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D.I.Y. Project: Hardwood Headboard!

DIY bamboo headboard in window

I have needed a headboard for a looooong time–too long, in fact. What finally bumped this up on my priority list, was when I moved my bed away from a main wall and centered it up against my bedroom windows. It’s the perfect placement in the room, because it creates a more refined flow that allows the furniture to breathe. However, try sitting up in bed with about six inches of space from the mattress to the window. I bought a bunch of pillows for propping myself up while reading, but they ended up all over the floor when it was time to sleep. Needless to say, I was over it. After much brainstorming, I came up with a simple solution that looks awesome and didn’t take long to produce. Mind you, this is something that can be installed just as easily on a wall as well.

The idea dawned on me while I was running an errand at Home Depot. I was walking past their flooring section when it hit me: what better way to make a headboard than with materials that come completely “finished” (no painting etc.) and are as easy as Legos to put together. The other perks: I still have access to the windows, it created a little more privacy for my room, I can easily draw the curtains closed and not feel like I was going to pull them down on me one day from leaning back, and it is removable. Anyway, I knew in my head this was gonna be a snap…and literally it was!

Generally, I would give you a step by step guide to do this project but it really is as easy as snapping Lego’s together or taking them apart. This less structured guide will have some demonstrative pictures at the end and really just a few tips to help make it even easier.

Materials List (What you will need to complete this project):

  • Any flooring that comes as tongue and groove assembly
  • Measuring tape
  • pencil
  • hammer
  • nails
  • saw
  • fine sandpaper
  • level

Just a note on the saw: if you have your measurements with you and are not offsetting the pattern then you can have Home Depot cut the flooring or do it yourself there at one of their sawing stations.

I was torn between the cork or bamboo, because they are both renewable, sustainable, and green building supplies that look really good too. In the end, I settled on the bamboo because it was in stock and ready to go, whereas the cork is a special order product. Being environmentally minded, I chose the very green Home Legend’s Bamboo Hardwood flooring that’s GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality certified since my face would be so close to it every night. GREENGUARD certification means it has been tested for more than 10,000 volatile organic compounds or VOCs to meet these standards. All you need to know about VOCs is that it could potentially equal cancer or these other acute and chronic health problems. This product passes my doom and gloom test and it also passes my ease of installation test with its tongue and groove profile that easily snaps together.

Two of these put together lengthwise is actually wide enough to even accommodate a King size bed, what could be easier! Alright, let’s get to it…

The first thing you want to do is measure the width of the space and find your center and end points. For me, I went simple and just centered the flooring to the center of the windows, which was not equal on both sides so be weary if you’re attempting the same project. To get my measurements, I measured the width of the middle beam, divided by two and this gave me the center of the beam. I then measured from this center point to the end point for each side of the two windows.

Finding the center point for the headboard in the window

Finding the center point for the headboard in the window

I used the window sill as the base that the flooring would sit upon, but you could just as easily build this onto the wall from the base molding. If you are building this into the wall, I would frame it out with 1″ x 4″ furring strips that you fasten onto the wall using drywall screws. Furring strips act as studs and will give you a good surface to nail the floorboards to without cracking your walls. You will box it out to be either the same width and height as your headboard or slightly recessed (personal choice on the look) and place it exactly in the space you planned your headboard to be. Drill 3 or 4 pilot holes for your drywall screws that are slightly narrower than your screws making sure they are evenly spaced, and then simply screw to the wall with drywall screws. Make sure all pieces are level either vertically or horizontally using your level. If you are doing this on the window sill than the level is unnecessary since the window sill will act as your leveling guide. Here is a rough idea of what your boxed out furring strips should look like on your wall:

Example of furring strips on wall

Back to the flooring. Although I centered the pieces, you can stagger these any way you like. Just make sure you measure correctly and number the pieces, so you don’t mix boards up after spending time laying it out. These pieces snap in and out so easily that I would highly recommend the staggers to lay out your pattern on the floor. Whether staggering or not, translate your measurements by marking all your cut lines and mark the back as you disassemble the layout. Start with the floorboard that will be the bottom and mark the back with 1R for first row right and 1L for first row left, etc. This will alleviate all headaches later after you’ve made your cuts and go to reassemble the headboard. After I cut the boards I used fine sandpaper to remove any splintering that resulted from the cutting. This didn’t have to be perfect because the curtains would hide it, just smooth out the splinters.

Pencil Marked Right Floorboard

Individual floorboard markings.

Creating your pattern, measuring, and cutting are the hardest parts–assembly is cake! I started by almost completely assembling one side first but you could do one full row at a time too, it just doesn’t matter. Since I have curtains I didn’t even worry about what the edges would look like or the nail holes because it just covers that right up. If you need to worry about it then I would suggest sinking the nails in a little deeper and filling the hole with the correct color wood filler/putty. The edges can be covered with a thin strip of wood, rope cording, or anything your little heart desires. Get creative!

Headboard Assembly using Floorboards

Assembling the tongue and groove pieces together is as easy as you see in the picture!

This next picture is a great reminder to not cut the wrong side of each board. Make sure each row has a tongue and groove before cutting to width. Outside edges should be cut, not the center points. I almost did that once or twice but then again you should have plenty of extra boards left from the box they came in.

Connecting floorboard row together

Connecting the rows together to get your length is just as easy as snapping the floorboards together to get your vertical height.

Half way done with the assembly

Here I am halfway done with the assembly. It took less than 5 minutes to get this far in assembly.

Finished window headboard made of bamboo

Here is the finished window headboard made of bamboo!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful! But what about the sintonia with the flooring aspect?

    July 16, 2012
    • csadler77 #

      thanks! the sintonia is beautiful!

      July 22, 2012

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