How To Make A Headboard Tutorial

Yesterday we picked up this vintage 5 panel solid door and thought it would make the perfect headboard.  I loved the way it looked just as it was, but I’m in the process of turning our master bedroom into whites and creams so I needed to add some white into the mix.  I also wanted to add crown molding to the top.  This is where I had to recruit the help of my loving husband.  I took pictures all along the way to show you exactly how we made this transformation. 

Here’s what the original door looked like.  Isn’t it a beauty?
The first thing we did was remove the hardware and thoroughly clean the entire door.  Then my husband cut off a few inches from the bottom to make the top and the bottom match.  I wanted the panels centered over the bed.
We made a quick trip to Home Depot and spent just under $20.00 for supplies.  We purchased a 1.5″ x 3.5″ pine board to place across the top of the headboard.
Then, while I held it in place (flush with the back of the door), Dave secured it with a staple gun.  We had approx. a 2″ overhang on each side.
We also bought a decorative strip of molding to place under the crown. 
 Dave cut the each end at a 45 degree angle.
 Then he had to cut one side of the small end piece at a 45 degree angle to match up to the front.  He made it look so easy.  This is a talent I just don’t have but wish I did! 
 And here’s what it looked like after it was been stapled into place.
Front view…
Next, he filled in all the staple indentations and while it was drying we continued on.
 We laid down two 2×3 posts and measured 32″ from the bottom.  This is how high I wanted the headboard to be off the floor.  We measured how far apart each post needed to be so we could attach them to our metal bed frame.  Ours is 59″ apart to the center of each post.  We then marked where we would bolt the headboard to the posts.
 We placed the door back up on our work table and Dave proceeded to pre-drill the holes for the bolts.
 We could have left it just like this but I asked him to countersink each bolt so they wouldn’t be visible.  
3 1/2″ x 5 1/16 bolts were used.
 Out comes the hole boring bit…
 Getting the circle started…
 It’s now deep enough for the bolt to disappear.
 A better view.
 It’s starting to look like a headboard now!
 Here’s what the back looks like and we didn’t want the bolt sticking out and hitting our wall.  Here’s one option for sawing off the end or…
you can use this one!  Dave opted for the power tool.
 Then he used a metal sander to smooth off the sharp edges.
 I’m loving it so far, how about you?
 Here we used some wood filler to hide the bolts.
 I wanted the new pieces to match the rugged door so I added a stain to the crown molding and to the posts.
Next, I had some mustard colored paint in my stash that matched the door perfectly so I added that on top of the stain.
 One more layer needed.
I covered the entire door in vintage white.
 And, here comes my hubby again.  He loves this job (I do too but I let him do it).  He sanded away.  I told him “the more chippy the better”.
Even though our pillows will cover up this little detail, I still wanted them put back on.  I LOVE this old hardware.  We didn’t put the knob back on however, that might hurt in the middle of the night!  Haha!
I brushed on a layer of clear wax to seal and buffed off any excess.
 And here’s the final product!
 Still trying to decide what kind of table lamps I want or maybe I’ll get some that attach to the wall.
 This is my side of the bed.  Of-coarse I have my side table finished.  Sorry honey…I still need to paint his.
 Side tip…after securing the headboard to our bed frame there was too much flexibility so we added a board behind the posts and below the headboard then screwed it into the wall stud.  It’s not going anywhere now!!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away!

I’m going to sleep good tonight!!!

Sharing with:  Creatively Tuesday, Well Crafted Wednesdays, Wildly Original Link Party, That DIY Party,

Classy Clutter

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  1. JUDY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is beyond fabulous.. I would rather have this then some store bought headboard any day of the week. YOU are so talented and your helper there. I JUST fell in love with this saving pics with your blog name on them … THIS RUSTY pearl needs to do this soon … Thank you for sharing this .. Hands down my fave for the day … HUGS sister and THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I LOVE this! Thank you so much for the tutorial too. Very helpful. Hugs to you, Patti@OldThingsNew

  3. You and the hubz make an awesome team. The headboard is stunning. Thanks for a great tutorial! I hope you had a good night’s sleep.


    • Thank you Sumaya! We did sleep very sound!!! lol My husband only hit the headboard once with his hand. We just laughed! We’ve gone so long now without one that we are going to have to get use to it! HUGS!!!

  4. Ohhhh, I want that headboard, gonna save your excellent tutorial for when I can print it out. Maybe have to ck. out Habitat for a door. It’s really far from our house. Love panels on the door and the chippy look to finish. I need to get some wax like you talented bloggers use. Really love how you added moulding on top of headboard.
    Isn’t it nice to have a talented mechanical hubs with the right tools to make things for us? I sure appreciate having a hubs making me things on a whim most of the time. We don’t live close to town tho so there’s no such thing as a quick trip to HD or Lowes for us. We don’t have a garage or basement either so any building of anything will have to wait for Spring, too much snow and it’s cold outside for making stuff.

    • Thank you so much…and yes, we are very blessed to have such wonderful husbands!!! I totally relate to your problem concerning storage. We just have a two car garage and it gets difficult to store all my furniture projects, much less have room for additional building projects. Living in sunny Arizona does help! 🙂 Blessings ~ Judy

  5. saying I love and totally ENVY this piece is a huge understatement.. amazing. stopping from the rustic pig. PINNING this and following you 🙂

  6. Turned out fabulous! I’m always impressed by how old doors make such wonderful headboards. Yours is no exception. It’s wonderful looking.

  7. Judy, this is gorgeous! I have a similar headboard in our guest room – but didn’t make it ourselves like you. We also attached it directly to the wall so stop any unnecessary banging.

    • Thanks Heather! This is just one of many ideas I had for a headboard. I originally went looking for a barn door but when I saw this door, I knew I had to have it! 🙂 I’ve been wanting to make a fabric covered headboard as well and I just got commissioned yesterday to make one for a client…I’ll be posting all the pics for that one too when it’s finished. Fun stuff!!!

  8. Great job! You did this all in one day? That seems like a lot of work for one day but the result is fabulous!

  9. Absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful tutorial showing how you refinished it to make your lovely headboard! I’ll be pinning!

  10. wow!!!! it looks beautiful!!!!! I’m following you! love your blog, thanks for stoping by mine!
    Have a nice day!
    Lorena from My Shabby Chic Home

  11. LOVE IT!!!! It looks awesome! I’m a new follower!

    I’d love if you’d link this up to my link party going on now! We just started partyin’ and we’d love to have you! I feature my favorites each week!

    XOXO, Mallory @ Classy Clutter

  12. Thanks so much Mallory! I would love to come join your party. Just got home from an auction so I’ll be right over!!! So glad you are now following along. Love making new friends. HUGS!!!

  13. Gorgeous! Love the finish! Love everything about it actually 🙂

  14. Great tutorial and GORGEOUS headboard! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration! 🙂

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