Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (2023)

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Looking for a simple headboard DIY that you don’t need a team of craftspeople to build? Then learn how easy it is to turn an old reclaimed door into the perfect headboard for any size bed!

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (1)

Hey everyone, this is my first attempt at blogging, and it shows due to my lack of pictures of the process. Regardless, I hope that you find this blog helpful in putting together your own recycled door headboard.You can find the instructions here, and if you are unable to download it from the link just contact us at[emailprotected]and we can email it to you directly. Please let me know if I can answer any questions if you are thinking about building your own headboard or need some help along the way. Good luck and happy building!

We had been looking for headboards for both our guest bedroom and our own bedroom for quite a while. Beth loves catalogs like Pottery Barn and we both like antiques, but we aren’t crazy about paying the sometimes ridiculous prices. Beth found a headboard on Pinterest several months ago, and after looking at theAnna White Queen Headboard plansthat the original poster used we headed out to a local salvage yard to find some reclaimed wood. What we found was something even better (albeit a little more challenging), some old doors with great distressing and character.


Before I show you how to build a headboard from an old door, I wanted to briefly share a few tips about choosing your door and building a headboard for your specific bed frame. This is because not all doors and bed frames are the same, and they both are a crucial part when it comes to building the headboard.

Tip 1: Look at your bed frame design:

When it comes to beds, do you have a metal bed frame, platform bed frame, wooden bed frame, or something else? Considering the type of bed frame you have may sound obvious, but it’s a detail that you can easily overlook. Knowing how your bed frame is designed can help you build a headboard that works perfectly with your bed. Plus, you may need to make a few adjustments to our instructions if your bed frame has a modern design.

Tip 2: Decide what style of headboard you want to build:

Are you wanting to make a modern headboard, an elegant headboard, or a natural headboard? Knowing what headboard style you want to build can help you pick out a door. For example, if you want a modern headboard then you may want to go with a door made of dark wood, or if you want a natural headboard, then you may want a door that has a classic design.

Tip 3: Look for a ”high quality” door:

When I say ”high quality” I am not saying that your door needs to be brand new and in perfect condition. However, since the door is going to be your new wooden headboard, I do believe that you should try to find the best one possible for your bed base. When looking at doors I would consider the following:

  • What type of wood is the door made out of (like walnut wood, poplar wood, etc.)?
  • Does the door have any type of odd paint or coating on it? – In this case, I am referring to toxic finishes, harmful substances, or harsh chemicals (like lead paint). You can find tons of videos and blog posts about how to check vintage items for toxic substances or toxic chemicals. So, when in doubt, do a quick test to make sure that your door has a non-toxic finish.

Bonus Tip: Make sure you have enough space to build the headboard:

Again this tip may sound a bit obvious, but a door can be a very large item (especially if you are making a king-sized headboard). Due to that, I would recommend working in a nice spacious area vs a small space. This is because you will have to clean the door, build the frame, paint, etc. For this project, I built the frame inside my workshop and then painted it outside in our backyard.



We brought the doors home and after cutting them down to size (remember to seemy instructionsfor detailed information and measurements for each step of the project) I built the legs and cap around the door.

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (2)
Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (3)


After building the solid wood frame, the next step was painting. Since these are headboards that are pressed against a wall I only painted the front-facing side. This is a good option if you want to make this a fast furniture build. Also, it was much easier and a big time saver because I could just lay it on the ground and paint one side.

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (4)
Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (5)

For our guest room, I painted our queen headboard black because we were designing a modern bedroom. However, for our king headboard, we wanted to do something different since the room was going to have more farmhouse home decor.

Due to that, we wanted to retain some of the natural color and distressing of the door. So, I masked off the panels (to create a panel headboard) using painters tape and some of Beth’s scrapbooking cardstock. Using these inexpensive materials is a great way or creative way to give your headboard a more ”complex” look without spending tons of additional money and time.

NOTE: If you are looking for spray painting recommendations for creating non-toxic bedroom furniture, a great choice is either Krylon or Rust-Oleum.

