How To Build A DIY Simple Queen Headboard

This article will show you how to build your own DIY queen headboard in just a few hours with materials that are easy to find.

Last month, I showed you how I made a Queen Size bed frame with built-in storage. Today, I am moving back to the guest room and will be making a queen bed frame headboard to go with the bed frame.  This is a very simple headboard that can be done in just a few hours and I also made all the dimensions so it can be cut from one sheet of plywood.

If you are interested in a material list and also a cut list, I do have a set of free queen headboard DIY plans available for download here!

To make things easier I had my local hardware store rip my sheet of plywood at 29″. This makes hauling it home, unloading it, and moving it around my shop a lot easier. Check out the cut list before you go to the store if you are interested in doing the same.


When getting started, I grabbed the sheet of plywood outlined on the cut list to cut the different strips. I used my table saw to first cut the four boards that will make up the legs. Once I ripped them at the table saw, I used the miter saw (with a stop block set up) to cut all four to length. I glued two pieces together, then also glued the other two pieces together. To save on space, stack the two glue ups on top on each other then either use clamps or something heavy to apply pressure while it’s drying. Let it dry for about an hour. 


While those were drying, I cut the two back panels that will make up the flat portion of the headboard. I wanted both of these panels to have a vertical grain, if you do as well then be sure to cut them like I have them placed on the cut list. I have been wanting to try out a project using my biscuit joiner, so I am using biscuits to make my joints. However, you could also use pocket holes, if you are more comfortable with pocket holes. I brought out my biscuit joiner and laid out my marks then cut in the pockets. I put glue on the edge and inside the pocket then connected the two pieces. I set the boards on top of some bench cookies (so that I wouldn’t glue it to my workbench from the squeeze out) then put it in clamps and let it dry for about an hour.


While that was drying, I cut the rest of the pieces from the cut list that will make up the trim on the headboard. All of these pieces will need to be edge banded, so that the edges will look nice once the stain is applied. So once all the pieces were cut, I went through with an iron and edge banded the edges that will be exposed. You will also need to edge band the edges of the end boards (the ones you glued together in the first step) so once those are dry, you can apply edge banding to them as well.


Next is to start attaching the trim. I attached all of these boards with glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails. Start by attaching the center board on the seam where the two back panels meet. Tip: I used a speed square to make sure I was nailing these on straight. Then repeat with the two other vertical trim pieces and the horizontal rail piece. To attach the top cap I turn the assembly up right and set it on the floor, then used glue and nails again. Use a tape measure to make sure you are getting the overhang amount right. Now to attach the end post. Cut a few more biscuits (or pocket holes) to attach these.


Note: If you are using biscuits then be sure to turn the headboard upside down before cutting them in. If you have the headboard facing up then the pockets won’t line up correctly. I don’t have any clamps large enough to clamp these together so instead I applied glue and put the end posts in place then set one end on a 2×4 (so it would sit level) and used the weight of the headboard to apply pressure.


On the other end I used two clamps going from the face trim piece to the top. If you do the same just be watchful that you aren’t pulling the end post towards you. Look at the back as you are tightening down on these clamps to make sure you aren’t creating a gap. Also be watchful that you aren’t tightening down too much on the face trim where it will pull it off.  That’s it for actually making the queen bed frame headboard, now you can go through and apply whatever stain (or paint) you want. Since I am applying stain, I first going to go through and apply wood filler to my nail holes then sand them smooth. I am personally using the stain color Early American by Varathane.


Next, I took it headboard to the bed frame and used two screws on each post, to attach it to the bed frame. Make sure these are counter sunk so that you can scoot the headboard up against the wall and it sits flush. I only spent $30 on this headboard and that’s just the cost of one sheet of plywood. Once again, I do have free DIY queen headboard plans available where I walk you through step-by-step with a 3D model, how to build this queen bed frame headboard. It also includes a material list, a cut list, and all the dimensions I used. If you are interested in building the bed frame with drawers then I also have those plans available DIY queen bed frame plans with storage plans!

If you liked this project and want to stay up to date with what I’m building, then be sure to sign up for my email newsletter and you’ll get an email when I post something new. See you soon!

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