Wood Furniture Design: Making a Head Board

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  • 2-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-800
What You'll Need

If you’d like to try your hand at wood furniture design, a good project to start with is making a headboard. Headboard creation is one of the more basic projects available, and it is a good way to save money on an expensive pre-made headboard. Because it’s less complicated than some other designs, such as making a cabinet, it will give you a sense of success, allowing you to move on to more complex projects with confidence.

Step 1 - Choose the Wood

You can use almost any type of wood for your headboard. Plywood is a good choice, as you can have it cut to fit at the lumberyard, or you can cut it yourself. Also, it’s less expensive than hardwoods. If you’ll be staining the headboard, choosing quality wood like pine is important. However, if you plan to cover it with material, then plywood, 2 x 4s butted edge to edge, or even an old door, will work. An old door is an inexpensive way to get a solid piece of wood. Simply remove the hardware, and use duct tape to cover the doorknob holder to avoid a round impression showing through your upholstery. Cut the wood into the shape of the headboard that you want.

Step 2 - Choose Foam

Tall stacks of thick foam

Choose the thickness of foam you want to cover your headboard. There’s no specific way to do this, as it’s completely your preference. Choose thin foam for a neater, sleek look. Thicker foam will give your headboard a softer, fuller appearance. If you can have the foam cut to the size of your headboard at the store, do so because it can be frustrating to cut foam with anything less than a razor sharp blade. Also, get the foam large enough to wrap around the edges if you want a truly upholstered look. Spray adhesive on the headboard, and lay the foam carefully.

Step 3 - Choose Fabric

You can choose actual upholstery fabric for your headboard, or you can choose less expensive fabric in a pattern and color you like. Which you choose is up to you, but make sure the cloth is large enough to completely cover the headboard. Once you have the fabric, lay the board on a flat surface, center the fabric over the board, and wrap it like a present so the corners are overlapped and smooth. Use both staples and glue to secure the cloth.

If You Want Wood Furniture Design without Upholstery

exotic looking wood

If you don’t want to cover the headboard, you should be sure to choose a good looking piece of wood. After you cut it in the shape you want and use a router to make any decorative grooves, use a tack cloth to remove the dust, and carefully apply the stain of your choice. Remove the stain according to the directions, then varnish to protect the finish.

Step 4 - Hang the Headboard

For the best results, attach a 2x2 to the back of either headboard, then hang it by nails on the wail behind the bed.