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (6)
Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (7)


After the paint dried it was simply a matter of mounting the headboard to the bed frame. For us, I was able to attach the headboard to the bed frame by drilling holes in the legs that match up with the bed frame. Then I inserted bolts and attach the nuts. However, depending on the type of ”bed furniture brand” that you own, you may need to make a few adjustments like drilling more holes/using extra bolts.

(Video) OLD Door to Headboard? TRASH TO TREASURE

Once everything was attached, we had some beautiful new headboards for a fraction of the price we would have paid for buying one.

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (8)
Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (9)

When looking at these two headboards it is amazing how a different paint color/style can change the whole look of your bed.

Thanks for checking out my first blog post, I look forward to your comments or questions. I hope you enjoy building your own headboard! Check out a few more of our favorite furniture projects below. –Don

Headboard DIY: How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door (10)

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How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door

Learn how to turn an old reclaimed door into the perfect headboard!

Author: Beth Kingston


  • Old door
  • Lumber
  • Drill
  • Elmer's Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Finish nails
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Spray paint
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil


  • Step 1: Building The Frame

    The door is the most important aspect of this project because depending on how you cut it, determines how the panels will be spaced out in the final product.

    Before you start cutting your door, make sure you prep the door by washing and cleaning it.

    Once your door is clean you can then move on to cutting.

    For a king-sized headboard, you want a door that you can cut down to 76” and for a queen-sized headboard. you want a door that you can cut down to 60”. As for the width, that is totally up to you and your sense of design.

    From there, we built a frame to go around the door and removed any hardware from the original door. The measurements for the frame was based on the size of our door and the distance from the top of our mattress to the floor.

    (Video) Beautiful DIY HEADBOARD from an old wood door! Its EASY

  • Step 2: Paint

    After the frame has been built, you can now paint your headboard! We used a high-gloss Krylon spray paint and was able to do all of the coats in about 3 hours.

  • Step 3: Mount

    To mount the headboard to the bed, first, drill holes into the legs that match up to your bed frame. Then, insert bolts and attach nuts.


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You are here:HomeHow To Build A Headboard From An Old Door


How To Build A Headboard From An Old Door


  • Beth Kingston



cheap, DIY, frame, furniture, inexpensive, recycled, tutorial, tutorials, upcycled, vintage, wood


headboard diy

(Video) Woodworking: How to make a headboard from an old door

Last Updated:

February 8, 2023

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Can you make a headboard from a door? ›

Most doors will work very well for a headboard for a king or queen sized bed. A king bed is 76″ wide, a California king is 72″ wide and a queen is 60″ wide. Doors typically measure 80″ in height so for a king it's likely you won't even have to cut the door.

Can you attach a headboard without a frame? ›

Attach A Headboard To The Bed Frame Without Holes

If you do not have a wooden bed frame or want to attach a headboard to a bed frame without any holes, you can use bolts or screws that do not require drilling.

Can you get a headboard without a bed frame? ›

Yes, a headboard needs a frame. However, you can have a frame without a headboard if you choose. The way you attach a headboard to your frame completely depends on the headboard in question. It's important to ensure your headboard is compatible with your bed frame and vice versa.

What materials do I need to make a headboard? ›

If you want to make one from scratch you're going to need plenty of fabric for all the panels as well as for the back, some polyester batting, medium-density foam, some pine lumber, spray adhesive, wood glue, wood screws and a staple gun.

How do you make it look like you have a headboard? ›

Read on for five headboard alternatives that will elevate the look of your bedroom at a much lower cost than the real thing.
  1. Wall Murals and Decals.
  2. Wall Art.
  3. Wallpaper.
  4. Faux Windows and Curtains.
  5. Mounted Shelving.

How do you make a headboard out of plywood? ›

Step by step headboard tutorial
  1. Step 1 – Cut 2X4's to size. Measure out the width and height you need for your headboard. ...
  2. Step 2 – Drill pocket holes. ...
  3. Step 3 – Build the frame. ...
  4. Step 4 – Cut the plywood. ...
  5. Step 5 – Attach the plywood to the frame. ...
  6. Step 6 – Trim Plywood. ...
  7. Step 7 – Finish the DIY plywood headboard.
Mar 3, 2020

Will a headboard fit any frame? ›

Yes, a headboard can be attached to any bed frame provided they are size compatible. For example, a twin headboard can be attached to a twin platform bed, bunk bed, or four-poster bed, but a twin headboard cannot be attached to a full size bed frame.

