A bookcase headboard sits on the floor and is attached to the wall so that the bed frame and any attached footboard rests against it---it does not attach to the bed frame. As an independent piece of furniture, the bookcase headboard is secure; items on it won't tip, fall or shift when bed moves.
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Things you need
- 1-by-12-inch maple planking
- 4-by-8-foot maple-veneer plywood
- Maple buttons
- Tape measure
- 3/8-inch countersink drill bit
- finish nails
- 1-1/2-inch wood screws
- 2-inch wood screws
- framing square
- wood glue
- mitre saw
- stain brush
- varnish brush
Most bookcase headboards are 12 inches deep to allow for storage and display space. The height is variable, but a standard height is between 48 and 60 inches. The width of the bookcase headboard should match the bed footboard, if there is one, or the width measurement of the box spring and mattress. King beds are generally 76 inches wide, but some may vary by a few inches. Make a drawing to plan the design, measuring any specific items (large books, sculpture, etc.) you will be placing on the bookcase to customise it for your specific needs.
A lumber supplier will carry 1-by-12-inch maple planking in various lengths. The amount of planking needed will depend on the design of your bookcase and how many compartments and dividers you are incorporating. Measure the length of all the pieces on a rough drawing, or ask lumber staff to assist you in estimating. Purchase a 4-by-8-foot sheet of maple-veneer 1/4-inch plywood for the bookcase headboard back.
Constructing a bookcase headboard is easiest while it is lying flat on a level surface. Keep in mind general carpentry practices of plumb (vertically in line), level (horizontally in line) and square (having four 90 degree angles). Cut two vertical end standards to the chosen height of the bookcase (for example, 48 inches). Cut one piece to the width of the bookcase---76 inches for most king-size beds; this will serve as the top piece. Cut a second crosspiece to make the shelf bottom 1-1/2 inches less than the top piece, or 74-1/2 inches. You are now building a box. Place the 76-inch piece on top of the two 48-inch vertical side standards. Pre-drill 3/8-inch holes and countersink 1-1/2 inch wood screws. Take care not to split the planks. Use the mattress height measurement to attach your bottom shelf inside the two side standards. Cut two more vertical standards and attach them 3 feet apart below the bottom shelf to act as support legs.
Cut dividers to be placed vertically at various positions inside the bookshelf box you have built. For example, cut 2 more dividers and place them to create 2 24-inch boxes on either side. This will create a centre box. You now have a bookcase with 3 compartments and a top shelf. Lay the 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood flat on the bookcase, with the finished side facing the bookcase compartments. Cut it to size (76 by 48 inches, for example) and brad nail it to your bookcase. Be careful to nail into the standards, cross shelves and dividers. Before nailing, square up all the corners and space the support legs so all of the members are square to each other. Place maple buttons in all the 3/8-inch countersink holes to hide the screw heads.
Stand the bookcase headboard. You can cut mirrors to the size of the compartments and glue them against the back panel. Add brass or wood gallery railing to the top shelf to provide a finished look and keep items from sliding off. You can also install low-voltage lighting inside each compartment and wired from the back to conceal the wire feeds, add mill-made maple doors for hidden storage and install an electric outlet c for an alarm clock or radio. Stain and/or varnish. When you have completed the bookcase, stand it against the wall and screw it to wall studs every 16 inches below the mattress height to hide the attachment screws. Slide the bed into place and attach the footboard.
Tips and warnings
- Do not attach the bed to the headboard bookcase; movement of the bed could cause items to fall and cause serious injury.
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