Tag: DIY

Shiplap Headboard DIY – for the “Non-Carpenter”

This is for the non-carpenter because making this shiplap headboard requires no special tools or skills whatsoever. I love to do wood working, even though I am not very good at it and I don’t really have tools. I have one electric saw, and it’s a little circular handsaw that can be inaccurate and quite dangerous to use. So, I have to resort to other, less expensive tools to get my stuff done.

This entire shiplap headboard cost me less than $50. Yours could be even cheaper if you have some of the stuff laying around the house that I didn’t.


List of Supplies for Shiplap Headboard

Shiplap headboard suppliesThese dimensions are for a Queen size bed. I will explain how to adjust them if you have a different size bed.

  • 2 sheets of 5.0MM 4×8 Underlayment –
    • One of them will need to be cut into 6, 6 inch strips (for a height of 36 inches or 3 feet) that go with the grain and are the length of the width of your bed. (Mine was 62 inches) Pieces – A
    • The other piece should be cut the width of your bed (62 inches) and the height that you want your headboard to be OVER your mattress. (For me that was 36 inches)  Piece – B
  • Enough 2x3s to be cut at the following lengths:
    • 1-62 inches (width of bed) – C
    • 2-60 inches (height of headboard plus the height of your bed, or if you want to mount it to the wall, just the height of your headboard) – D
    • 3-57 inches (these will be hidden and provide structure to the frame. You have to subtract 5 inches from the width, because each of the 2x3s are 2 1/2 inches wide) – EAlternative solution for smaller screws on shiplap headboard
  • Hand Saw (or table saw if you own one)
  • Sand paper
  • Sponge brush or a rag (some way to apply stain
  • Screws (preferably 3 inches, but if you only have shorter ones, you can do what I had to do with 90 degree brackets)
  • Staple gun & Staples
  • Screw driver
  • Wood Glue
  • Stain (I have 4 different colors on mine)

Notes on the Supplies:

I didn’t have any stain lying around the house, but if you do, you could totally use it. I hardly used any to create this so I still have a ton of left overs. If you don’t have to buy stain, this shiplap headboard is only like $30.

Also, having longer screws would probably save you some money too. The brackets weren’t necessary, I just used them because I didn’t want to go to the store.

You can have all of the boards cut for you at a home improvement store. They just can’t do anything less than a foot for the last piece. So, with the boards, you can get 6, 6 inch strips, but they won’t do the last one for you because there would only be 6 inches on both sides of the saw. They need at least a foot of clearance.

Having it cut at the store will also make it easier for you to take it home in a smaller car.


Building the Frame

The easiest way to frame this is to lay piece B on the ground (the full sheet of Underlayment) and then place the pieces of wood on top in their respective spots.

placement of 2x3s for shiplap headboard

I just placed the boards on top of the frame. I didn’t measure distances between them or anything, except to check that the E and C boards were all parallel.

how to tack the boards together temporarily for framing on shiplap headboardAfter laying them out, I got my staple gun to just keep them in place, like the picture to the left.

It was after this step that I realized my longest screws were only 2 1/2 inches so that wasn’t going to be long enough, because that’s how wide the 2x3s are. So, I had to improvise. If you have longer screws, it will be much easier to just take your gun to the side of the frame and line it up with your horizontal beams and connect them that way.

Otherwise, you can do what I had to do with my tools on hand. It still worked just fine. And if you don’t have 90 degree brackets, you could probably use nails at an angle on both sides of the E 2×3 to connect them.improvisation to connect all the 2x3s on shiplap headboard

First, I used a couple more staples to secure it before I tried to line up the bracket in the joint. Because of the tight quarters, drilling was a challenge with the gun. I drilled some pilot holes and then the screws came second. It was very sturdy and worked just fine, even if it wasn’t the prettiest look.

After I put one underneath each side of the parallel rows, the framing was complete.

Attaching the Decorative Piece to the Frame

Lay the B board on top, line it up and staple all around the outside. Just for my husband’s piece of mind I also found some little nails and nailed in between each staple so that there was a little more stability. Put as many staples or nails on there that make you feel comfortable. I had some sort of support (nail or staple) about every 6 inches or so.

Then, with your future shiplap headboard lying on the ground, piece B side up, pull out all of your A pieces and put them on top. It should look something like this:

 I actually kind of like the way the boards look just straight across without chopping them up, so that is an option as well for your shiplap headboard. You could also choose to do them all the same color and give it a more cohesive look rather than the distressed wood look I was going for.


