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Bed with timber bedhead and many decorative pillows.

Overview

Creating a timber bedhead is a simple way to rejuvenate your bedroom. This great looking bedhead will add style, colour and texture to your bedroom. And it's so easy to make, you'll have it done by bedtime.

Steps

1Cut the wood

The first step is to make the frame for the bedhead. Our bedhead is for a queen size bed, but yours can be any size you choose. To make the job quicker, you can have all of the timber pre-cut at Bunnings. Here's our cut list for this project:

Bedhead frame

  • 70mm x 35mm x 1560mm primed pine x 2 (top and bottom)
  • 70mm x 35mm x 1010mm primed pine x 4 (sides and middle supports)

Outer finishing frame

  • 110mm x 19mm x 1598mm Tasmanian oak or Hardwood x 2 (top and bottom)
  • 110mm x 19mm x 1010mm Tasmanian oak or hardwood x 2 (sides)

Note: Make sure you have the ends of the finishing frame cut at 45-degree angles.

Bedhead face

  • 108mm x 19mm x 1560mm Tasmanian oak or hardwood tongue and groove floorboards x 10
Various tools and materials needed to make a modern timber bedhead.

2Mark and measure for the support struts

Take the longer pieces of timber and measure and mark for the supports – 2 in the centre as bracing and one on each end. Make sure you have 3 equally spaced bays, ours were at 520mm and at 1040mm. Place both pieces of timber for the frame next to each other, so that the marks are in the same place. Once you've marked where to put your supports on both long pieces of timber, use the 2mm drill bit to pre-drill the holes.

Person using measuring tape to measure length of timber lying on the ground.

3Build the frame

Lay out your supports inside the shape of the frame. Drill the 75mm screws to fix the supports to the frame. Use two screws at each corner of the frame to join the rectangular frame together.

Person laying out pieces of timber that will be used for timber bedhead frame.

4Check the frame is square

Once you've built the frame, check that it's square. Measure the opposite diagonals and if they are equal, the frame is square. This is important because if it's not square at this stage, the boards won't attach square and parallel. If one diagonal is longer than the other, place the longer diagonal corner against a wall and tap it with the hammer to close down the length.

Person measuring corner to corner of timber bedhead frame.

5Attach the first tongue and groove board

Take your first board and lay it at the top of the frame with the groove facing outwards. Use a scrap piece of timber to ensure the edges of the board are flush with the top edge of the frame. Then fix the board to the frame with a nail gun. Use a nail at each end so that you can adjust as you go.

Person attaching tongue to timber bedhead frame.

6Attach the other boards

Grab your next board and lay it on the frame. Tap the tongue and groove together, making sure all the edges are flush and line up. Use the nail gun to fix it to the frame at one end and then the other. Repeat the process until all the boards are in place.


Person laying timber pieces down on top of timber bedhead frame.

7Mark where the supports are

Once the boards are in place, make a small pencil mark on the centre supports so you know where to fix the tongue and groove boards. Use the nail gun to fix the boards into place on the centre stud supports. Use two nails on each centre stud.

Person using length of timber and pencil to mark up timber bedhead.

8Putty the nail holes

For a great looking finish, putty up the boards with a wood filler that matches your timber. We used plastic wood.

Person using wood filler to fill up holes in timber bedhead.

9Sand the putty

Once the putty has dried, use the sander to smooth out the rough edges. We used 80-grit sandpaper for the first sand. We then used a belt sander to make sure all of the boards are level and to create a smooth finish. We used 120-grit sandpaper for this. Clean off the dust.

Person using power sander to sand timber bedhead.

10Plane the tongue

As the boards may vary in size, and have a tongue, there'll be a little overhang at the top of the bedhead. Clamp the bedhead to your workbench and use a planer to remove the tongue and overhang. To make the job easier, set the plane depth to a minimum and remove a little at a time.

Person wearing face mask, eye protection and earmuffs sanding a piece of timber.

11Cut an offcut to 45-degrees

An easier way to make sure the joins of the finishing frame are flush, take an offcut and use the drop saw to cut the end at 45-degrees. Clamp this piece of wood to one end of the bedhead so the 45-degree angle is flush with the end and level with the bedhead. This offcut is your guide to help you attach the finishing frame.

Person using circular saw to cut piece of timber to length.

12Attach the sides of the finishing frame

Apply PVA wood glue to the first piece of the finishing frame you need to attach. Clamp it to the side of the bedhead. Use a piece of wood and hammer to tap it flush with the offcut and level with the bedhead. Use the nail gun to secure it to the bedhead. Repeat this to attach the piece of finishing frame on the other side.

Person clamping together two pieces of timber.

13Attach the top of the finishing frame

Once the sides of the finishing frame are attached, it's time to attach the top. Apply PVA wood glue to the timber and clamp it to the bedhead. Use the hammer and piece of wood to make sure it's flush to the corners and level with the bedhead. Secure it to the bedhead frame with the nail gun.

Person securing top of timber bedhead with nail gun.

14Stain or paint the bedhead

Depending on your décor you may want to stain or paint your bedhead. We've used a great looking Tasmanian Oak so we're using Cabot's Cabothane Clear to stain the timber. To give it a professional look we applied two coats. After applying the first coat we waited for it to dry, lightly sanded it back and then applied the second coat.

Person stirring tin of varnish.

15Move bedhead into place

Job done, and it looks incredible. Move the bedhead into place, dress up the room with your favourite cushions and pillows and enjoy your handiwork!

Bed with timber bedhead and many decorative pillows.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.