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.


JerseyGirl80 (not verified)

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 15:17

Not sure what I did wrong. Bought Pine at the Hardware Store today to the plans for this headboard which I've been DYING to make and the cost came out to $92.00!! Everyone keeps saying their total cost was under $50, and I didn't even buy the hardware yet. What type of pine is everyone getting that's it's so cheap?

jerseygirl80 (not verified)

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 20:08

Upon reading your response Clay, I wished I had a local lumber yard, but I didn't think I could fine one (I live in New Jersey, where it's mostly all big brand name stores). I returned my wood from one big brand lumber store and purchased new wood from another, somehow saving $40 and later......found a family-owned lumber yard 6 blocks away from home!!! Bummed I didn't find them earlier, but now I know for the future and did buy some hardware from them today. Thanks for your article, spent all day making a work table and cutting my wood! Plan on putting it all together before work tomorrow :)

In reply to by claydowling


Thu, 05/17/2012 - 05:07

I was able to find small local lumber dealers near Toronto, a city not known for its smallness. If they can be found there, they can be found anywhere. Your own experience suggests that it's just a matter of hunting.

I think the biggest problem is that when we go to buy things, we're accustomed to looking for advertisements, or looking for somebody selling in the regular retail areas. Lumber dealers of course don't have a presence in those places, because that's not where their customers are.

I have had decent luck using google. That tipped me to some local suppliers I wouldn't have noticed. Also, keep an eye out for small signs by the road. I found a decent hardwood dealer from a sign by the highway.

Batterie ordin… (not verified)

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 23:45

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ArroffInvaria (not verified)

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 04:52

Gays you create a wonderful resourse =)

Damien Considine (not verified)

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 13:56

Where did you get the cushions in this shot? They match up fantastically with my own colour scheme. Thankyou

Skiziks (not verified)

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 17:06

The directions show and illustrate using a 2x4 for the top of the headboard. Looking at the picture of the finished headboard it sure doesn't look like a 2x4 on the top. And the trim on the outside edges of legs, the instructions say to keep them flush. The finished picture show the trim pieces extending about a quarter of an inch in the front. Anyone following these directions are not going to end up with what is pictured as the final product. Have you ever compared you just purchased hamburger or sandwich to the advertised picture? Seems to be the trend not to get what you expect.

davidmac (not verified)

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 13:50

The picture was not built exactly to the plan. The top looks more like a 1x4. If you follow the plans it will look like the sketch up picture and not the actual picture.

Monica M. (not verified)

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 18:38

I would love to know what brand and color you painted this with as well as where to get that pretty floral pillow on the right!?!

Jedeexoxefs (not verified)

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 01:02

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Rebecca Mitchell (not verified)

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 11:42

Hi Ana,
I would love the king size plans if/when you have a spare moment! This is what I have been looking for and cannot wait to start it!

TonyM (not verified)

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 08:00


Thank you for posting this very nice design, but I am a little confused about the shopping list. You suggest buying 11/4 inch, 2 inch 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws and 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws, along with the previously mentioned Kreg Jig, but I don't see any mention of inserting screws in the description. Is there an alternative plan using screws instead of nails? Thanks

Robert Seal (not verified)

Thu, 10/04/2012 - 05:40

First and foremost since this is my first comment on your blog, you've done an amazing job Ana. Very inspiring and educational content.

My question for this piece however is in concern for the strength of the bed. It seems just by looking at your plans that any frame connected to this headboard would only be attached to a 1x3 plank.

Do you (or any of your readers who've built this) feel that this is enough support to last over time? Beds take a lot of abuse, especially with my having two boys that use it as a trampoline when we're not looking.

Anyway, I could also be miscalculating how far down the cross-planks go and that would easily offer about 2.25" inches of support.

