Paneled Headboard Tutorial


Thanks to everyone for all of the comments and feedback on my paneled headboard wall project.  I still find myself going in there and just looking at it.   A sign of a good end result for me.  So, here is a step-by-step tutorial to help you create this look in your own home.  It’s not difficult, it just takes a little time and attention to detail, so don’t be scared. 🙂  This post contains some affiliate links.

Paneled Headboard

So, I promised a tutorial!  This project was extremely affordable – all that I needed was some MDF boards since we already had the big tools we needed (nail gun) from when we did the board and batten in the hallway and laundry room back in January, as well as the trim paint.   So, the basic supply list includes the following:

So, since we were putting the headboard between the two windows, I took some measurements to try and figure out the best placement of the boards.  (Yes, there is some math involved here, sorry).

I sketched out the space and started by taking the measurement between the two windows (55.5″) and cut the larger, 5 1/2″ piece of MDF and nailed it to the wall.  This is the base for all of the vertical pieces, so make sure it’s level.  As for the height of the headboard – I eyeballed it and it ended up being about 78″ tall.  I wanted to have enough height so that it would show up once I put the pillows back on the bed.

For the vertical 2 1/2″ strips, I took the overall measurement between the two windows (55.5″) and divided it in half (27.75″), using it for the placement of my first board, working outwards from there.

DIY Headboard

I used a 12″ piece of wood as a spacer for this project, which is an easy way to move from board to board.

DIY Headboard

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of using a level in this project.  When putting a grid together like this, you want to make sure the boards are straight.

I used the same technique when adding the horizontal boards.  The squares ended up being about 12×12 when it was all said and done.  One note here – before cutting your horizontal boards, double check your measurements.  In making sure the vertical boards were straight, my 12″ measurements were off by a few millimeters, so we had to do some extra cutting to make sure the pieces fit.

DIY Headboard



It’s not pictured above, but we added a 1×1″ piece along the top to give it a more finished look.  You can see it in the finished photos below.  But, from here, it’s just a matter of caulking around the boards and gaps, spackling the nail holes, sanding and painting.  I used trim paint that matched what we have in the house in a latex semi-gloss.

Paneled Headboard



Wood Paneled Headboard


Paneled Headboard Tutorial


Paneled Headboard


Paneled Headboard Wall

Some of you asked what color pink I used in her room – it’s Priscilla by Sherwin Williams.  After having a Pepto Bismol pink incident in her room at our old house, I vowed not to make that mistake again and made sure that I bought a sample size to test it first this time.  Much happier with the results!



  • Reply
    February 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I *love* that headboard wall! I've been thinking about doing something similar, so thanks for this post. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sensible Redesign
    February 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    That is so pretty! Thanks for sharing the info on how to do it. I have a room downstairs that could use this treatment.

  • Reply
    A Vintage Vine
    March 1, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Great tutorial….did you know Stories of A to Z is having a new linky party this would be perfect for it…go check it out and link up!!!

  • Reply
    Busy as a Bee in Paris
    March 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    wow! that is a gorgeous room, so fresh and bright and cozy! just visiting from a to z

  • Reply
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman
    March 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    That's such a cute idea. You did a really great job.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Wow, this is darling…love your tutorial too! Very well done, I love it!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    gorgeous!would love this in my room.

  • Reply
    Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
    March 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    This turned out fabulous! It looked relatively easy too. Please stop by later this week and link up at my Flaunt it Friday party if you'd like, my readers would love it and I will feature you!

  • Reply
    Beth@The Stories of A to Z
    March 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    This is so beautiful! Fantastic tutorial too ;). Thanks for linking up.

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    Stuff by Ash
    March 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial. I am bookmarking it so I can use it when we aren't renting anymore.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    That looks so nice!! thanks for the tutorial!! i will have to bookmark it for when we move to a house with a bigger master bedroom!

  • Reply
    Jenny Beth
    March 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    oh my word!!! this looks incredible!! you did a really great job on this!!! visiting from a to z!

