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Have you ever seen a Disneyland Hotel Headboard. If you haven’t, you are really missing out. They are magical! They have the Sleeping Beauty Castle and fireworks that light up and play When You Wish Upon a Star. (I will link to a YouTube video of one at the bottom of this post.) Ever since I saw one, I kept thinking about how much I would love to make one. Well, c couple weeks ago I finally figured out how I would do it and made my very own Disneyland Hotel Headboard.
I am going to show you exactly how I did it, with instructions on how to make it a headboard or wall hanging (whichever you prefer) and even share with you some things I would have done differently. The best part is- I spent under $60 and you could easily make this for under $100 for a queen size bed.
If you haven’t seen the Disneyland Hotel Headboards, they look like this:
They have the castle, and then you flip a switch and they light up with fireworks and play When You Wish Upon A Star
(Thanks to Leslie from Trips With Tykes for the Disneyland Hotel Headboard Photos)
A few years ago I kept thinking about ways to make my own version of this headboard. I finally put my idea into action a couple of weeks ago. Today I am going to teach you how to make your very own Disneyland Hotel Headboard or Wall Hanging (which is what we ended up making ours)
Materials needed to make your own Disneyland Hotel Headboard
Before I begin- Disclaimer: These instructions are for personal use only. Please remember that the image of Sleeping Beauty Castle is trademarked by Disney and selling the image, or items with the image on it may be in violation of copyright and trademark laws. (I am not an attorney and this should not be considered legal advice)
*This part of this post contains affiliate links. That means I earn a small commission for purchases made through these links.
- 1-2 pieces of wood that is at least 1/4 inch thick cut to the size you want your headboard or wall hanging to be. If you will be doing a wall hanging, you only need one. For a headboard, I suggest 2 (a front and back piece) For a twin bed or our wall hanging, we did a 2 foot by 3 foot piece of wood.
- An outline of the castle. We made an engineer print at Staples. I took a picture of the castle, took it into photoshop and used filters to make it just an outline. I am making this available to you (see the picture below) by CLICKING HERE and downloading. It is very low resolution but works for this purpose. The engineer print at staples cost me under $4 for a 2 foot by 3 foot print.
- Carbon Paper, or graphite paper, to transfer the image to wood
- A Woodburner and/or Dremmel Tool. We have this woodburner (CLICK HERE) and we used this Dremel Rotary Tool (CLICK HERE)
- Wood stain and sealant
- LED lights that are “stay cool” and preferably with copper wiring. We bought these ones (CLICK HERE)
- Wood screws (preferably a brown color)
- Staple gun
- You will need a few other things, but I will tell you about them later as they vary based on what you are making (wall hanging versus headboard) and the size, etc
Just a tip- when looking for your wood, if you plan on hanging your headboard from the wall- be sure to aim for lightweight materials. You don’t want to end up with a 100 lb wall hanging/headboard. Also, I will share how to make a headboard you attach to the bed, but you can also just make your headboard like we did our wall hanging and hang it above the bed.
How to make a Disneyland Hotel Headboard
Now, I know my headboard is not exactly like the Disneyland Hotel Headboard. You could easily make one exactly like it if you were more skilled with a rotary tool then I am. This was actually the first time I used a rotary tool, so yeah…. but the concept will still be the same.
First, order your engineer print of the castle outline.
Once you pick that up, lay down carbon paper to cover the entire piece of board. I actually taped a bunch of sheets of the carbon paper onto the board. Then tape the castle print on top of that. Use a pen to trace the castle onto the wood.
I decided I didn’t want the banners in the picture, so I tried to free hand what would be behind them. You can do it like I did, or just copy the print and have the banners.
Once you finish tracing the outline, remove your print and the carbon paper and you should be able to see your outline. Make sure you aren’t missing any important details.
Now you will use either a wood burning tool or a dremel, or both. I started by using the wood burner but it took forever! So I eventually went to the dremel and then used the word burner after the fact to darken the outline. My original plan was to only do the wood burning to the castle, but I later added in paint…but more on that later.
Once you are done with that, it is time to make the holes for your fireworks. Draw where you want the fireworks and then drill small holes (the dremel we used had a drill bit attachment that we used) to make the fireworks. Some things I wish I would have known before I started- less is more. I have one firework that is a bit crazy, And do a Mickey firework (3 fireworks that make a Mickey head). I don’t know why I didn’t think of that but I wish I had. I also drilled random holes to be stars.
Once you have done all that, you can stain your wood. I chose a red mahogany stain. Once I stained it, I realized how hard it was to see the castle. I didn’t like that, so I chose to go over the castle with gold paint and I kind of love it.
So here is where things get different based on what you are making. We knew we were going to hang ours from a wall. So we didn’t want a back on it, but we did need a way to contain the lights. So we took 3/4 inch by 2 inch boards or something like that and built a casing for the lights. Basically we made a rectangle that we attached to the back so that there was space between the board and the wall that you would put the lights.
Notice that we attached the boards so we had it so there was a bigger distance between the wall and the board. This is so the lights remote box could fit in there and not stick out (which would make it not hang even).
IF you want a headboard that you attach to a frame- you will instead use 4×4 down the 2 sides* and then a 1 inch (or 2 inch) by 4 inch board across the top. (You could probably leave the bottom open).
Be sure to stain the casings for the lights as well.
*With your 4x4s you will want them to go down the bottom to hook on to your bed frame. So measure how tall your bed is plus how high your headboard is. So if your top of your bed is 3 feet off the ground, and then this head board is 2 feet tall, you need your 4×4 to be 5 feet long on each side.
We then had to drill a hole in our casing to put the plugin for the lights through.
Use wood screws to attach your board to the casing you have made (we used brown so they would blend in and not be noticeable).
(You can see the screws in this picture if you look closely)
After you have attached the casing and stained all pieces, sealed it, and let it dry, you can work on attaching your lights. We laid down our headboard and wrapped the lights around where we wanted them.
We used electrical tape at first to hold it in place. Then we turned them on and tested them to see if we liked where they were placed. I strongly suggest doing the same. Once you have them where you are happy with them, staple them down. The lights we used also had a place where we were able to screw the remote receiver pack onto the bottom board of the casing.
If you are doing a wall hanging, you could stop here and be done. We however, made ours a 3 feet wide and 2 feet high (twin bed size) which happens to be the size of many frames for posters. So I found a frame and put it on the board. If you are doing a different size, you could make your own frame, or purchase a custom frame if needed.
If you are making a headboard that you want to attach to the bed, stain a second board that is the same size as the one you put the castle on. Then use wood screws to attach it to the back of your 4×4’s and the top board. You can then purchase a kit that will let you attach it to your bed frame at your local home improvement store or even on Amazon.
Once you are finished, attach your headboard to your bed or hang it from the wall. For us to hang ours we simply put 2 screws in the wall (and used drywall anchors as needed) and then we could just set the top of the casing for the lights on it.
And there you have it- your very own Disneyland Hotel Headboard. Now just put on When You Wish Upon A Star and enjoy!
Check it out with the lights off- pretty cool right?
Will you be making one?
If you want to see a video of the Disneyland Hotel Headboard check out a video of it on YouTube by CLICKING HERE
If you would like to book a Disneyland vacation and stay at the Disneyland Hotel to experience the real live headboard for yourself, I suggest booking through Get Away Today. You can book your vacation for as little as $175 down. Use my code CrazyAdventure to get $10 off your package. CLICK HERE to book now. (I am an affiliate of Get Away Today)
Want another great Disney Home Decor project? Check out our Character Inspired Frames Here