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Reinvent a Room: Budget Decorating Projects

How to Make a Simple Cottage-Style Headboard (page 1 of 2)

Learn how to make this classic-style headboard. Its uncomplicated design makes it a perfect project for a beginner DIYer.

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We modeled this headboard from one we saw in a popular home-decor catalog. It is very simple to build — standard-size lumber is fastened to a large piece of plywood, then the whole piece is painted white.

Materials and Cut Lists

Here's what you'll need:
- 1x2 primed MDF boards (try to buy pre-primed)
- 1x4 primed MDF boards
- 1 sheet of 3/4" 4' x 8' MDF
- bolts, nuts and washers to attach the headboard to the bed frame (about 2 inches long)
- sanding blocks (medium and fine grain)
- construction adhesive (we used Liquid Nail)
- wood filler

For a king-size bed: (illustrated below)
(5) 1x2s at 45 1/2" (interior vertical boards)
(6) 1x2s at 10 15/16" (horizontal interior boards)
(2) 1x4s at 49" (sides)
(1) 1x4 at 73" (top)
(1) sheet (49" x 97") of MDF particleboard, cut at 80" (backing)

For a queen-size bed:
(5) 1x2 at 45 1/2"
(6) 1x2 at 7 9/16"
(2) 1x4 at 49"
(1) 1x4 at 53"
(1) sheet (49" x 97") of MDF particleboard, cut at 60"

For a twin-size bed:
(4) 1x2 at 45 1/2"
(5) 1x2 at 5 13/16"
(2) 1x4 at 49"
(1) 1x4 at 35"
(1) sheet (49" x 97") of MDF particleboard, cut at 42"

Cut and Dry Fit

Cut all the pieces to size. (We are using king-size measurements for our project.) Lay out all the pieces to make sure they all fit together correctly.

Attach the Outer Pieces

Apply adhesive on the back of one of the side pieces (49" 1x4) and adhere to left side of the MDF plywood. Repeat for the right side of the headboard.

Apply adhesive on the 73" 1x4 and adhere to the top of the MDF plywood; place it in between the side boards.

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