DIY Shiplap Headboard

I am SO excited to share this project with you today! I have been wanting to update our headboard in the master bedroom for a while now (I have actually been doing a lot of updates to this room that I can’t wait to share with you…), so Jordan and I decided to attempt to build one…and we LOVE how it turned out. This project is so simple…and I think all in we spent about $100…so not bad for a new, custom headboard!

*The directions for this headboard are for a KING bed, so if you have something smaller, you will just need to adjust the measurements to fit*

Ok first off, here is what you need:

  • (8) 1×6″ 8ft Shiplap Boards (technically, you could use whatever boards you wanted)
  • (1) 1×3″ Pine Board
  • (1) 80×36″ Piece of Plywood (adjust for a queen size)
  • Paint of your choice (I bought a quart)
  • Miter Saw (if you don’t have access to one of these, Home Depot and Lowes offer free wood cutting services…but for the love, at Lowes it takes a village to get someone back there to do the cutting for you…shout out to HD for the win)
  • Liquid Nails (similar to wood glue)
  • Drill
  • Hammer and Nails
  • Weights or heavy books (i’ll explain later…)
  • Chestnut Praline Latte (because…’tis the season)

Ok here we go!! (are you excited?? I am.)

The first thing we did (after heading to Home Depot to get all of our supplies) was to layout the plywood and boards that we purchased…so we could get a better idea of what kind of layout we wanted for the headboard (note: this was the perfect time for us to work on this project because I JUST sold my dining table and am waiting on my new one to be built…so hello lots of project space).

I didn’t get a good picture of the boards laid out together (new blogger fail), but you can see where we had them laid out so Jordan could measure to make the cuts.

Once we knew the layout, we started to mark where we needed to cut. I wanted 2 vertical boards on the ends (sort of to “frame” it), with the rest of the boards horizontal in the middle. We cut the horizontal boards to 69″ and the vertical boards to 36″.

*These boards are tongue and groove boards, so they basically snap into each other like hardwood floors would…we numbered the boards since we laid them all out at first and got the order that we liked…but then ended up moving one board at the end…

Next, we took the Liquid Nails and put it on the back of all of the boards to attach them to the plywood. Ok, we didn’t do this correctly on the first try so I am going to give you a piece of advice. At first, we put the two vertical pieces on first…then tried to attach the middle horizontal pieces…but if your cuts are evenly slightly off, it makes your job a lot harder. SO, attach one side piece first, then attach all of the middle pieces, and finally, attach the second side piece.



I laid the piece of pine wood at the top just so I could see what it would look like. What do you think??

Once we got everything glued down, we put a bunch of weights (and books, and big heavy bowls…basically anything we could find!) on top overnight to really make sure everything was secure.


The next morning, it was time to paint (my FAVORITE part). I chose Ivory Palace by Behr.


This might be my new favorite off white/ivory color!! It’s SO pretty. Here is the headboard with just one coat of paint. I actually really liked it with just one coat (it gave it more of a white-washed look), but since we used a sharpie to number the boards (don’t be like us), I needed to do another coat.



And here it is with a second coat! I LOVE how this color turned out.



Isn’t it great how you can still see all of the knots in the wood? If you want your headboard to have a more “finished” look, I would recommend doing a third coat.

I still needed to paint the top piece, so next I knocked that out (it took all of 10 min total). I wanted to get it painted before we cut it and added it to the headboard…to make life a little easier.


Excuse all of the gold spray paint on the towels…I told you I have an issue…

At this point, my job was done for the day…until Jordan got home from his day job…just in time to help me with the rest.

He cut the 1×3″ pine board so it would hang off slightly on each end…we cut it to about 84″, so it would hang off about 2″ on each side. We decided to nail this onto the top of the board instead of using Liquid Nails…and I think this worked out a lot better.


How pretty?!? I feel like the top piece really makes it look finished.

Ok the last thing we had to do was hang it on the wall…I was honestly terrified of this part because I had no idea how we were going to do this since this headboard is actually pretty heavy.

I did some research and found that most people used a Cleat Hanger…this is one of the greatest inventions I have come across (if I am so behind the times, I do apologize). We bought this one from Amazon, but you can get these pretty much anywhere (we are just lazy and take advantage of Amazon Prime whenever possible…). 


Y’all. I have to admit. I was so excited about getting this headboard hung that I totally forgot to take good pictures of the process. UGH. SO I am going to do my best to explain how this awesome thing works…and I have added some pictures from other projects similar to ours.

This is a good diagram on how a cleat hanger works…(and no, I did not come up with this diagram…I know most of you assumed I did, but I have a 4 month old who doesn’t feel much like napping today…so there’s that…).


The first thing you do is take one part of the cleat hanger and screw it in the very center of your headboard. We just measured to the very center and attached it there (you have a little wiggle room, because the beauty of this thing is that it’s easy to move slightly once you get it up on the wall).

Next, you attach the second piece directly to the wall. This required a little more measuring, because it will determine where your headboard will sit on the wall. We measured the entire length of the wall where our bed sits…marked the halfway point, then measured from slightly below the top of our bed (I wanted the headboard to start slightly below the bed), to exactly 35″ up (we put the cleat hanger 1″ below the top of the headboard, and the headboard is 36″ in height).

The cleat hanger is super easy to screw in, and the one we purchased holds up to 200 pounds.

Ok here is essentially what the cleat hanger will look like once you get both pieces attached (ours has more screws in it because it is carrying more weight).


Once both pieces are attached, you lift the headboard onto the wall and it basically slides down into the wall piece…we hung ours and then realized it was a little too far left, and were able to pick it up slightly and move it over…it’s really easy to maneuver.

And here is the finished project!



What do you think?? This was such a fun and relatively simple project to tackle…and I just LOVE how it turned out. I can’t wait to show you the rest of our master bedroom!

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read about my crazy thoughts and ideas…it means so much!

Until next time!


6 thoughts on “DIY Shiplap Headboard

  1. Melissa Dickson

    I had a monster headboard built a while back and have yet to attach it to our wall. Let me know if you are happy with the cleat hanger. I may have to look into that.

    Liked by 1 person

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