How To Make a Simple Wood Headboard

making a simple headboard

Today I am sharing how to make a simple wood headboard.  I decided to go with a horizontal design and a white wash finish.

Easy to make Wood Headboard

 How To Make a Simple Wood Headboard:

Step 1 – Lumber

Choose the lumber you want to use. I was able to salvage some reclaimed 2×6 foot douglas fir for the frame.  For the slats, I bought a 1x 6 foot douglas fir.  If you don’t have the tools to process wood you can buy tongue and groove from the hardware store.   Look for the best wood on the rack, it isn’t all the same.  This project costs us $30.  If you can’t find used wood, it will still cost under $100.

Step 2 – Design and Build

We went for a simple clean look.  The design is a frame with legs that go to the floor and horizontal slats in between.

In our room, the headboard is the wall decoration. To make more of a statement we decided to have it taller than normal.  The dimensions are 64″ tall by 76″ wide x 1 1/2 ” thick.  Your bed size will be the deciding factor in the width.



How To Make a Simple Wood Headboard

Step 3 – Building

The framing lumber is sanded and ripped to 4″ wide.  You can use the wood as it comes from the store if you don’t have a table saw.

We use a DEWALT Portable table saw.
Miter the edges of the frame and glue it together.  Make a lip on the back of the frame.

This is what the wood slats will be screwed into.  Make sure you screw the slats from the back into the lip.  Cut the slats to the dimensions you desire.  To be accurate always sand a cut edge before ripping to the dimension.

Most lumber stores will cut the wood for a small fee.  Glue and screw in the wood slats.  If you are using tongue and groove wood this will be easy to join together.

The slats look simple so I decided to use a 1/4” V groove on my trim router.  This will make the joins deliberate and proud. 

Joins should either be deliberate or invisible.  I used the guide that came with the router to keep me on track.  A router table would have been much more efficient.

Next, I used a biscuit joiner to cut slots in my slats.  I spaced my joins about 10” apart, but all in the same places.  This way any board could be flipped over or placed either way.

simple DIY Wood project

Frame Assembly

I used my biscuit joiner again on my miters and drilled one 3/8 hole in the top board on both miters. 

This way I could screw and plug my hole.  I found an off-cut with similar tight vert grain to cut my plugs. 

The Frame has a bottom horizontal board, but that will go in last.  I cut a full piece at the correct length to hold the legs in the right location.

Glue it and Screw it

Using all of the tight bond III I could find I installed the slats one by one.  Put down glue the biscuit then the glue and then the slat.  I did not glue the slats to the frame.

Install the bottom frame and 2 strong backs between the top and the bottom Frances.  This makes the 3/4 slats into a solid rigid frame.

I sanded again with my orbital 120 – 150- 220.

Step 4 – Painting

We used whitewash for painting.  Mix 50% water and 50% white paint.

Sand the headboard with 320-grit paper before painting.  Using white wash is half the price of the painting and it allows the wood grain to show through.

Step 5 – Install

We decided to center the bed on the wall.  Make sure you measure twice because you will drill the headboard into the wall.

We used toggles and one screw in each leg to secure the bed.  At the top of the headboard, we used 3m command strips.  I opted to not attach our bed to the headboard.

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