If you’re looking to transform the overall look and feel of your bedroom, adding even the simplest headboard to your bed, can become a beautiful centerpiece. Headboards come in a wide range of materials and styles. You could buy one in a furniture store or make your own. If you decided to do it yourself, the tutorial below will walk you through the steps of how to build your own Modern DIY King Size Headboard with Shelves.
The main purpose of the headboard is for aesthetics. But if you’re someone who likes working, reading, watching TV, etc. in your bed, a headboard serves as a nice backrest when sitting upright. When building your own headboard you have the option to design and add shelves, storage compartments, lighting, etc. You spend approximately one-third of your life in bed — meaning you should love every aspect of your sleep system.
When building this bed I wanted to paint it mostly white but then deiced to add a few stained boards. Having a few dark stained areas gives a good contrast between the two colors
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut and Assemble Back of Shelf Boards
When building this project, it’s important to paint or stain the pieces first. Then after the paint/stain dries, assemble the bed. This will ensure the edges are clean and you don’t have paint overlapping the stained boards.
First, start by cutting the pieces that need to be stained.
Take 1×10 board and cut two pieces to 23 ¼” in length and two pieces to 5 ½” in length. These four pieces need to be stained.
I used a shou-sagi-ban method to darken the wood before staining. Basically, you torch the wood completely black and then scrape off the top layer with a Nyalox brush. This makes the wood texture darker and stands out. Check out my DIY table centerpiece project I made using this method.
If you don’t have the torch or the Nyalox brush, you could skip the shou-sagi-ban and just sand the boards and stain these pieces gray. You also need to stain two 1×6 boards that are full length (96” long).
After staining the boards, set your Kreg Jig to ¾” wood thickness and drill pocket holes on the backside of 23 ¼” and 5 ½” boards just like the picture. Then attach these pieces together using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. You should have two L-shape pieces for the back of the shelf.
Step 2 – Assemble the Middle Section of the Headboard
Take one of the 1×6 boards that have been stained in Step 1 and place the L-shaped back of shelf pieces on the left and right side of this 1×6 board. Then attach the back of shelf pieces to the 1×6 board using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
Next, take ¾” cabinet grade plywood and cut one piece to 48″ x 9 1/4″, and drill pocket holes on the backside as shown in the picture. Paint this plywood board white and then attach it between the two L-shaped pieces with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
Step 3 – Install Light Fixtures Above the Shelves
Take the second stained 1×6 board and place it over the L-shaped shelve board. Then secure it together with 1 ½” wood screws from the top.
Installing the light fixture is not required and this step could be skipped if you prefer not to mess with electrical wiring.
But if you want the lights in, take a 3” Slim LED recessed kit and pull out an opening template that comes in the box. Place that 3” circle template where you want the light to be installed and trace it with a pencil. Then using a jig saw cut out the opening for the light housing. This LED light kit comes with a switch to change light colors. Find a good spot to install this switch and cut an opening with a jig saw just large enough to fit the switch. You also need an opening for an on/off switch that could be installed next to one of the lights. The wiring instruction should be in the kit as well.
You could also go the easy route and just install two lights that are battery powered on the remote control. It doesn’t require any wiring or cutting holes for the light fixture. Just attach it to the bed with few small screws.
Step 4 – Assemble the Upper and Lower Sections of the Bed
Now since the middle section is complete, next build and install the upper and lower sections. Take ¾” plywood and cut one piece to 96” x 27 3/4” and one piece to 96”x9 1/4”. Then for the sides, cut two pieces to 27 3/4” x 4 3/4” and two 9 1/4” x 4 3/4”. Drill pocket hole as shown in the picture. Make sure to paint the boards before attaching them to the middle section.
Step 5 – Attach the Top Piece to King Size Headboard
Take ¾” plywood and cut one piece to 96” x 10”. Place this piece over the top section of the bed and nail it with 1 ¼” brad nails.
Step 6 – Make the Shelves
To make the shelves on the sides of the bed, use 2×10 boards. For each shelf cut one piece to 16” in length and one piece to 10 ½” in length. These two pieces will need to be joined together to make a shelf. Use a table saw to trim off the edges when the two boards are connected to each other. Then drill pocket holes and attach the boards with wood glue and 2 ½” pocket hole screws. Repeat the process to make another exactly the same shelf. The other two shelves will need to be a mirror of the two you already built.
Step 7 – Install 4×4 Supports for the Shelves
Before attaching the shelves to the bed, add a 4×4 in the back of the headboard. Cut two 4×4 pieces at 20” in length and drill pocket holes for 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. Then attach these pieces to the back of the headboard in the corners so that shelves should be attached to these boards. This will make the shelf attachment stronger to hold heavier loads.
Step 8 – Attach the Shelves to the Headboard
And finally, attach the shelves to the bed at your desired height using the 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. You’re all done with this DIY King Size Headboard.