How to Make a Headboard From Upcycled Shutters
Pair salvaged building materials with new lumber to create a shabby-chic headboard.
This upcycled storage headboard takes up no more room than two small end tables while still providing the function with two cantilevered shelves. It also provides additional room for lamps, books and artwork. Not only can it be built in about four hours, but this upcycled storage headboard can also be nearly free with some DIY salvaging skills.
We lucked out by finding a set of used storage crates that came as singles, doubles and triples. These could be combined to obtain the height needed on each side of the bed. For this full size box spring and mattress, the 42-inch-tall triple crates worked perfectly.
To make the shelves more functional, we decided to add a cantilevered extension to the middle shelf. Luckily we had a piece of reclaimed knotty pine that was the perfect size to make two smaller shelves.
Set the rip fence on a table saw as required to resize the shelf. In this case, I had to clean up each edge by cutting off the existing sides. Be sure not to cut through any nails.
Use MDF or plywood to make the top shelf that expands across the bed and two shelf towers. Cut the sheet to the proper width. It should be 3/4" narrower than the tops of the crates to allow room for the the trim piece (to hide the raw edge of the plywood). Determine the length of the top board. It should be: mattress-width + 2x crate-width + 2". This will give a 1-inch clearance on each side of the mattress.
Cut two 2” full-length rips out of the remaining MDF or plywood.
Fasten one of the 2" pieces to the front of the shelf using wood glue and 18-gauge finish nails. Insert the nails 6” on center. The trim piece will form a front valence to hide the raw edge of the plywood and it will add strength between the crates. The other 2" piece is used as a support piece on the back, bottom of the shelf. Trim this one shorter by subtracting 1/4" + 2x the crate width from the full length and center it along the rear of the shelf. Fasten the same way as the top valence.
Prime and paint the crates and shelves. We used a gloss-white for the crates and top shelf for a clean look. The cantilevered shelves were white-washed in a light blue-gray color so the wood grain still shows through.
When the paint is dry, apply construction adhesive to the middle-crate shelf. Then install the cantilevered shelves using 1-1/4" 18-gauge finish nails.
Install the top shelf using 1-1/4" course-thread drywall screws. Use at least four screws into each crate top. Also the rear/bottom shelf support should be attached to the wall with two equally spaced fasteners to support the shelf and prevent a fall hazard from the headboard tipping over. Use the appropriate fasteners for your wall type.
This upcycled storage headboard is all about using the space you already have more efficiently.