Back in autumn 2017 I made a cover for a padded headboard my mother had made long ago in an upholstery class, and then fixed it to the wall in our spare bedroom. But it was rather narrow for a double bed at only 105cm (42”). What it needed was a wooden frame around it, and that would have been a simple matter had my dear mother only made her headboard with square upper corners instead of rounded ones. (But it does look better with curved corners.)
After my steam bending experiments last summer I formulated a vague plan to make a frame from lots of strips of bent wood laminated together, but it would have been a tricky exercise and expensive too, given that the outer strips would have needed to be almost 3m long. The autumn came and my enthusiasm for messing around with a wallpaper steamer outdoors waned. I satisfied my need for woodwork with a birdbox and a light shade instead.
I was tidying up the garage one day when I came across the offcuts of oak from a massive plank we bought at Duffield Timber as part of the flooring project we undertook in 2018. A lump had to be chopped off each end with a chain saw in order to get the huge board into our car, and these offcuts looked like they might be big enough to form the corners of a headboard frame. You can just see one of them peeping out from underneath at the top of this photo. I mentioned it to my dear husband, who likes a woodwork project, especially if it uses materials that we already have. Before long we had come up with a design and he had set to work.
This is the result.
The vertical and horizontal members are engineered oak flooring boards, with oak veneer applied around the outside edges to hide the plywood layers beneath the oak wear layer. The curved corners are, of course, cut from the solid oak offcuts. I wanted something that I could easily lift off the wall to remove the fabric cover for washing, without any risk that the oak frame would fall forward and crush anyone sleeping in our guest bed. We came up with an arrangement whereby the oak frame slides down onto the existing headboard with no additional wall fixings, and is prevented from tipping away from the wall by a slim steel bar recessed into the wood across each upper corner. The bars help to reinforce the corner joints too.
I finished the oak with 3 coats of linseed oil (from a bottle marked in fluid ounces – how old is that?) and I think it looks fabulous. The total width is now 145cm (57”), perfect for a double bed.