Easy Build Wood Headboard (All Mattress Sizes)

ana white headboard
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Easy DIY planked wood headboard build - no special tools required!  This beautiful headboard gives that wood texture to your bedroom - without costing a fortune or being a huge project.  You can use inexpensive pine boards or furring strips.  Free step by step plans by ANA-WHITE.com


Photos submitted by Cynthia and Nicole.

Simplicity and the beauty of soild wood come together in this headboard to transform a room. This project can be completed in just a few hours. Available in all standard bed sizes.

Easy to build, all you need is a saw and nails - you can even use a hammer and nails!  

easy to build wood headboard

Most builders are spending about $50 making this beauty.  Be sure to check out brag posts.  

Free plans follow!

Pin For Later! 

Easy Build Wood Headboard (All Mattress Sizes)

queen wood headboard
57 1/4" x 65 1/2" dimensions for queen size as shown


Shopping List

Twin Lumber Shopping List

  • 2 – 1×2 – 8′ Length
  • 7 – 1×3 – 8′ Length
  • 3 – 1×4 – 10′ Length
  • 1 – 1×6 – 10′ Length
  • 1 – 2×4 – 8′ or Stud Length

Full Shopping List

  • 2 – 1×2 – 8′ Length
  • 7 – 1×3 – 8′ Length
  • 4 - 1×4 – 10′ Length
  • 1 – 1×4 – 6′ Length
  • 3 – 1×6 – 5′ Length
  • 1 – 2×4 – 8′ or Stud Length

Queen Lumber Shopping List

  • 2 – 1×2 – 8′ Length
  • 7 – 1×3 – 8′ Length
  • 4 - 1×4 – 10′ Length
  • 1 – 1×4 – 6′ Length
  • 3 – 1×6 – 5′ Length
  • 1 – 2×4 – 8′ or Stud Length

Standard King Shopping List

  • 2 – 1×2 – 8′ Length 
  • 7 – 1×3 – 8′ Length 
  • 9 - 1×4 – 8′ Length 
  • 3 - 1×6 – 8′ Length 
  • 1 – 2×4 – 8′ or Stud Length 

 California King Lumber for California King 

  • 2 – 1×2 – 8′ Length 
  • 7 – 1×3 – 8′ Length 
  • 5 - 1×4 – 12′ Length 
  • 4 - 1×6 – 6′ Length 
  • 1 – 2×4 – 8′ or Stud Length
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

Cut List for Twin

  • 6 - 1×3 @ 55″ (Fronts and backs of Legs)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55″ (Inside of Legs)
  • 5 – 1×4 @ 39″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 3 – 1×6 @ 39″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 37″ (Panel Trim, Front and Back)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 43 1/2″ (Top Trim)
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 44 1/2″ (Top of Headboard)


Cut List for Full

  • 6 - 1×3 @ 55″ (Fronts and backs of Legs)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55″ (Inside of Legs)
  • 5 – 1×4 @ 54″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 3 – 1×6 @ 54″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 52″ (Panel Trim, Front and Back)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 58 1/2″ (Top Trim)
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 59 1/2″ (Top of Headboard)


Cut List for Queen

  • 6 - 1×3 @ 55″ (Fronts and backs of Legs)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55″ (Inside of Legs)
  • 5 – 1×4 @ 60″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 3 – 1×6 @ 60″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 58″ (Panel Trim, Front and Back)
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 64 1/2″ (Top Trim)
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 65 1/2″ (Top of Headboard)

Cut List for Standard King 

  • 6 – 1×3 @ 55″ (Fronts and backs of Legs) 
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55″ (Inside of Legs) 
  • 5 – 1×4 @ 76″ (Panel Pieces) 
  • 3 – 1×6 @ 76″ (Panel Pieces) 
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 74″ (Panel Trim, Front and Back) 
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 80 1/2″ (Top Trim) (measure before cutting) 
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 81 1/2″ (Top of Headboard) (measure before cutting) 

Cut List for California King 

  • 6 – 1×3 @ 55″ (Fronts and backs of Legs) 
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55″ (Inside of Legs) 
  • 5 – 1×4 @ 72″ (Panel Pieces) 
  • 3 – 1×6 @ 72″ (Panel Pieces)
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 70″ (Panel Trim, Front and Back) 
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 76 1/2″ (Top Trim) (measure to fit) 
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 77 1/2″ (Top of Headboard) (measure to fit)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Use necessary safety precautions. Measure and cut your boards to fit your piece – measurements given are for a perfect build, and you may find your headboard off a tiny bit. So on the trim and top pieces, measure to fit, using the given cut list as a approximate measurement. Use glue and check for square after each step.

