Make a versatile headboard

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Scatter cushions and bedding from Loads of Living; dark grey throw, rug, bedside lamps and vase (right) from MRP Home; vase (left) from Woolworths
Scatter cushions and bedding from Loads of Living; dark grey throw, rug, bedside lamps and vase (right) from MRP Home; vase (left) from Woolworths
Francois Oberholster
The nifty shelves on this bespoke headboard can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Styling Marian van Wyk

Hard labour 4/10

Skill level 4/10

Time needed ± 2 hours (excluding painting/varnishing)

Do it yourself for just over R2 000: pine ± R1 880,

wood glue and screws R75 (we used leftover paint and varnish)

Shopping list

• 32 x 44mm planed pine, cut to:

two 920mm lengths (ends)

two 1 550mm lengths (legs)

fifteen 2 600mm lengths (horizontal planks)

• 3 000 x 20 x 450mm laminated pine shelving, cut to:

six 400 x 370mm shelves

six 400 x 70mm lengths

• Alcolin Fast Set Wood Glue

• 150-grit sandpaper

• ± one hundred 8mm x 50mm chipboard screws

• ± twenty 8mm x 30mm chipboard screws


    • jigsaw

    • cordless drill and 3mm drill bit

    • tri-square

    • tape measure

    • pencil

    • paintbrush

Get started...

The headboard

1. Place all fifteen 2 600mm horizontal planks side by side on your worktop. Now glue and screw the two 920mm lengths at a right angle on each end of the ‘top’ horizontal plank. Measure and make a mark 700mm in from each end on that same horizontal plank. Glue and screw the two 1 550mm legs at a right angle on these marks (ie between the ends). Screw two 50mm chipboard screws into each of these joins at an oblique angle.

2. Use an offcut from the laminated pine as a spacer and position the rest of the horizontal lengths evenly apart. Screw in the chipboard screws at an oblique angle in a zigzag pattern (one at each join). Tip: Fold a piece of paper around the wooden spacer when you measure the distance between the horizontal lengths – this will make provision for paint or varnish and you will be able to slip the shelves in and out easily

The shelves

3. Glue and screw a 400 x 70mm length at a right angle to the side of a 400 x 370mm shelf; this forms the front edge of your shelf. Repeat the process to make 5 more shelves.

Finishing touches

4. Sand the headboard and shelves to a smooth finish, paint the shelves in the colour(s) of your choice and varnish the headboard. We finished off the headboard with Woodoc 5 wood sealant and painted the shelves with Tuis| Home Dirty Hands Chalky Décor Paint in the colours Slate and Snow.
Project notes

• Select wood with as few knots as possible or use the wood in such a way that the knots face to the back (unless, of course, you love the knots).

• Adjust the length of your horizontal planks according to the size of your bed.

• Remember to drill pilot holes.

• Sand, varnish and paint the wood beforehand to make your project easier later.

 One of our readers shared her DIY-project with us on Instagram, making the versatile headboard.

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April 2023

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