How to Make a Headboard Using Old Doors

How I built a headboard using old doors and stock wood molding to decorate my bedroom in my own style.

Remember this DIY headboard that I made for the master bedroom in my previous house using bifold doors that I bought for a few dollars a piece at the thrift store?


I really liked the headboard and when we moved from the house we removed it and took the old doors with us to South Carolina.

Since then, they have been stacked and leaning against a wall in our garage.

Not anymore though…

old doors turned into a headboard for king size bed

…since I recreated the headboard made using doors in a slightly different way to make a new headboard for the master bedroom.

This new headboard replaced twin headboards that I semi-upholstered. I liked that headboard, but it was not very tall.  The wall above it always looked empty and I did not want to add anything above the bed to keep a minimal, casual, carefree air to the room.

We did not have crown molding in the Pennsylvania house so when we made the door headboard for that room, we took the doors all the way to the ceiling and added crown molding to the top.

how to make a headboard using old bifold doors

In the lake house there is crown molding in the room, so we cut the height of the doors so they would go 3/4’s of the way up the wall.  We used a combination of stock molding from Home Depot to make the decorative top for the headboard.

I also had some assistance from my neighbor who has a wood working workshop in his backyard that would make Norm Abraham’s proud.  So the 5 doors would fit evenly in-between the two windows, he cut a 1/4″ off each side of the doors for me so they would fit perfectly.  I could have done on my rickety table saw, but having a big table saw right next door, I opted to go the pro route.

navy and white bedroom with bed headboard made using old doors

It was a little hard getting the molding on top of the doors just right by the windows on either side of the bed…

Ideas on how to reuse old bifold doors

…but we made it work.

Turn an interior door or doors into a DIY wood headboard

I am in the process of updating the bedding for the spring and summer.  For this photo, I took the DIY no-sew pillow from the living room and placed it on the bed. It is only temporary until I get new bed pillow shams made.

Navy and white bedding

I wrote a post on where I found my style and color inspiration for my bed refresh earlier this year when I was out and about at a local furniture store. I loved this bedding, but not the price tag. The duvet alone was $425, the shams $78 a piece, plus I would have to buy a comforter too.

So I searched for similar colored bedding and like what I found. (All resources are at the end of this post.)

How to make a unique headboard using doors

I will post about the pillow shams and a few other tweaks to the room as I complete each.

Blue grasscloth on accent wall in master bedroom

MAKEOVER UPDATE:  Since writing this post I have removed the wall-to-wall carpeting, put wood laminate in it’s place and added an area rug as well as wallpapered the walls. You can read all about it in this post: Blue & White Master Bedroom Makeover

My favorite addition so far is the new pom-pom trimmed bed skirt. I love it!  It has elastic that goes around the box spring, so no having to lift up the mattress to add a bedskirt. EZ!  I did have to wash it in hot water and dry it to shrink it a little to fit the height of my 15″ boxspring. Newer box springs are now about 18″ high. The navy and white swirl paisley comforter is called Oceanside.

How to make a headboard using salvaged doors from the thrift store

How to Make a Headboard Using Old Doors

wood molding needed to create the top for a headboard made using old doors

Supplies are for a king size bed. If making a headboard for a smaller size bed, you will need fewer doors and lumber lengths. Buying primed wood, will save you a painting step.

supplies needed:

  • Bifold doors – for a king size bed – you will need 5 doors
  • two – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
  • one – 1″ x 4″ x 8′
  • one – Alexandria Moulding 1-3/16 in. x 3-3/4 in. x 8′ Primed MDF Crosshead Moulding – Home Depot
  • one – 11/16  x 8′ cove molding
  • one – 8′ length –  base shoe molding
  • 3″ long wood screws
  • Screw driver
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • bubble level
  • stud finder
  • Paint –  Sherwin Williams Pure White 7005 in semi-gloss
  • Paint brush, paint roller, paint tray
  • Spackle and caulk
  • Spackle knife
  • Optional: If edges of doors are unfinished or made of particle board you can use Band Edge Tape to finish them.
old doors made into a head board tutorial

Here is a photo of the finished headboard and how it is hung on the wall.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Since I figured out how to install the doors and molding between the two windows as I went, I didn’t finish off the outer edges of the two doors at the end on each side of the headboard and molding before attaching to the wall. Big mistake!  Since they were cut, the ends were rough. This is easy to fix with iron-on birch veneer that you can buy very inexpensively at the home improvement store if you add it before you hang the doors and molding.

  • APPLY the veneer to all the rough edges on the molding and wood that will be exposed BEFORE hanging the doors. This is so much easier than trying to do it once they are hung.
  • Check out this post that shows how to apply the veneer. It is a five minute job.


