I’m so glad you clicked your way to Hazel+Gold Designs, thanks for stopping by! Today I am sharing the process I used to create my most recent project, a new textured headboard and footboard for our king size bed.
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This is something that I’ve had in mind for many months, and this month I finally had the time to do it! Actually, I MADE the time, because no matter what, there really isn’t any spare time in December, is there? At times I questioned my sanity about taking on another huge project this month because there was a lot of stress with Christmas alone, but it all worked out in the end.
Alright, so onto my process. Months ago I saw this post Cassidy King Size Bed on Ana White’s website to build this bed frame. When I saw it I wanted to make it right away, but I knew I wanted to change a few things about it.
First, I measured my current bed. We did not have a headboard previously, but I wanted to make sure the measurements of the plans would match up with our mattress and luckily it did. Next step was to go get all of the wood. All of the informational tips for what to buy and how to cut it are in the plan on Ana’s site and are incredibly helpful.
- one sheet plywood
- 4 – 1x4s of chosen wood (i used cheap white wood)
- Wood stain – Dark Walnut
- Sponge Brush or Paint Brush
- Wood Shims – about 25 packs (this will vary depending on how they’re placed)
- Wood Glue
- Tape Measure
- Brad Nailer
- 3/4″ brad nails
- Milescraft Tri-Grips
- 2 1/2″ Pocket Screws
Building the textured headboard:
Next, I began building the headboard. It’s essentially a piece of 3/4″ plywood with 1×4 boards at the top and bottom, and wood shims glued and nailed to the front. While building it I did have a few minor issues, so I’m going to walk through that process here with photos, just in case you want to build your own and I can save you a bit of time and frustration. I’m here for ya, friend!!!
Here is a shot of the plywood and 1×4’s. They measure the same length, and you want to sand them smooth, glue and clamp them together with all edges flush, attach the 1×4’s from the back of the plywood using finish nails. You then add pocket holes to the back before moving onto the shims. Those details are in original plan.
It’s extremely important at this point to stain the entire thing! I used Minwax Penetrating Stain, quart, Dark Walnut (aff link) You might think, why would I do that since i’ll just be covering it up? Well, the reason is that the shims are not exact, in fact many are very rough and they will not go together perfectly, so there will be spots where the back plywood will show through. If that isn’t the color of the stain that you are finishing it with, then it will be very visible.
Okay, now for the awesome shims!
Applying wood shims:
Here are my tips: First, open up at least three packs. Wood grain will vary so mix them up as you place them. I chose to do a random pattern, but you could always lay them out in a brick pattern or however you want. The process for placing the shims is tedious, so if you have another person to help it will go MUCH faster. My husband was kind enough to help me with the large headboard. I would run a line of glue down the board, place the shims where I wanted them, then he’d follow behind with the nail gun to secure them. It went rather quickly all things considered and we found a rhythm and got ‘er done.
We used my Porter-Cable brad nailer for this and 3/4″ nails. Looking back I would actually probably use 1/2″ nails if I could. We nailed each shim twice. The small ends of the shim were actually curling up a little from the moisture of the glue, so two were necessary. If you’re in the market for a brad nailer, check out this set that I purchased. I’ve been using it for many months and absolutely love it. PORTER-CABLE 3-Tool Combo Kit.
Trim off the excess on each end. You can do these before placing the edge pieces, or afterward like we did.
Alright, so here’s my plug for what I think is an awesome product and something that would be very helpful in your shop. This can be helpful for every woodworker, but if you’re not a furniture builder, or woodworker, but rather a DIYer, you still need to check out the Milescraft TriGrips. I do a lot of sanding, staining, and painting and am always struggling with holding my pieces still while I do so. I often have to get a few clamps out, but then I’m always clamping and unclamping as I need to move things and it gets annoying.
I’ve also got a small shop so I often have temporary work surfaces set up in the middle of the room and sometimes my projects get bumped and knocked off. Well, the Milescraft TriGrips solve ALL of these problems and I plan on buying more of them for when I’m working on multiple pieces at once. They come in a pack of 4. They can be purchased here: Milescraft 1600 Tri Grips.
All you have to do is place them underneath the piece that you’re working on. Here, I have them placed underneath the plywood for the footboard. The grippy surface on both the bottom and top of the TriGrips prevents the workpiece from slipping. It held it in place while I sanded, stained and nailed the shims to the footboard. I was completely impressed. It’s one of those shop accessories that you never knew you needed until you used one!
Don’t forget the footboard:
My husband/assistant took this shot of me while I was beginning the work on the footboard. (Don’t worry I tied my hair back before operating any power tools. Ha. Safety first!) Anyway, you can see how long the boards are and that my work surface is not nearly as long. I didn’t have to worry too much about someone (mainly me) bumping into the side of it and knocking it to the ground because I had the TriGrips underneath. They really do help a ton!
One other note, as I was finishing up sanding these boards, I noticed that the TriGrips were getting a little less grippy because of all the sawdust. I quickly ran them under some cold water, and wiped them clean and dry, and the grippy-ness (gription, grip-action, whatever you want to call it) returned. Again, I was impressed and happy to learn this. I will be using them a lot!
Alright, so shims completed on headboard and footboard. Phew! Lots of tedious work, but so worth it, right? I mean, look at those!
Stain wood shim headboard and footboard:
Now, stain the rest of it! Again, I used the Minwax Penetrating Stain, quart, Dark Walnut This is also a bit tedious because you have to be sure to get in between all of the shims, on all of the edges at the thick end of the shim, but also on both long ends. Then you have to double check, because like me, I promise you missed one or two. Maybe even turn off most of the lights and see if anything reflects back when you shine a small light on it. This is how I found most of my missed spots. Once you’re done, step back and enjoy the beauty of all the grain and texture. I can’t get enough!
Okay, look at the main plans again and attach the legs. I did this with pocket holes on the back of the plywood as the plans suggested. I used a Kreg-Jig for the pocket holes.
Here is where I deviated from the plan slightly. It calls for a board on top of the headboard and footboard both, but I opted not to add that. To me it just looked like some corners to hit your leg on when walking by…I’m really good at that. So, I left them off and it looks fine because all of my edges are perfectly flush.
And one more up close, because TEXTURE and GRAIN! I love.
Alright, so I hope this helped you to walk through the process. I know you can do it! Really, the work isn’t tough, you just need some space, tools and a whole lot of motivation to get those shims done. You can make one! It’s worth it, I promise!
We’ve got a lot of work to do in our master bedroom reno. An updated photo will be posted when we get the entire room done and these in place.
UPDATE: Final photos of the bed setup are HERE ! It took us awhile to realize that we wouldn’t be getting our room finished anytime soon, but once we decided to hold off on the entire renovation, we got our bed set up. And let me tell you, it’s awesome! I just love it every time I turn the corner and see it. Check it out!!!
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you build one!
Check out my other woodworking furniture:
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