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How Can I Attach a Footboard to My Existing Metal Bed Frame?

Updated February 21, 2017

Basic metal bed frames may not only lack areas where a footboard can be attached, but they also may not extend completely to the foot of the mattress. This makes creating a place to attach a footboard a little tricky, but you just have to extend the frame or the footboard until they meet. The process varies slightly depending on how your footboard is constructed and the size of your bed. Creating an extension that slides onto the existing metal frame and holds your footboard firmly will work with most footboards and metal frames.

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  1. Remove the mattress and box spring from your bed frame. Measure the distance from the head of your bed to the spot where you want the footboard placed.

  2. Mark your distance measurement with a pencil on both of the two-by-fours. Use a straight edge to draw a straight line where the board should be cut. Use the saw to cut each piece to length.

  3. Clamp one piece of lumber to each side of the bed frame, using two clamps on each side. The top edge of the wood should line up exactly with the top edge of the lip on the metal frame.

  4. Place five metal 90-degree angle brackets along each board, one at each end of the metal frame and the others evenly spaced between them. One face of each bracket should sit flat against the top edge of the board, with the other face tightly against the inside of the bed frame. Screw each bracket tightly to the board from the top, using a drill with a driver bit or a power screwdriver.

  5. Remove the C-clamps. The metal brackets should hold your boards securely to the frame. The brackets keep the boards in place, but because they are not screwed directly to the frame, they allow you to easily lift the boards off if you choose to remove the footboard.

  6. Place your footboard against the ends of your wooden frame extensions. For a wooden footboard, use the 1/4-inch drill bit to drill two holes through each side of the footboard, directly into the ends of the two-by-fours. Secure the footboard to the frame by placing a lag bolt into each hole and using wrench to turn the head clockwise until it is tight.

  7. For metal footboards, find plumber's two-hole strap that will fit around the bars of your footboard's frame. The strap looks like an arch with a tab on each end that has holes for screws. Place one strap around a bar on each side of the footboard and screw the strap to the ends of the wood pieces by placing a wood screw through the hole in each tab and tightening.

  8. Re-assemble the box spring and mattress. Add a bed skirt to hide the wood framing.

  9. Tip

    When attaching metal footboards, substitute cut pieces of rolled plumber's strap (also called hanging strap) for the two-hole strap if you can't find a size that fits your footboard or you need to accommodate odd shapes. If your bed frame has bolt holes on each side at the foot end of the frame, you may be able to use a footboard extender kit sold by various retailers.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 2 pieces of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber, 8 feet long
  • Straight edge
  • Saw
  • 4 C-clamps
  • 10 pieces, 90-degree angle brackets, 3 inches to 4 inches wide each
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • Drill or power screwdriver
  • Phillips head driver bit
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • 4 lag bolts, 1/4-inch diameter
  • Adjustable Crescent wrench
  • Plumber's two-hole strap
  • Bed skirt

About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

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