Saturday Morning Workshop: Modern Floating Headboard

Build this modern headboard with floating storage cubbies in less than a day and with one sheet of plywood!

Next Project

A few hours






Watch the video tutorial and follow the step-by-step instructions below to build this one-sheet-of-plywood minimalist headboard.

Tools Required

  • Circular saw
  • Clamps
  • Drill/driver
  • Iron
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1x2 board
  • 2" edge banding
  • 3/4" edge banding
  • 3/4" x 4' x 8' plywood

A headboard is a furniture piece that not too many of your houseguests will see, but it is something that you should take pride in every time you walk into your bedroom. If you want to build your own, they can become hopelessly complicated and cost a lot of money. I wanted to counter this thinking and come up with a modern, minimalist headboard that looks slick and doesn’t cost a lot of money. This floating headboard is a great project that you can be proud of, and it only uses one sheet of plywood and some edge banding.

Tech Art

Modern Headboard Tech Art

Cutting List

Modern Headboard Cutting List

Project step-by-step (10)

Step 1

Rip Plywood Strips to Size

Modern Headboard Rip Plywood

Use a table saw to cut two 2-in. strips for the cleats (Part B) and one 1-in. strip for the vertical struts (Part C). Rip a 16-in. strip for the cubbies from the maple plywood. The rest of the plywood will be around 27 in. for the main headboard (Part A).

Step 2

Crosscut Strips for the Vertical Struts

Modern Headboard Crosscut

Crosscut one of the 2-in. strips to two 27-in. pieces for the vertical struts (Part C) and attach them to the back of the headboard (Part A) using 1-1/4-in. construction screws.

Step 3

Cut Angles for the Cleats

Modern Headboard Rip 45 Degree Angle

Rip a 45-degree angle into the other two strips and crosscut them to 88 in. to create the French cleats (Part B). Fasten one of these to top of the back of the headboard with the long side of the strip facing out and the angled edge pointing towards the center of the headboard (Part A). The other will be used later as the wall cleat.

Step 4

Rough Cut Cubby Pieces

Modern Headboard Rough Cut

From the 16-in. plywood board, use a circular saw and temporary fence to crosscut four 17-in. pieces and four 7-in. pieces.

Step 5

Miter 45-Degree Angles into the Cubby Pieces

Modern Headboard Cut 45 Degree Angles

Cut an initial 45-degree angle into all of the rough-cut pieces. Measure the width of the cubby boards and mark a line. Use a miter sled and table saw to crosscut the second 45-degree angle to make the long (Part D) and short (Part E) cubby pieces.

Step 6

Tape and Glue to Create the Cubby Sideboards

Modern Headboard Tap and Glue Mitered Angles

Tape the corners of the mitered boards together and test your angles. Glue the joints, close the assembly and tape the final mitered-angles together to finish the cubby side tables.

Step 7

Crosscut Pieces for the Mounts

Modern Headboard Pocket Holes

Use a miter or circular saw to crosscut the 1×2 board into four 14-in. pieces (Part F) and fasten one of them to the inside of the cubbies with pocket holes.

Step 8

Fasten the Side Tables to the Headboard

Modern Headboard Fasten the cubbies

Screw the other cubby cleat (Part F) to the headboard with 1-3/4-in. reveals on the end and base of the headboard. Place the cubby on top of the headboard and fasten the cubby to the cleat from the bottom of the cubby. Screw the pocket-holed cleat to the to the headboard from the inside of the cubby.

Step 9

Edge Band the Plywood

Modern Headboard Iron on edge banding

Iron on the 2-in. maple edge banding to the headboard and trim the excess with a utility knife. Then iron on the 3/4-in. maple banding to the side tables. You shouldn’t need to clean up these edges, but take it slow so you don’t have to go back and try to take it off.

Step 10

Mount the Cleat to the Wall; Then Mount the Headboard

Modern Headboard Mount the headboard

Screw the last 2-in. cleat (Part B) with pilot holes and 3 in. construction screws to the wall so that the bottom of the cleat is 47 in. from the floor (this measurement can change depending on the height of your bed and where you want the side tables to sit). Set the floating headboard onto the cleat and enjoy!

Modern Floating Headboard Lead