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DIY Paneled Wood Headboard: A Finnish Blogger’s Clever Bedroom Upgrade

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DIY Paneled Wood Headboard: A Finnish Blogger’s Clever Bedroom Upgrade

August 25, 2023

This week we’re revisiting some of the most popular DIY stories from our archives. Read on for end-of-summer project inspiration:

By day, Maiju Saha works as a social media marketing specialist and campaign designer. By night and on weekends, the mother of three dives into home improvement projects and blogs about them.

Maiju and her family live in the small town of Vaasa on Finland’s west coast. Two years ago they moved into their 1941 house and since then she’s be puzzling over how to make her and her husband Janne’s compact bedroom feel “less empty without crowding it with furniture.” Taking inspiration from the room’s paneled ceiling—and all the paneling she’s been admiring in other people’s quarters of late—Maiju came up with this DIY built-in headboard of homemade beadboard. She kindly agreed to share the project with us.

Photography by Maiju Saha (@maiju_saw), courtesy of the Maiju Saw blog.

The Materials

  • slotted wood panels cut to the right height (Maiju’s are approximately 45 inches tall)
  • wood for the frame (“this will be covered so it can be any kind of wood, even rough” says Maiju)
  • thin nails for attaching the panels
  • screws for affixing the frame
  • good-quality wood to use as a shelf at the top of the headboard
  • wood filler

The Tools

  • crosscut saw
  • hammer
  • power drill
  • paint
  • paint brush

Instructions

maiju used pine panels (shown here) that are much like lowe&#8\2\17;s unfin 12
Above: Maiju used pine panels (shown here) that are much like Lowe’s Unfinished Pine Tongue and Groove Walls Planks. You can also buy readymade primed beadboard paneling in a range of materials from Home Depot and other building supply stores.
janne installs the frame. 13
Above: Janne installs the frame.
hammering the panels. &#8\2\20;the last plank is the one that goes on top;  14
Above: Hammering the panels. “The last plank is the one that goes on top; attach it with screws or wood glue or both,” says Maiju. “I also covered the screw marks with a filler to give them a more finished look.”

Maiju says she’s self taught and that one project has led to another: “It’s been a long process starting with painting picture frames and chairs. Over time, I’ve learned to use different electrical tools. Renovation projects are my meditation. And since my other work is digital, it’s always so rewarding to see concrete results.” Interestingly, Maiju’s last name, Saha, translates as “Saw” in English, which is how she got her blog name, Maiju Saw.

maiju chose a shade of sage green. she painted the pine directly; you can also  15
Above: Maiju chose a shade of sage green. She painted the pine directly; you can also prime the panels before installation. For detailed, step-by-step instructions (in Finnish; use Google to translate), go to Maiju Saw.

The Finished Project

the finished headboard is approximately 45 inches tall and is topped with a she 16
Above: The finished headboard is approximately 45 inches tall and is topped with a shelf for small objects. Learn more about paneling options in Remodeling 101: The Ultimate Guide to Shiplap, Beadboard, and V-Groove Paneling.
maiju made the bedside ceramic lamp at a clay workshop and finished it with a v 17
Above: Maiju made the bedside ceramic lamp at a clay workshop and finished it with a vintage pleated shade. The leaf pillow is made from a William Morris fabric bought on Etsy; the striped bedding is from H&M Home.

Browse our DIY Project archives for more ideas, including:

N.B.: This story is an update; it originally ran on December 16, 2020.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a DIY paneled wood headboard?

A DIY paneled wood headboard is a headboard made using wooden panels that are assembled together to create a decorative and functional piece for a bed.

Why should I consider a DIY wood headboard for my small bedroom?

A DIY wood headboard can be a great solution for a small bedroom as it adds a focal point to the room without taking up too much space. It also allows you to customize the design to match your bedroom's style.

What materials do I need to make a DIY paneled wood headboard?

To make a DIY paneled wood headboard, you will need wooden panels, a saw, a drill, screws, sandpaper, a measuring tape, and a level. You may also need stain or paint if you want to add color to the headboard.

Do I need advanced woodworking skills to make a DIY paneled wood headboard?

No, you don't necessarily need advanced woodworking skills to make a DIY paneled wood headboard. Basic carpentry skills and some experience with power tools should be sufficient. You can find detailed step-by-step instructions in the article linked above.

Can I customize the design of my DIY paneled wood headboard?

Yes, one of the advantages of making your own DIY paneled wood headboard is the ability to customize its design. You can choose the type and color of wood, the size and shape of the panels, and even add additional decorative elements if desired.

How long does it take to make a DIY paneled wood headboard?

The time required to make a DIY paneled wood headboard can vary depending on your skill level, the complexity of the design, and the tools you have. On average, it can take a few hours to a full day to complete the project.

Is it cost-effective to make a DIY paneled wood headboard?

Making a DIY paneled wood headboard can be cost-effective compared to buying a pre-made headboard. The cost will depend on the materials you choose, but it generally allows you to save money while still achieving a high-quality and customized piece.

Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind when making a DIY paneled wood headboard?

Yes, when working with power tools, it is important to follow safety guidelines and wear protective gear such as safety goggles and gloves. Additionally, be cautious when handling sharp tools and make sure to secure the headboard firmly to the wall to prevent accidents.

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