How to Make a Headboard & Frame

Written by jessica kaufman
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How to Make a Headboard & Frame
An example of a headboard and frame. (hotel room image by ann triling from

The headboard and frame are essential pieces in bedroom furniture set. There are many options when choosing to make a headboard. From an old door, to a picture frame, to an entire wall, anything can be made into a headboard. A headboard can be anything from a simple decoration to a functional storage space. A simple headboard and frame design can be modified to fit any aesthetic desire.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 sheet 1/2-inch plywood
  • 4 2x12x8 lumber
  • 2 1/4-inch pine lumber
  • Quilt batting
  • Fabric of choice
  • Plain cotton backing
  • 1 1/4-inch screws
  • 4 1/4-inch hex nuts
  • 4 1/4 x 4 inch hex bolts
  • 4 1/4-inch lock washers
  • 4 8-inch corner brackets
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Paint brush
  • Rags
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Using a tape measure, measure each side of the bed. Measure from the desired top point of the headboard to 8 inches above the floor for the headboard height. Combine with the width of the bed for the complete headboard measurement. Add 8 inches to the headboard height measurement to determine the headboard mount measurement.

  2. 2

    Have the lumber yard cut the pieces of 2-by-12-by-8 lumber to bed measurements. Cut the 1/2-inch plywood to headboard measurements and the pine pieces to the headboard mount measurement.

  3. 3

    Lay the headboard piece face down on quilt batting. Cut quilt batting in the shape of the headboard leaving 6 extra inches of batting around each edge. Stretch batting tight around headboard and staple. Repeat the same process with the headboard laying batting side down on the wrong side of the fabric.

  4. 4

    Measure 6 inches from each side of the headboard and attach the 1-by-4 pine pieces using the 1 1/4-inch screws. From the bottom of the pine pieces, measure 2 inches up and drill two 1 1/4-inch holes four inches apart.

  1. 1

    Sand the cut edges of the 2-by-12-by-8 pieces of lumber. Following the grain of the wood, use a rag to apply the stain. Follow the stain directions and apply additional coats as necessary to reach the desired shade. Let the stain dry between coats.

  2. 2

    After the stain has dried, apply a coat of polyurethane using a paintbrush and let dry completely. Apply additional coats as necessary until the desired finish has been achieved. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next, and lightly sand between coats.

  3. 3

    Using the holes in the pine pieces as guides, drill two corresponding holes in the bed frame piece. Attach the pine pieces to the frame piece with the hex bolts, nuts, and lock washers.

  4. 4

    Align the proper frame pieces and headboard with their corresponding bed measurements. Connect the pieces together using 1 1/4-inch screws to attach the corner brackets to the inside of each joint.

Tips and warnings

  • A third headboard mount should be added to the centre of the headboard if making the headboard and bedframe for a king sized bed.
  • Depending on preference, headboards are usually made two to four inches larger than the mattress.
  • A piece of cotton backing can be attached to the back of the headboard before the headboard mounts are attached to create a more finished look.
  • The headboard may be customised in many ways such as adding ribbon, the amount of stuffing, gathering the fabric and adding a border.
  • Operate all power tools with extreme caution.

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