How to Build a Picket Fence Headboard?

A DIY picket fence gate headboard is a great addition to any country-themed or nature themed bedroom. This headboard looks great in a teen’s room, a little girl’s room or the master bedroom. You will need to start measuring and assembling the needed supplies to create your picket fence headboard.


Measure the width of the bed the picket fence headboard is to accompany. You will want to add about 6″ to this measurement to accommodate the thickness of the bedding. Now decide on how tall you want the picket fence to be. The center picket will be the tallest with each picket gradually being shorter on each side.

Supplies Needed

  • Tape Measure
  • Fence pickets, pre-cut or boards for cutting yourself (available at most lumber stores)
  • Spacer Boards (use same lumber as for the pickets)
  • Fence posts (optional)
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood glue (Liquid Nails works great.)
  • Wood Screws
  • Lag bolts and washers (optional)
  • Finishing nails
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint color of choice

Cutting and Sanding

Once you have measured and determined the size of your picket fence headboard proceed to cut each picket to the proper length and cutting points at the tops of each picket using the jigsaw. Keep in mind that you will have one picket longer than all the rest and it will be placed at the center point of your fence. You will then need two picket fence pieces of each length progressively shorter, one for each side of the centerboard. Cut as many spacers as needed with each being no more than 4″ wide. A good spacer measurement is 2 ½”. Cut spacers from the same wood as the pickets. You will also need three cross-board pieces to form a “z” frame at the back of the picket fence. Sand all cuts smooth using medium-grit sandpaper.



You are now ready to layout all boards forming your picket fence headboard. Two of the three frame pieces will be placed, one at the bottom and one near the top of the picket fence pieces. The third will be placed at an angle from top to bottom forming a “z” shape. The picket fence pieces will be placed on top of the z cross boards with the tallest being placed at the center of the cross boards. The picket fence pieces should gradually decrease in height going down each side of this taller center picket. Spacer boards will be placed in between each picket fence piece ensuring an even placement. The top of the fence should resemble an upside-down v shape. At this point, you may want to mark the placement of each picket fence piece on the cross boards with a pencil. Begin gluing each picket fence board in place using a spacer piece in between each at top and bottom to ensure even spacing. DO NOT glue down the spacer pieces as these will be removed after the glue has dried. Once all picket boards have been glued down tap small finishing nails into the cross boards to ensure they do not move and leave the project for the glue to dry completely according to the instructions on the wood glue you have chosen to use (24 hours minimum). Once the glue is dry, remove the spacers. If the third cross-board forming the “z” shape is too long use a hand saw to cut it flush with the sides of the two end pickets. Sand these cuts.


You may choose to attach this picket fence headboard to fence posts before use. If so purchase two desired fence posts and cut in at the base if needed for the spacing of the floorboards to ensure that the fence posts will sit flush with the wall. Now measure the height of the bed with pillows and bedding. Determine how high the picket fence gate will need to be placed on the fence post and drill holes at the top and bottom of the picket fence and fencepost, use wood screws to secure. You are now ready to paint your picket fence headboard a color to match the room. You may even choose to stencil vines running up the fence posts or along the top of the picket fence. Be sure to do any painting in a well-ventilated area. You may also choose not to use the fence posts; however, they will give your picket fence headboard a finished look.


You may choose to stand your picket fence headboard against the wall and use the bed to hold it in place. However, if used in a child’s room I would recommend attaching the picket fence headboard to the child’s metal bed frame using lag bolts and washers. You could also attach the picket fence headboard to the wall being sure to nail or screw into the wall studs for support. A stud finder will come in handy for this purpose.

Another Method

If you are not much of a DIY person you could also purchase ready-made and unfinished picket fence gate to your specified size needed from your lumber yard. Just paint it your desired color attach to the bed or wall and there you have it a beautiful addition to any country themed bedroom.

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