Woven Headboard




Introduction: Woven Headboard

This guide is for how to make a wall-mounted, woven headboard to go along with a platform bed (currently being worked on; instructable for that coming sooner or later).

This is a relatively simply and quick project, and all of the materials can be found at your local Lowes/Home Depot/etc. The wood will cost around $25, plus stain, finish, screws, etc.

The dimensions are for a queen-sized bed, but it could easily be scaled down/up for different sized beds.

What You Need:
1 piece, .25" x 4' x 8' hardwood plywood (I used birch)
2 pieces, 1" x 2" x 6' wood (I used pine)
(Optional) Wood stain
Clear finish (I used amber semi-gloss shellac)
#8 2" wood screws
Wood glue
Picture-hanging wire
Clamps and heavy things
(Optional) some sort of material or padding to protect your wall; I used the rubbery cabinet liner stuff (it's cheap & easy to cut & glue)

Step 1: Choppin' Wood

Cut three 10" x 8' strips from the plywood

Cut each strip into 2 pieces, one 63", one 33"

Trim 2" from one of the 63" strips; save the cutoff for later

From the leftover plywood, cut a piece 10 x 35"

From that piece, trim a 2 x 10" piece

Then cut the resulting larger piece into two 5 x 33" pieces

Resulting Plywood Pieces:
2 - 10 x 63"
1 - 8 x 63"
1 - 2 x 63"
2 - 5 x 33"
3 - 10 x 33"
1 - 2 x 10"

Cut the 2 x 63" & 2 x 10" strips into 5"-ish pieces (you'll need 10 of them)

Frame Wood

Chop the 1" x 2" x 6" wood into:

2 - 2 x 53"
2 - 2 x 23"

Step 2: Furniture Weaving, Part 1

Put the two 10" long strips on a flat surface, grain-side up. Place a 10" short strip at each end, and center the third.

Use chalk or pencil to mark the edges of the cross-strips, the remove the short strips. Apply glue, the re-place the pieces. Do the end pieces first, making sure that the edges are flush; then re-place the center piece.

At each intersection, place something heavy to push the strips together. Use enough weight to ensure that you get a solid connection.

(If you have sawhorses, or enough milk crates, etc., you should use those & clamp the intersections instead. You'll get better joins that way.)

Let that dry for a couple hours before proceeding.

Step 3: Furniture Weaving, Part 2

Flip the assembled piece over. Center a 5 x 33" strip between the middle cross strip and either end cross strip, grain side down. Mark the edges, glue, and weight.

Let the glue dry for at least an hour before moving on.

Step 4: Furniture Weaving, Part 3

Flip the assembled piece back over.

Take the remaining long strip and weave it through the cross pieces, over and under. You want it on top of the cross piece at each end. (Look at the pic, it's easier to understand than a written description.)

Apply glue to the intersection at each end, then clamp. Let this dry for at least a couple hours (but go ahead and start the next step whenever, as you'll be leaving this assembled piece for now).

Step 5: Framing

Take your frame pieces and make a, well, frame with them. Stand them on edge and glue then screw them together with butt joints.

Once the headboard proper's glue has dried, flip it over. Place the frame on it and get it centered, then trace its outline onto the plywood.

Glue the 5"-ish pieces to the back of the plywood to make a level surface to attach the frame. You'll need to stack 2 on the ends. Let that dry for at least an hour.

Apply glue to the top of each 5"-ish piece, as well as the backs of the strips at the same level, then re-place and clamp the frame. Let that dry for a few hours.

Drill pilot holes into the frame, then use screws to further secure the 2 components together. (This might be overkill, but this is what's going to hold the whole thing up, so you want to make sure it stays together.)

Once that's done, we move on to finishing!

Step 6: Staining

If you want to go with the natural color of the wood, skip this step.

Sand the entire piece with 120, then 220 grit sandpaper. Be careful not to sand through the top layer of the plywood, or to crack the edges.

I stained using a gray "sunbleached" shade, then sanded that back a good deal with the 220, just to make the grain pop.

Step 7: Clear Coat

Apply your preferred clear coat. I went with amber shellac, semi-gloss, entirely because I had a can leftover from another project.

Apply a coat, sand it smooth, apply a coat, repeat as needed. Check your can of finish for instructions, I'm not a varnish prophet. :)

Step 8: Wrap Up

If desired, add your padding material to the exposed edge of the frame.

Install a picture-hanging wire on the frame; put the eye-hooks into the inside of the frame, not the outer edge.

And that's that.

To hang it, insert a screw or picture-hanging hook in your wall (make sure to anchor it if you don't have a convenient stud), and hang 'er up.

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    I made one of these last year with strips of 1/4" ply in a 1x3 frame stained black


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That looks really nice; I kinda like it better than mine!


    9 years ago

    Beautiful project. Looks like that'd sell in a store for several hundred dollars. I'd use French cleat to hang it, but to each their own. Hope my wife will let me make one like yours!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't know French cleats were a thing before your comment; thanks! That does look to be a sturdier mounting option.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Creative, elegant project!

    Only alterations I would suggest have to do with finishing the project.

    First, I would sand and finish b/f assembly to ensure consistency in the "corners" where the strips of plywood overlap. It seems to me that assembling first creates many difficult-to-sand areas, which also would be likely to collect puddles of excess finish. Finishing before assembling avoids both issues, although you would have to remember to leave the gluing surfaces unfinished.

    Second, the clear finish in your photos looks blotchy/uneven. One method I have used for handling this are to use a stain sealer on the wood before applying the finish. This should create a uniform surface for the finish, leading to a more even coat. I have also had good luck with poly-based wipe on gel stains without using a stain sealer, and find them much easier to apply evenly than brush-on stains.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You could certainly finish before assembly; it would definitely make doing the sides easier.

    The blotchiness is purely a result of using shellac. It's not absorbing differently, so a sealer wouldn't make a difference, but it dries super-fast, and the overlaps (the blotches) didn't really blend very well. I should've thinned it a bit before applying; but I actually like how it came out. Makes it look old.


    9 years ago

    Nice work!!!! I love sheet goods used in strips. So very clever!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I love the shellac. Great idea for a piece like this. If you attached 2 or 3 of these vertically, they would make a great room divider, too. I'm not sure why I would want a room divider, but if I do...this is the design.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful! I like the minimal use of lumber. I've build a bed frame before, but I couldn't see my way to butchering 30-40 pounds of hardwood to make a headboard.