Standard King Dimensions

king dimensions


Dimensions for Full

full size dimensions


Step 1

Legs. Begin building the legs by fastening the 1×2 middle piece to the 1×3 front leg piece, as shown above. To hide your nail holes, fasten for the 1×2 board into the back side of the 1×3 board. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 2

Panel Pieces. Starting on the top, fasten the panel pieces as shown above. The red pieces are 1×4 boards, the blue are 1×6 boards. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue. Check for square. Hide your nail holes as you did in step 1.

Step 3

Back of Legs. Use 2″ nails and glue to fasten the back of the legs in place. Fasten to the panel pieces and the middle leg piece. Keep outside edges flush.

Step 4

Trim Pieces. Start by fastening the front trim pieces by using 1 1/4″ nails and nailing through the back into the back edge of the front trim. This will hide your nail holes. Then fasten the back trim in place using 2″ nails and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Top Trim. As shown above, measure and cut your top trim piece. The distance will be the overall width of the headboard at this step. Keeping the top trim flush with the outer leg and the front of the headboard, use 2″ nails and glue to fasten in place.

Step 7

Top of Headboard. Cut the top of the headboard piece 1″ longer than the trim piece from step 6. Mark 1/2″ in from all sides. Center on top of the headboard and fasten in place with glue and 2″ nails.

Step 8

Finishing. Fill any visible nail holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired. A bed frame can be attached by drilling holes in the fronts of the legs, and using bolts and nuts inserted in the slots open in the insides of the legs.


Matt (not verified)

Sun, 11/07/2010 - 04:01

The same exact way... just make everything shorter (top to bottom). The widths would all apply as well (although you should look at my other comment because the measurements on this are slightly off.)

JulieP (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 08:47

I would love for you to do plans for the end table and dresser that match this headboard.

Jason (not verified)

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 04:54

Seems that you built it wrong. The horizontal panels pieces are 60" (correct) but the legs are built using a 1x2 sandwiched between 1x3s. The horizontal pieces butt up to the 1x2s on the ends for a total width of approx 63" (60" + 1 1/2" for each 1x2). Then you add the additional 1x3s to the outside for an additional 1 1/2" (3/4" thick each). The brings your total width of the headboard panel to 64 1/2". That is exactly what Ana says in her instructions. Maybe the lumber you were using was actual size and not 'nominal'??

John (not verified)

Thu, 12/23/2010 - 20:29

I wish I had known of this site before I built my own version of this headboard for our King bed. I made mine to just hang on the wall behind our bed, with no legs or attachments to the bed frame itself. I measured the bed and took it from there. I bought wood from a pallet recycler, and so the wood was rough with saw marks, and it was authentically beat up. When it wasn't I hit it with a belt sander, hammer and anything else I had. I sanded it just enough to keep from getting splinters, stained/polyurethane in one step and hung it on the wall. It is identical to the one in the catalog with the trim on top. My wife loves it and I didn't spend $800.

gadanny1 (not verified)

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 11:07

Can I use screws in this project? I do not have nor can I afford a nail gun :( Please let me know.

Rhonda Hughes (not verified)

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 04:34

Hi Ana,
My daughter turned me on to your site a few months ago. She talked me into getting her and her a husband a Kreg Jig for Christmas. (never even heard of one) I'm going to attempt this today, got my wood and had it cut last night. I'll upload a picture of it when I'm done. Thanks so much for sharing your plans!!!

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 01/10/2011 - 10:18

Absolutely! Screws are just harder to hide. What you might consider is finish nails and a hammer for the front to hide your screws. Of course, if you are painting, this won't matter, as wood filler takes paint well.

P J (not verified)

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 17:38

I made this scaled down to fit a full size bed. Awesome, easy to follow plan. I did use screws, Cabinet or trim head. I added a runner to the back to help stabilize and prevent shifting of the planks.

Rhonda (not verified)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 03:29

Here is the finished product. Being my first project, I was happy with the results and learned a few things along the way. First, don't buy cheap wood! Unfortunately, I did and ended up having to paint it instead of staining it like I wanted. Also, measure twice, cut once. My boards were a little warped, so I used some of the left over pieces and attached them to the back with screws so it drew in the boards to make them straighter. Thanks Ana!. Now I'm on to the next project.https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=7b9675a5d5&view=att&th=12dbed3b54…

Sarah (not verified)

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:02

This may seem like a silly question, but I am having a hard time determining how you would prevent hitting where you have blind nailed when adding the outer pieces and trim, did you mark the places you nailed to avoid this?

Matt (not verified)

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 20:14

Seems I did. I didn't buy 1*2's. I ripped them myself out of old barn wood.