Cutting the Boards

If you want to create more of a pieced together look, like the one I did, you will need to divide your boards into 2 foot segments, varying the starting points for your measurements.

lengths of shiplap pieces on shiplap headboard

Think of it as if the boards were all 24 inches to begin with and so on the ends sometimes you had to cut off whatever was remaining so that it was flush and then you decided to start another one with that smaller piece. You’re welcome to use mine as a guide. I tried to keep my starting pieces in increments of 6 inches so it was easy to keep track of. The 2 inch one at the top is from the flipped around one that I showed you a couple rows down.

ripped grain on board for shiplap headboardCut the boards with the uglier side down. One of the sides of underlayment looks a lot like wood. The other side is a little fake looking. Choose the side you want to use and have that side facing you when you saw, because the other side will rip the grain.

The side I am showing you is the one you will want to be pressed against your B board so no one but you will know it is there. This was the side I could not see when I was sawing.


Whatever you do, make sure you don’t sand the surface of the board. The layer of wood grain on the top is very thin and you don’t want to sand that off. Just use your sandpaper or sponge for the edges, particularly the one where the grain is perpendicular. Use your sandpaper to make sure there are not any jagged edges poking past the board.

edges of boards before they are sanded
You don’t want your ends to look like this.

Making the Map

Once you have got a nice stack of cut wood, lay it out on the board the way you want it to look. Hopefully you kept the boards in some sort of order so that this portion is a little easier for you. Being able to switch all of the pieces that are 24 inches comes in handy when you want it to look like all of the pieces are coming form different boards.

cut pieces for shiplap headboardThis is the same picture as up above, but without the lengths on it. You’ll notice that the grain is different from piece to piece. Once I had the pieces laid out, I just looked for obvious spots that were two connected pieces.

You’ll notice on the second row from the bottom, all the way to the left, it is the same board continuing. You can even just turn one of those upside down so it looks like it came from a different part.

This isn’t essential now, because you will still do some adjusting once the boards are stained. But you want to switch them if you are going to switch them. Take a picture with your phone when you’re done.


Depending on how many stains you have and how many pieces are in each row, you will want to try and put as many different colors in each row to create a random, but also pleasant looking shiplap headboard. I just tried to take one board from each row (where possible) and in varying locations along the width and then put those pieces in a pile. I had four piles, 2 with 5 boards and 2 with 6 boards. Each pile got a different color stain.

staining the shiplap headboard pieces

stained shiplap headboard pieces

After you have stained your fake shiplap and it has had about 15 minutes to soak into the wood, take a paper towel or a towel you don’t care about and rub the stain off in the direction of the grain. This will prevent it from becoming sticky.

Let the pieces dry over night.

You will also want to stain the outside of the frame, just the parts that will be showing. That way it looks like a cohesive unit.

stained frame for shiplap headboard
you can see where I stained it, and the fact that my cat was with me throughout this entire process.

Assembling the puzzle!

Once the pieces are all dry, usually the next morning. Lay them all out on the headboard piece B the way you want them. It’s okay if it doesn’t look exactly the way the first one did, but the picture you took can help. It should look something like this.

A pieces laid on top of frame for shiplap headboard

I made some tweaks once I got it in place, for example you will see two honey colored pieces on the second row from the bottom, even though I wanted there to not be a duplicate of color on each row. It just looked better that way. Feel free to make as many tweaks as you need to to get the look you want.

Attaching the A Pieces

nickle spacing for DIY shiplap headboardFirst, I glued all of the pieces to Piece B with wood glue, each time making sure to have about a nickel’s width in between each board. This allows you to see each board and give it a nice little outline.

The glue is good, but unfortunately it is not going to be sufficient. Some of the boards might have gotten a little warped, or the staples or nails are poking up just enough so that the underlayment pieces can’t lay flush.

gluing the A pieces to the shiplap headboard frameBut put the glue on anyways, because it will keep your boards in place and might work quite well for some of the middle pieces.

letting it dry shiplap headboard
Letting the Glue Dry

Once you have let the glue dry, you can take your staple gun or some little nails and attach the pieces that are poking up. I also did this along the top and bottom because that is where the rows of staples and nails were, making it a consistent problem.

