How to Make a Shelf Headboard How to Make a Shelf Headboard

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Plywood
Wood trim
Trim nails
Hammer
150 grit sandpaper
Tack cloth
Paint
Small paint rollers
Miter box
Hacksaw
Shelf
2 Shelf brackets (3 for a king-sized bed)
Screws for the shelf and brackets
Construction adhesive
Drill with drill bit
Stud finder
Long screws

A shelf headboard can be an attractive and useful addition to a bedroom. Framed pictures, candles books or artwork can be placed on the shelved and rearranged to change the look of the room. The shelf should be low enough to be useful but high enough to ensure that you can’t hit you head on it. It should also be fairly narrow for the same reason.

Step 1 – Measure 

A headboard is usually the width of the bed or a few inches wider on each side. A twin size bed is 39 inches wide. Full size beds are 53 inches wide, queen size beds are 60 inches wide, and a king size bed is 76 inches wide. You will make a solid headboard that is 4 feet high. A 4 by 8 sheet of plywood can be cut the length that you decide to make the headboard with one cut at the store. Multiply the height of the headboard times 2 and then add the length of the headboard to arrive at the amount of trim that you will need; one piece for the top and one for each side. 

Step 2 – Paint the Back

Turn the headboard over and paint the back side and the edges of the headboard with a pain roller. When it is dry then sand it lightly. Take off the sanding debris with a tack cloth and sand it again. Let it dry thoroughly.

Step 3 – Paint the Front

Turn the headboard over and apply one coat of paint with a paint roller. Let it dry and then sand it lightly. Remove the sanding dust with tack cloth. Apply another coat of paint with a roller and let it dry thoroughly.

Step 4 – Paint the Trim and Shelf

Apply a coat of paint to the trim for the headboard and the shelf. If the brackets are wood then paint them as well. Let all painted items dry well.

Step 5 – Install the Trim

Now cut the trim to fit the top and side edges of the headboard. If you have a miter box and hacksaw then cut them at an angle for a professional finish at the corner. You can also do straight cuts and just butt them up at the corners. Now put some glue on the back of the trim and place it on the headboard. Tap in some small trim nail. Paint over the nail heads and any part of the trim that needs a touch up.

Step 6 – Install the Shelf

Now measure where you want the shelf to go and market the placement for the brackets. Drill pilot holes, then screw in the brackets. Screw the shelf to the brackets.

Step 7 – Hang the Headboard

Locate the wall studs with a stud finder. Mark the location of the studs. Now put the headboard against the wall and decide how high you want the shelf to be. Consider the height of the mattress as well since you want the bottom of the headboard to be hidden by the mattress. Mark the location where you want the headboard to go. Screw the headboard into the studs through the headboard. You can paint over the screws or disguise them in some creative way such as painting flowers around them and making the screw head the center of the flower.

For a low cost and an afternoon of work you have created a personalized, useful headboard for your bedroom. Decorate the top any way that you like but be mindful of objects that could fall on your head.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!