We recently bumped up to a queen sized mattress, and a bigger mattress means that we needed a new headboard.  My wife found one she really liked at Cottage Home Furniture in Kittery, Maine.  According to their site, the headboard is made of poplar and pine and retails for $835.00 not including shipping.  I looked at it and estimated that it is perhaps $75-$100 worth of materials, so down to the workshop I went.

I came up with a scale drawing of the headboard based on the image on the website.  I made only one  change which was that the mechanical fasteners (or so they appear to be on the site) that attach the posts to the rails  were replaced with mortise and tenon joints. The drawing I did also include a stretcher across the bottom which I quickly realized was unnecessary so I didn’t include it in the actual construction.


I grabbed some poplar from my friends at Gilbert & Cole and got to work.  Nothing too complicated in the design or construction.  The dados into the top and bottom rail and  side posts that accept the bead board were cut with using a stacked dado cutter in my table saw.

IMG_0657 (1)

The tenons were also cut with the dado head cutter, while the mortises were hogged out with a brace and bit and chisels.  The chamfers on the posts were milled with a router. We finished it with a stain blocker primer and three coats of milk paint.

Pasquale approves

Not a terribly difficult project but rewarding all the same.  I got to make something that my wife really wanted and that makes me happy.  Hilary and our daughter both helped on the project, which I also enjoyed.  Also, I spent less than $100 for all of the materials–that’s a net savings of $750+.

The final bonus is that the old nightstands don’t match the new headboard so it looks like I have new project for this winter.  Happy wife, happy life.

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