DIY Farmhouse Headboard

July 14, 2017


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I am so excited to share with you and finally get to breakdown this DIY farmhouse headboard project from start to finish for those of you who are wanting to tackle it as well. And if you keep scrolling to the end, I created a downloadable plan and shopping list for you just to make it a bit easier.

Home projects. Goodness gracious, I really do love them, but that doesn’t mean that every single one we have attempted goes smoothly. There have been some projects in the past that will never see the light of day, but I am happy to say that we have come a long way from those beginning years as two young kids trying to do things ourselves.

This project, however, is my favorite to date. Less than $75 dollars, less than 6 hours to build and my husband made our bedroom feel more like home than it ever has. I love a good DIY project, but I love them, even more, when I can step back and see a room begin to transform. Not to mention the sentiment of being surrounded by things being built my husband’s hands. Bless that man and the things he accomplishes while I carry his beautiful babies. Wink.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

We knew we wanted a touch of rustic to break up all of the white we have going on in our master suite and we love the look and lines of that classic farmhouse style. We browsed Pinterest and online for a long time, but either the plans we came across weren’t the style we wanted or it required so many individual tools to invest in just to get the one job done. So we came up with our own.

Keep in mind, the supplies and measurements I am including in this post were for a headboard design to fit our bed which is a California King. However, with it being such a simple design, I don’t think it would be too difficult to adjust it to the size you need.

Starting at Home Depot, we picked up the wood and supplies needed. And, as with most things, it was a family affair.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

Since it is currently triple degree summer weather here in Arizona, we most definitely set up inside the house for this project. It just required a bit of vacuuming and dusting after. Okay, maybe a lot, but it was worth it to work under the convenience and comfort of air conditioning.

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What you want to make sure of is to know that you will work backwards. Meaning, you will want to layout your design as if you were looking at the back of your headboard since that is where your nails will go so they are not seen in the final product.

And, of course, the hairy German is never far from where the big guy is. Even when working with power tools.

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The detail at the top of the headboard was so simple, but added such great detail to the project and finished look. We also used two 2×4 scraps cut to 19 inches long to add towards the bottom to ensure that the headboard sat flush against the wall because of the baseboard that would be in the way. Without those, the headboard would lean.

To try and make the finished product as clean and well done as possible, we chose to mask the ends of the 2×4’s used by applying wood filler. Even though this part only shows if you are standing against the wall looking at the side of the headboard, it helped to fill in the spaces between each of the planks and mad it look more solid in the end.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

Once everything was in place and nailed, we then sanded everything down using a 60 grit sandpaper and then went over everything a second time with 100 grit to make the headboard as smooth as possible. Make sure to also sand down where you used the wood filler.

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After that, we wiped everything down with a damp sponge to ensure that all excess wood dust was removed before the staining process.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

When we were picking up supplies I browsed the stains to see if I connected with one for this project. I came across “Briarsmoke” by Verathane and loved the sample finish of it – not too red, not to green/grey – so we picked it up. While we are not experts in staining yet (this is only our second staining project), one big tip is to always take scraps of wood from your project and make sure and test your stain using different amount of strokes to compare how light or how dark you want your stain. And after testing Briarsmoke and stepping back? I didn’t care for it all. It’s a thicker stain so it didn’t glide on as well and the finish, while you may not be able to tell from this picture, came out with more green in it than I cared for. We could totally blame it on user error, but we just didn’t enjoy the application of it as much as the other brand that we have worked with.

We pulled the leftover stain from our last project, which is “Dark Walnut” by Minwax, and tested it and it automatically felt so much better. We decided not to apply it as dark as we did for our other project, but it was the clear winner and I was thrilled to have plenty on hand already to get this project done.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

The big guy and I worked together to get the stain exactly how we wanted. My husband would stroke with the stain and I would follow behind him with a cloth to remove excess before it dried just to work as hard as we could to not have it end up too dark. That technique ended up working well for us and the end result was just the right shade. Remember when using a wood stain that the true color does not settle and show until it is dry and soaked into the wood. My suggestion would be to go into it with the “less is more” mentality because you can always layer on more after if you decide the first round of stain isn’t as dark as you would like it. And I don’t think we will ever work with any other stain brand other than Minwax. It truly is a wonderful product.

DIY farmhouse headboard including plans and supply list for California King size bed | #HomeDesign #InteriorDecor #DIY #DIYHeadboard

After awhile of drying – voila! The final result. It really turned out absolutely perfect for what we were wanting. To install the headboard, we anchored it to the wall using headboard/furniture anchors that you can find at your local hardware store.

There is still more to complete for this space in our home, but this headboard was a huge leap forward.

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Are you finally ready for these plans? Download the free plans right here and if you attempt this project for your own home, be sure and tag me on social media so I can cheer you on to the finish line! I hope you enjoy!



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  1. Tracy

    July 31st, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Beautiful! I also love this bedside lamp, would you mind sharing where this is from? Thanks!

  2. Kara Layne

    August 24th, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Hi Miss Tracy and thank you! The lamps were from Target quite awhile ago. Not sure if they still have them or not.

  3. Melissa

    August 21st, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I want to make this but can’t seem to download the plans!! Help!! Lol

  4. Kara Layne

    August 24th, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Hi Melissa! It could be a pop-up blocker or security feature you have installed on your browser. Feel free to send me an email at and I will make sure and forward those plans on to you 😉 Thanks for reading!

  5. Holly

    March 25th, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Is this for a king size bed? I love it just looking for king size!

  6. Kara Layne

    March 26th, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Hi Miss Holly! Thank you so much for reading – this was built for a California King size bed. What you would want to do is simply measure the width of you king side and plan out how long the center boards need to be. The height and everything else would stay the same and should fit perfectly. Hope that helps!

