We considered several options for this, including building legs for the headboard and attaching them to the bed frame. But, we ended up deciding it would be easiest to attach the headboard to the wall for a few reasons. First, we’re using two twin bed frames and may want to pull them apart if we have guests who aren’t a couple spending the night, like Melissa’s mom and sister, who always come help us host the garage sale each year. Having the headboard on the wall would make it quicker and easier to switch the room arrangement. Also, if we built legs for the headboard, we’d have to cover them or stain them since they would likely show, at least a little bit. More work.
So, we needed a way to securely attach the headboard to the wall above the bed so it wouldn’t be able to be knocked down by a bump in the night. Melissa suggested she also wanted it to hang perfectly flat against the wall (unlike how pictures are often slightly offset from the wall at the top where the hanging hardware hits the wall). That led us to the idea to use a wooden cleat system.
This is the same hanging system we used to mount our wooden growth chart, which is out most popular post, by the way, if you want to check it out, but we didn’t include a tutorial for that and we’ve gotten quite a few questions on how we did it.
The first step was to create the two cleats, one to attach to the wall and one to attach to the headboard. (More info here on how we created the frame for the headboard.)
I used the table saw, set on an angle, to cut the 2×4 down on a bevel to create the two cleats.
Just make sure the angle is exactly the same and it will fit together perfectly.
Remember, the top piece will be attached to whatever you’re hanging. The bottom piece will be attached to the wall.
I used my hand plane to remove any rough edges and smooth the corners a bit.
I actually ended up creating one long cleat to attach to the wall (to allow me to find and hit wall studs easier when hanging it) and then two sorter cleats for the back of the headboard, one for each side. You could use one long piece for the top as well if you wanted, but these were the scrap pieces I had on hand.
This is what it looked like in a practice test before I attached everything. The pieces are being propped up in place here to make sure they fit together correctly.
I attached the wall cleat to the wall, being sure to hit at least two studs.
You can see how it works better from this angle. The other cleat, made with the opposite angle as this one, slips between the wall cleat and the wall, creating a secure hanging system.
And then I screwed the headboard cleats to the back of the headboard using holes I pre-drilled with my Kreg jig. I propped them up with scrap boards to ensure they were the right distance away from the back of the headboard to fit securely over the wall cleat.
Then, it was as easy as slipping the headboard cleat onto the top of the wall cleat, which securely holds it in place.
It was a quick, easy process, and now the headboard hangs perfectly flush with the wall and is very secure.
The only way to remove it is to lift it up and off the wall cleat, which won’t happen by accident as it’s pretty heavy. However, you can slide it side to side, with a little effort, to make sure it’s centered. I measured from either side of the window to get it exactly how Melissa wanted it.
Then, I moved in the bed frames and mattresses, again keeping everything centered. You can see how the headboard tucks behind the mattresses. We also have a couple inches of overhang from the headboard on either side, which was perfect considering the door was already that size so I didn’t have to cut it at all. It is also a nice height to balance out the large king bed.
If you’re looking for more information on wooden cleat hanging systems, you can check out this link for a video tutorial. It really is one of the best ways to hang heavy items securely to the wall.
What are some of your preferred hanging methods? With a kid on the way, we’ve both been thinking about ways to start the baby-proofing process and this wall hanging system is one easy way to make sure kids can’t pull things down on top of them.