By Johnnie Lanier
So much wood gets tossed aside in this country, and I am here to share with you how to make
gorgeous things from it! The Craigslist free section is where I find most of the wood for my projects. The following headboard plan is customizable to any size you need, and can be finished to coordinate
wonderfully with your décor!
Size: We made ours to fit a standard queen size frame. The distance between the attachment points on a frame that size is about 60 inches. So we made the overall width to be about 3 inches wider than that. This allows the two main upright legs to fall right on the frame so it can be attached with a couple screws. We chose to make ours about 56 inches tall. We found some great cedar fence boards on Craigslist. As long as you keep the main leg rails and the back boards straight and the same thickness, you can use whatever wood you have available.
Main leg rails: (2) 2×4 x 56 inches
Back boards: (5) 5/8” x 5.5” x 6’ and (3) 5/8” x 3” x 6’
rough sawn cedar or pine dogged eared fencing boards
Top mantel board: (1) ¾” x 3” x 6’ rough pine or cedar
board. (cut to length after assembly)
Trim Board: (1) 5/8 x 1” x 6’ board (cut to length after
For the leg rails, you are going to perform a rip cut down the center of the 56 inch 2x4s, with the blade depth set such that it will only go half way through the thickness of the board. That means the fence is set to 1.75 inches from the blade and the depth of the blade is set to ¾ inches. Rip the entire length of the board on both legs. Now reset the fence to ¾ inch from the blade and the blade depth to 1.75 inches. Flip the board 90 degrees and rip the length of the board. Now you have two boards that have a rabbit or lap running the entire length. This is where the back boards will sit and what creates the finished hidden edge when you look from the front of the headboard. Next, cut your back boards to your desired length. They don’t have to be exactly 60 inches, but it is critical that they are all equal to each other.
Lay the leg rails down on a flat surface and then lay the back boards face down, spanning from one rail horizontally to the other. Measure your bed from floor to top of mattress and make sure you attach enough back
boards to go all the way down past where the top of the mattress will be.
Create pocket holes with a Kreg jig on the back side of each board, and along the top of the upper most board.
Attach the boards to the legs with screws in the pocket holes you created.
Next, stand it up and measure the final length of the top finish piece and the trim piece. Secure it to the top
board using the pocket holes you drilled previously.
Screw a piece of scrap wood running vertically along the back of the headboard. This keeps all of the horizontal
boards even, and will tie them together as one unit so they don’t warp or bend apart from one another over time.
The last piece to put on is the trim board that goes between the leg rails and under the top shelf. Attach with
small finish nails and glue. Stain and seal as desired.
Johnnie Lanier is blessed to live and create in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. For more details on this project, and hundreds of other creative DIY tutorials, visit her blog at savedbylovecreations.com!