So, while I was wrong, I was also right. Someone who actually builds according to the numbers written in the instructions will have a problem. Someone who buys "1x2"s from Home Depot will be fine since it's not actually 1"x2" inches.

Maybe just some clarification would be helpful. Or, not being an idiot and actually doing the math yourself before you rip down all your barnwood :)

Stacey (not verified)

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 09:18

I had such a wonderful time making this headboard! It went together so nicely I built two of your bedside tables to match prior to staining. Thank you so much for making my room look like a bedroom! It seems that our 3 kids have the most beautiful rooms ever. Now, thanks to you, my husband and I can have our dream room too. The best part is I can do it with out spending a fortune!

Mackenzie (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 09:28

My husband and put this headboard together without too much trouble. We did put a brace across the back to help with some not so straight boards. It was a fun project to do together. Thanks. Love your site.


Wed, 04/06/2011 - 16:51

Ana, I made one of these headboards and it turned our great!

Now I want to make another and paint it this gorgeous turquoise color seen in the photo above. 
What brand and color of paint is this?

Kevinrs (not verified)

Fri, 05/06/2011 - 22:55

Reading through the instructions, I am not seeing where I need a kreg jig. I don't have one, and would prefer not to buy one if I don't need it. Each step just tells to use nails and glue?...

RyansMama (not verified)

Sat, 07/02/2011 - 16:08

We've never built anything before. We also haven't had a headboard in years. So we figured it was time to do both! The plans were great. The only problems we had were a couple of our boards weren't straight (a good lesson for next time) Thanks so much for sharing this!

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 11/13/2011 - 14:38

What color and brand paint is the green headboard? It's such a nice color! I want to paint a cabinet the same shade.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 11:52

Someone commented that they needed to put a board on the back of the head board to help straighten out the warped boards. One way to help avoid this problem is by buying T&G (tongue and groove) boards. This allowes the boards to be locked together, preventing them from warping to badly as they age. T&G doesnt generally cost much more than plain cut lumber and is very helpful in these types of projects.


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 12:46

If you need to build this for a king, the conversion is pretty easy.

A king is 16 inches wider than a queen. On any dimensions that run horizontally, add 16 inches.

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 11/25/2011 - 10:53

Where is everyone finding 1x2 and 1x3 pine? I have looked at 5 different lumber yards in Calgary and none of them carry pine in those dimensions. Fir and Maple, yes, but that's far too pricey. Any suggestions?

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:45

I also live in Alberta and have a very difficult time finding pine (in any size). Most lumber yards in our province have relatively inexpensive spruce in 1 x 2" and 1 x 3" sizes. Be sure to measure the actual dimensions of the wood before building, as the dimensions of lumber in the US are sometimes different than the lumber we can get in Canada. I found out the hard way that I must adjust many of the plans on this site because lumber dimensions vary in different geographic regions. For example, the spruce 1 x 2 s available in my community are only 5/8" wide, not 3/4".

Dana Martin (not verified)

Mon, 12/26/2011 - 22:12

I'm new to all this and hoping to do this as a first project. Like some others, I read thru the plans and didn't see mention of the Kreg/screws. Are they for making it attachable to a bedframe? Thanks in advance for the clarification!

Jason_morgan (not verified)

Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:55

I really wish someone would answer this question because my wife wants this headboard and no one has answered it yet after many people have asked....lol can someone please, answer the question on the kreg jig and screws?

Michael Abendschein (not verified)

Tue, 12/27/2011 - 20:37

What is the best type of wood to use when building this. Ideally I would have it cut at a store like Home Depot or Lowes and Purchase the wood from there, but what do I need to buy if I intend to stain the finished product.

Jade Moss (not verified)

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 13:25


I've searched the community, read all comments, etc. and can't figure out where to use the Kreg Jig and screws that I just went and spent $100+ for.

Can anyone help please? I've got everything spread across the garage and now not sure not to proceed.

Thank you!


Tue, 02/28/2012 - 13:33

The kreg jig will be most useful in fastening the slats of the back into the rails supporting them. It looks like that's shown in step 2 above. Drill the holes on what you intend to be the back side. In fact, wherever possible, attach fasteners via the back side.

donn1975 (not verified)

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 15:25

Afterward just the same accident sizes next to everyone three, pingu keeps elevation treating into the elder form, contrasting surmount and in force a handling. http://ofuwona.com

Walton (not verified)

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 17:57

The Kreg jig is listed in the tools, but I don't see where it is used. Am I missing something?

Also, I never know which wood to buy. I always end up getting pine, but it always looks so amateurish. Any suggestions for this project?



Thu, 04/12/2012 - 16:46

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