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Project

Door Headboard

Introduction

Check yard sales and flea markets for doors, and modify the steps below if you find one with a different design. A strip of crown molding along the top edge offers a neat finish and a handy spot for a small alarm clock.

Materials

  • Sandpaper
  • Primer and paint
  • Mitered crown molding
  • Screw
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Trim the bottom or top of the door so the rails (the ladderlike crosspieces that separate the door's panels) are equal in width; on most old doors, the bottom rail is thicker than the others. A standard-height door will be tall enough for any size bed; trim as needed.

  2. Step 2

    Sand, prime, and paint the door.

  3. Step 3

    To mount the headboard, cut a 1-by-4 to the headboard's width, and then cut it lengthwise on a 45-degree angle into two equal strips. Securely screw one strip to the back of the door and attach the second to the wall, so the angles interlock to hang the headboard.

  4. Step 4

    Keep the bottom of the headboard the same distance from the wall by screwing a 1-inch-thick strip to the back.

  5. Step 5

    Finish the top of the headboard by nailing on a mitered crown molding.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, September 2000

Reviews (46)

  • rewmelaine 23 Jan, 2014

    The instant I saw this article I began searching for an old door--and found the perfect one: solid, five horizontal panels with layers of old crazed paint under all the dirt. Not a great bargain at $50, but once it was washed and the ancient hardware pried off, it was perfect. My handyman (he can do anything) filled the holes, expanded on the original instructions, closing off the vertical ends, increasing the "top shelf" to 4" and finishing with a generous width of crown. I love my handsome bed

  • Sheila Martinez Westbrook 27 Jun, 2013

    I seen this idea years ago. So luckily when garage Saling one weekend my husband and I came across 2 antique pocket doors hardware pull handles complete. We paid $1 for one and $2 for the other all I needed to do was clean them up had no scratches since they were pocket doors they had no wear to them! We made one the head board and one the foot board. We even left the pull handles on them they have fancy scroll work looks awesome everyone comments. Where did you get these! They are beautiful!

  • Expert Crown Moulding 19 Sep, 2012

    Great information, will be a great help to one of the projects at home,
    We are also trim work specialists check some of our projects at http://www.expertcrownmoulding.ca

  • Expert Crown Moulding 19 Sep, 2012

    Great information, will be a great help to one of the projects at home,
    We are also trim work specialists check some of our projects at www.expertcrownmoulding.ca

  • FriscoShabbyChic 1 Dec, 2011

    For more details of how to hang a door on the wall. The author was referencing a FRENCH CLEAT which can be purchased for approximately $10 - $15 and can hold up to 200 lbs.

    I build headboards from old and new doors.

    If you are interested in more info of how to do it yourself contact me at friscoshabbychic@gmail.com

    Good luck with your project!

  • Ravani 26 Mar, 2011

    I made this headboard several years ago and love it! HOWEVER, I have purchased and ruined 3 pieces of crown molding trying to get it right. I must be missing something clear to everyone else, but I just can't work this out. Even if I google crown molding, the angle is very different than it would be on a ceiling. Help??

  • alaeddin 19 Oct, 2010

    I USED ZBAR HANGER TO HANG MY DOOR HEADBOARD.THE GAP IS 1/4" AND IS EXCELLENT FOR HANGING AND SAFE.TO BUY GO TO ZBARHANGER.COM

  • Spookmama 12 Apr, 2010

    Wish I knew the pain color of the door of the walls! I love it!

  • roxymaniac 9 Mar, 2010

    I have brand new 5 panel door by Jeldywn! It's primed in white. For sale! roxymaniac@hotmail.com

    :) Amanda

  • roxymaniac 9 Mar, 2010

    I have brand new 5 panel door by Jeldywn! It's primed in white. For sale! roxymaniac@hotmail.com

    :) Amanda

  • MSLO_tiffany 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • MSLO_tiffany 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • MSLO_Admin3 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • MSLO_Admin3 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • MSLO_Admin3 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • MSLO_Admin3 26 Feb, 2010

    Hi everyone - we're experiencing a few bugs right now on the site, and are working to solve them as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.

  • mariekoran 25 Feb, 2010

    It doesn't seem to me that Martha's crew monitors the comments here much. If anyone wants to request to have a project alterred or added to, I would suggest to contact them dirrectly, I am pretty sure they have a 'contact us' button somewhere. Mention the particular project needing attention.

  • laineyd 25 Feb, 2010

    I wasn't able to find the instructions, either.

  • laineyd 25 Feb, 2010

    I wasn't able to find the instructions, either.

  • solegypsy 25 Feb, 2010

    Same thing happened to me, no instructions just contributor comments available. Looks like a great project so please add link for instructions!

  • inkyfingers80s 25 Feb, 2010

    This site is missing the instructions to make this headboard. When you click the link on the how-to information it jumps you right to the contributors' comments. Can you please put the instructions on here? Thank you in advance.

  • lmissdance 9 Nov, 2009

    Very nice! I really like that idea! It's a good use for any old <a href=http://nicksbuilding.com/> wood doors </a> lying around that were replaced by other ones.

  • KirstinP 9 Sep, 2009

    part2: And viola! The result is beautiful, almost exactly like the picture shown by Martha Stewart - maybe even nicer! We have a California King Size Bed and the door I found was 33" (W). To fit our mattress size I cut it from 77" to 75" (L).

  • CharleneGail 18 Jul, 2009

    I love this idea, so simple yet so very cute!

  • ashleabelle 12 Jul, 2009

    What size bed will it fit? We have a king.........I am thinking that would be too big for a standard size door.

