Project Guide

How to Build a Wooden Headboard

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Cut the lumber

Cut the lumber pieces based on the dimensions outlined on this cut list.

Tip: Scrap pieces will help support the headboard’s frame during the installation. 

  • On the three 2- x 4-inch x 8-foot whitewood boards: two 55-inch legs, one 68-inch top trim (leaving four scrap pieces)
  • On the three 1- x 4-inch x 8-foot whitewood boards: two 60-inch supports, three 27-inch uprights (leaving 2 scrap pieces)
  • On the four 1- x 2-inch x 8-foot strip boards: three 60-inch finishing trims, two 31-inch finishing trim

The weathered/bender board you’ll use for the chevron pattern will be cut to size as installed.

Create pocket holes

Use a pocket hole jig to create pocket holes for your cut lumber pieces.  These holes are drilled at an angle to hide the screws that connect the pieces together. 

Tip: The depth of your pocket holes are determined by the thickness of your cut lumber pieces.

  • On the three 27-inch uprights: 2 pocket holes on both ends
  • On the 60-inch top support: 2 pocket holes on both ends, one pocket hole at 15, 30 & 45 inches
  • On the 60-inch bottom support: 2 pocket holes on both ends
  • On the left and right legs: one hole each for the top trim
Create the inset
  • Assemble the pieces, remembering that the side with the pocket holes will be the backside.
  • Clamp the top support down to your work table and align the  uprights with one on the left, one on the right and the other 30 inches  into the center. This creates a proper fit for the bender boards.
  • Secure the pieces together with wood glue and 1 ¼-inch screws.
  • Place a couple scrap pieces of 1- x 4-inch lumber under the center assembly.
  • Align it with the center assembly and the top of the legs. This creates the inset for the frame.
  • Clamp and secure these parts together using wood glue and 1 ¼-inch screws.
  • Center the top trim piece so that it’s ½-inch over on both sides and 2 inches over the front.
  • Place four scrap pieces of 2-inch blocks at the corners of the center assembly so that it’s flush with the trim.
  • Clamp and secure the top and center assembly together using wood  glue and screws: 2 ½-inch screws for the top of the legs, and 1 ½-inch  screws for the support.
  • Remove the scrap pieces of lumber and reposition the frame.
  • Set the bottom trim piece onto the bottom and ensure that it’s flush with the back.
  • Clamp, glue and nail it in place with 1 ½-inch brad nails.
Create the inset design
  • Measure and mark a line down the center of the center upright board.
  • The chevron striped pattern is going to work with the line created on the center upright.
  • Follow the dimensions of your cut list to create the design.
  • All cuts are done at a 45-degree angle.
  • Line the tips with the center line at the bottom.
  • Work your way to the top, filling the entire space inside the frame.
  • Glue and nail the pieces in place at both ends with ¾-inch brad nails.
Add trims
  • Install the top, sides and bottom finishing trims.
  • Double check that each piece fits correctly. 
  • Glue and the trims with 1 ½-inch brad nails.
  • Fill all visible nail holes with wood filler. Or, you can cover each hole with a pocket hole plug.
  • Sand the entire project and wipe clean of all sawdust.
  • Apply stain or paint to the headboard if you desire.
  • Once dried, attach the completed headboard to the wall or directly to your bedframe.
Enjoy your new bed