So, just staple or nail where you need to. After all, the shiplap headboard can look a little rustic and nails or staples will only enhance that look.


Attaching the Shiplap Headboard

If you have the legs go all the way to the ground, you can just attach the shiplap headboard to the bed frame like I did.

The frame had a couple of holes and I just attached four screws to each leg to hold it in place. It is best if you can have someone hold it in place for you while you do this. That way you make sure it doesn’t start to lean towards you as you do it… like what happened to me.

If you don’t have someone to hold it, lean the headboard against the wall at an angle and then use something to prop up the other end of the frame up so that the headboard legs line up at the right angle with the frame.

I didn’t have to use more support than this, but wouldn’t have minded putting some diagonal ones attaching the frame and the bed at a secondary point. This is not necessary, but it makes me feel a little better about.

Maybe one day I will add it and share the picture.

Once you’re all done attaching the frame, put the bed spring back, then the mattress and make your bed!

Congrats! You just made a beautiful shiplap headboard that made your bed finally pop and be more than a mattress. And the best part, it cost hardly anything!


finished product shiplap headboard

One Other Option

One more thing I would like to do to my shiplap headboard, is put a little border around the edge to make it look a little more finished. I would just use a thin angled piece of wood around the edges that was stained my favorite color.

More DIY Projects:

If you liked making the shiplap headboard and are wanting ideas for a nursery you can see how I changed a bookshelf into a changing table!

Bookshelf into a Changing Table – Upcycling Lazy Mom Style

Solutions to the Expensive Changing Table Situation

Today, I want to help you learn what I have learned. First, changing tables are freakishly expensive. Really, baby retail stores?? I'm about to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills and you want to gouge me another $300 for a changing table? Also, it is extremely difficult to find a set of drawers that is the perfect height for a changing table. I was lucky enough to inherit one from my Grandma for my daughter, but when I was pregnant with my son, no such dresser existed. I must have searched three different Salvation Army's at least a dozen times each over the course of 6 months. It was impossible. And then, at one such trip, I happened to find a bookshelf that was the perfect height and only $15. Then, an idea. What if I could turn this bookshelf into a changing table?

I walked around it and thought about how this could work. It was a little too narrow for a changing pad... I'd need to make some sort of drawers... At first glance it seemed like I would need to do WAY too much work for this lazy mama. And then I came up with a brilliantly lazy plan that would look SUPER cute.

Finished-Product-of-how-to-make-a-changing-table-on-a-budget-DIY bookshelf into a changing table


-Old Bookshelf at Height of your Hips
-Paint (I liked having a two tone look)
-Fabric Drawers or Wire Baskets
-2x4s cut into 16" Pieces
-Wood Glue
-1 2x4 the length of your bookshelf
-Some Screws
-Screw Driver (preferably electric)
-2 90 degree 1 inch joints to secure to wall
-Sandpaper (or sand-sponge, which is what I use)

I included some tips on the right for when you actually do your shopping. For turning your bookshelf into a changing table, you want to try to keep costs down. That way you get a custom piece for way cheaper than the store bought ones!

Notes on the Supplies

PAINT - Go to your fave home improvement store (mine is orange) and there you will find different paint swatches and samples. Pick the colors you want from the swatches that will match your little one's room and then grab 4 samples sizes of paint. Ask them to mix two of each. If you are a little tight on cash, get two of your primary color and one of the secondary. If they try and coerce you into buying a quart, do not be swayed. Four of the samples equal a quart and it is cheaper to buy 4 samples than a quart and then you also get to mix up colors! Each sample is between $3-$4.

2X4s - At my favorite home improvement store, there is a section of wood on a moveable cart that will be covered in spray painted purple on it. These are the 'damaged' woods. Usually they are warped or twisted but they are also 70% off. 2x4s aren't super expensive, but since you only need 16 inch pieces, find the straightest ones you can in the clearance pile and have them cut them into pieces for you. You will probably need 9-10 pieces. Make sure the straightest piece is used for the length of your bookshelf, probably around 36-40 inches. That is the only one that will be used for structural support. I think I paid about $2 for all my wood.

How to Turn Your Bookshelf into a Changing Table

To turn your bookshelf into a changing table, sand down the flat surfaces of your bookshelf, inside outside, everything. You basically just want to rough it up a little bit. There are some coats that cover the surface that can be especially hard to get paint to stick to. You want to minimize your frustration later. You also don't have to kill yourself over this. If you can see little tiny scratch marks in it, you have done enough.

