Copycat Custom Cedar Headboard

Copycat Custom Cedar Headboard

So I visited my sister and niece last week and was put to work on designing my nieces new grown-up bedroom. It’s a privilege that she trusts me so much to get it done, and it isn’t the first time I’ve flown in to give her a new bedroom design. The last bedroom make-over was when she turned thirteen, and that included her bedroom and bath. It was a lot of fun, and also a lot of work! This time around I think I got off easy, just some painting and creating a headboard out of cedar fence planks. She already had an idea of her color pallet, and headboard design, so it was just up to me to pull it together. 

In the spring she’d visited a model home with her mom and fell in love with an aged wooden headboard. She texted me a picture and asked if I could make it happen, of course I said yes, but we’d have to work out the details with her mom.

Here’s what we started with, a lovely tan-ish color on the walls, which I will point out would have worked just great with her new design, but an overly girly bed that screamed I’m still a teenager. Oh right, ignore the luggage on the bed, I had to put it someplace while I painted.


I’m loving the bright turquoise blue. 




Since we had an accent wall, she went with a lovely grey on the other three.


And here is the lovely model home headboard that my niece fell in love with and had to have, and wanted me to design it for her. 


Pretty, isn’t it? Well I’m not gonna lie, I had my work cut out for me in getting her this design. After taking a closer look at things, I only had a couple options. You see they used a quarter inch plywood, cut into strips, and then attached it to the walls. Easy…or at least it should have been. 


I ran into a few issues. First, and foremost, we purchased some sample wood pieces to see which would give me the best effect, and not be too spendy. We purchased a cedar fence plank, and a quarter inch thick sheet of plywood. I stained both and quickly found out the plywood just didn’t take the stain like the cedar did, it also didn’t look distressed and worn like the sample headboard my niece wanted. The cedar fence picket, however, turned out better than I imagined.


We purchased eleven pickets to get me a 5′ x 5′ headboard using 6′ pickets. I didn’t chose the smoothest cut pickets, I just made sure they were straight and not too saturated with water. I then cut off the dog-eared tops and took out a can of grey stain.


Already you can see that the cedar soaked up the stain leaving me with a lovely dark grey finish. Some might say it was good enough, but I wasn’t done yet. My niece wanted it to look aged, and since I couldn’t convince her to go pluck some random pickets off neighborhood fences, I had to come up with another step. 


It’s called white-washing. It’s simple, you mix paint, in this case it was the leftover gray paint from her walls, and some water. I then used a chippy brush, because the rough surface of the cedar would have destroyed my Purdy brush, and dipped it into the watery mixture and slightly dabbed it off on a rag before dragging it across the cedar picket. If the strip of watered down paint was too much, I brushed it out or used my rag to tone it down.


Looks like aged wood, right?


On your left is the completed pickets with white-washing, on the right the pickets only contain the stain.


Next came the fun part, attaching it to the wall. My first step was to find the middle of the wall since I’d be attaching it directly to the drywall, and then used one cedar picket cut down to 5′. I leveled it off and used the pneumatic nailer to secure it to the wall. From there I laid out my remaining pieces making random cuts and pieced it together like a puzzle. 


After it was done, I then added black upholstery tacks to give it that old world styling she wanted. You know, nails showing, flaws exposed. It was supposed to look old, worn and rustic, so that’s what I did.




I think it turned out great, and since my niece thinks so too! I call this a successful project!


Now she’s just waiting on me to make her the vine lights for her headboard…hold on Jess, they’re on their way soon! And don’t worry, I’ll share the post on how I created them and update you on the finished room afterwards. 


*note: While an iPhone is great, it still doesn’t take the quality pictures a DSLR camera does. So I apologize for the low quality shots, I didn’t have room to pack the camera.

Written by

Pinning the wilderness of my imagination, one Pin at a time. I love hiking, camping, watching my boys fish, and taking long walks with my yellow labs, Taylor and Mandi. I enjoy cooking when the mood hits, and not only have I published novels, but I'm the master of redesigning just about anything. I’m the DIY author who has made Idaho her home for 27 years, and I can't wait to spend another 27 years here.

  • Colleen says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I found your blog completely by accident! Love the headboard. I’m a local Meridian Idaho blogger…been blogging since 2010. I’m always thrilled to find other local bloggers. You can find me at Lilac Drive Designs, also on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Hometalk and Periscope.

  • Alison says:

    What are the two paint colors called?

    • Lisa says:

      Both are Sherwin Williams paint colors, the turquoise is Bora Bora Shore (#9045), the gray is network grey (#7073). You should be able to take these names and numbers to any home improvement store to have the paint color matched.

  • Pammie says:

    May we have the link to the vine lights?

    • Lisa says:

      There is no link for the vine lights, believe me I’ve searched for them! I figured out why too, because the designer made them. Here’s what you’d do, buy a string of Christmas lights, buy brown floral tape and wind it around to make it have the appearance of a vine. You can then go and purchase a few flowers and add them to where you think it’s needed. I may end up doing a blog post on this in the next few weeks, just waiting to find out if my niece wants them for her room or not.

  • Great headboard!! I can’t wait to see how you pull off the vine lights!!! She chose beautiful colors and is very lucky to have such a talented aunt to give her the room of her dreams!!!!

  • Melva says:

    I love the headboard! Truth be told, I like it better than the inspiration board. Great job!

  • Judy says:

    Beautiful job Lisa!!! I’m sure she’ll enjoy this headboard for years to come!!! You are such a sweet Auntie! 🙂

Lisa Wiedmeier

Pinning the wilderness of my imagination, one Pin at a time. I love hiking, camping, watching my boys fish, and taking long walks with my yellow labs, Taylor and Mandi. I enjoy cooking when the mood hits, and not only have I published novels, but I'm the master of redesigning just about anything. I’m the DIY author who has made Idaho her home for 28 years, and I can't wait to spend another 28 years here.

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