How To Make an Easy and Cheap DIY Plank Headboard Using Vinyl Decals
One evening I was cleaning up the guest room for an upcoming visit. The room felt really bare. There was no art on the walls, no decor on the fireplace, and the bed was boring without a headboard. This is the room designated for our overnight guests and I want them to feel comfortable during their stay. I love the look of plank headboards, and really any headboard instantly adds some character. But I thought, why can’t I build one myself? So I set out to do that, with some additional features. I wanted it to be something that anyone else could do (that’s you), and do it on a budget. That’s how I created this diy plank headboard using vinyl decals form the Dollarama!
This vinyl plank decal headboard is an easy project and doesn’t require a high diy skill level. It’s completely removable which is great for apartments and rental units. Plus it was done on a tight budget of under $20!
To see a full tour of the guest room, you can visit my post on creating a Welcoming Guest Bedroom!
I’ve seen homemade headboards made from laminate and pallet boards and love the look. What I didn’t like was the thought of putting that many nail holes into my wall. Plus I didn’t have all the tools for properly nailing up the boards and I didn’t want to glue everything on. Basically, something less permanent would be more ideal.
I have longed to add a headboard to the bed in my guest room. A headboard helps to anchor the bed in the room and finishes off the look. We have a king-sized bed in the guest bedroom and it had no frame or headboard. It felt like it was floating in the room.
I would search for rustic plank headboards online but anything I found for a king-sized bed was normally a couple of hundred dollars or else was a full bedframe set including the headboard and footboard. Which I did not require.
I’m frugal as well as handy and figured I could do a cheap
I did this in one evening, and so can you! Here’s what you need:
- Utility Knife or Paper Trimmer
- Measuring Tape
- Straight Edge
- Vinyl Plank Decals
- Credit Card/ Thin Hard Plastic Card
How To DIY a Plank Headboard
The first thing you need to do is measure the bed so you know how wide of a space you need to cover. Now you may be planning on having some art hang above the bed like I did in mine. The next step would be to measure up the wall to find the distance from the mattress up to the painting hanging above the bed. This painting is hanging 6″ below the ceiling so I measured on the wall 6″ down from the painting to keep it symmetrical. I also went 6″ below the mattress height so that the headboard would “disappear” below the mattress.
I found these rustic wood plank looking vinyl decals at Dollarama. Each sleeve contained 8 individual decals measuring 6″ x 24″.
I needed 3 & 1/4 planks to cover the width of the king bed, and I wanted it to go 30″high. Important note! I thought that each sleeve had a mix of colours in it like the picture on the front showed. This turned out to be false. They were all the same colour in the package. Thankfully I had grabbed a variety of sleeve colours as I was examining them in the store. So if you are using these exact same vinyl plank decals, then be sure you grab an assortment of colours to get this look. This project used 5 packages at $2.50 each! Cheap DIY headboard here we come!
Prep Your Wall for the Plank Decal
Before you start applying the vinyl decals to your wall, there are a few things you can do to make it look better and go on smoother. Wipe your wall clean and let it dry so the planks stick better. Then grab your favorite pencil, measuring tape, ruler and/or laser guide. Decide how wide and tall you want the headboard. I made mine go 4 inches down past the mattress so the headboard looks like it’s attached to the bed frame. It’s also slightly wider than the mattress too by an inch on each side.
Using a measuring tape and laser level, make sure your marks are all straight and then draw guidelines on your wall. Then all you need to do is fill in the fully drawn pencil template on the wall
The decals all have a paper backing on them that you peel off before installing so I recommend doing a dry fit first to figure out your pattern. Spread out the different plank colors on the bed to decide how you want the pattern layout to go. You can choose to alternate the colors for a more natural look. For that same reason, the starting points are randomly staggered as well. This makes it look less uniform. This did result in small cuts being needed to fill in the ends, but the final result looks great.
Starting in the top corner, peel the backing paper off a bit on one end so that you can get the plank to stick to the wall. Try to hold the vinyl decal flat against the wall as you pull the paper off. This will help the plank to attach to the wall straighter and with
Press down and smooth your hand along the freshly adhered vinyl plank decal. Use a plastic card such as a credit card to help remove air bubbles. You do this by pressing the thin edge of the card firmly into the decal as you move it along the length of the plank will help to push any air bubbles out. This goes for any vinyl decals that you may ever install.
Once you are happy with how the first plank went on, give yourself a pat on the back and move on to the next plank. I found it easier to do one horizontal row first, then move on the second row. I did all of the solid planks first, then went back and filled in any small cuts.
When you need to cut a plank, a clean straight line will make the headboard look more realistic. I used a craft paper trimmer to make my cuts crisp and straight. I held up my plank piece to dry fit it against the space it would be going. Next, use a pencil to mark the cut line on the plank. After you cut it, and you are happy with your cut, attach it to the wall the same way that you did the others.
I found that the planks weren’t all cut perfectly straight so there are areas where the vinyl decals may overlap a bit in order to keep a straight line. Keeping the straight lines though is the key to making the headboard turn out looking so good. It’s what will make your visitors say “Wow are you kidding me? You did that yourself? With vinyl decals? It looks
Headboard Project Advice
Take your time piecing it together. This one took me about 3 hours to complete. I did this by myself, and found that doing the proper preparation work helped to make the job go sooo much smoother.
You may also find that the planks adhere the best when you first attach them. One of the boards would not go on straight so I peeled it off and stuck it back on. But it had lost its stickiness after being peeled off and a new one was required instead. Another board that was partially taken off so I could straighten it started to fall off after a week so it ended up being replaced too. But the rest are sticking on strong!
Update: This headboard has been up for a year now and has only had one more piece come loose where the bed rubbed against it. Another board seemed to have shrunk some so there was a slight gap, but otherwise, the rest of the vinyl decal planks are holding up really well! It still looks so real!
DIY Plank Headblard
That’s it! An easy DIY plank headboard using vinyl decals you can make by yourself to wow your guests (and spouse)! This turned out so good and tricks everyone who first sees it! Until you notice that it is flat on the wall and not 3D, it looks like a real plank wall. And for under $15!!
Another more adventurous design option would be to do a herringbone or chevron pattern! It would use more materials and cuts but it would look amazing!
Or you can add a small quarter round trim around the board of your plank headboard to give it a more 3 dimension effect.
I would love to see how your homemade headboard turns out! Comment below, subscribe to my email list, or tag me on social media to show me your headboards! Have fun with your project and amaze your friends with your skills.
DIY Plank Headboard Pin:
Steph Pfannmuller says
Where did you get the wall stickers?
Sara-Lynn Houk says
These plank ones came from my local Dollarama!