Let me know :)

vqbbstea (not verified)

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 22:07

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Laura L (not verified)

Tue, 11/27/2012 - 23:41

Ana, I'm a little confused about the width measurement. You list the panel trim as 58 inches and the legs as 3 inches wide each. That's 64 inches across already. But then you said to add the other 1x3x55 pieces as outer trim. Wouldn't that make the total width 66 inches instead of 64.5? That would mean the top trim would have to be 1x3x66 and the top would have to be 2x4x67. I definitely want to make this, but I only want to pay for the wood cuts once and something doesn't seem to be adding up to me?

Joe (not verified)

Sat, 12/22/2012 - 06:05

I love this plan and am going to build it for my wife for christmas. I see in the plans that the kreg jig is listed along with the pocket hole screws, but after reading through all the steps, I dont see the jig or screws even mentioned. It looks like just nails. Am I missing something? I am just wondering because after investing alot in wood I dont want to ruin the project.

Erin M. (not verified)

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 20:20

I would LOVE the plans for the king size bed please?! This is perfect for our new master bedroom!


Kevin W (not verified)

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 16:42

Where/when did you use the Kreg jig in the project? Hoping to build this weekend. Thanks

Paul F (not verified)

Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:01

I am confused... why would we purchase 1x2 and 1x3 in 8 ft. lengths if they are being cut down to 55-60"?? shouldn't we purchase 6 ft. boards?



Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:41

Hey Ana! We recently made the King version of this headboard. It was so easy to do, and I am in LOVE with the finished project! We just put the final coat on to seal it, but I am curious.....How do we attach it? We have the standard metal base that the box springs sit on, no wooden base or footboard. Am I supposed to attach it to the wall? The metal frame? Nothing?! HELP PLEASE!


Wed, 05/07/2014 - 10:58

Just bought my first house and I have been searching and searching for a headboard....I love this!!!! Need King Size bed plans please and THANKS SO MUCH!


Thu, 07/17/2014 - 18:27

Would love a cut list and instructions for full size headboard. I'm sure it's simple math, but I'm a true beginner and not ready to start designing and altering existing plans....yet.


Thu, 07/02/2015 - 09:22

Hello, I am new here and I was just wondering if there was anyway to get king size dimensions for this project?!?!?


Sun, 11/22/2015 - 14:45

What a great set of plans....plenty of room to do your own thing...I used a mixture of vinegar and steel wool to green and grey the wood...what is shown is 3 hours of the mix sitting, I used brillo pads

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Tue, 01/19/2016 - 16:40

Silly question....where are pocket screws on plans?  Where would they be used? So I use nails or screws?  Sorry...rookie


where are full and King plans?




Fri, 04/08/2016 - 18:35

Love the headboard! But have a couple of questions. Plan states front edges are flush. There appears to be some dimension on the sides that doesn't appear in the plan. Also, is the top piece really a 2x4? Appears thinner in the picture, maybe 1x or did you mill it from 2x? 


Tue, 04/12/2016 - 08:52

I really want to build this for my new bedroom addition to our cottage but we are planning to have our bed float so we can wake up looking at our pond. We are inexperienced at building furniture and need to figure out how to make the back of these pieces look as good as the front since they will be visible. We would appreciate any help anyone can give us.


Wed, 06/27/2018 - 17:54

Hey everyone, the wood I used was actually white wood and the grains are pretty faint. I used a blow torch to lightly burn the wood. This not only enhanced the grain but gave the whole headboard a very rustic and aged look!


Sun, 06/02/2019 - 22:31

Hi! Does anyone have king size plans for this headboard? I’d love them. I guess I’m not sure if the legs would be the same width or not, otherwise I could just add the length of the planks....


Tue, 06/04/2019 - 07:14

Is a jig saw needed? The twin and full size instructions list it as a tool that is needed but I don't see it in the actual instructions. Thanks!


Mon, 06/24/2019 - 00:35

I completed this build today. I suggest adding a 1x3 vertical support of 27 inches that fits inside the trim at 29 in on center. I then used 1 inch nails and glue to attach this support to the horizontal planks. It added support and keeps the planks flat on the front. I was able to make this piece using some of my cut off from this build.