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Head for bed

DIY projects from Your Home and Garden

Short on space? Why not make a slatted headboard and incorporate shelves that can be moved into position as a side table between the slats

A slatted headboard with adjustable shelves

You will need


  1. Measure the bedhead space to work out what size timber you will need. While planning, find some studs for fixing as this is where your upright timber will go. I did this under a window, as I know there is a stud either side of the window. I also added a third upright in the middle for support but this doesn't need to be on a stud.

  2. Measure and cut slats to length. Measure the length of shelf you want and cut to length. It will be best if these can slide all the way to the wall so I made these short enough to miss the upright support timbers. I left the uprights long as I didn't know exactly where the slats would end. The uprights can be cut off once all the slats and gaps are placed and fixed in.

  3. Give all the timber a light sand.

  1. Lay out the slats on a clean surface with the good face or finished face down. Pre-drill and screw your top slat or horizontal piece flush with the top of all three uprights.

  2. Put the shelf hard under it and place the next piece tightly under that. This needs to be firm so the shelves don't slip around when inserted (but not so tight you can't get them out). Pre-drill and screw the second slat.

  3. Repeat these steps until you have used all your slats. Cut off the excess upright.

  1. Stain the slats and uprights. I used Resene Colorwood Whitewash in Resene Bask and recommend applying with a soft brush.

  2. Prime and paint the shelves. I used Resene Quick Dry Primer with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Alabaster as a top coat.

  3. Fix the headboard to the wall using at least four large screws. Fill holes with wood filler.

  4. Place the shelves and style as desired.

Top tips

Project colours...

Resene Colorwood Bask

More Resene colours to try...

Resene Colorwood Wash Becalm

Resene Colorwood Wash Rising Tide

Resene Colorwood Wash Shore Thing

Project: Nikki Kettle. Photography: Anna Briggs. July 2022.

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Projects from Your Home and Garden
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