I love rustic, farmhouse decor, but I don’t like the price tag on it. I also love updating our house and making it our own, but don’t want to pay a pretty penny to have it done.
This is how Alan and I have developed some mad DIY skills over the years. We wanted to update our last house, so we learned to install flooring, paint baseboards, refinish cabinets, install showers and repair drywall. We wanted a firepit with a circle patio, so we learned how to do that. I wanted a garden fence to keep the critters out. You guessed it – Alan built that too.
A few years ago I saw a picture of a pallet wood wall and fell in love. My dad knew a guy with a whole pile of pallets we could haul away for free. So we loaded up a trailer, brought them home, disassembled and cleaned them (not fun). Here are the results:
We had pallet wood left over and needed a new bed frame for our new mattress, so Alan built that too (he’s the main builder – I do the finishing).
A gift made with love
A few months ago, my 18 year old niece mentioned how much she would love to have a rustic headboard. I thought that would make the perfect graduation gift. But I didn’t know exactly what style she wanted, so we built two. Then she could choose the one she liked. The plan was to sell the one she didn’t want as an experiment to see if we could turn a profit on our work.
Here are the results:
She picked the more rustic, pallet wood headboard.
How we did it
Anna White is a great resource for plans – for about anything you want to build for your home. For this headboard, we used these plans as a starting point and made some minor modifications to them to accommodate the pallet wood and the chevron design.
They came together very quickly. You don’t have to be a skilled craftsman or have a super fancy workshop to build these. If you have a drill, pocket hole jig and saw, you can do it too. An air compressor and pneumatic finish nailer make the job much easier, but they aren’t necessarily required.
For the white and gray headboard, we used all new wood and I stained the wood to look like barnwood. For the gray, I used Varathane Weathered Gray stain first and wiped it off so some of the original wood grain showed through. Then I dry brushed white paint over the top (this takes a very light hand – you can always add more, but you can’t take it off). For the white trim, I painted it white. Then I dipped a rag in the weathered wood stain and dabbed most of it off the rag. With a very light hand, I wiped the rag over the white paint. The color mainly stood out on the wood grain.
For the pallet wood headboard, I left the pallet wood natural and stained the frame (using Provential stain color).
Both were finished with Varathane Interior Water-Based Polyurethane.
A new side hustle?
Total cost to build both headboards was right at $100.
And, we may have found a new side hustle! We sold the gray barnwood headboard on Craigslist for $250. Not bad for just a few hours work. I would guess we put about 4 hours in the one we sold, but that was our first go round on those plans and the staining. If we were to repeat the process and mass produce, it would cut the labor time for each piece significantly.
What do you think? Have you ever built your own furniture? Do you have a side hustle making and selling handmade items?
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