We made a lion, but you can make whatever animal your child adores!
Hands down I would have to say that Shari’s and my favorite room to decorate are kids’ rooms. We can let our imaginations run wild. When we wanted a jungle theme for a young boy’s room, we opted for a gentle lion headboard.
If you can tame yourself, here’s all you need to do to make your own:
- 4-foot x 8-foot luan or Masonite panel, 1/8-inch thick
- interior latex paints to color the design
- mini rollers and trays
- bolts and nuts to attach to metal bed frame
- option: drywall screws to attach to the wall
1. Let your imagination go wild as you come up with the shape of your headboard. We copied the design right from a comforter we selected for the boy’s room. But you can use any design that you like; choose one from a storybook or from a magazine. It’s always easier if you have something to look at while you’re sketching.
Keep safety in mind when you draw out your design. In the end, we had to go back and soften the edges of our lion’s mane because they were too sharp and could be dangerous. Use a sheet of Masonite or luan plywood to lay out your design. Both materials are light enough to move around easily and won’t make the bed to heavy. A 4′ x 8′ sheet was the perfect size for a twin size bed.
2. We used a hand-held jigsaw to cut out our lion shape. Use a scroll blade in the jig saw; it makes very fine cuts and can turn on a dime. Once that was done, we spent a lot of time sanding the edges to make sure there was nothing a child could get hurt on.
3. Select easy-to-use interior latex paints to color in your design. It may need two coats to really look vibrant. Or you can prime the entire shape with a primer tinted to the same color as the body of the lion. This makes it possible to only have to paint one final topcoat. Using small roller kits can cut the painting time in half. To draw in any details such as the eyes or the mane, you can use a waterproof marker.
4. We attached our headboard directly to the metal frame of a twin bed. Drill holes into the headboard to match the brackets of the bed frame. Secure with nuts, washers and bolts. If you feel the headboard will be too wobbly this way, simply attach the headboard to the wall using drywall screws. Touch up the head of the screws with the colors that are there, then push the bed up to it.
Our headboard was larger than life, and stuck out on one side of the bed far enough to have a nightstand sit in front of it too. You may want to think about trying that if your design could work that way. It helped make our sitting lion seem in better proportion; otherwise we would only have a head behind the bed!
Have a roaring good time!