Headboard Fit For A King

Finding the right headboard for a king size bed can be difficult. Generally, a king size bed would be in a master bedroom. Because these rooms are the largest in the house, you need to send the message that "here sleeps the king." An ideal headboard for a master bedroom is a fireplace mantel, and the insert can be designed to match any décor. Tapestry would be an ideal material for the insert, or even consider leather. This article focuses on building a headboard from a fireplace mantel -- where to find one, materials needed, proper tools and installation.

The Fireplace Headboard

Not everyone has the good luck of finding an antique fireplace mantel in their attic. Many of the antique fireplace inserts had sides that enclosed the entire fireplace. Today, a mantel can be found in large home improvement stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot. They can be purchased in traditional wood finishes, or may be
made from newer lightweight materials. Because a fireplace mantel is quite heavy, it is important that you have it well supported. Let's look at the tools needed to install a fireplace mantel.

Tools Needed For Installation

  • Tape measure
  • Miter box and miter saw
  • Jig saw
  • Hammer
  • Marker
  • 8d sinker nails
  • 8d finishing nails
  • 4d finishing nails
  • Wood putty
  • Medium grit sand paper

Materials Needed For Installation (for a king size bed)

  • 1 -- 76" fireplace mantel. (cut down for smaller beds)
  • A sheet of 3/4" finished plywood in wood of your choice.
  • 1 6' 1 X 3 pine board
  • 1 8' 2 X 2 furring strip
  • 2 8' lengths picture molding

Laying Out the Headboard

1. Measure the bottom of the mantel from inside
edge to inside edge. This will be
the width of the inside panel.

2. Cut the front panel from the 3/4" finished plywood with the jigsaw to the length measured in step 1.

3. Cut the side panels from the 1 X 3 boards to the height you wish
the headboard to be.

4. Cut a nailing cleat from the 2 X 2 board to the width of the two side panels. This board will
be placed on the underside of the mantle; the front
panel will be glued and nailed to it.

5. Glue the side panels to the front panel, and secure
them with wood glue and 8d finishing nails. Set this
aside to dry, giving ample time for the glue to cure.

6. Place the
mantel upside down on a clean, flat work surface.
Lay the finished front panel and side panels on the
mantel under the lip, and carefully mark the back side
for positioning the nailing cleat.

7. Attach the nailing cleat. Use wood glue and 8d sinker nails, spacing nails appropriately.

8. Position the front panel insert
and side panels on the mantel, ensuring that they align
with the nailing cleat.

9. Attach the base to the nailing cleat, using 8d
finishing nails.

You now have the basic headboard finished. Next, we attach the picture molding for a finished look.

Attach The Molding

1. Measuring carefully, miter the picture molding
that will be attached to the front, and attach to
the insert on the top and sides. See illustration 1.

2. Countersink the nails, fill with wood putty, and
sand smooth.

Finishing The Headboard

Now is the time to put the finishing touches on your new headboard. Finish with any color of stain that matches

your décor. Allow to dry completely.

When completely dry, attach the headboard to the wall, using the fireplace manufacturer's instructions for

mounting. You may need to notch the bottoms of the side panel to fit over your baseboards. Now that the headboard

is finished, you have the satisfaction of a job well done, and a project you have completed yourself.

For more headboard ideas, visit our bedding and headboards collection.


Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He writes on a variety of

subjects, and excels in research.