This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in October 2015.
I love the creative opportunities that come with creating a new bedroom space, and the headboard is an especially prominent way showcase your style. If your bed is raised on a simple metal frame without a headboard, take advantage of the free space above your pillows and make something wonderful happen.
Looking for a headboard on a budget? Here’s one that I embraced earlier this year, when I just couldn’t take the plain white wall any longer:
A piece of 6′ x 8′ fencing just happens to be a great scale for a king-size bed, even extending to embrace a bedside table. Fence panels can be found salvaged, scrap or fairly inexpensively at stores depending on the style – just be sure to choose boards that aren’t pressure treated, to avoid those chemicals leeching into your pillowcases. Use a natural stain and adorn the new headboard with lovely string lights or art, and snuggle up.
My favorite homemade stain is made from #0000 super fine-grade steel wool dissolved into 4 cups of apple cider vinegar.
The oxidizing process can take upwards of a few weeks, but the payoff is great.
The once-transparent vinegar will become deep brown when the oxidation is complete. Science!
Use a sponge to apply the stain to the boards. The sponge works a lot like a foam brush, absorbing solution and releasing it in a way that gets into all of those nooks and crannies of the fence panel.
Don’t be fooled by how light the stain appears to go on – the magic of this stain is that it will continue to darken the color of the wood as it dries, and in my experience for several weeks after application. Other instances in which I’ve used this stain have left me with a wood surface stained deep-mocha brown. The type of wood you select has a lot to do with the end color result, and after a few months this panel aged to a pretty chocolate-brown.
Decorate your headboard with custom touches. Nail picture hangers into the wood and layer on pieces of your favorite art or drape pretty string lights on for a canopy-like effect.
The end result is a warm headboard that improves the look of any blank slate. A must-try for rustic wood-lovers on a budget!