Introduction: Wooden Bed Headboard

About: Retired software engineer. Like the outdoors, canoeing, camping, hunting and fishing. I’ve built 3 cedar strip canoes and 2 cedar strip kayaks and use all of them. I built 3 acoustic guitars and play all of th…

A requested birthday present.

Step 1: The Inspiration

For her birthday, my wife wanted a wooden head board to put behing our king size bead. She found several she liked by searching "Google Images". I picked one that didn't look to difficult an tried to think of the material I needed and what I already had on hand. This birhtday present was going to be a bit more involved than just picking up a gift card at Wal-Mart.

Step 2: The Plans

I made some measurements of the bed width and height, the knee wall height and skecthed some simple plans as the idea began to formulate. This helped me to decide on what material and how much of it to purchase.

Step 3: The Material

I decided to make the headboard from Pine to save a little money and because it is available and easy to work with. I purchased what I needed from my local Menards store. Some tongue and groove car siding, a select 5/4 board, a couple select 1x4, and a few pieces of moulding.

Step 4: The Process

I used two glued together 1X4s as posts. I cut 3 pieces to the length I needed then ripped one in half, to the post would form an "L" This gave me an attachment point for the tongue and groove panels. I cut the T&G panels to the length I needed then assembled them, laying them between the L shaped posts. Once they were square, I clamped them together using a long bar C-clamp and a pipe clamp. The panel assembly was then glued and screwed to the back of the posts with 1-1/4" drywall screws. I glued some extra scrap wood behind the panels at the post to give some extra stength. I routed the inside edge of the posts with a 5/32" Roman Ogee bit and the outside edge with a 1/2" round over bit.

Next I cut and glued on the 3/8" Mull molding at the top of the panel assembly. I screwed and glued another length of scrap wood along the top and in back of the panel assembly to give the top board more support. Then I cut the 5/4" thick board to length and routed the outside top and bottom edges with a 1/2" round over bit. The top board was then screwed and glued to the panel/post assembly using small head finishing screws.

The last step was to nail on the shoe moulding between the mull moulding and the top board.

I use a Random Orbital sander with 120 Grit to sand the flat surfaces and hand sanded the small detail.

NOTE: This headboard will be against a wall so the back appearance was not a consideration.

Step 5: The Tools

You can pick out most of the tools I used from the photo but here is a list:

Table saw

Cirular saw

Dirll and bits for holes and screw driving

Random Orbital Sander

Router and bits

Sping clamps


pipe clamp

small square

large Carpenters square

metal yard stick for straight edge

Step 6: The Stain

To try and match the photo used for inspiration, I stained the headboard with one coat of a mixture of Minwax stains I had left over from previous projects. It was odd proportions of English Chestnut (the most), Golden Oak, with a splash of Colonial Maple and Ebony. I was glad I didn't run out because it would have been impossible to duplicate. After about an hour, I use a rag to wipe off any excess stain.

Step 7: The Finish

To seal it and make the color stand out I applied 3 coats of Minwax Fast Drying Satin Polyurethane with a foam brush after letting the stain dry overnight. After the first coat dried, which took about 8 hours due to humidity, I light sanded with steel wool. An dust was then removed with a tack cloth. I applied two more coats, the third was applied after the second had dried but was still tacky.

Step 8: The Installation

Then next day when the poly urethane was dry I place the headboard behind the bed against the wall. No mounting was required, the bed keeps it pressed against the wall.

The entire project took about a day, not accounting for stain and varnish drying times.

Home Improvement Contest 2017

Participated in the
Home Improvement Contest 2017