DIY Headboard & Ikea Bed Hack

Sometimes remodeling a room doesn’t just involve removing wallpaper, painting walls, or replacing flooring.  Sometimes it involves reinventing a piece of furniture as well.

Warning: this is a long post, so pull up a chair and get comfy!

Let’s talk about this bed for a moment.DSC_0973

I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there: I HATE this bed!  I know hate is a strong word, but I really, really don’t like it.  I’ve been told many times that I approved this purchase several years ago when we bought it at Ikea, but I honestly can’t believe that I would have approved this! However, I do remember that we were there to purchase a different bed, similar in style, but they were out of stock. We were still fairly new to Ikea and didn’t know to check stock status online before we made the 2 hour drive. So since we were already there, we just HAD to buy something 😉


Our boxer, Katie! And Tobie’s tail 🙂

I should also mention that this bed was going in Andy’s room.  I “let” him (you ladies know what I mean 🙂 ) have his own bedroom,  since he worked third shift at the time and needed to sleep during the day. He was all about making the room as dark and gloomy as possible.  He also wanted to put the mattress on the floor.  What is it with guys wanting to sleep on a mattress on the floor?! Anyway, this bed was our compromise. I will admit that it is nice to have the extra storage (it has 4 drawers), which means I get more dresser space.  Look for the positives, right?

I’ve been able to make this bed work…somewhat, for 5 years now, but it’s time my friends. It’s time for a makeover. And this is my inspiration…

If you have never visited the girls over at Shanty-2-chic, you should go visit them RIGHT NOW!  They have so many great projects to choose from with detailed plans on how to build each one.

I have debated on painting the bed for a couple years, but I never felt very settled on that idea.  I also knew that if I was going to be forced into keeping it, I would want some sort of headboard for it.  This inspiration bed ties both things together perfectly.

So I got to sanding with my handy dandy palm sander. In case you care, the technical name for it is a Ridgid 1/4 Sheet Sander that we bought a while back at a local tool sale. DSC_0978

First, I removed the drawers and began sanding the outer shell. This part of the frame had a clear coat finish on it that needed to be sanded off before staining. Once that was finished, I applied the first coat of stain. DSC_0982 IMG_2048It turned out a little splotchy in spots because it was hard to tell if I sanded all the clear coat off on the first go round. I was able to wipe the stain right off those spots. Once it was all dry, I sanded those spots again, then stained again. It turned out better with the second coat. Still a little splotchy, but better than the first coat. I guess it gives it a nice weathered look 🙂

I then sanded the drawers, which turned out to be much easier because I could see where the black paint was coming off and where it wasn’t.  They took the stain VERY nicely!

Once the bed was finished, we were ready to start the headboard based on the plans over at Shanty-2-chic. (They have several other cute headboards to choose from so be sure to check out their site.)  We built ours a little differently than they did, but theirs was a great basic outline to get us going.

First, we cut a 2×6 into two 5 foot pieces for the sides of the headboard, as well as a 3/8″ piece of plywood for the center section. DSC_1004

We then notched out the 2×6’s where the plywood would fit flush. (This is one part of the plan that we did differently. They used pocket screws to attach the plywood instead of notching out the side boards.)DSC_1000

Then we glued the plywood to the 2×6’s and added a little extra support by screwing them together as well.DSC_1013

I then cut 1×4’s to different lengths for the middle section. I didn’t make specific measurements for these boards. I just tried to alternate joints so that it would look like a random pattern. I have to admit that this part was kind of fun because it was like putting together a puzzle. 🙂 Nerd alert!DSC_1020

After I had the pattern laid out, I removed all the boards, being sure to keep them in the same order. We then glued them to the plywood and put a screw in from the back for extra measure. I ended up having to number the back of a few of them because we ran out of daylight and had to finish another night. DSC_1023 DSC_1026After all the boards were attached, it was time to stain! I used the Minwax Dark Walnut that I told you about in my post about the DIY Planter.DSC_1032

We then added a 2×3 (ripped down to 3″ from a 2×4) and a 2×4 as a topper. This is another part of the project where we strayed from the original a bit.  We felt like it needed a little more of a chunky top piece than what the original plan called for.IMG_0011Finally, we attached the headboard to the bed frame with 3 inch long 3/8 carriage head bolts, lock nuts, and flat washers. There are definitely other options as far as bolts, washers, and nuts go, so there is some flexibility there. For what it’s worth, Andy would not use carriage head bolts again. IMG_0010 IMG_0012So now let’s take one more look at the before…DSC_0977And here is the after…IMG_0022IMG_0021I mean, it’s no Pottery Barn bed or anything, but not too shabby right?!  And I think I will be able to live with this bed for a few more years now that it’s a little cuter 😉

This project cost us about $100, which is way better than the several hundred you would spend at a furniture store. And we have the satisfaction of knowing that WE made it!!

Now that the bed is finally finished, I am that much closer to having our master bedroom finished.  I’ve got a few more little details to take care of and then I can reveal the entire room makeover!  I’m so excited for you to see it!

A few more details for you:

Sheets and turquoise throw pillows: Target

Duvet, throw pillows, blanket: Ikea

Bed: Ikea

Materials for headboard: Lowe’s

Happy creating!!!




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