  • leighannet 9 Jul, 2009

    i did this a few years ago with an old door from a resale shop after seeing this picture on the site. people almost never notice right away that it is a door, but when they look closer they always comment about how cool it is! i love it!

  • sunshine 10 Mar, 2008

    I love this idea since my husband came up with it 18 years ago. He works at a door company and has been making doors since he began working there. He always teased me that "Martha has nothing on me". Now I get the pleasure of saying "Martha has nothing on him also".

  • Teddyann 10 Mar, 2008

    I made my headboard using a four panel door with crown molding at top and molding on each side. It looks great.

  • LadyoftheFlowers 29 Feb, 2008

    I had a man make a bed similar to this one that I saw in the Living magazine a few years ago. He took 2 doors from an old court house and cut about a 1/4 off the bottom because they were very tall. Then he had enough to make a matching footboard. He added crown molding to the tops and wa-la! A beautiful custom bed.

  • luvbug1975 29 Feb, 2008

    Part 2: The one on the wall creates a "hook" of sorts that the other hangs on. And so that the top of the headboard doesn't stick out more than the bottom making it hang funny, you just attach a 1 inch strip to the bottom which will allow it hang nice and straight. I don't know if that makes any more sense than the original directions. But, here's hoping! :)

  • luvbug1975 29 Feb, 2008

    Part 1: I may be missing the mark, but I think the mounting instructions are saying take a 1x4, cut it in half lengthwise at a 45 degree angle. Mounting one strip on wall at appropriate height for headboard. Mount 2nd on headboard. Then when you lie one on top of the other, the two halves become whole again.

  • luvbug1975 29 Feb, 2008

    Part 2: The one on the wall creates a "hook" of sorts that the other hangs on. And so that the top of the headboard doesn't stick out more than the bottom making it hang funny, you just attach a 1 inch strip to the bottom which will allow it hang nice and straight. I don't know if that makes any more sense than the original directions. But, here's hoping! :)

  • bastingirls 29 Feb, 2008

    If you slice the piece of wood at an angle, then put one piece on the wall ,angle facing up (long side away from wall so there is a gap) then the other piece on the door angle facing down (long side away from door so there is a gap), then when you lift the door and place it on the wood on the wall, it will fit together like a wedge. It will fit together as a whole as it was before you cut it.

  • cdbrooks 29 Feb, 2008

    I'm with rose. Mounting directions make no sense.

  • deweydame 28 Feb, 2008

    Love the idea! A little alarm clock on the top looks dorky and could fall on someone's head, however.

  • rose70 28 Feb, 2008

    I am mechanically challenged ; I don't understand the mounting instructions. 45 degrees, interlocking??? Help!!

  • queenopearls 28 Feb, 2008

    Great idea! Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great source for doors of all types.
    Step 3 would is a great way for me to hang some other large heavy artwork.
    / / / /
    / / / /
    / / / /
    |____________|/
    This is my illustration of seeing the end of the 1 x 4 cut lengthwise with a 45 degree angle down the length of the board so they n n n n n n nestn n n n n n together. One on the door with the angle pointing down and one on the wall with the angle pointing up and away from the wall.

    I imagine the hardware would be a cute addition if you left it on and the hardware was real or even reproduction.

    As for how to fill in the spaces if you take off the hardware: if you are going to refinish and stain, you can use any sawdust you have from cutting that door (or any other sawdyst in a pinch) and mix the sawdust with the finishing poly coat and a dollop of stain to match the door and fill in the cracks with it. Once it dries you can sand and touch up as needed with the finish coat. If painting, fill it in with whatever you have on hand, wood putty, wall spacklen n n n n n whatever sticks and can be painted.

  • cjsgama 28 Feb, 2008

    you can buy a solid wood door at lowes. they do not have the holes or hardware. if you get a used, old door you can fill the [filtered word] w/ wood putty themn paint it. i still do not get step three. i need more direction as i can't picture it at all.

  • saralsea 28 Feb, 2008

    Tangle - the 1x4 is the length of the door. It is ripped at an 45-deg angle with one half being attached to the door and the other half mounted to the wall. Google "french cleat" and you'll get an idea. :)

  • yugogurl 28 Feb, 2008

    I would think you would remove the hardware. We don't see the doorknob [filtered word] in the picture but maybe they put that side underneath??

  • Tangle 28 Feb, 2008

    It's really hard to picture steps 3

  • RhondaDelaney 28 Feb, 2008

    Silly question....Would you remove the old hardware from the door? Or leave it?
    How do you cover the holes that are left?

  • concretebunny 28 Feb, 2008

    This would be especially pretty if, after the door was base-coated, it was coated with crackle medium

  • wrk2liv 12 Jan, 2008

    CDBrooks: In step 3 you are making a cleat to hold the headboard up. It means to cut the 1x4 lengthwise at a 45 degree angle so that you have 2 long strips. The you attach one strip to the wall so that the angle faces up and to the outside. Attach the other strip to the headboard so that the angle faces downward and to the outside. It will make more sense when you look at it. The strip on the headboard catches on the lip formed by the strip on the wall and the whole thing stays put.

  • wrk2liv 12 Jan, 2008

    CDBrooks: In step 3 you are making a cleat to hold the headboard up. It means to cut the 1x4 lengthwise at a 45 degree angle so that you have 2 long strips. The you attach one strip to the wall so that the angle faces up and to the outside. Attach the other strip to the headboard so that the angle faces downward and to the outside. It will make more sense when you look at it. The strip on the headboard catches on the lip formed by the strip on the wall and the whole thing stays put.

  • cdbrooks 2 Jan, 2008

    the directions in #3 need clarification, please :)