Next paint the main part of the bookshelf with the primary color you wish to use. In my case, this color was a navy blue. You will probably have to do a couple of coats, depending on the look you want. I like mine to be a completely solid color. Mine required at least 2 coats, but possibly 3.

To transform your bookshelf into a changing table, it is best to go with the grain of the wood when you paint, this will make sure that the strokes are all uniform.

While the primary color paint is drying, you can paint the 2x4-16 inch pieces if you want. I just painted the pieces that I could tell would be hard to paint later and then left the rest until after the 2x4s were attached to the bookshelf.

before-picture-of-bookshelf-after-purchase bookshelf into a changing table
finished-bookshelf-before-the-baskets bookshelf into a changing table

Making Your Bookshelf into a Changing Table that is Sturdy

The next piece is the 2x4 that is the length of the bookshelf. This will be secured to the back so that you have something that can be screwed into the wall so your child will not be able to pull over the bookshelf. Don't forget this step! The Changing Table will be top heavy. It is a recipe for disaster without securing it.

You can paint this piece if you want; I left mine raw because I kind of liked the industrial look for my little boys room.

Place the 2x4 against the back of the bookshelf about 2/3 of the way up. Lay the bookshelf on the ground to make it easier if you need to and screw the 2x4 to the bookshelf on the sides where the wood is solid and not just a piece of cardboard. I used 2 screws on each side. One on the top and one on the bottom. Make sure they are spaced far enough apart that a third screw can be placed in the middle.

Final piece of Construction before Wall Mounting

Once the paint is dry, you will want to line up the 2x4s on the top of the bookshelf so that they are hanging off of the back about an inch and a half. (If the top of your bookshelf has a lip, measure the inch and a half from the back of the main body of the bookshelf.)

If you want to check your work, hold up the longer 2x4 and press it flush with the back of the bookshelf, right underneath the 2x4s on top. They should both line up.

In the front of the bookshelf, there will probably be a little bit of 2x4 hanging off of the ledge. This is perfectly fine. Once all of the 2x4s are lined up next to each other, take one off, put wood glue on the top of the bookshelf and place the wood back on top in its original spot, pressing firmly. Go down the line and do this for each piece, making sure to line up the piece of wood you removed with the rest that are still on the bookshelf.

Even if you bought the perfectly straight pieces of wood, there still may be a little bend or warping. Wood is natural so it's never going to be perfect.

finished-product bookshelf into a changing table

Wall Mounting

This step is also imperative! DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. The last thing I want to hear is that someone tried to turn their bookshelf into a changing table and ignored this step which resulted in it falling on their child. Please do it right.

Line up the back of the bookshelf with the wall. If the previous steps were done correctly, the 2x4 going across the length of the back and all of the 2x4 edges on top should line up against it.

Take your 90 degree pieces and place it in the corner between the wall and the 2x4 that is behind the bookshelf, 2/3 of the way up. The hole on the 2x4 should line up somewhere between the 2 screws you already put in the back.

Secure the Changing Table to the wall with the 90 degree joints and a couple of screws on both sides. You will probably need an electronic screw driver for the 2x4. Once you are finished with that step, try grabbing the bookshelf and moving it. If you can't move it, your child shouldn't be able to either.

(I will get a picture soon... I just need to wait for my baby to wake up and give me a chance to sneak in there.)

Finishing Touches

I put the changing pad on top of my creation and then found a couple of $5 fabric boxes from Target.

The totals of everything I spent are listed below:

-$15 bookshelf
-$12 paint
-$2 paint brush
-$2 2x4s
-$20 fabric boxes
-$5 screws and glue (if you don't already have it)


That feels a little bit better than $300 and now it is custom made for my baby's nursery!

bookshelf-turned into a changing table-finished-product

Have any other fun upcycling ideas you want to try but need a guinea pig to try it first? Put them in the comments below. Or share your finished product picture!

For more fun ideas on Making your House a Home, check out some of my other DIY posts!

If you already have a changing table but need some way to repurpose it (the opposite of what we just did) check out this girl's fun blog!

