How to Make a Headboard

A bed without a headboard looks plain and messy. Not to mention that using a bed without a headboard means losing your pillows behind the mattress and struggling all night to dig them out from behind the bed. Frustrating? Yeah. In order to help you avoid this frustration we’ve put together this guide for how to make headboard your self.

Making Headboards

Here’s some easy instructions for making headboards that are cool, modern and made of pine.

You will need:

1. First, decide how big of a headboard you need. This will be different from person to person and from design to design — the standard headboard is as wide as the bed, but if you build a headboard that’s a bit bigger or a bit smaller than the bed, it will look really cool. Take stock of your design and your room and determine what size you want.

2. Now it is time to cut — saw your desired amount of pine slats to the predetermined length, adding a fancy mitre cut to the end of each slat if you’re crafty or know someone who is. I recently built a headboard using this method, and needed slats for my headboard that were 1-1/2” thick. A money-saving idea — buy 1×4’s and cut them in half lengthwise. No one will notice the difference.

How to Make a Headboard

How to Make a Headboard

3. Don’t forget to cut two extra pine slats — these will be the vertical pieces that will be used to hold all of the horizontal slats of the headboard together. You don’t need to mitre cut these slats, though don’t be sloppy. They’ll still show.

4. Now it is time to make the slats fit together. You need to cut two inch return holes on each side of each headboard slat. Cut a 45-degree angle at one end of each piece so it will fit snugly against the end of a slat, like stacking Legos. The flat side of the return cut will go against the wall. Now is also the time to get out the wood glue and a nail gun to attach the returns to the slats. You’re almost ready to start building.

5. An important step that most people skip to the detriment of their headboard — you have to sand all the pieces until they’re smooth. Otherwise they won’t take the stain.

6. Go ahead and stain all the pieces and let them dry completely, once they’ve been properly sanded.

7. Begin assembling your headboard by lining up all of the pieces of the headboard with the return sides facing up and the “front” of the headboard facing down. Pull out blocks of wood that are the same size to use in between each slat to ensure they are spaced evenly apart, otherwise your headboard will look sloppy and homemade.

8. Lay your two vertical pieces across the slats to make sure they are evenly spaced. Time to start screwing! Screw the two vertical pieces to each slat, connecting the entire headboard. Make sure to use shorter screws, otherwise they’ll poke through to the front of the headboard. That’s extra ugly.

9. Time to put your fancy headboard in place — level it before securing it into the drywall with at least 3 ” drywall screws. You need to drive these screws right into the wall studs.

You now have a beautiful and relatively inexpensive modern headboard.

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