Step by step tutorial on how to build a headboard with caning. This easy to make cane headboard is inexpensive and updates a bedroom with a modern, yet vintage feel.
About a year ago, I participated in the $100 Room Challenge and updated our master bedroom with a budget of, that’s right, $100. This cane headboard was part of the design, and because I built it myself, I was able to create a queen sized headboard for about $60.
I’m bringing you this tutorial as part of the furniture flippers! We took some time off, but are back sharing tips, tricks, and projects that allow for budget friendly decorating. Be sure to check out the other projects at the end of the post!
Materials Needed to Make a Cane Headboard
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- 5 feet of 24″ wide 5/8″ open cane webbing (5 feet was enough for a queen headboard)
- 1″ x 10″ board –
- 1″ x 4″ board –
- staple gun
- French cleat wall hanger
- Kreg Jig
- handheld drill
How to Assemble the Headboard
The first step in making your own headboard is to assemble the frame. To make my frame, I used 1 x 4s for the three edges that would be showing and a 1 x 10 for the bottom piece. I chose a 1 x 10 because I wanted to rest the headboard on the base of our bed, so in order for the headboard to sit high enough above the mattress, I needed this wide piece of wood.
When deciding the size of your headboard, it’s important to note the width of the opening. The widest caning I could find at a decent price was 24″ wide, so I had to be sure the opening of my headboard was only 23″ from top to bottom so I had enough excess to staple to my frame.
For the top two corners, I mitered the corners at 45 degree angles, and used my Kreg Jig to attach them together. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert at this, since I’ve only done it once before. Instead, let me direct you to a great tutorial on adjoining mitered corners.
How to Attach Caning to the Headboard
I soaked the caning overnight prior to stapling to the frame. Again, I’m no expert here, but I’ve read that you need to soak the caning so it is flexible and easy to work with. Additionally, as it dries it contracts a little, which gives the perfect amount of tautness in the caning at the end.
I simply stapled the caning to the back of the frame as tight as I could pull it. As it dried, it contracted and ended up being firm in the frame.
How to Attach a Headboard to the Wall
I used this Hangman french cleat to securely attach the headboard to our wall. I used one of my favorite tricks for hanging pictures and other items straight – the lipstick trick.
First, I attached half of the french cleat to the back of the headboard, in the center.
Then, I rested the other half of the cleat (the one that would be attached to the wall) in the half attached to the headboard and put lipstick on the outline of each corner.
When I placed the headboard against the wall in the location I wanted it, the lipstick is left on the wall, making the perfect outline for where I needed to attach the cleat. At this point, I just screwed the cleat into the wall, and hung up the headboard.
That’s it! I used wood I had leftover from other projects, but even if you had to buy new wood, this project should cost you less than $75. That’s WAY cheaper than I’ve seen other headboards in a similar style to this one.
You can see the 10″ piece of wood made this headboard the perfect height for raising it up right to the height of the mattress. Depending on if you are going to rest the headboard on the frame, the height of your mattress, and how much wood you want showing around the edge of the headboard might mean you use different dimensions of lumber.
I’m super happy with how it turned out, and love how it looks modern, yet still pairs well with the vintage fabric, black planked wall, and basket and quilt art.
- Chalk Paint Furniture Before and After by Thirty Eighth Street
- How to Make a Headboard with Caning by Refresh Living
- How to Whitewash Wood by Repurpose and Upcycle
- How to Paint a Dresser by Lovely, Etc.
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