  • Reply
    Linda@Coastal Charm
    March 2, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Oh my…this looks outstanding…thanks for sharing this awesome idea with me! I’m having a GIVEAWAY…so hop and enter to WIN!


  • Reply
    Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
    March 2, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Great tutorial and it did turn out so well. Thanks for joining WUW.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Love this idea. You did a great job!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Such an awesome tutorial! It looks stellar. I am absolutely putting this in my bookmarks for future ideas!!! Thank you.

  • Reply
    My Blessed Serendipity Life
    March 2, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I absolutely love this! Pretty!


  • Reply
    March 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This is so beautiful! You have inspired me to find the right place to do this in my house.

  • Reply
    Erika at BluLabel Bungalow
    March 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Amazing! I just read about your magic at Emily Clark's blog. Fantastic job. I know your daughter is over the moon!

  • Reply
    Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free
    March 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I love it! I've been looking for a project for our headboard–and this may just be the one. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa's Creative Home
    March 4, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Great job! You make it look so easy and it has such a BIG impact on the space!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Looks gorgeous!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Oh My! This is amazing and lovely, and all together fabulous. Well done.

  • Reply
    Ali Richardson
    March 4, 2011 at 4:37 am

    SO SO pretty! btw, I love your blog, it's really well done!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Great work,very pretty ~ I love it!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I just found your blog today, and I must say, I am so glad I did! That headboard is such a Great Idea! Good job, thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    This is absolutely STUNNING! I love this room the colors are so fresh and clean! Thanks for share such an awesome tutorial on Chic on a Shoestring! Newest follower too!~

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Such a great idea! I'm in the process of researching options for making a headboard and this definitely looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Yep I have seen this around this week and I ADORE it! You did such a great job and I would love if you could share this at my party 2!

    Sommer @ Designer Garden

  • Reply
    March 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for this idea!! I have been trying to figure out an alternative to a headboard in our master bedroom and I think I will do this!!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Hi, My question for the headboard is when you nailed the MDF pieces to the wall, did you have to check to make sure there were studs there first so that the nails weren't just going into drywall? I want to do something similar as far as putting some MDF to a wall in my living room for a coat rack but I am assuming the MDF won't stay if I am just nailing into drywall.

  • Reply
    Orange it Lovely
    March 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    This is truly fantastic!!! I love it!! I am going to show this to my hubby ASAP. we are looking for Headboards!

  • Reply
    Adelina Rotar
    March 8, 2011 at 12:18 am

    This is great! I'm bookmarking it!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Love, love, love it! Can you let me know where you got your wreath?? I've been looking for one similar to that forever and I'm not having much luck! I'm in the middle of installing a faux beadboard headboard and hadn't thought about hanging a wreath there but I just might now! Great job!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I love this! we are moving to a condo soon and have retired our headboard and was thinking I was going to have to buy a whole new bedroom suit, looks like I may not need to after all 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy
    March 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    OMG! This is the first headboard wall that I have fallen in love with. The best part of it is that I have my bed in the exact same spot between two windows so this it totally doable!! I am totally going to do this!!! Now I am psyched to decorate my bedroom. I am working room through room and started yesterday asking my readers to help me with my dining room. You have to come and give me help on it too!
    You are the bomb!!!

  • Reply
    My Interior Life
    March 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Such a clever headboard solution, and it looks beautiful! I know you must be thrilled with the result. And the little boxwood wreath is the perfect finishing touch!

  • Reply
    Last Minute Mel
    April 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    This is soooo pretty…what a delightful room. I love how you have decorated it, too 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather {The Lovely Cupboard}
    August 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This is gorgeous! I'm loving the pink and green too. Thanks for "stopping by" my blog yesterday. I'll be following yours now!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

    This is STUNNING! My daughter's room is also pink and green (LOVE) and we also have a space between two windows just like yours. Now you've got me thinking…hmmmm~! Fantastic tutorial! Kerri, A Pop of Pretty (PS – I'm your newest follower!)

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