Custom bed frame and wood headboard made in woodworking workshop with Forest 2 Home lumber premium hardwood Walnut wood

Build a Bed Frame and Custom Headboard with Drew Hanson

Woodworker, furniture maker and Forest 2 Home partner Drew Hanson constructed this beautiful, custom made bed frame and featured F2H Walnut wood for the decorative headboard! Drew shared his woodworking project plans so you can craft a bed frame of your very own! Read on to make your very own wooden bed and custom headboard in the workshop:

This custom bed frame and wooden headboard project is a great project to practice some new woodworking skills, as you can add a touch of artistic design to an otherwise traditional look! Based off a traditional knock-down bed concept, this design can be customized in so many ways to better suit your needs! 

Custom bed frame made with premium hardwood lumber in a woodworking workshop featuring Forest 2 Home lumber Walnut wood in a custom made headboard

Parts List


Legs (2): 17" x 3 1/4" x 1 3/4"

Front Panel (1): 73 1/2" x 8 3/4" x 1 1/4"


Legs (2): 60" x 3 1/4" x 1 3/4" 

Frame Boards (2): 73 1/2" x 3 1/4" x 1 3/4"

Rear Support Panel (1): 73 1/2" x 7 1/4" x 3/4" 

Forest 2 Home Walnut (~8 board feet): 26" x 2 5/8" x 3/16" 

Plywood (1): 73 1/2" x 29 1/2" x 3/4"

Side Rails

Side Panels (2): 84" x 8 3/4" x 1 1/4" 

Side Slat-Supports (2): 83" x 3 1/4" x 3/4"


Support Brackets (4): 3 1/2" x 3 1/4" x 1" 

Support Rails-Long (2): 85" x 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" 

Support Rails-Short (2): 10" x 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" 

Slats-Plywood (10): 76 5/8" x 6" x 3/4"

Wood used in woodworking project by woodworker in woodworkshop

Step 1: Constructing the footboard

Cut the front panel to correct length (refer to Parts List). During this step, cut the rear support panel and horizontal frame boards to the same length as well, using the same stop-block setup. This will help ensure squareness down the road. 

Cut the front legs to outer dimensions indicated in Parts List. The legs receive a slight taper on the edge-refer to Fig. 1 below for constructing taper.

Cut the taper on the table saw (Fig. 2)

Join the legs to the front panel, ensuring the back faces of the panel and legs are flush. This will give a nice half-inch reveal on the front side. NOTE: Many different joinery methods can be used here! Dominos were used during this build (Fig. 3), however pocket holes, dowels and mortise and tenons would have certainly done the trick!

Different examples of cuts and joinery methods used by woodworker in woodworking project

Step 2: Build the side panels 

After milling to appropriate width and thickness, cut both side panels to length. Install bed-rail connector hardware on ends of rails; numerous hardware options are available, so decide what matches your skill set and aesthetic, and install as per manufacturer's recommendations. This build utilized Knapp connectors, which required a mortise to be cut into the endgrain of the rail, with the mating piece simple face-mounted on the legs. 

Attach the side slat support boards to the insides of the side panels at a height of 13 1/8" (for a 12" mattress) using screws and glue. Leave approximately 1/2" space on either end of the supports to ensure there is no interference when assembling the bed. 

Woodworking project of a custom build wood bed frame featuring the side panels of the bed frame in the woodworking workshop

Step 3: Assembling a custom made headboard

Although the headboard may look complex, it is essentially a simple frame with a decorative panel inserted. 

Cut the headboard legs to length and then taper the ends in the same manner as in Step 1. Refer back to Fig. 1. 

Because the horizontal frame boards and rear support panels were also cut to length in Step 1, you are now ready to assemble the headboard frame. Again, using your joinery method of choice, attach the top rail flush with the top of the legs. The top of the middle rail should be attached 27 1/4" from the bottom of the legs, while the lower support panel is attached with the top edge 17" from the bottom of the legs. Your headboard frame is now complete! 

Various stages of a custom made wooden bed frame coming together created by a furniture builder in a woodworking workshop

Now to start the decorative panel! Start by cutting the plywood to 76" x 32". This is oversized for the space it will occupy, but it will be trimmed to fit after attaching the Walnut veneer. 

Using a bandsaw to re-saw strips of Walnut approximately 3/16" thick and 2 5/8" wide. These strips should be no shorter than 26". Cut a 45 degree miter on one end of each strip and glue in the pattern shown. NOTE: Using a straight edge to align half of the pattern at a time helps tremendously with alignment. 

Once the pattern is complete and dry, use a track saw (or circular saw with a straight edge) to trim the panel to the final dimensions of 73 1/2" x 29 1/2". Flip the panel over and drill pocket holes along all edges of the panel for attachment to the frame. Place the panel into the frame with a half-inch reveal on the front side and screw into place. 

Decorative wooden headboard made with Forest 2 Home Walnut hardwood

Step 4: Supports

Four wooden hangers are used to hold the mattress support rails. They were cut on a CNC for this project but a jigsaw or bandsaw could just as easily accomplish the task. Refer to the dimensions in Fig. 4 to cut out four of these hangers. 

Wooden furniture hangers created in woodworking workshop by custom furniture builder and woodworker

Install two on the footboard and two on the rear support panel, 24" in from the left and right sides, with the top of the hanger at 13 1/8" from the floor. Use wood glue and screws to secure. 

The inner supports are a simple "T" shape, using 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 construction grade lumber. Connect the shorter piece (10") at the mid-point of the longer rail (85") using screws and glue. Plug the screw holes with dowels if desired. 

Inner supports of a bedframe created with hardwood lumber by custom furniture maker and furniture builder

The final step is to create the slats to support the mattress. Simply rip 3/4" plywood into 10 6" wide strips, 76 5/8" long. Space the slats roughly 3" apart along the support rails, and congratulations, you are finished! 

Custom made headboard and wooden bed frame created in a woodworking project by a furniture maker and furniture builder in woodworking workshop. Wooden headboard featuring Forest 2 Home lumber Walnut wood

Want to share your woodworking project plans with the Forest 2 Home community? Email with plans and project photos that feature F2H lumber! Happy woodworking! 

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