Build a Tall Slat Headboard

Kicking off Headboard Week, we’ve got Corey from Sawdust2Stitches, one of our newest contributors! Learn to build a tall slat headboard, and come back later today for more great headboard tutorials and inspiration. Hop to the end of the post to join the link party and share your DIY headboard, too!

How to Build a Tall Slat Headboard | Sawdust2Stitches on #diy #buildingplan

Have you ever started a project that seemed simple, but  the deeper you get into it,  the more you realize there was a far simpler approach! ? BUT  you are already  half way through; and you don’t want to start over?  Then 4 hours later you realize,  yet again,  you could have already started the project over and finished it… twice ?   This is one such project.

So,  I  present  an easier version of an amazing headboard!  NOTE:  There are some slight modifications from the headboard pictured.  (There is not a slat running down the center.)

How to Build a Tall Slat Headboard
by Corey of Sawdust2Stitches

Tools Recommended:

  • Mitre Saw
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Nail Gun
  • Air Compressor
  • Wire Strippers (If installing a lamp)

Supplies Needed:  * The dimensions listed are to accommodate a QUEEN size bed.

(They can easily be adjusted to fit a twin or king,  just a little bit of math.)

  • 1×3 Fir Strip (8′) x 3 $1.71 / each = $5.13
  • 1×2 Fir Strip (8′) x 2 $0.95/ each = $1.90
  • 1×4″ Fir Strip (8′) x 16 $1.81 / each = $28.96
  • Lattice Slats   (8′) x 3 $1.07/ each = $3.21

  Total = $39.20

(Subject to change by region,  and does not include lamp or finish.)
  • Stain/Paint
  • Lantern (if applicable)
  • Straight Blade Plug  (If installing a lamp)
  • Extension cord (If installing a lamp)
  • 1″ wood screws

 Cut List

  •  1×4            @ 58.5″      x 15
  • 1×4                @ 61.5″      x 1
  • 1×3             @ 80″         x 2
  • 1×3                @ 55 ”        x 1  ( I suggest  cutting this to fit)
  • 1×2             @ 80″         x 2
  • lattice           @55″          x 1
  • lattice           @48.5″      x 2

Building the frame

The ( 80″)  1×3 posts will  be the  vertical  and the (58.5″) 1×4 slats will  run horizontally  connecting the 1×3  posts.

DIY Slat Headboard on Remodelaholic.comPre-drill the 1×4’s  2x on each end.

Headboard tutorial

Once pre-drilled,  use (2) 1″  wood screws to fasten each 1×4 end to the 1×3 post.   The 1×4’s  should be 3/4″ from the side. (I  used a 1×3 turned on its side as a marker.)

I strongly  suggest using a square as you go.  You don’t want this thing to end up all wonky.

Tutorial Headboard remodelaholic.comRepeat 14 more times!

headboard tutorial on

                     After all the 1×4’s are secured to the backside flip over and  attach the 55″ 1×3.  It “should”  be a perfect fit,  but I might suggest cutting it to fit.  You can either secure it from the back using a drill, or tack it in place  with a nail gun.

diy slatted head board 2

Truth  be told,  I  used the lattice on mine to hide a few mistakes.  They are not necessary,  but I like them. So if you like em,  attach  them. I used a nail gun to tack them in place.

DIY slatted head board 3

Attach the 1×2’s to the back of the posts.  They will  serve as a form of stability and also hide the ends of the 1×4’s.

diy headboard

I used a nail gun,  but you can hand nail,  or if cautious,  you can pre-drill and then attach via screws.


Last step in the building process is attaching the 1×4  to the top.  Just  make sure it is centered, then nail in place ( or pre-drill and screw).

DIY slatted head board 4At this point whip  out  your  choice of finish,  whether it be  paint or stain, and go to town!

Installing the light

 I purchased a “wall mounted”  lantern kit,  but I wanted to be able to plug it into a standard outlet.   Guess what!?   It is super easy!

You just need one of these:cc42f04a-7b73-4580-a7e1-80b5b1d3f965_300They can be found in the electrical  section of most hardware stores for less than $2.00.

It will come with clear  instructions,  but here are pictures in the event you need reassurance.

Head Board Remodelaholic .com

In most  cases, standard wall mount  lights come with the mounting kit.  Again,  they  come with instructions,  but here are some  step -by-step  photos to put you at ease.   The only  additional step required is drilling a hole.   You need the hole to be large enough to fit the newly  attached  plug through.

 DIY headboard

 Once  the bracket is  mounted,  most standard lights only  require two  screw-on caps to complete installation. (Again,  this will vary depending on the lantern.) Once the plug is  fed through the drilled  hole ,   an extension cord can be used to  accommodate outlet placement.

So pretty !

diy headboard

This is a sturdy  headboard and can be bolted to  most standard  frames. However,  this is a ” top heavy”  frame,  so  I chose to take extra precautions with mine,  I  secured mine to the wall.  I used a technique that  I demonstrated  on a Nightstand Lamp tutorial.

How to Build a Tall Slat Headboard | Sawdust2Stitches on #diy #buildingplan There you have it, an  inexpensive,  easy  to build,  beautiful headboard!  Another bonus feature:  You don’t  have to figure out  decorative wall art above the bed!  Nice.

  Take luck,



Come back later today (and check in each day this week) for more great features from Headboard Week like a no-sew headboard slipcover and our favorite built-in beds!

slipcovered metal headboard tutorial, Sypsie Designs on Remodelaholic

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Corey is the voice and grunt labor behind Sawdust 2 Stitches, she freely professes, that she has a problem... She CANNOT leave well enough alone.
She can typically be found hunched over a sewing machine and/or covered in sawdust. All in the effort to create a perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality in her home.

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  1. Thanks! I’m about to tackle something like this for the headboardless bed in the basement apt..

  2. -Corey-

    I love this headboard! It is beautiful and such a nice DIY alternative. I like the clever use of the lantern. Brilliant!

  3. I love walking into a room and seeing a big statement headboard! I love the added light! Such a fun way to personalize with the lantern.

    1. AMEN sister. I didn’t want to have to decorate the rest of the wall. Having the huge headboard did it all. AND it still had the “wow” factor. Thanks!