How to Attach Doors to Studs in Wall

Use 2-1/2″ or 3″ long wood screws to attach doors and 2″ x 4″ to studs in wall. Countersink all screws.

  1. Figure out how high you want the headboard and cut, remember to add  5-1/2″ inches for the top molding to the measurement.
  2. Using a bubble level attach a 2″ x 4″.
how to tutorial on how to make a headboard using old doors

3. Place each door on the 2″ x 4″ and then attach to wall.  Use a stud finder to easily find the studs. Doing this will create the base of your headboard.

4. The second 2″ x 4″ goes on top of doors.

make a headboard using old doors and stock molding

5. Then the primed 1″ x 4″ on top of 2″ x 4″.  Use wood screws to attach from the top down into the 2″ x 4″.  (See the raw edges of the wood. I can’t stress this enough… Apply the birch veneer before hanging the doors/molding.)

step by step photo tutorial showing how to make a headboard using old doors

6. Next, attach the MDF Crosshead molding. It is starting to look like a headboard.

step by step photo tutorial showing how to make a headboard using old doors and wood molding

7. I used wood glue to attach base shoe molding upside down right under crosshead molding. Use finishing nails if needed. Use painter’s tape to hold glued pieces in place until dry.

Wood molding idea on how to top a bed headboard make using old doors

8. The cove molding is attached with small finishing nails or Liquid Nails along edge of 1″ x 4″.

photo tutorial showing how to make a headboard using old doors

9. Using a miter saw, cut pieces of cove and shoe molding to go around ends of doors. Fill in any gaps with caulk or Spackle.

crown molding trim idea for top of an headboard made using old doors

10. Fill all holes and over counter-sinked screws with Spackle and let dry, sand smooth. Fill and gaps between molding with caulk, let dry.

What to use to cover unfinished particle board edges

Here is a close-up of how the wood and molding all go together on the top of the doors.

How to Paint the Headboard

how to make a big headboard to go between two windows using old doors

11. Apply a light coat of paint to headboard, let dry, add a second coat. I rolled the paint on over the flat surfaces using a small roller and used a 1″ angled paint brush to paint the recessed areas on the panel sections and molding.

I still need to touch-up this end with 220 grit sandpaper and add a dab of paint, but two coats of paint provided coverage for the headboard.

All finished.

It makes me happy that I have been able to create a one of a kind headboard using old doors, once again.  I could call it my Re-salvaged door headboard.

If you liked this project showing how to repurpose bi-fold doors, you may like this idea using them – How to Make a Rolling Door Using Old Bi-Fold Doors


More DIY Headboard Ideas

How to make a bed headboard using old doors. I used bifold doors, but you can use any size door. I found these doors at ReStore for a few dollars a piece. Step-by-step photo tutorial shows you how you can make your own. Step-by-step photo tutorial shows you how you can make your own. #bed #headboards. #salvageddoors #olddoorideas #repurposeddoors #doorheadboards #olddoorheadboards

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  1. Beautiful headboard! The whole room looks lovely, the blue and white bedding looks so fresh and bright. Thank you also for the great detailed instructions and pictures of how you made the headboard. You have inspired me with your creativity, thanks, Julie

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julie – Thank you and thanks for taking the time to read my blog and connect with me. :-)

  2. Ooft. That looks pretty damn good. Great solution.

  3. John Donovan says:

    As it turns out, old doors look stunning as a headboard! By making a few simple tweaks, you definitely turned this into something new. It’s hard to even tell that they were actually doors in the first place!

  4. Nawm D. Gerr says:

    Love it! You are so creative and talented and your husband and you make a great team!

  5. Hubby is trying to talk me into luxury vinyl plank in the bedroom. I am resisting because of concerns about its affect on home value and it looking too “cheap” (although it isn’t!). Hurry and post something so that I can make a decision:). Practicality and function are great incentives.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carole –

      I am still waiting for the flooring. It was supposed to arrive two weeks ago. If you want to show your hubby some photos, I used Luxury Vinyl Plank from NuCore in my Studioffice, Hallway, powder room and upstairs bath. You can see the posts about each by following these links:

  6. Alison North says:

    Flawless! You really are a DIY goddess. Furthermore, what I genuinely adore about your blog is that you attempt to demonstrate to all of us generally accepted methods to deal with small(er) spending plans. There are bunches of us out there who are in a comparable situation. Reference to your lakeside area proposed.

  7. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    You sure are the very best!

    You had me hooked years ago! I adore the post of your window seat and now this gorgeous headboard! Thank you! Thank you and for the less expensive way to diy!

