I have a pair of headboards on my Pinterest page that I made for Mikey and Pierce. Having posted pictures of them before, some of you will feel a sense of déjà vu. They were so easy and cheap, and I find a lot people repin them, so I thought I would tell my secret. Or, if you are too chicken to try them yourself you can contact me about making them for you.
I had the idea that I wanted headboards with their names on them, but I didn’t want to just do upholstered ones; firstly because I don’t sew and I am sure I would want to overcomplicate them, and secondly because the whole world is doing that right now.
So, I had the idea of a driftwood-y, Cape Cod sort of style. This way I could make their room go a bit nautical or coastal. Heading off to Home Depot, I had my list:
(3) 16’ 2×6’s cut by the guys at home depot to (12) 42” wide boards. I looked for really beat up boards, with knots and bark still on them, but I made sure they were fairly straight ones.
(2) 8’ 2×4”s cut also by H.D. to (4) 42” boards so I would have something to mount the face boards to.
(1) Box of Headlock Wood Screws . I found some that are about 3”long with a large flat head on them that I thought would look cool and hold everything together.
(1) Can of hammered metallic bronze spray paint
(2) Small gooseneck lights with hammered shades in an coppery/bronzy finish (I tried the larger size but they looked ridiculous), plus the electrical wiring and conversion kit to put a rolling switch on the lights. Technically they were intended to be hardwired but I wanted the boys to be able to turn them off and on while they were in bed. I told one of the people in electrical what I was trying to do and he armed me with all the necessary parts and information for converting the light. I will say it wasn’t unfamiliar territory, as I have done some minor electrical before.
I had left over paint and primer in my garage that I used to finish the headboards, so here is where you would need to choose your color combination.
Back at home armed with a drill, drop cloth, and a screw driver, I set to work laying them out on my back patio. After marking where I wanted the screws in each board—I wanted them in about 8 to 10” in from each side. It made them an integral part of the design but left plenty of room for their names. It also mounted them to the 2×4”s at structurally sound spacing. This is where I would say that it wouldn’t be bad to use some of the scrap lumber to put two braces across between them to keep the headboards from losing their plumb angles before installation. I didn’t and they were straight when I installed them, but they also went up to a corner wall.
Drill the holes in all of the boards and start screwing them in place. Once you have them put together, stand them up against something stable and get the light out to see how it assembles. You will need to decide where you want to mount it on the headboard, just pick a place that isn’t in front of one of the framing boards on the back side. A hole saw or a super large drill bit is needed to make the hole for the electrical to run through to the back. From there you can follow the installation instructions for the back plate, wiring and mounting of the fixture. Get your holes ready, but don’t install the light until you’ve finished painting.
I use a taupe tinted Stix Bonding Primer I had left over from my kitchen cabinets and a muddy brown acrylic glaze I also had lying around. Truth be known, I made these a year ago, so it’s possible I mixed up some other concoction as an additional glaze and used it, too…I forget. Also, the glazes left just enough sheen on them that I didn’t urethane them–mostly because I wanted them to look beat-up with a flatter finish. Besides they don’t take much abuse.
Then the metallic bronze spray paint—I used an artist brush that I could afford to throw out. Spray some of the paint into the lid, and use the brush to dab it on all of the screw heads so that they looked aged. Work fast because spray paint dries quickly.
Lastly, I looked everywhere for metal letters in a font that I liked. Oh they’re out there—if you have a dollar more than God! So I finally ordered wood ones. I spray painted them to look like metal and then use little pin nails to mount them to the headboards where I wanted them. Lastly I painted the nails with the artist brush and the same spray paint.
I have learned that there are better ways to mount headboards to the wall since I made these, but I used the framing on the back as legs that come down behind the bed. Depending on what is in the wall, there are different mounting options. I used giant toggle bolts just below where the headboard starts—the kind that hold up closet shelving. They aren’t going anywhere, however, the wall will need some patching if we ever move! Each one weighed easily 50lbs, so don’t even think of mounting them to a flimsy metal bed frame. Let me know your thoughts! I would make them for $350 each plus shipping.