Monday, June 25, 2012

DIY Carved Headboard with Monogram

How to make a curvy, carved headboard complete with handpainted monogram.

diy carved headboard with monogram

I built and painted this simple carved headboard for my girl #1:

diy carved headboard with monogram

land of nod monarch bed
I designed a similar layout and cut the headboard from 1/2" MDF with a jigsaw.
It has a low profile and pretty, girly, curvy lines:

diy carved headboard using MDF

And I added her monogram to make it personal and add a bit of color:

handpainted swirly monogram

Her bed sits in a funky spot right under the eaves so this headboard made for a good fit:
It's attached to the wall with a French cleat and not to the bed.

diy carved headboard with handpainted swirly monogram

Supplies cost:

1/2" MDF (4' x 8' sheet) = $24
French cleat = $15
primer, paint, poly (had on hand)

Total cost to make this headboard = $39

I gave her space a makeover, here's the complete before and after:

girls bedroom before picture

girls bedroom after picture

Here's how I made the headboard:

1. Draw headboard design on craft paper (only half of size needed):
This is a full size at 55"w, the paper is 27.5".

carved headboard pattern on kraft paper

2. You need 1/2" MDF cut at 55"w x 48"h.
Layout the pattern at the halfway point and trace the curvy edge:

kraft paper pattern on mdf

3. Flip the pattern over and repeat for the other side:

kraft paper pattern on mdf

4. Cut curvy design with jigsaw:
(MDF cuts like butter but it's heavy, you could use plywood but it's much more difficult to get a smooth, curvy cut.)

jigsaw to cut curves in mdf

5. Sand rough edges:

sanding curves smooth

6. Prime one coat Zinsser cover stain.
Paint two coats Benjamin Moore high gloss white enamel:

cover stain primer and high gloss enamel

7. Print out monogram.
I used Monogram KK font at 500 and 625 point:

printed monogram pattern

8. Using a ballpoint pen trace the letters with heavy pressure:

how to handpaint a monogram onto mdf

9. The pressure of the pen leaves a slight indent in the MDF, just visible enough here:

imprint from ballpoint pen

10. Using a DecoArt Traditions round #3 brush and Americana acrylic paint in peony pink:

DecoArt Americana acrylic paint

11. Paint on and inside the indent, two coats needed:

handpainting the monogram

12. Seal with spray clear acrylic gloss:

handpainted swirly monogram on curvy headboard

13. Attach one side of French cleat to back of headboard:

french cleat on back of headboard

And other side to wall:

french cleat on wall

Hang and enjoy.

curby headboard hanging on wall

diy cuvry headboard with handpainted monogram


  1. fabulous! exactly like the inspiration, but better b/c you made it!

  2. Wow! You are a one woman dynamo! What a sweet bed for a little (or big) girl!

  3. So pretty! You sure are great with wood! Do you think this same idea would work for a King size bed? I was thinking I could try it to make a headboard for us.

  4. Hi, I'm visiting from Primitive & Proper and I just love your headboard!! What an amazing job you have done! :)

  5. This looks beautiful. Great inspiration as I am looking to make a headboard for my daughter.

  6. Better than Land Of's great! Love the before and after pictures. Wow, it's a wonderful transformation.

  7. I've been dying to make a headboard... just can never decide what I want! LOVE this one! Totally girly shape! Wonder what my husband would think of that in our room..... ;)

    Stopping by from Primitive & Proper

  8. Sooo beautiful! I am in love with this!

  9. Your headboard is beautiful! I'm so impressed!

  10. What a fabulous build. Great shape, and I love the lettering.

  11. I so thought you were going to say you used your silouhette to do the monogram...but no!! You hand painted it, well done!! Looks gorgeous!!

  12. Thank you for sharing how you made and hung this adorable headboard.


  13. Wow! That is awesome. It makes me nervous just looking at it though. I do not think I could EVER do that. Great job.

  14. Just beautiful!!! I found you at DIY Project Parade and I'm your newest follower! Would love to have you stop by for a visit! Blessings ~ Judy

  15. I love that! We just made a headboard (an upholstered one, not painted) too! You did a great job. I TOTALLY thought that the monogram was a vinyl decal...I'm SO impressed that you painted it!

  16. Super pretty! Amazing job and great tutorial. I've been wanting to make a headboard so bad - I've considered donating the ones we have! lol You're not helping! ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing your creativity and hard work. I always love seeing what you've been up to!

  17. What is the bed on now? A metal frame?