For awhile now I have hated the headboard we have had on our bed. It was black wrought iron and was a dust magnet and just didn't look quite right in the room. When I started doing all these woodworking projects I knew one of the first things I wanted to make was a headboard for our bed. I made mine for a king size bed and it actually was really easy to do. The hardest part was mounting it.
Originally I wanted to make the headboard to attach to the frame so that meant I'd add legs to mount the frame to those but then I ended up hanging it directly on the wall.
Too add a little more interest to it I made this one out of 1x3s and 1x4s alternating each one. First thing first is to make sure you have your width and height right before you ever cut your boards. I must have measured fifty times to make extra sure I had it right but in the end I'm glad I did.
I decided which side of the boards would be the front and which would be the back and then laid the boards out in the pattern I wanted them in and one by one drilled pocket holes in the boards in 3 places. I did 2 on each end of the board and 2 in the center of the boards. Once all the boards were together I used scrap wood to make "braces" because this big of a headboard wants to bend and of course I wanted it completely flat. I did 10 braces on the back side and they were about 14 inches long. I drilled right into the headboard with basic wood screws. Before you do this make sure your screws aren't too long because you don't want them popping through to the front of your headboard. Once the braces were added I was happy with how sturdy it was.
Once all the boards were assembled and the braces were holding them sturdy I then added a 1x3 inch board across the top. To do this I made pocket holes on both sides of the top plank so that I could use pocket screws so nothing showed through on the very top ledge of the bed. This created just a bit of a ledge when I lined up the back of the board for the ledge to the back of the headboard.
The next step was staining the headboard. I used wood conditioner first to help the stain go on more evenly which I would highly recommend. This stuff is awesome sauce! I then used Dark Walnut wood stain from Minwax and gave the whole headboard (front and back) 2 coats of it wiping excess off in between coats. I then used polyurethane to seal the entire headboard once everything was dry. Again I did front and back. The poly is also nice because it helps repel dust and it also makes it very easy to dust things off the wood.
In this photo you can see a little bit of the "lip" the ledge makes. I also wanted to incorporate some industrial elements to this headboard since I have used some industrial and wood mixes in our master bathroom. I went to the store and got all plastic pipe and joints to create the right length and then got galvanized clamps to attach them to the ledge. Because I went with plastic pipe it all needed painted so I used black satin spray paint and let it dry well and then centered the pipe and attached the clamps on both ends and then on either side of the joints. The pipe obviously serves no purpose but I liked the idea of something industrial added to it.
Next came the hardest part of this whole project and that was hanging the headboard. In hindsight we might have had an easier time just adding legs and attaching it the the frame but my husband and I both really liked the look of it mounted so we went after this challenge. We ended up using the hook and eye bolt method which was actually really easy. We found our studs and then put the eye bold portion (the one with the hole on the end) into the wall at the height we wanted and then measured the headboard and put the hook portion into the headboard and then lifted the headboard up and slipped the hooks into the eye bolts and it is incredibly sturdy on the wall. I know I made this sound like such a simple step but it wasn't due to all the measurements and finding the studs etc. Doing this you want to be extra sure you have the studs marked, you want to make sure you measure over and over again to make sure you are putting the hooks into the right spot on the headboard so they line up with the eye bolts and don't make the headboard way to high or low. It was a little time consuming but it really worked well once our measurements were done and we attached it to the wall. The other thing that is really nice about this way of doing it is how easy it is to remove from the wall if we need to.
The last step was adding lights to the headboard. I wanted to go with more of an industrial looking light so I went and got 2 outdoor jelly jar lights that were meant to be hard wired but my husband and I rewired them so they now have plugs with the little roll switch on the cord so it's very simple to turn them on and off. Again this step was easy but a bit time consuming with all the measuring to ensure both sides were in the right spot to be even with each other etc. If you aren't sure how to rewire the lights to make them lights with cords there are tons of tutorials out there so you can google or hit up pinterest. It's a very simple process and your hardware store should have all that you need.
If you make one I hope you love yours as much as I love ours!