How do you support a freestanding headboard? ›

Freestanding headboards can be supported by attaching them to the bed frame or by attaching them to the wall. Some headboards can stand alone without any support between the wall and the bed, but they need to have a depth to them that will allow them to stand without tipping.

Should a headboard be wider than the bed? ›

Typically, headboards are as wide as their compatible mattress sizes or around 2 to 4 inches wider. You may need 2 inches of space on either side of the bed to fit a headboard. When buying a new headboard, factor in this extra space so you can buy your other furniture accordingly and avoid overcrowding your room.

How do you attach a headboard to any frame? ›

Follow these six easy steps and you can fix it to your bed in just five minutes or even less:
  1. Attach the legs to the headboard. ...
  2. Find the holes already drilled into the bed base. ...
  3. Pierce the bed base fabric. ...
  4. Screw the bolt into the hole. ...
  5. Slide the headboard onto the bolt screws. ...
  6. Adjust the headboard to the correct height.
Jan 29, 2019

What is a floating headboard? ›

A floating headboard, also known as a hanger headboard, is a headboard that is mounted on the wall at the head of your mattress instead of being attached to your bed frame. They add no stability to the bed itself, but create a beautiful accent with little to no hassle.

What is a freestanding headboard? ›

What Are Floor Standing Headboards? A standing headboard is a separate headboard unit that stands directly on the floor. They are independent of the bed but this doesn't mean they wobble. They attach to a divan base using the same fixtures that strutted headboards use.

What do you call a bed with no headboard? ›

Think of a platform bed as both a bed base and bed frame, whereas a box spring is just a bed base. This extra sturdy bed frame embodies a less-is-more mentality for your sleep. Simple and sleek, most types of platform beds come without a headboard or footboard—perfect for tiny city apartments or minimalism devotees.

What is the difference between a headboard and a bed frame? ›

Support: The headboard supports your neck and back and can also be used to attach a headboard cover or fabric. A full bed frame is a metal frame that supports the entire weight of the bed. It includes rails that the mattress rests on and usually has space underneath the bed.

Can you use plywood for a headboard? ›

We recommend you use CDX or ACX plywood. Regardless of which you choose, make sure it's a flat piece. Your local Dunn Lumber yard will let you hand-pick your plywood. We made a king headboard, so we had ours cut to 78" x 35." You can customize this headboard to your heart's desire.

What is the best fabric for a DIY headboard? ›

best upholstery for headboards

Natural fabrics: The most common natural fabrics that are used for an upholstered headboard include materials such as cotton and linen. Both linen and cotton have a tight weave that can last for years and are easily available in a variety of colours and patterns.

What board to use for headboard? ›

For a sturdier headboard, use plywood, an old door, aligned sideways, or even an existing wood headboard that is in less-than-perfect shape.

What is the best material to use for a headboard? ›

Fabric. Fabric is the best material for several reasons. Fabric upholstery is soft and comfortable, making it the perfect choice for a place where you will rest your head. Fabric headboards also have a warm, welcoming appearance that makes a bedroom feel like a cosy retreat.

Is it OK to not have a headboard? ›

A headboard is an optional part of your bed, so it's completely fine to go without. Most people today consider headboards a decorative piece of furniture, even though there are other uses for them.

How thick should plywood be for a headboard? ›

In order to make a headboard, the most practical option is to use a sheet of plywood or MDF. It is recommended that the thickness of the MDF or plywood sheet is at least 12.5mm (half an inch). Either material is sturdy enough for the job, but not too thick to make cutting or shaping too troublesome.

Is plywood strong enough for bed frame? ›

Depending on your choice, you could either opt for MR grade plywood or BWP plywood. Both work exceptionally well for plywood bed frames. All our plywood varieties are extremely strong, durable and resilient even in the face of changing weather or temperature conditions.

