How to Make a DIY Headboard and Bed Frame

8 Materials
8 Hours

A few weeks ago, I had an idea to change up our bedroom once again. I was getting a new mattress from Lucid and I wanted a new bed to put it on. We didn’t have a new bed in the budget so I started thinking about how I could make a DIY headboard and bed frame. With excitement, I headed over to one of my favorite places to shop – my storage shed (nothing better than shopping your own space when you are on a tight budget). I was thinking about using some old doors as the DIY headboard and knew that I had some in storage, but couldn’t remember exactly what I had.

I pulled out the doors that I had in storage and did a poll on my  Instagram stories because I was having a hard time deciding on which ones to go with. My heart was set on B, but everyone I asked in person said they liked A better. Then I got the results of the poll, and again, A won out.

But I’m not really one to follow trends. And my heart was fixed on B. I loved the originality of it. I’ve seen doors as headboards before, but never one quite like this. So B it was!

In order to use this headboard, I had to make a bed frame to place the mattress on. So I’m going to walk you through the steps of how we did that.

We made this bed frame to fit a king size mattress, which is 76″ wide x 80″ long. The first thing we did was cut 4 – 4×4 posts 18″ long to use as the legs (note: make sure all wood is untreated, as the treated has chemicals in it that you will not want in your bedroom). Our mattress is 12″ tall, which makes the total height of our bed 30″.

Once we had the legs cut, we cut the 2×6’s for each of the sides. When cutting your 2×6’s to size, take in account the 4″ of each of your legs. We wanted the bed frame to be a total of 76×80, so we cut 2 of the boards 68″ long and 2 of them 72″ long. When you add the 4″ legs to each side, it gives you a total of 76×80. This is a bit difficult to explain and I hope I didn’t totally confuse you. If you need further clarification, please drop a comment below.

To attach the sides to the legs, we used a dowel rod kit. I know this is not something that everyone has. So if you aren’t looking to purchase one and you want another option, you could also use heavy duty brackets and screws.

We placed  wood glue on the dowel rods before inserting them. This gives it a little extra strength.

Once all sides were attached to the 4 legs, we put clamps in place for a few hours to let the glue fully dry.

To make sure the bed was extra sturdy, we added a wood brace on each corner.

After this point, we brought the bed inside to finish the project. We knew that it would be much heavier to carry after attaching the supports in the middle.

Measure the inside of your bed frame and precut your 2×4’s to fit. We spaced the 2×4’s ten inches apart and screwed them in from the sides.

Once all of the 2×4’s were in place, we measured and cut the plywood to place on top. Again, we used screws to attach the plywood to the bed frame.

Now it’s time for the exciting part – the DIY headboard!

The doors had been in storage for a while, so I cleaned them really good with some bleach water and let them dry out. Then I wiped them down with some  hemp oil. This is my favorite way to revive old wood, as it brings out the natural color of the wood without leaving a shiny finish.

We just stood the doors up against the wall and pushed the bed frame against them to hold them in place. Eventually, I want to raise the doors up some and attach them to the wall. Once we added the mattress and our pillows, the doors seemed a little short.

I made the bedskirt out of drop cloth. You can find that DIY on my blog also.

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Heather Olinde

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Robyn Garner
    on Oct 12, 2019

    Wonderful project and I love your choice with the oval mirror. Question: how do you like the new mattress? 10 years ago I spent what would have bought a decent used car on a name brand mattress and it was to last 20 years. NOT! Please let me know about yours and the cost. Sweet dreams! 😎

  • Kim
    on Jan 20, 2020

    Hello I've read your instructions several times and how did you and where did you place the oval mirror? Is it actually hanging on the wall?

    • Louann
      on Jan 20, 2020

      I think it is hanging on the wall in the opening of the door she used for the middle piece of the headboard.

  • Louann
    on Jan 20, 2020

    I noticed one of the old doors had a doorknob - what did you do, leave it there? remove it? fill the hole or just leave it?

Join the conversation

2 of 64 comments
  • Country girl
    on Feb 5, 2020

    I don’t think I would purchase the rather expensive dowel rod jig for this one-time project, when steel roof truss brackets from Home Depot would suffice for the corner braces. Looking to the future and possibly moving to a different home, the bed frame could not be disassembled with the glued joints. Otherwise, this is very well made and solid bed frame.

  • Country girl
    on Feb 5, 2020

    Using half inch plywood base would actually not be required for support of the mattress, since the two by four cross beams would provide identical support for one quarter inch plywood or MDF at about half the cost.

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