Thursday, January 31, 2013

Make Something: Wooden Headboard

Well hello there.  I know I've been mia for a while...again.  This time I'd like to blame it on the fact that I'm having photo problems.  According to Blogger my album is full, but I cannot figure out where to delete said photos and my Photobucket account is also full.  So I'm currently stuck between a rock and hard place about how to upload pictures, because let's be honest, no one wants to read a blog, and especially a blog about food and crafts without pictures.  I've also had a really busy Christmas break and start to the spring semester (threw another party, details to follow).  But it's my last semester, my schedule is fantastic (I only have class 2 days a week!), so I really can't complain.

Moving along.

So sometimes I'm a little tempestuous.  A while ago (think over a year), I decided I hated my headboard and the very next day we sold it on Craiglist and it was gone.  Unfortunately I really hadn't thought much about what we'd do for a new headboard.  And so my bed sat, for well over a year looking like a bed from a college dorm room.  Then one day, again being tempestuous, I decided to make a headboard.  starting that day.  I'd seen several of these on Pinterest and figured it wouldn't be too hard to make at home.  Most of the Pinterest ones screw the boards directly into the wall, but I didn't think my landlord would appreciate that, and I really didn't want to chance a board falling on my face in the middle of the night.  With that in mind, I decided to attach mine to 2x4's and then bolt it to a metal bed frame.  Completely sturdy and pretty dang cute.

  • 5 pine boards (mine were originally 6"x8')
  • wood screws (I used 2 1/2", but should have used 2")
  • Wood stain (I used Minwax, Dark Walnut 2716)
  • 3 - 2'x4s
  • Drill with a drill bit to fit the screws, a 5/32 wood drill bit, and a 5/8" spade bit (for drilling holes in the 2x4s to attach to the bed frame).  Sounds confusing, but it's not.  All it really takes is a bunch of googling.
  • Nuts and bolts, I think fairly certain my bolts are 1/4", but don't quote me.
  • First you'll need to cut your board down to the desired length.  A queen bed is right about 60 inches wide,  so I cut my boards to 60 inches using my fancy new miter saw.  Side Bar: I am in love with that thing.  If you down have a saw or fear you could lose a limb using one, the people at most home improvement stores will usually cut them down for you.  That said, I don't trust them. The last 3 times I've had wood cut they've been slightly off.  I don't know if it's just the people where I shop or what, but make sure they measure and cut properly or the boards might be uneven.
  • After cutting the boards, I applied 3 coats of stain.  When applying stain, apply with the grain and then wipe off the excess after a couple minutes.  If you don't wipe of the excess it will severely slow the drying time and will leave your boards feeling tacky.  Less is more when applying stain.  Be patient with this part.  I waited around 24 hours between each coat.  You may have to wait longer if you're in a cold or humid climate, because that will delay the drying process.

  • After staining I cut the 2x4s down to size.  I cut two legs at around 46 inches long.  This was tall enough to cover all 5 boards, but and still be a couple inches from the top, based on where I wanted the overall height of the headboard. I determined that using a very exact science of placing painter's tape on my wall until I was happy with the height.  Pretty much full proof.  Then cut 2 smaller braces pieces to attach to the back, the just need to be slightly shorter than 30 inches.  I used 2, but I honest think just one in the middle would be fine.
  • Time to attach.  To be honest, this part sucked, but only because I have the world's worst drill and I spent all day waiting for it to get charged so I could drill the pilot holes.  And what's a pilot hole you ask?  A pilot hole is a hole you pre-drill that is slightly more narrow than the width of your screws.  Pilot holes make screwing the actual screw in much easier.  Ask me how I know that.  When choosing a pilot hole size, simply google pilot hole size chart.  You'll find plenty websites that tell you what size pilot hole to use for what size screw.
When drilling the pilot holes, I only drilled through the 2x4, because I'm lazy and didn't want to worry about needing to line up holes in both pieces of wood, and I knew that it wouldn't be difficult for the screw to go through the 1/2 inch of pine.  To make sure I only drilled through the 2x4s, I put a piece of guide tape on my drill bit.

One thing, when attaching the legs make sure both legs are evenly spaced from the top and spaced the correct distance from the outside to be attached to your bed frame.  Otherwise your legs will be uneven and you headboard will be wonky or you won't be able to attach the bolts to the bed frame.  And really that's the only thing that you really have to get completely correct.  I used painter's tape to make sure everything lined up correctly.

  • After everything was securely attached I carried the now assembled headboard into my room and set it up against the metal bed frame and marked where the metal bracket holes lined up on my headboard legs.  Then using a 5/8 spade bit, I drilled holes through the legs.

And I don't recommend drilling holes on carpet, but it was raining outside and we really didn't have a choice.
  • You sandwich the washer, bolt, and nuts between the wooden legs and the metal bed frame to attach everything securely.  We used a socket to make sure the bolts were very securely fastened.  
And BOOM! You've made a headboard!

I promise you'll be seeing more of me around.  :)