  7. Tara

    August 7th, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I’m a little confused on the shopping list with the wood listed to make the top. I know there’s two different pieces and in the pictures they look to be different sizes completely but the shopping list has them as both 2 by 4s. Is that correct or how did you stagger the boards so they look to be different sizes thanks for any help

  8. Kara Layne

    August 11th, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Miss Tara! Yes – we purchased two 2×4’s because we were not sure how big of a “lip” we wanted at the top of the headboard. Once we had things laid out, we were then able to see it better and see how much of an accent we wanted there. Once we decided, we then trimmed it ourselves to the desired length. I hope that helps – let me know if you have any more questions!

  9. Jessica

    September 12th, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Hi !
    It’s really beautiful and I would love to do it for my queen size bed. Do you have any idea of what the measurements should be?

    Thank you for sharing this!

  10. Kara Layne

    September 23rd, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Hi Miss Jessica! Thanks so much and I am glad you enjoyed it! I actually am not sure – it would be simple to figure out though simply by measuring the width of your queen bed and then sizing down to that length with your 2×4’s. Everything else should stay the same. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

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  12. Trish Mullins

    October 30th, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Love this headboard! Having trouble downloading the instructions. Could you please send this to my e-mail?

  13. Pete Zuromski

    November 4th, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Having a problem downloading the plans for the farmhouse headboard. P.ease forward to my email. Thank you.

  14. Kara Layne

    November 4th, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Pete! I’m sorry you are having trouble! Sometimes this is caused because your browser settings have a pop-up blocker on. The plans load in a new window for you to download. Disable that and then try again and it should work. If you continue to have trouble, let me know!

  15. Jordan

    November 5th, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I am also having trouble downloading the instructions. I am only able to view the shopping list. Would you be able to email the plan? Thanks !

  16. Kara Layne

    November 19th, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Hi Jordan! The instructions are in the blog post with a convenient downloadable shopping list and diagram showing you the length and measurement of everything. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

  17. brittany

    November 7th, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Are you sure the 2nd piece on the top is also a 2×4 or is it maybe a 1×4? It looks far narrower than the top piece. I’d really like to try this. Beautiful work!

  18. Kara Layne

    November 19th, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Hi Brittany! It is a 1×4 – thank you for catching that. I am updating the blog post and the plans as well. And thank you! We had a blast with this project so I hope you enjoy it as well!

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  20. Rebecca

    November 14th, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Hey there!
    I’m looking at starting my own headboard this weekend. The plans say to use two 2x4s of different lengths for the top accent piece, but in the picture it looks like one 2×4 and one 4×4. While the length and width look to be the same, there’s a noticeable difference in depth in your picture. Do you remember exactly what sizes you bought? I just want to make sure I get the right size wood in order to achieve that look!

  21. Kara Layne

    November 19th, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Hi Miss Rebecca! Thank you for bringing this to my attention – the top pieces are a 2×4 and 1×4. The 1×4 is on the bottom with the finishing top piece being the 2×4. I am updating the blog post and the plans as well. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  22. Karina

    December 9th, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Hi! I’m a little confused about those 2×4 19in scraps you used. Did you put them at the bottom of the legs near the floor? Thanks!

  23. Kara Layne

    December 10th, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Hi Karina! The 2×4 scraps we added to the back of the headboard in order to allow it to sit flush against the wall. Because of the border detail at the top, it causes a gap between the headboard and the wall. Let me know if that clears up the confusion!

  24. Natalie

    December 10th, 2019 at 9:33 am

    Hey there! We’re you able to post the full instructions for the headboard? I’m still only able to get the shopping list when clicking on “Download plans here”. Thanks!!

  25. Kara Layne

    December 10th, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Hi Natalie! The downloadable PDF is the measurements/blueprint along with the shopping list. The instructions and steps are throughout the blog post if you need them. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!

  26. Danielle

    December 12th, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Hi! Love this! How did you attach the top detail so the screws do not show?

  27. Kara Layne

    December 13th, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Hi Danielle! Thank you so much! We did screw in the top piece, but then used wood putty to completely hide it. You will want to spackle it on, sand it down until smooth, and then it will be able to be stained just like the rest of it. You can’t even see it. I hope that helps!

  28. Kasin

    December 30th, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    What kind of wood did you use?

  29. Kara Layne

    January 9th, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Hi Kasin! I actually don’t have this detail – we literally chose the most inexpensive 2×4’s that were thick enough and we cherry-picked to make sure they weren’t warped. Our first DIY project so I will make sure to gather more details for the future ones 😉 Sorry I can’t be more help!

  30. Duna Degross

    December 31st, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    First I want to say thank you so much!!! Your plan is absolutely fool proof and the headboard came out so beautifully!!!

  31. Kara Layne

    January 9th, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Duna! That makes me so happy! Thank you so much for sharing and for reading – so happy you got to enjoy the project yourself!

  32. James

    January 12th, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Did you apply any type of poly after the stain? Or did you just wipe all the extra stain off?

  33. Kara Layne

    January 13th, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Hi James! Nope – no extra top coat of poly. We didn’t want to risk it having any sheen or shine to it. We wanted it to look and feel rustic with a matte finish. We simply let it air dry for several days and the finish is actually very smooth and easy to wipe down with a damp rag for cleaning. I hope that helps!

  34. Diana

    February 8th, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    LOVE it

  35. Kara Layne

    February 17th, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Thank you so much, Diana!!

  36. Jacob

    February 27th, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Kara, can you explain/send a picture of how the headboard is attached to your frame, assuming there is one? Thanks!

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