We built this double bed headboard from rough sawn cedar lumber, which we squared up and planed to size, but you can also build it using stock lumber from a home center.
Building the Headboard
- Assemble Headboard Posts: Each of the two vertical posts for the headboard were made by attaching a 1”x 2” to a 1”x 4” to form two “L” shaped posts 51” long.
- Attach Top Frame: A horizontal 1”x 4” cross member 50” long was then attached to the vertical posts at the top using cleats on the back.
- Attach Slats: Horizontal 1”x 4” slats 55” long were then glued and nailed to the vertical posts from the back.
- Attach Top Piece: The headboard was topped with a 1”x 4” board 59” long on the top to cap the headboard.
- Attach Cove Molding: A 1”x 2” with a routed cove molding was mitered and applied under the cap (stock cove molding can also be used).
- Fill and Sand Headboard: Any nail holes in the headboard were filled, and the entire piece sanded.
- Finish Headboard: The headboard was then finished with clear varnish, though stain or paint could also be used.
- Attach Headboard to Bed Frame: Bolts were then used to attach the headboard to the bed frame.
Watch this video to find out more.
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Danny Lipford: Even a simple headboard adds some interest to an ordinary bed frame, so here’s how I built one with my daughter from a cedar tree that was removed from her yard.
Once we squared the rough planks from the sawmill and planed them down to standard dimensions, we began building the headboard. You can do this just as easily with stock lumber from the home center. Begin with the two vertical posts.
We attached a one-by-two on the outer edge of a one-by-four with finish nails and glue to give it a little depth. The height will depend on the room and the bed—ours are about 51 inches tall.
Between these two posts we attached the top cross piece—another one-by-four about 50 inches long, in this case, for a double bed. A cleat on the backside holds it in place and allows this piece to be flush with the front of the two posts.
Then we began adding the slats. We decided to vary these in width for a little interest. The slats are nailed to the back side of the posts inside the one-by-twos on the outer edges. This varies with bed size, too, but ours are about 55 inches long. These pieces are butted one against the other going down the headboard far enough to go below the mattress.
Along the top edge we attached another one-by-four horizontally to cap the headboard. This piece has an overhang on either end and in the front of about one inch.
To transition up to the cap, we added a piece of one-by-two with a cove detail routed into the lower edge. We mitered this piece to wrap around the posts on either side.
After we added putty to fill the nail holes and a little sanding, we were ready for finish. We used a clear varnish to highlight to color of the cedar, but stain or paint can work as well.
The finished product is simple to attach to any bed frame and makes a great addition to this bedroom.