How high should a headboard be? ›

How High Should A Headboard Be Above The Mattress? The height of the headboard above the mattress is a case of personal preference in most cases, but standard heights tend to vary from around 14” above the top of the mattress to 29” or more. The wider the bed, the higher the headboard typically is.

How do you attach a floor standing headboard? ›

New beds normally have stickers that indicate the location of the fixing points. Once found, screw correctly-sized bolts through the slots at the bottom of the headboard and into the bed. Tighten the bolts, and your floor standing headboard is now securely attached and stable.

How much does it cost to DIY a headboard? ›

For less than $100, you can make a headboard out of basics from your local home center. On a piece of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), draw a design that's as wide as the mattress and about 40 inches tall; cut it out. Use wood glue to cover the MDF with a piece of beaded board cut into the same shape.

Can Command Strips hold headboard? ›

The command strips can hold up to 16lbs each and the boards weight about 5lbs. Honestly, I think that 3 command hanging strips would be totally sufficient to hold the board up. But, I wanted to make sure it was being held level, so I added 4 of the command hanging strips to the back of each side.

What do you put behind a DIY headboard to stop hitting a wall? ›

Grab two or more rubber bumpers like these ones, also known as door stoppers, peel their self-adhesive back, and stick them either on the wall surface where the headboard hits the wall, or on each corner of the headboard. The product protects the wall from scratches and helps minimize rattling noises.

Do you sleep better with a headboard? ›

Stabilizes the Bed

It doesn't make for a very restful night of sleep. By adding a headboard to the frame, you stabilize the bed. You will minimize the amount of movement, ensuring that you have a steady base all night long. A headboard and rails will provide even more stability for an even better night's sleep.

Does a headboard make a room look smaller? ›

Make the room look bigger

But because the headboard is typically against a wall, it doesn't add bulk to the look. Instead, it can create the illusion that the walls stretch further away from the bed, especially if the floors around the bed are kept cleared of clutter.

Should headboard be higher than lamp? ›

The bedside lamp should be 28″-30″ tall.

Your lamps should look large enough to handle the bed and nightstands. It should be substantial. If you have a tall headboard, aim for the top of the lamp to cascade down slightly from the headboard.

Can you put a bed facing a door? ›

Positioning your bed in line with the door is the worst possible position, according to the principles of Feng shui. People who practice Feng shui call it the 'dead man's position' or the 'coffin position' because the feet or head face the door and resemble how we carry the dead through open doors from the house.

Can you put your bed on the same wall as your door? ›

Many of us know that the bed should be placed in the “command position”. Meaning, the door should be visible in your line of sight when you're lying on your bed. If that's not possible, you should avoid placing the head of your bed against the same wall as the door.

How do you make a barn door into a headboard? ›

  1. Step 1: Find an Aesthetically Pleasing Barn Door. ...
  2. Step 2: Consider the Height and Trim of the Barn Door. ...
  3. Step 3: Use a Circular Saw to Cut the Barn Door. ...
  4. Step 4: Make Repairs and Apply Patchwork. ...
  5. Step 5: Strip, Sand, and Seal the Barn Door. ...
  6. Step 6: Apply Crown Molding to Your Barn Door Headboard.
Jun 25, 2018

Can you add a headboard to any bed? ›

Can a headboard be attached to any bed frame? Yes, a headboard can be attached to any bed frame provided they are size compatible. For example, a twin headboard can be attached to a twin platform bed, bunk bed, or four-poster bed, but a twin headboard cannot be attached to a full size bed frame.

In which direction we should not sleep? ›

The recommended sleeping direction per vastu shastra is that you lie down with your head pointed southward. A north-to-south body position is considered the worst direction.

Why should you sleep with your feet towards the door? ›

Some people have a superstition that sleeping with your feet facing the door is bad for your health because dead bodies are taken out of a room feet first. Some people also have a superstitious fear of being dragged out feet first by ghosts and spirits.

What side of the bed should a woman sleep on? ›

Try to place the bed with some space on both sides. The husband should be on the right side of the bed, and the wife should be on the left. If you get up multiple times every night, then you should improve your sleeping environment.


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