How to convert a cheap pre-fab bookcase into a stylish headboard

So, I had just finished the total redesign of our guest room and I was pretty happy with the results. But I didn’t have a headboard for the queen bed in there. What I DID have, however, was an old, cheap bookcase that I had bought from Walmart about 15 years ago. Here it is in all its glory:

So, armed with my handy-dandy pink tool kit, I dismantled the bookcase into its various parts. There was a lot of good wood to work with and I was lucky to have the molding pieces all intact. There were also a lot of pieces left over for other projects. More about that later. Here are the pieces I used on the headboard:

The next thing I did was to cut down the two long side pieces so they were the same length as the bed was wide. That means 60 inches. That done, I took two small pieces of molding and used them to attach the two pieces together, just to give them stability while I worked on the upholstery. It’s delicate at this point and shouldn’t be muscled around, but I managed to get it inside where I could work in the air conditioning.

I bought some quilt batting, cut the excess off, and folded it over 3 times, making it nice and soft. Then I stapled it in place.

Then I put the upholstery fabric on. I used one of those light-blocking drapery liners from Walmart because that’s all I could find that was thick and sturdy enough. I stapled liberally all around the outside, and up the middle where the molding would go.

Next, I took my wonderful chop saw and cut the reclaimed molding to the right lengths. I cut the long piece to 60 inches and the short pieces to 24 inches. Then I got out my primer and my red spray paint and went to town. I gave them a whole day to dry because I hate it when I muck up a nice paint job by being impatient. Then all I had left to do was screw the molding on from the back side. I drilled the holes first, to make sure I didn’t muck up the pressboard trying to just screw them in. I used some inch and a half wood screws, three each for the short pieces and five for the long piece across the top. I think it looks FABULOUS!

To attach the headboard to the bed, I debated hanging it on the wall but it seemed a little too heavy to do that. So, I used some 3 inch screws and attached two 2 x 4 boards to the back of the headboard. I fussed a lot with the height of it, but I think it came out really nice in the end.

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One Response to “How to convert a cheap pre-fab bookcase into a stylish headboard”

  1. Corai Says:

    This is such a nice idea, but wouldn’t have been possible to make a bookcase headboard instead of a simple one?

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