DIY Shim Headboard

DIY Headboard 1

Ahhh I am finally done with the headboard! Let me first just say that I am not a super handy person! But I was very determined to do this! The hubs and I are trying to redo our bedroom for next to nothing and the best way to get a headboard for cheap is to build one yourself or redo an old one. Well we didn’t own a headboard already and I couldn’t find one that I liked, so build is what happened. I didn’t just want a “typical” head board and the inspiration for this creation came from this Shim Artwork!

DIY Shim Headboard


  • Plywood cut to size: I used cheap roofing plywood
  • 2x4s
  • Moulding
  • Shims: I bought 4 packs of the large 42 pack of shims
  • Screws: 8 to screw the plywood to the 2×4. 4 to screw the headboard to the bed.
  • Drill
  • Nails: Finishing nails to nail the moulding and the shims, if you do not have a brad nailer.
  • Stain: I used chestnut

FYI if you buy your materials from Home Depot or Lowes they will cut the wood to size for you! Which is great if you don’t own an electric saw like myself!

Step 1: Measure measure measure. Measure how big you want your headboard. Measure the width of your bed frame where you will be attaching the wood. Measure how high you want your headboard to be. The plywood was cut 35″ tall and 64″ wide giving 2″ of extra wood on each side. Then the two  2x4s were cut 53″ long.

DIY Headboard 5

Step 2: Place the 2x4s on the board and measure the distance between the 2x4s to make sure it matches the distance between the bed frame where you will be attaching them. So since our bed was 60″ and we added 2″ to each side I place the boards 2″ from the edge. Also make sure the 2x4s are the same length at the bottom so one side isn’t higher then the other. I hammered the 2x4s with 2 nails on each side just to keep it in place to screw it in on the other side.

DIy Headboard 6

Step 3: Flip the board over. Screw the board to the 2x4s. To make sure it was secure I screwed each 2×4 in 4 times. Nail moulding, cut to size with 45 degree angles (like a picture frame), with finishing nails or a nail gun. Stain the back board and mounding.

DIY Headboard 7

Step 4: I originally started using liquid nails to hold the shims in place, but this did not work. So I borrowed a friends brad gun and nailed them all in place. Hammering any of the brads that didn’t go all the way through. I also staggered the shims like brick to give it more texture, and cut the shims for each end using a small hand saw.

DIY Headboard 8

Step 5: Stain the wood. I applied two coats and then waited at least a day to put the headboard up. Lastly, attach the headboard to the bed frame by pre-drilling holes and using screws and nuts. Done! Phew!

DIY Headboard 2

This was a labor of love since I started without the right tools and certain things not working … aka liquid nails. The total makeover cost me $70 dollars which isn’t too shabby! Your probably wondering why there are no pillows on the bed yet?? Well I haven’t gotten that far yet and thats another blog post 🙂

What do you think? Crazy headboard?

I party here…


  1. This looks great! What size bed did you makenthis headboard for i have a full just wanted to know if i needed to use these exact measurements

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