Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rustic "Fence" King-size Headboard DIY

I asked my husband, Charlie, if he would help me build a rustic "fence" headboard.  He said he could handle rustic!  He did the design and all sawing.  I helped with the rest, including using the drill to attach screws!  That's real TEAMWORK!!

Approximate cost $65

Materials Needed:
(Untreated Pine) Lumber:
   1 - 2"x4"x8' (for posts) 
   2 Cross-stringers 1"x4"x8'  **(See Note below)
   2 Fence boards 1"x6"x10'
1 - 4"x4" treated exterior post cap 
1½” wood screws (Phillip head)
Stain and clear matte finish
Sandpaper or Palm Sander

Cut boards to these dimensions: 
End posts - cut the 2'x4'x8' post in half (4 feet each)
Cut the 2 - 1"x6"x10' fence boards into:

  • 2 - 28"
  • 2 - 29"
  • 2 - 30"
  • 1 - 31"

2 Stringers - 77" (for king size bed)
4"x4" post cap - cut in half 

To cut “dog-ear” in fence boards,  from top corner measure and mark in 1” and down 1”.  Draw line and cut. 

Attach stringers to the back of the 2"x4" posts with 2 wood screws in each.

Mark center of stringers.  Center the middle fence board to this mark and attach with 2 screws in each stringer.

Add additional fence boards moving away from center on equal spacing (approximately 4 inches apart).  Line up each board 1” lower than previous board. Attach each board with 2 screws in each stringer.

Use a palm sander or sandpaper to smooth rough edges. Vacuum and/or rub with tack cloth to remove dust. Use a rag or old white cotton sock to apply stain; remove excess.  Follow directions on stain for drying time.  Use steel wool to smooth if needed.  Apply matte clear coat (spray or brush-on).
I used 2 coats of spray matte and immediately rubbed off excess with a clean sock. 

Decide on location for headboard and locate wall studs.  To compensate for the width of the baseboards, use appropriate length wood screws to install 2 short furring strips vertically to the wall and stud. Then attach the stringers to each of the 2 furring strips with wood screws.

**Note:  If you do not want to mount the headboard to the wall, it is recommended that you use 2'x4's for stringers.  The 2'x4' posts would then be attached to the bed frame using 2 bolts on each.


  1. I really like this idea! I have a king size bed with no headboard and may ask my husband to make this for me. The bed is downstairs in a studio room for our guest which has a combination tv area, table area, desk and bed area. This would be perfect!

    Athena Arvon Boggs <3

  2. Good luck, Athena! Send me a photo, and let me know how it turns out!

  3. Wow! That bed is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this information. I really love learning some DIY stuffs and this one is perfect. I should give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing this. -<a href="”></a/>

    1. Thanks so much! If you decide to make your own headboard, please send me a photo. Good Luck!

  4. I love your headboard.I was told not to use pressure treated lumber inside for this kind of project.What kind of lumber did you use:

    1. Thanks, Kelly! We don't like to use pressure treated lumber inside either, so we used untreated pine lumber for the headboard.