Repurposing a Changing Table

Organize a Pantry (or cupboards) so it STAYS Organized Forever

Secrets on How to Organize a Pantry

It is the never-ending battle. You may think you can organize a pantry, but deep down you know it is a constant nightmare that you can never seem to wake up from. You may think you have organized it and then after a quick trip to the grocery store, the clutter begins to accumulate again.

Your spouse or kids start rooting through the pantry and suddenly it is disorganized again. Is it even possible for your pantry to stay neat and tidy?

It IS possible, but the key is to making this as simple as possible for everyone in the family. That means, we have to establish some ground rules.

Completely Organized Pantry

Organize a Pantry

The Ground Rules

1. Pantry must be Organized according to Category.
2. Repackaging must occur after every grocery trip.
3. Place Foods in their Categories
4. Family must be aware of the Categories.

Organize a Pantry Rule #1 – Category

Every shelf in your pantry should have a different category assigned to it when you organize a pantry. It doesn’t matter what those categories are. They will vary depending on the household and what you consume in your house. My categories from top to bottom are listed below. I've included a picture so you can see each section.

For some families, it might be helpful to physically label each section. We don't have older kids yet, so for me it was not necessary.

1. Breakfast Foods / Cake Mix Type Things

2. Baking Goods

3. Snacks

4. Meal Foods

5. Big Infrequently Used Foods

Really Big Stuff

1. Breakfast Foods / Cake Mix Type Things
2. Baking Goods
3. Snacks
4. Meal Foods
5. The Big Infrequently Used Stuff
6. The Really Big Stuff

This is crucial! Everything in your pantry has to have a place. If you don’t know exactly where your food is supposed to go, how can you expect your spouse or kids to?

Try out whatever categories feel the best for you. If you realize that maybe you don’t do a lot of baking, but you made yourself a baking section, you can always change it later. You just need to start somewhere.

Organize a Pantry Rule #2 – Re-Packaging

Before when you would organize a pantry, you may have tried to fit the foods, in the packages that the company provided you, into the pantry.

Let me tell you something about food companies. They don’t care at all about how the food fits in your pantries! The first thing to do is get rid of that bulky packaging. Half the time, they put your food into bags that you can’t reclose and then it tips over and suddenly, the bottom of your pantry and every shelf on the way down is covered in powdered sugar. Don’t let the food company marketing department determine the organization of your pantry.


Look how easy all of these would be to spill. Putting them in a closeable baggie makes it a lot more versatile.


You'll notice I didn't change the brown rice. That one had a zip-able pouch so I was fine with the way it was packaged. You don't need to repackage everything. Use your best judgment.

If you have some storage containers, GREAT! If you don’t, no worries! I have a couple of storage containers, but not nearly enough for the foods that I have. Plus, containers can be bulky. If you are almost out of nuts, but have a giant container for them, think about all of that empty space.

One of my favorite ways to organize food is Ziploc baggies and cardboard boxes. Shoeboxes are AWESOME. Label the boxes and throw baggies of like foods in there. I have a Baking Box, three different Snack Boxes, a Grains Box. I’ve included my construction of the Grains Box for your reference.

The best part about the box is that you can pull it out like a drawer and slide it back in so that your pantry doesn’t ever look cluttered.

Steps to Putting Food in Boxes

  • use Costco boxes to organize a pantry
    I usually get big boxes of things from Costco so I have tons that I can cut down to the size I need.

Here is the finished product one more time. And as further evidence of its legitimacy, this picture was taken 2 days after I organized it. It's still intact!

Organize a Pantry Rule #3 – Placement

Once you have all of your food contained, you place it in the designated spaces in your pantry. So simple. It will look beautiful! Memorize their spots, but once you know their categories, it will always be easy to remember the spots of all of the foods. And if you get new foods, you will know exactly where to place it (after you repackage the necessary foods that need repackaging, of course).

Organize a Pantry Rule #4 – Awareness

To organize a pantry and KEEP it organized, you must enlighten your family members. Once you have completed your masterpiece, show your family the categories, the spots, the boxes. Give them a tour of the pantry so that they know where to find everything very easily and so that they know where to put things back to. Chances are, they will put it back in its spot.

This rule is so crucial! If they don't know where everything goes or how you have meticulously created a Food Wonderland for them, they will not know to respect it. Help them to enjoy the fruits of your labors too.

Try it Out!

Leave a comment if you have other ideas or thoughts about how to organize a pantry. Once you have given this a try, please leave a comment and let me know if it worked for you. Good luck!