My wife had asked me, after she realized my grill cart and chairs outside weren’t half bad, if I wouldn’t mind making a head board for our bedroom. I said sure… but knew I’d have to step up my game if it was going to be for the inside. So I sprung for good wood and not all the reclaimed pallet wood I’ve been using.
- Miter Saw
- Nail Gun
- Trim Router
- Corded Power Drill
- Battery Drill driver
- Hand sand wedge
- Steel wool.
- 1 ultra nice hand picked 8 foot 2”x4”
- 2 - 8 foot poplar 1”x4”s and a shorter 6 foot 1”x4”
- 3 - 8 foot Selex (camp) pre-painted trim boards
- 14 - 2.5” .125” screws, Wood Glue
- 4 - .25” Hex bolts 2” long
- 4 matching nuts, washers, and locking washers
- .75” Nail brads for Nail gun
- Half quart Satin finish White paint
Rough Estimated Cost: Give or take $90 (pricing just based on lumber and paint, not hardware), keeping in mind pricing will vary depending on your location.
Step 1: Step 1: Cut and Sand All Pieces
I measured our existing bed frame brackets (our queen size 61.5 outside of bracket to bracket) and with my wife help we determined how high or tall we wanted the headboard to reach. At least 40”. Using my miter saw I cut down the 2”x4” to 2 - 40” pieces. And sanded the edges and sanded all sides (especially the facing sides).
Before I cut the poplar wood (pricey by the foot), I placed the three Selex boards, which are tongue and groove, to see how wide the pieces joined together will be. Taking this measurement I figured that the total width matches the width of my frame 61.5”.
I then measured and cut down each board to 24” segments (4 pieces from each Selex board), a total of 12 boards. Knowing these joined together will be the exact width of the bed frame, I then measure and cut the two 8 foot long poplar boards down to 61.5”.
Sanded with a fine grit 200, all edges and surfaces by hand. For the top of the headboard I wanted to give it a cap look to it. I cut this board down to 71.5”, so it will have a .5” over lap on the ends.
Step 2: Step 2: Assemble Frame
I temporarily nested all the trim boards to their full width. Laying the two poplar boards cut to the same length at the top and bottom. I put the 2”x4” up against the end flush at the top edge. Using the loose boards as a make shift guide or template for depth. I drew a line along the edge (and top and bottom) of the polar board on the 2”x4”. I repeated this on the other 2”x4” on the opposite side. After this I positioned all the trim boards halfway down on the top poplar board. So the top edge of all are in the middle of the board. With this new position I adjust the bottom cross poplar board to be the same half position of the bottom board. This gave me my finished placement of the board.
Then repeat the draw line process for the bottom cross board. I then traded the two 2”x4”s so the markings were on the outside. This gave me an indication where to drill my pilot holes. First drill the pilot holes on the 2”x4”s, then holding the poplar cross boards flush up against the inside of the 2”x4” extend the pilot holes in to the poplar boards. You might find it helpful after drilling the first hole to go ahead and put the first screw in place. Continue till you have all the cross poplar boards to the 2”x4”s.
Now that the frame is essentially done. Starting at one end place a bead of wood glue both top and bottom on the cross boards. Keep gluing and positioning the trim boards together all the way across. Once all the boards are glued. I took my nail gun and using the .75” brad nails I went across (the backside, that won’t be seen) both top and bottom placing three brad nails at the top then at on the bottom. Then let it sit to dry and setup.
After about an hour, I stood it upright to add the cap board. Being sure to flush it front and back. Also be sure to positioned a half inch overlapped at the ends. Add a bead of wood glue and reseat to the final position. I used the brad nail gun again on the ends first into the 2”x4”s. I only did 6 spaced brads along the top into the cross poplar board. (Note: Be careful to line up your nail gun to hit the cross board.)
To give the cap board a more finished look I used my Trim Hand Router, using .5” round bit. I did this along the front and ends, but left the back (wall edge) square. Ta Da!!! All assembled.
Step 3: Step 3: Add Bracket Anchor Boards.
I used two of the left over portions of the poplar boards, cut down to 6” pieces. Using my measurements from the begining, use the same process of marking the cross board positions. Since this board is a bit taller I drill 3 pilot holes spaced out for each bracket. With these in position I took the final assembly and put in position on the bed frame to verify its fit and position. While in position I used a sharping drawing lines through the metal bracket holes onto the wood brackets that will help anchor the frame to the headboard. With these marks drill 5/16” holes on these the sharpy marks. One on the top line and bottom line. (May vary based on your bed frame)
Step 4: Step 4: Wood Filler and Paint Frame
With the nail brads, depending on the quality of your gun, some blemished or nail indents will occur. Same goes for the screws on the sides connecting the cross boards. (In hindsight I wished I had counter sunk the screws and put wood plugs to hide the screws, oh well might still do this since their screws)
Take your wood putty / filler and with spatula dab and cover all blemishes and indents. Let dry then sand with fine grit. I did have to put a small bead of filler on one corner under the under side of the top cap board as it wasn’t perfectly tight fit.
Paint. This took three coats. I trim boards being already painted with a base coat only needs two coats. Even still I ended up using a quart of paint. After painting, I noticed a couple areas still rough from the trim router. So since painted I used some steel wool and smoothed these areas out. Then one more coat of final paint. Be sure to let the paint cure for at least 24 hours before anchoring to frame.
Step 5: Step 5: Anchor Headboard to Frame and Finish.
I recommend pulling the mattress off to the side or end before attaching frame (just makes it easier to access the brackets. Feed the hardware through the bracket in this order: Hex bolt, Washer, Bed frame bracket, Wood Bracket, tightening washer, nut. One in top and bottom hole on each side. You may have to add a third set on each side. Push headboard and frame up flush to the wall. Make the bed.
My wife was very pleased with the end result. And I admit Its one of my best finished projects. Sure there some things I wish I had done a bit different (as mentioned before, countering sinking) but really pleased how it looks.
Plus the main reason we wanted it was who ever built this house decided insulation must not have been necessary (lol). This western facing wall gets all the winter wind and becomes ice cold. So this will help insulate our heads from it a bit more. I hope you find this helpful. And please vote for this. Thanks