HandyZann – illuminated headboard

As our 5 year anniversary was approaching I wanted to make something special for my wife. I wanted it to be something we’d used all the time, something we’d see and remember how we’ve been in love for years. Also, I thought it might be nice to do something for our bedroom. Since renovating our home we’ve decorated every room except ours. It’s been a bit of a dumping ground for anything that didn’t fit somewhere else and since we really only sleep in there it hasn’t been a priority.

I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest and set about developing the idea for an illuminated headboard for our bed. Our bed is a box box with drawers in it – super practical and functional but not exactly sexy. And we need a sexy bedroom if we’re going to make all these babies!

I decided to use an old door as the headboard. My father-in-law had an old door in his shed which turned out to be the perfect colour and size. I used a plain door, but a textured one would work as well – depends on the look you’re going for.

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Al old plain door was the perfect canvas for a headboard

I decided to write LOVE across the headboard. You know, cos I love her. I’m certainly no artist so I was a little anxious about doing the letters. If I had planned it better, I would have printed the letters onto A3 paper and then cut them out. But I wasn’t that prepared so had to use my grade 4 level drawing skills and do simple bubble letters.

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I’m no artist, the letters are not precise

Once all the letters were cut out I placed them on the door and tried to make sure they were roughly evenly spread. Those who know me know detail is not my strong point and at no point did I use a measuring tape. I just did a visual check and it seemed alright to me. Near enough is good enough and all that.
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I used a bit of blue tac to set the letters in place and then proceeded to spraypaint the whole front side of the door. I hadn’t intended to spray it all, I was just going to spray around the letters, but I got carried away. I used a matte black spray paint because I love matte black and it was the can that was the most full in my stash.

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Matte black spray paint to set off the wood

Once the letters were removed the matte black and wood contrast looked incredible!

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Matte black and wood looks really fantastic – it will be used again!

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Lightning bolt love!

As our sheets are white and spray paint tends to rub I decided to varnish the whole thing.

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Varnish brought out the colour of the wood

When the varnish was dry (I left it 24 hours) I went back and drilled holes in the letters. You have to wait for the paint/varnish to dry or the wood chips stick to it. I knew I had 100 lights and roughly aimed for that number when cutting the holes. Again, it wasn’t precise. It would be easy to measure it all out if you wanted to. Just measure the distance between the fairy lights you’ve chosen.

I used a small drill bit the first time, one just big enough for the bulb. Then followed that with a larger drill bit that did not penetrate the front of the door – so small hole at the front, larger hole at the back. This allowed me to insert the lights easier.

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Holes cut into the letters

It was a tough choice between coloured and white fairy lights. We love colour so that’s what I decided to use. White would work just as well. The best advice I have for choosing lights is to find some with a strong long base near the bulb. It made it easy to push them into place, especially when working with a hollow door like this one.

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Coloured fairy lights to set off the black

I had to place the lights in the most efficient way, so it’s worth laying them out on top of the door and roughly judging where the lights will go, and how they’ll link between the letters, before you place them.

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All the fairy lights in place

Once the lights were in place I moved it into our room and sat it on the bed base. It’s not secured yet but I will do this with some metal brackets.

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In place in our room – the Quinks approves!

All lit up – pretty awesome!
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6 thoughts on “HandyZann – illuminated headboard

  1. Great job Zanne! I know Shan is quite creative and as someone who also is I can tell you there is no greater joy than having something made for you. We’ve been married 9 years in October and keep saying to each other how that is such a long time. It seems so strange.


  2. Hi, Zann. Thank you for your blog. You are a very beautiful woman with a very beautiful family. Your love for your wife is very touching.

    I love to read diy blogs by women. You might like this blog. You remind me of the author with her partner, only 2 decades younger. http://weese.blogspot.ca/

    I hope Australia smartens up and allows for gay marriage soon, like in my country, Canada.


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