DIY Project: How To DIY Herringbone Bed

by Jenn

Here’s a super fun Herringbone Bed project for you to try.  It’s much easier than it looks, I promise.  Don’t be discouraged if you have never built anything before. Before this diy herringbone bed project, I had never even used a drill. I had certainly never made anything with wood.  Which makes me even more excited to share this with you!  It looks so nice in my bedroom I could scream from my rooftop!  If I can do it,  you can too!

The Herringbone Bed DIY project took me about a week to make.  Honestly, a lot of that time was waiting for stain to dry, which sucks by the way…lol. I don’t like waiting!

DIY Project: How To DIY Herringbone Bed


A few weeks ago I had the brilliant idea to try and make a headboard out of these deck tiles I had in the garage.  Don’t ask, I got a good deal on them a few summers back.  Since I didn’t know how to start building my new herringbone bed I turned to I found these great plans for the bed and altered them to the way I wanted them.  Before I started I made sure I had the best sander for furniture.

I’ll show you what I did to get mine looking like it is with the herringbone pattern. If you decide that you want to make one too, go over and see Ana White for the Cassidy Shim Bed plans (available in king and queen size!).

diy projectThis is what the tiles looked like before I took them apart and sanded them.

diy bedThe backside. They had SO many stripped and rusty screws. It took me 5 hours to take them all apart. I still have stacks of them left over. Maybe make a table?

how to make your own bedI taped off a section on my kitchen table to lay out the pattern.  I originally wanted to do a cheveron, pattern but the herringbone pattern was a  lot easier for me.   Plus, the wood from the tiles fit perfectly!

wood diy project for the houseI spent a lot of time fixing the tiles!  This is what they look like after I finished sanding them and in the process of staining.  It took me six straight hours to sand these things. My forearms were SORE!

To stain the wood I went with MinWax oil stain in Jacobean and Espresso.  I put the wood pieces into piles of 30ish and did some stain for 15 mins, some for 30 secs, some with two coats some with one etc. I wanted there to be some variation in the colors, but all along the same tones.

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More stained up pieces. If you aren’t a hoarder like me with old deck tiles in your garage. 1x2s cut to 11 or 12″ long would work for the herringbone pattern. I think the Shims that Ana White suggests would work too!

diy project blogTo start the pattern, find the center of your wood. In this case, it would be at the 30″ mark. Then lay out two pieces as shown here, making sure that the peaks (top and bottom) line up with your center line. Trace the top piece of wood with a pencil so that you know where the first piece goes. Glue them down with liquid nails.

how to make a bedAfter the first piece is in, the rest flow into place.

bedCover your whole board. Don’t worry about the overhang or the little blank spots. Just cover as much as you can.

bed diy projectLet the glue sit for at least 24 hours before you go any further.

glue is setting on our diy headboardOnce your glue is good and set, run a skill saw around the edges to cut off all your overhang.

diy headbaord for bed diy headboardTake those little pieces you have left from the cuts and fill in your gaps. You can either fill like I did and cut one more time or you can measure each piece, cut to the size of the gap and fill in that way. Personally, I think it was so much easier just to make one cut around the board.

diy headboard projectVoila! DONE! So pretty isn’t it?

diy headbaord for bedAna suggests adding your trim in the first step before you add your shims/wood pieces. But I added my trim after. I did not want to make so many cuts to make my pieces fit. I think it worked out great this way.

diy headboard is almost doneHeadboard with a coat of wax on it waiting to be buffed out. Sure brings out the colors in the wood. I used paste wax as my finish instead of poly.

diy bed made out of woodAfter your foot and headboard are together it’s really a breeze. Get your remaining wood pieces and sand, sand SAND… make those babies super smooth. No one wants a sliver in their butt crawling out of bed!

stained woodAfter sanding, stain! Again I used MinWax oil stain in Jacobean and Espresso. I used one coat of espresso, then one coat of Jacobean. I let both sit for 15 mins before wiping off the excess.

stained wood for diy bedAnd, more stain.

stained wood for diy projectThese are stained and dried. Look at all that awesome detail in the side rails. LOVE it!

diy-queen-herringbone-bed completeI can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was when I got that last piece of the header on and the two pieces were done. I still can’t believe I made this!

diy-queen-herringbone-bed doneFinished footboard.

diy-queen-herringbone-bed frameHere is my frame I build with the 2x4s. I found it easiest to build the frame and attach the side rails right in the middle of my bedroom, so I didn’t have to carry it in one piece all the way up my stairs.

diy-queen-herringbone-bed finsihedOnce you attach your side rails, it makes the whole thing stable. I added two flat brackets to affix the side rails to each post just for some added support on top of the screws. This thing is not even a little bit wiggly. AWESOME!

diy-queen-herringbone-bed rocksCloser look at the headboard.

diy-queen-herringbone-bedAnd that’s it! Go out and buy yourself some new bedding as a reward, you deserve it!  It’s going to look beautiful on your finished DIY Herringbone Bed! Lastly, to give a final touch use good quality mattresses like The Ghost Bed Mattress, which comes with latex and gel that provide comforts as well as a great sleeping experience at a budget-friendly price.

I spend about $200 making my herringbone bed. The wood itself was cheap. I was very surprised. I borrowed tools from friends and family, although since then I have bought out half of Home Depot and own my own! Bulky tools can be stored in a heavy-duty workbench from DycoVentures if you have a garage.   If you aren’t comfy using a saw for the big cuts, you can get all of your wood cut to size when you buy it from Rona or Home Depot. But trust me, bring a tape measure and make sure their cuts are accurate before you leave the store. They can be inconsistent sometimes.

Since making this bed, I have done side tables Wood Crate Coffee Table, Rustic Veggie Bins, Wood and Steel Console, Doggie Bed, Chalkboard Shelf & Backpack Rack and a bunch of other things. One success and you’ll be hooked.

So what do you think? Would yourself a herringbone bed for yourself?

If you like the DIY Herringbone Bed project be sure to check out a few of our other DIY projects.

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