How to Make a DIY Headboard and Bed Frame

Heather Olinde
by Heather Olinde
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!
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  • Bobby Bobby on Sep 03, 2020

    A comment. Mattresses must breathe and dry from occupants’ perspiration. That’s one function of slats that leave air spaces under a mattress only and so too a box spring. I suggest you drill Many large holes in your plywood to provide ventilation. Mildew grows on unventilated mattresses. I know this from experience.

  • Som51591853 Som51591853 on Jul 02, 2021

    Are there plans or a material list for a california king: 84″ l x 72″ w x 16″ h solid wood bed frame diy plans

  • 3ho58724322 3ho58724322 on Feb 17, 2022

    Fantastic project. Do you have measurements for a full bed? This is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks so much

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