So I have a confession.

Remember ohhhh about 6 months ago when I shared this Chevron Door-Headboard that I completed for the Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape Party? It lives in my friend Amy’s house.

Well all those pictures were shot with the headboard sitting on the edge of the bed. So after its photo session, it was relegated to the floor until it could be installed. And by that I mean until I got off my butt and figured out how to attach it to the bed frame. See typically I like to attach headboards to the wall, but in her case the bed is against a window-leaving me without my usual option.

Finally last week we went shopping for some supplies to get ‘er done. I was sorta flying by the seat of my pants  (translation: no time for photographic evidence), but I’ll explain what I did.

Here’s a list of what we used to mount this headboard to a queen size metal bed frame:

  • (2) 1x4s cut to length (floor to almost top of headboard, one 8′ board cut in half at Lowes was perfect)
  • Box of 1.5″ wood screws
  • (4) 5/16-20 x 1 1/4″ bolts
  • (4) Nuts to match the bolts
  • (4) Washers to fit
  • Clamps
  • Drill with bits large enough to make a hole for the bolt

First we marked the height of the headboard by standing up the 2 “legs” while holding the door up from both ends and marking the top of the 1x4s on the back of the door. If that sounds confusing, you should have seen us trying to do it. There are plenty of easier ways- including just using a tape measure and skipping the whole hoisting of the door bit (solid core, btw). Now clearly this marking exercise did not yield a level result, but basically I was just trying to get in the ballpark. Her board ended up about 1 1/2″ higher up the door than mine did, so we just took an average and made that the official height. We then measured the distance between the two sets of holes on her bed frame, which came to 58″.

Using the height and the length measurements, we clamped our boards at the intersection. The holes on her bed frame are basically 2″ long ovals, so we just placed the boards roughly center-to-center 58″ apart. The clamping was really key- you get the best “bite” for the screws as possible. I chose 1 1/2″ screws partly based on science and partly based on some limited experience. You just want to add up the widths of whatever you’re attaching and then undershoot. But I recommend putting your first screw in a hidden area just in case it goes all the way through. Remember to drill pilot holes, it will make your life easier in the end! I used 6 screws on each leg, but I definitely recommend more if you can. The panels on the door limited the area I had to screw into.

Once the headboard had legs, we stood it up against the frame and traced the holes onto the board. I started drilling holes through the center of each traced oval (there were 4 total, top and bottom on each side), gradually sizing up my drill bit size to accommodate the bolt.

Then it was just a matter of hoping the holes lined up. Generally speaking, my methods of doing things involve a lot of hoping or “let’s just push through this awkward part and hope it looks good in the end….” It’s something I’m working on-you know-being more precise. But hey, we all have our issues.

In the end, I only had to make one of the holes slightly larger because it was not quite perfect enough to line up. The order of assembly went like this: bolt through the steel frame, through the wooden leg, through a washer then into a nut. Once everything was tightened, the door was pretty solid! Here’s a look at the more permanent set up (pics taken with my new cam!).

3 Responses

  1. mary fran

    Hi…I think it looks fabulous…and I’m not a “precise” kinda girl either!
    I love the knob…but I would be afraid I’d hit my head every time I got up! hehe…I love your blog and get such inspiration from it…Keep up the good work!

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