pallets is their rustic nature. They are made cheaply and using wood that is not perfectly finished. This can add to the character of the piece that you are trying to build.
Headboard From Wood Pallets
Today we are going to show you how to make a headboard for a standard queen bed using wood from reclaimed pallets. The rails of the pallets work great for the 2 side posts that will actually attach to the bed frame. The shape of the pallet rails gives the headboard a unique look. The face of the headboard is made with the slats of the pallets. You should review our page on wood pallets if you need to learn how to easily remove the slats from the pallet rails without damaging or completely destroying them! The tricky part of the slats is finding enough of them that are the same width in order to keep the lines straight and smooth across the width of the headboard. You will likely need a number of pallets just so you can mix and match the slats to find enough of the proper length and width to give a unique and uniform appearance to the headboard.
You'll notice in the video that the slats were cut to various sizes in order to make sure that all the seams of the slats were not all in alignment. This adds to the visual appeal of the finished product. If all of the boards ended in a line, you would have an ugly seam right up the middle of your headboard. That isn't what we want to see. Instead, think in the rule of thirds. On the top row have the seam at one third of the width of the entire headboard. On the next row, maybe you have the seam halfway through the width. And in the following row, you'll put the seam two thirds of the width of the headboard. The key is to vary the seam so that they don't all line up. This will also vary the length of the slats that you need to cut. It is a good idea to lay out all of the common widths of slats together first. Then you can begin to lay them out onto the frame and cut them, as desired, to get the proper seam location. Once you have everything laid out just the way you want it, then you can begin to attach the slats to the frame. I recommend using a nail gun as showed in the video, however, if you don't have one of those, you could just as easily use some small nails or screws. Nails will look better in the finished product though as screw heads are not as appealing.
Finish the wood pallet furniture headboard with a nice corner piece to hide the edges of all of the slats. This is not absolutely necessary if you like the look of the various slats. If you wanted you could even vary the length of the ends of the slats and let them overhang the bed posts. That would give you an uneven look to the edge of the headboard, which could add to the rustic nature of your headboard. The choice is yours. On the edges that are visible that required cutting, you can use linseed oil and stain to darken the fresh cut wood and make it appear rustic like the rest of the headboard. A final sanding will be good to remove any areas that could cause slivers or splinters. Be careful not to sand too deep as to remove too much of the rustic wood. If you do have any large splinters that come off while sanding, use the linseed oil and stain to darken the fresh wood and make it blend in with the rest of the piece.