Red, White and Blue Headboard Adds Drama


Even though a flag headboard seems like it is perfect for the patriotic summer holidays, it can also just be an intersting focal point in a geat looking bedroom!

One of our favorite holidays is the Fourth of July not only because it’s the birthday of our nation, but it’s a special day to spend with friends and family. This little headboard would be great for a guest bedroom, or kid’s room that uses a patriotic or even a nautical theme.   It can be installed just for the Fourth or left up to show our colors all year long.  It would also make a great exterior wall hanging.   Follow these simple steps and you’ll be displaying your field of colors in no time.

Materials List:

  • 15  1- x 4-inch x 6-foot pine boards
  • Miter saw
  • Wood and drywall screws
  • Cordless drill and drill bits
  • Latex satin interior paint:  in red, white and blue of course.


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1. Start by measuring the width of the bed that the head board will be used for; this will give you the measurements for cutting the wood to that length.  Cut the 1 x 4’s to the same length as the bed using the miter saw (save your scraps; you’ll need them later for the field of blue).

A twin bed measures 39 inches wide so make the length of the boards 42 inches long. The extra length will allow for blankets.

2. Using the miter saw, cut the ends of the board into points, just like a picket fence. To do so, find the center of the board, not the length, but the width, and make a pencil mark. Measure down the length from the end 2 inches and make another pencil mark that’s the angle for the picket cut. Make the cut with the miter saw along that angle.

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3. Showing the colors, using latex satin interior paint, red, white wash the boards with the paint. Use an old T-shirt or paper towel to apply the paint; you want the wood grain to show through the paint. Since you’re creating an American flag, do every other one, red then white.

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4. Now, remember those scrap pieces of lumber I said to hang on to? Those are the field of blue. Cut those to a length of 16 inches.

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Once they are cut, paint the boards blue.

5. Playing Betsy Ross?  Well, you’re not going to sew the flag together, but close enough. Lay the boards on the floor, paint side down. (Do this on a drop cloth to protect the wood and the floor.) The top board should be a red board, and then white, and well, you get the idea.

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6. Cut two pieces of 1 x 4 to the width of the headboard minus 2 inches so they will be hidden behind the flag. These will be the back support, make sure each board (stripes) gets attached to the back supports.

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7. For extra strength, cut a board that will be placed at an angle between the two support boards.

8. Bring on the blue, with the stripes facing you; place a board that has been washed blue in the upper-left-hand corner. You may want a partner to help hold this board into place because you will be screwing in from the back. Attach the board and work your way across until you run out of boards.

Raising the flag, now attach the headboard to the bed frame, drill pilot holes through the back support boards and attach to the frame using lag bolts. If you want, the headboard can be attached to the wall. Just pre-drill pilot holes through the headboard. Place into position on the wall. Push an awl or nail through the pilot holes to mark the location. Remove the headboard and drive self-anchoring Molly’s into the wall at the location of the marks. Hold the headboard back in place and attach to the wall using drywall screws. Touch up the screw heads with paint. Stand back and salute a job well done.

There are many variations of headboards you can build. Experiment and you can come up with new and interesting ways to dress up a standard bed frame. One word of caution _ the hardest part is making sure the headboard is attached safely to the bed. That’s why I strongly suggest mounting the headboard directly to the wall.  This is very easy to do, and a lot safer.


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