  8. I don’t know what it is about the color blue, but I just love it! Your bedroom looks great and I was surprised to see that the bed skirt was so inexpensive and from Kmart! I think I’m due for a new bed skirt. Great post!

  9. Kari @ Me and My Captain says:

    You are so clever Diane…your room is beautiful!

  10. Anna Gregory says:

    Love it! A gorgeous retreat.

  11. Regina Harrison says:

    The headboard looks even better than it did in your PA house! You are the MASTER of upcycling! Great job re-upcycling those thrift store doors. Love the duvet cover on the bed too!

  12. I love your master bed headboard and bedding. Your diy headboard is so creative! A few questions if you don’t mind. What color would you consider your comforter, ie. navy, medium or bright blue or dusty blue? What color is your bedroom paint? I love the pom pom bedskirt!!
    Thanks for sharing your talent!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joyce –

      The color of the blue on the comforter is navy blue. The paisley pattern is like a water color. Some of the design is more opaque and other parts of it are a more transparent navy. The under side is a dusty blue solid. The paint on the walls in my bedroom is a light blue: Glidden Bastille Blue 90BG 64/101

  13. Love that headboard as much as I did the old one!

  14. Love the headboard! Great job!

  15. Anne Lynn Jarman says:

    Love everything you have done in your bedroom, always in awe of your creativity and kudos for reusing in such a magnificent way, now times 2.
    Just a little information: Boxsprings can be obtained a flat as 4” if you need them for a particular bed stead. Blew my mind but it is true. I had bought an inexpensive but very nice queen size bed stead for my second guest room, children all gone so I’m ready for guests at a moment’s notice, however the depth of my excellent mattress which had been on a Murphy bed at my previous house made a conventional boxspring make the whole thing look ridiculous. Birch Lane where I had bought the bed stead to the rescue… you have to build it yourself but I did that alone, but mine is 5” deep and made sure there was still enough bed head to lean comfortably against, my son is 6’ 2”, he’ll be glad to deny it , but he is. Anyway point being that you are not limited to these vast behemoths, you can find them at Birch Lane in a range of depths and I’m sure other places and definitely less expensive than the big box stores or department stores. It had a very nice cover to zip over it too, not flimsy at all.

  16. Bravo Diane to the 10th power!
    Beautiful , the bed skirt is so great I want one, too.

  17. I love all of your design ideas and always look forward to reading your blog. I like that bedskirt as well, how exactly does it stay on the bed if it is not like the traditional ones where you have to lift the entire mattress up and slide the whole bedskirt between the mattress and box spring? Also your hair looks fantastic!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sherry – The bed skirt looks like a straight across valance you would hang from a window. Along the top is runched elastic. The whole thing is a big circle that goes over the mattress. The elastic section fits snugly right on top of the outer edge of the box spring. I had to play around with a little to get it right. The corners have openings so you know exactly how to place it on and around the bed. I hope this makes sense. I just put it on over the weekend. When I worked in retail display we used to cut traditional bedskirts so we could just safety pin them on to the box spring. It was too hard to have to change them every few weeks when we would have to set up the newest bedding the store carried. Maybe I will write a post about it.

      1. Thank you for the explanation. I hate dealing with my traditional dust ruffle after cleaning etc. and moving the mattress around. I need to check out this type of ruffle. Thanks again.

  18. I love your new headboard. It looks so custom and expensive. However – no judgment here, just an opinion, but it doesn’t show up enough against the white wall. It needs to be seen and appreciated.

    1. I forgot to add: Great instructions on how to install. You make it look easy.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi again Pat – I forgot to add that when I get tired of the white headboard, I may end up chalk painting it a navy blue. Right now I am loving the white since it was what the bed had in the furniture showroom I was inspired by.

        1. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

          They (the store) needs to pay you a million bucks, cause that bedding looks that much better with your display and photos!

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Pat – The wall is actually a light blue. It gets washed out when the sun shines in. In the morning and evening you can see the difference between the white and light blue.

  19. Gorgeous! You truly are a DIY goddess. And what I truly love about your blog is that you try to show us all how to work on small(er) budgets. There are lots of us out there who are in the same boat. Reference to your lakeside location intended :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Connie – Thanks. I love finding the affordable options and the thrill of the hunt for them. They just take some time to find sometimes. It makes me happy that others are like me and seek them out, too.

  20. Gail Vernali says:

    I love it, so much so I purchased the same skirt for my room. Thank you for your great ideas just Keep the ideas coming.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gail – I will try. You will be able to see it this weekend. XO