Pallet Headboard

Hello readers!

I've been quiet for a while. That's because I've been super busy on a new project and I'm really excited to share it with you now that it's done. I'm more jazzed about this project than pretty much any other project I've previously posted on here (except for maybe my nerdy patchwork blanket). It has been a project floating around in my head for a long time and I was so happy to finally make it a reality.

We got a new bed almost two years ago. The old bedframe didn't fit anymore so, picked up a new one but it didn't have a headboard or anything. I love the rustic vintage-type look so I started thinking about the possibility of making my own headboard and I decided I wanted to do it with wood pallets.

Fast-forward to now and I've just made that thought a reality. I'm not usually someone to sit on projects. In fact, I HATE having unfinished projects. The reason for the delay on this one was purely logistics. After I secured some nice pallets they sat on our back porch for a while. Because there was no good way for me to sand and stain them. We're in an apartment complex. Where can I go to do that?

A few weeks ago I decided this just needed to get done. Every time I walked into our living room and saw those pallets sitting on the back porch it was a reminder to me of an unfinished project. So, I transported the pallets over to my parents' house so I'd have a place to work, and I got it done.

The result is so beautiful! And it's a weight off my shoulders to finally have this big undertaking done after all this time. Now I can move onto other DIY projects. My list never ends.

So, without further ado, here's a step-by-step on how to make this pallet headboard yourself.

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 ~ What You Need ~

2 wood pallets (approx 36" x 45" each)
Power sander
Sandpaper in varying grits
Wood filler
Wood stain (your choice of color - I used American Chestnut)
2 yards of billowy material (your choice of color)
6 feet of velcro
2 French cleat hangers (100 lb. hold)
4 L brackets
1 strand (10 ft.) string lights (optional)
Small clothespins (optional)

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~ Directions ~

Step 1: Sand the pallets until the wood is smooth. Start with the most gritty sandpaper and gradually move to the finest. This will ensure a nice smooth, clean-looking surface.

Sanding makes a HUGE difference. It almost won't look like the same wood afterward.



Step 2: If your pallets are like mine, they'll have small holes where each nail goes into the wood. Smooth out the surface by plugging these holes with wood filler. You really only need to do this on the front side that will be seen. Allow to dry completely.

Step 3: Stain the pallets with your choice of wood stain color. I used American Chestnut. I recommend getting a stain that includes the finishing coat. It's a huge time-saver. Allow to dry completely. Go over with additional coats if you want the stain to be more intense. I only used one coat for mine.

You don't need to stain everything - just what will be visible.

If you used a stain that didn't include the finishing coat, you will also need to pick up some of that and finish off the piece with that coat.

Step 3: Cut the velcro (both hook and loop sides) into four 13-inch pieces. Adhere four of the pieces to the inside of the front portion of the top wood slate on the pallets (see image below).

I used velcro that included one side of self-adhesive velcro and the other side was sew-on. If you use self-adhesive it will attach to the wood just fine. You need to sew the velcro to the fabric regardless, though. Speaking from experience, adhesive velcro doesn't stay attached to fabric for long.

Cut the fabric into four pieces measuring about 20" x 45". Sew the four remaining pieces of velcro to the four pieces of fabric. Give them a bit of a pleat so the fabric will have more movement. Your sewing job doesn't need to be pretty - you won't be able to see it. Just make sure it's secure.

Join the pieces of velcro to secure your fabric to the pallets.

Note: You can also attach the fabric directly to the wood but I chose to go with velcro so the fabric could be swapped out if I wanted down the road.

Step 4: Attach the cleat hangers to the wall and pallets to hang. Using these hangers ensures you have the support you need to attach the pallets to the wall without them falling down. Make sure hangers are level so pallets are level when hung next to each other.

Palettes weigh on average between 35-50 pounds. I used the hangers good for up to 100 pounds just to be safe.

To be even safer, attached two of the L brackets to the bottom of each of the pallets. Secure them to the wood and the wall.


The last thing you want is a pallet falling in the middle of the night.

Step 5: Add the finishing touches, if desired. I think these touches give a lot of personality.

Screw the four hooks into each side of the pallets.

Drape and secure the lights across the top of the pallets. Attach some of the clothespins to the light strand to display photos.

And you're done! Enjoy!