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Cheap and Easy DIY Headboard Made From Cedar Fence Pickets (Finally Finished!!)

Don’t you love it when a DIY blogger says, “I’ll be back tomorrow to show you the finished such-and-such,” and then they completely disappear for an entire week? 🙂 So sorry. Last Tuesday, my body finally made me slow down. I got sick, and even took a little trip to the emergency room, and then practically slept away an entire week. (No worries! All is well now.) Yesterday was the first day that I actually felt normal again, so I was finally able to finish my headboard.

And the headboard is finished, for the most part. (I might still add another coat of stain, and then I need to polyurethane the whole thing.)

It’s big, it makes a bold statement…and best of all, it was cheap. I only had to purchase eleven cedar fence pickets at $2.25 each, and everything else I already had on hand.

Cheap and easy headboard made from cedar fence pickets

I wanted a really big, bold headboard to fill a good portion of the long, white wall in this room, and the easiest way to do that was by using inexpensive materials. And if you’ve read my blog for long, you know how much I love cedar for that very reason!

Here’s a quick run down of the steps I covered last week:

wood headboard 10

You can click here if you need more detailed info on those steps.

So to finish up the headboard, I needed to start by doing a lot of sanding. And I mean A TON of sanding. As in, it ended up taking me about two hours to sand the whole thing.

If you’ve ever taken a close look at cedar fence boards, you know how incredibly rough they are.

wood headboard 11

So knowing how much sanding I had ahead of me, I decided to do the job inside to spare my neighbors the noise. And knowing that the job was going to be a long one, I decided to dig into my box of goodies I recently received from 3M™ TEKK Protection™.

wood headboard 12

The Digital WorkTunes™ Hearing Protector and AM/FM Stereo Radio was just what I needed!

Y’all, these things are amazing. Truly. I was using a very loud Shop Vac along with my loud rotary sander, and yet with the Digital WorkTunes™ Hearing Protector, all I heard was a very low hum, and I was able to listen to music the entire time I worked.

And music always makes work more enjoyable, right? Yep, I was a content DIYer.

wood headboard 13

Yep, these things are definitely going to become a regular part of my DIY life. I love listening to music while I work, but so often with the loud tools I use, it’s just not possible. But now it is!

The only bad thing about them is that they block out so much sound that if Matt needed me, I couldn’t hear him talking to me at all. At one point, I took a break from sanding, and I went into the breakfast room and sat down at my computer, but I was so enjoying my music that I didn’t take off the hearing protector. Matt was right there at the table talking to me, and I couldn’t hear a sound. Not at all.

The moral of that story is that when you’re using these, be sure you have your cell phone on you, keep it in your pocket, and be sure it’s set to vibrate so that people can actually get in touch with you if they need you. 🙂 Because otherwise, once you get focused on your project while enjoying your music, you’ll be oblivious to everything going on around you. I know from experience. 🙂

So after a considerable amount of sanding, the boards were starting to look really pretty. Here you can see what a difference the sanding makes.

wood headboard 14

After it was all sanded, I used pre-stain wood conditioner on the whole thing, waited the recommended amount of time, and then gave the headboard a coat of Early American stain.

wood headboard 15

It was pretty, but not quite as dark and rich as I wanted it to look. So after that was dry, I followed up with a coat of Dark Walnut. I like it much better, but I still might give it another coat. I’m going to wait until I get the bed and bedding in first before I make that decision.

Cheap and easy DIY wood headboard made from cedar fence pickets

So that’s it. Not too bad for $25 dollars, right? And I think the stained wood works well to tie in the stained wood countertop and shower floor mat in the adjoining bathroom.

tiny bathroom makeover after 2

Plus, I think the stained wood will also keep all of the bright colors in this room from looking too much like a kid’s room. Hopefully. 🙂

This room is coming together! I still need to make the curtains, hang some shelves above the desk, find a bedside table (I’ll have to rummage through my storage to see if I have something I can use), cover the desk chair, and then find some really inexpensive bedding. Oh, and I need a bed! Ha! Fortunately, my brother has one I can borrow. Now I just need to see if he’s willing to deliver it. 😀

This post is a collaboration with 3M™ TEKK Protection™ Brand, but all words and opinions are my own. . Join the community at Facebook.com/3MDIY or visit 3MDIY.com to learn more.

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  1. Wow…that looks so nice! And I am so psyched that a local rummage barn lady wants me to start painting her odd pieces of furniture for her in hopes to sell them! Just thought I’d share. I have wanted to do that for years and here’s my opportunity! It’s people like you and my good friend Melinda that keep me inspired!

  2. You did a great job! And it sounds like the hearing protector is just what you need with all the equipment you use. So glad you are feeling good again.

  3. Thanks for reviewing those headphones. I always listen to music while I work and I hate not being able to hear it when I’m using machines.
    ps- the headboard looks great.

  4. Hey, Kritsi –
    Glad you’re feeling better! I have the Work Tunes, too – and I use them when I’m on my riding mower. I plug my phone in to the earphones (their best feature in my opinion, is that you can do that) and play whatever I want (usually an audio book). When the phone rings – it comes through the headphones!

  5. I’m never going to look at fencing quite the same way again! Can’t believe what a beautiful headboard you got out of those fence boards!

    Glad you are better, too! Had wondered what was up when the blog went silent.

  6. You are so cute in your ‘headphones’ 🙂 The headboard looks great, too.
    So sorry to hear you were sick, glad you rested and made a fast recovery. And yes…you were missed.
    p.s. For some reason I thought you were going to make the headboard a driftwood look. Wonder where I got that idea?

  7. Oh wow, so sorry you were sick, but happy you are feeling better. Wondered what had happened as I missed your posts! You are so very talented!

  8. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I kept checking your website every morning for the headboard update and was wondering if you were ok. I LOVE this headboard. I need one for my guest bedroom and I think this is exactly what I need. Cheap and easy.

    Thank you so much for your posts. You really inspire me to want to make things instead of buying them. In fact, when I see something I like, I always wonder how I can do it myself and that’s all because of you. Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing how you decorate your new home. Take care.

  9. Wow that looks really great! I will definitely have to keep cedar fence pickets in mind when I work on my next project – I haven’t quite figured out what that will be yet though… =]

  10. I hope you’re feeling better. I’ve been gone for a few days on vacation (no computer) and was wondering if you’d finished the headboard. IT IS BEAUTIFUL! I’m pretty sure it’ll make a beautiful focal point for this room. Way to go!

  11. Love the headboard. The link I followed said “ten headboard designs that you can make from reclaimed wood”. Can you point me in the direction of the other nine? Thank you and keep up the good work.

  12. My 23 year old daughter brought me to your site. She found this headboard of Pinterest. She had just moved into an unfurnished apartment and is tight on her budget for furniture. She asked me if I could make it and I told her while holding back a laugh that I would try. I’ve made a few things before – small things. Never have I attempted a project of this magnitude. But it was for my sweet girl, so I gave it a try (the whole time thinking it would probably end up being on one of those funny “Pinterest – Nailed It” posts. LOL Well it actually turned out great! Was super easy (mostly). We took it to her this weekend and she LOVES it! 🙂 So wish I could figure out how to post a picture for you to see! I am so proud of it!!!