Well, we almost have a headboard, because I still need to mount it on the wall. But that requires my husband's help, since it's a little heavy. But just because it isn't mounted doesn't mean it isn't completed!
This is a project that would have been a bit easier if we'd had a truck or a good way of getting large pieces of wood home (although that's about to change soon!), but since not all of us have access to a large vehicle, I'll show you how I made this headboard with stuff that could fit in my little car.
First, I knew I had to be a little flexible with the size of my headboard, based on what I would find at the hardware store. But I knew they had these pre-cut pieces of nice wood, since we'd used one for our custom window cat door.
In case you can't read it, each piece is 20" W x 48" H x 3/4" D.
I needed three of these 20 x 48 pieces of wood, to make the basic shape of the headboard. I also needed four pieces that were 6" W x 30" H X 1/2" D to make the top and bottom slats, and five pieces that were 4” W x 36” H x 1/2” D for the vertical slats, plus ~2 inch wide moulding for along the top.
Here were the plans I mocked up, to make sure I could work with all 4 foot or less pieces of wood, which I knew I could fit in my car.
Once I got home, it was time to cut my horizontal and vertical slats down to size with a circular saw.
Then, I took my three 20 x 48 pieces of wood, and attached them to each other using brackets on what would become the back side of the headboard.
Once the brackets were attached, I flipped the pieces of wood over, laid out my slats, and used wood glue to adhere them in place.
I let the wood glue dry for about 8 hours before flipping the whole thing upside down again. I then used screws from the back side, to fully secure the wood slats to the back boards. Wood glue might have been strong enough by itself, but I thought adding screws would make things even stronger, especially since my back board was made out of three pieces, instead of one.
After the main assembly process was done, I could then glue on the moulding along the top of the headboard (I used 4 clamps to hold it in place while the glue dried over night), and use wood filler to fill in the small gaps where my various pieces of wood met. I ended up sanding down the wood filler once it dried, then doing a second coat over the gaps and sanding again, just to make sure things were as smooth as I could get them.
I'm not sure if I needed to really use primer, since the paint I used had built in primer, but I always feel safer putting down a coat of primer on anything wood, so I did. It was pretty quick to paint with a smooth foam roller and a little foam brush for the cracks.
After two coats of semi gloss Surf Blue by Benjamin Moore (which was a nearly exact match to my inspiration lamp and the other accessories I've already got for the room), the headboard was ready to be carried upstairs to the guest room.
Once I mount the headboard to the wall, it will be about 52" high, which will be the perfect height to still have the headboard visible behind a bunch of pillows on the bed, but not too high with my lamps. That's one of the advantages to mounting a headboard to the wall--you can really put it at any height that works for you.
And of course, technically I could have just nailed my horizontal and vertical slats directly to the wall, and not bothered with the backing piece of wood for pretty much the same look. But then I wouldn't be able to move the headboard in the future, so I opted to take the extra step of mounting my slats onto the backing piece.
Yep, slowly things are coming along in the guest bedroom. Next I've got to start painting the other furniture that I already own, including an apothecary bedside table and three shelves. But things are slowly starting to look like my original room planning mock up!
Have you ever built a headboard before? This is the third one I've made (pics of the first, but it was long before my blogging days so I don't have a tutorial) and this one was a lot easier than the first. I shouldn't even count the second headboard I made, because I ghetto-rigged it out of cardboard. One of these days we might actually have to get a bigger bed in our master bedroom so I can have an excuse try out building a fourth style of headboard!