A Farmhouse Style Barn Door Headboard

Laura Kennedy
by Laura Kennedy
5 Materials
2 Days
I wanted vintage barn doors for our new headboard, but I didn't want to pay a fortune for them. After seeing a set of doors that I absolutely loved sell for thousands, I opted to replicate them as best I could

The results turned out better than expected. With a few pine boards, stain and paint I was able to create these barn doors. The total cost of lumber was just under $50.00.
You could make this Queen size headboard with a hand saw a hammer and a screwdriver.  It might take awhile, but because the build is simple, you could build this without any electrical tools.

Tools we used in our build
  • Mitre Saw
  • Electric Drill
  • Air Nailer
  • Carpenters Glue.    Don’t skip the glue!
  • 1 1/4 inch screws
  • 1-inch finishing nails for the air nailer.
  • A set square or a straight edge

  • 1×4 @ 72in x 4
  • 1×6 @ 72in x 12
  • 1×4 @ 26.25 x 8
  • 1×4 @ 50in (or longer) x 4
Layout 6 1×6’s @ 72 inches.   As this will be the front of your headboard, keep the best side of your boards face up.
Lay 2 72in 1×4’s and two 26.25in 1×4’s on top of the 1x6s around the edges
Lay two more 26.25in 1×4’s inside the frame made by the 1×4’s. Place them 9 inches from the inside edge of the frame.

Make sure all the boards fit correctly, and everything looks even. Ensure that the 1×6’s are tight together to eliminate gaps as much as possible.

Flip one 1×4 over and apply glue to the back. Put it back in place, press down firmly, and tack it in place with your nail gun. Repeat for each 1×4.

For the short 1×4’s, make sure you get at least one nail into every 1×6 below. 4 or 5 nails on the longer 1×4’s should do.

If you do not have a nail gun, you can glue your pieces down and add a few small finishing nails to keep it together.

 These nails are only used to hold your barn doors together so you can flip it over and not have it fall apart.  The real strength comes from the screws that you will drive in from the back during the final step so don’t go overboard with the finishing nails.

Lay one 50in (or longer) 1×4 diagonally across the inside frame of 1×4’s, as shown.

Using a straight edge, draw a line across the board where it will need to be cut to fit inside the frame. The line will need to be just inside the frame, along the edge of the 26.25in 1×4. Do this at both ends, and cut the board just inside those lines.

Test fit the board before resetting the angle on your saw! You may need to cut off a bit more to get it to fit nicely.

Glue and tack on this board as above. 

Lay the second 50in (or longer) 1×4 diagonally the other way across the frame. Mark it as you did with the previous one, with two additional lines along the edges of the other diagonal piece.

Cut just inside these lines, test fit, glue, and tack in these two boards.

Let the glue dry overnight.

This half of the headboard now LOOKS complete, but we want it to be a little sturdier. You will need to flip the whole thing over carefully to drive in screws from the back. The entire thing is pretty fragile at this point so flip it carefully.  It’s a two man job so grab someone to give you a hand.
Once you flip over your barn door, you can drive in a few handfuls of screws. 

 At the minimum, you will want one screw holding each 1×6 to the 26.25in 1×4’s at the top and the bottom, and one or two keeping all the other 1×4’s in place. Try to get the screws as close to the middle of both boards as you can, but there is no need for measuring it out correctly.

Repeat the process and build your second barn door.
 Now you have two separate barn doors, and you need to connect them to make a full headboard.

 We used 2 60 inch lengths of 1×4 and added them to the top and the bottom of the back of the barn doors.  That’s all you need to hold it together.  Add carpenters glue and 5 or 6 screws per barn door to hold them in place.

These barn doors are heavy! Make sure you have someone to give you a hand moving them.

To attach the headboard to a bed frame place your headboard exactly where you want it and mark the boards with a pencil.  Drill your holes and screw in place.

You can now finish your headboard however you wish.

We used a technique that creates a rustic chippy worn texture. If you like that texture you can find the tutorial on the website.
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Laura Kennedy
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