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Reinvent a Room: Budget Decorating Projects

How to Make a Kid's Headboard With Built-In Nightlights

Make an illuminated space-themed headboard for a child's room using holiday lights and plywood.

More in Decorating

Courtesy of Susan Teare

This starry-night headboard will provide a warm glow in your child's room. Have the kids help you make and design the headboard. They can create the shapes, help wrap the lights and add self-adhesive stars.

Materials and Tools

drill with large bit
paintbrush or roller
level
jigsaw or circular saw
scissors
hot-glue gun
sheet of laminated, furniture-grade plywood
semigloss paint
12 to 14 screws
string of clear holiday lights (rice lights, which you can usually find at thrift stores in the off-season)
package of glow-in-the-dark stars
large paper bag or piece of paper to make templates

Cut the Headboard to Size

Cut the piece of plywood to the size of the bed. The lumberyard or retailer where you buy it will often cut it to your exact dimensions.

Paint the Sky

Paint the plywood the color of your choice. We used rich blue paint to represent a nighttime sky. Let the first coat dry completely and then apply a second coat if necessary.

Create the Template

Create the moon template on paper. A large paper bag works well because it is thick and sturdy.

Outline the Template

Place template on the wood and insert screws around template. Keep the entire pattern on the top half of the board, leaving room at bottom for pillow to rest against.

Insert the screws halfway through the plywood; make sure they do not poke through the back. If you have a hard time not going all the way through the wood. Wrap a little piece of masking tape around each screw at the point where you want the drill to stop. It will prevent you from drilling too far into the wood.

Drill for the Lights

Drill hole large enough for the lights to get through near the bottom of the moon where it can be hidden.

Touch Up Holes

Use paint to touch up the holes and paint the tops of the screw heads.

Thread the Lights Through the Holes

String the lights through hole leaving the plug in the backside of the plywood.

Wrap the Lights

Wrap the lights around the screws in a variety of directions, creating a moon shape, tucking in the stray lights.

Add Stars

Use hot glue to adhere the glow-in-the-dark stars around the moon. Save at least four large stars to cover the screws that will be used to attach the board onto wall.

Add Pads to the Back

Place foam floor protector pads (normally used for chairs) on the back of the board to keep it slightly off the wall, allowing the plug to come out the back.

Attach Headboard to Wall

Place the headboard in position on the wall behind bed. Make sure it is level and screw into the wall studs. Place four screws near the top third of the board. Cover the screws with the stars.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.

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