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.
Step 1 - Measure
Measure the bottom of the mantle from inside edge to inside edge. This will be the width of the inside panel.
Step 2 - Cut the Wood
Cut the front panel from the 3/4" finished plywood with the jigsaw to the length measured in Step 1.
Step 3 - Cut the Sides
Cut the side panels from the 1 X 3 boards to the height you wish the headboard to be.
Step 4 - Cut Final Piece
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.
Step 5 - Glue
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.
Step 6 - Piece Together
Place the mantle 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.
Step 7 - Attach Nail Cleat
Attach the nailing cleat. Use wood glue and 8d sinker nails, spacing nails appropriately.
Step 8 - Position Panel
Position the front panel insert and side panels on the mantel, ensuring they align with the nailing cleat.
Step 9 - Attach Base
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.
Step 10 - Attach The Molding
Measuring carefully, miter the picture molding that will be attached to the front, and attach to the insert on the top and sides. Countersink the nails, fill with wood putty, and
Step 11 - Finish 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.