How to Make a Customized Headboard

Pattern it after a favorite piece of furniture and follow these step-by-step instructions.


Make a headboard to match your décor with this project. The headboard pictured is patterned after a dresser and a pie safe in the same room. Thanks to careful attention to detail, the headboard fits in perfectly. Here's how to build your own:

Materials and Tools:

4-by-8-foot sheet of MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
1-by-8-inch poplar lumber
wood glue
brad nailer
drywall screws
miter saw
220-grit sandpaper


1. Determine the height of the headboard by propping pillows against the wall (the featured headboard extends 28 inches above the pillows). Draw the desired shape for the main body of the headboard on the MDF and cut it out with a jigsaw.

2. The first piece to add is a curved topper cut out of poplar. Attach it to the MDF with wood glue and a brad nailer, making sure the nails are short enough to avoid going through the back of the MDF.

3. For the finish trim on top, use a ½-by-3-inch piece of poplar cut to length with a little overhang. Run a bead of glue on top of the MDF, and then attach the board, starting at one end, with drywall screws down from the top through pre-drilled pilot holes. Work your way slowly along the curve of the MDF, which should be slight enough to bend the board into position. If necessary, use a pair of clamps to help bend the piece into position.

4. Cut all the detail trim pieces for the sides and the facing of the board, and then attach each with wood glue and a brad nailer. Fill the nail and screw holes with spackle, and sand smooth once dry.

5. Prime and paint the piece as desired.

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