DIY Open Book Headboard

The open book headboard is anΒ Instagram staple of mine that I’m asked about repeatedly. Understandably, people are curious to know how it was made. Now, I’ve got to be honest and say that I had no real part in the making of the headboard. In fact, when Dominic first mentioned his new DIY project idea to me, I wasn’t keen (I know, what was I thinking?). Thankfully, as with all of his DIY ideas for the house, it was a success.

It has meant, though, that every time I’ve been sent a question about it I’ve had to run it past Dominic to make sure I was replying with the correct information. The time has come where I’ve hit my limit for doing this, as he suggested creating a blog post – a step-by-step guide on how to make a book headboard – so that we can direct people to it whenever the question is asked. So, here it is:

What you’ll need:

  • A piece of 10mm MDF which is slightly larger than the width of your mattress.
  • Hardback books – old books have more character, and personally, I think they work the best.
  • Staple Gun.
  • Spray Glue.
  • Paint (the colour that matches the wall where your headboard will be hung).
  • Screws 10mm in length (we used 4 screws per book).
  • Electric screwdriver (not essential but makes the job a lot easier).

 

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Take your MDF and cut to the desired size. Ours is roughly 12″ wider than the width of the mattress so that we have a 6″ overhang either side.

Now paint the MDF the same colour as the wall where you’re placing it. The idea here is to blend it with the wall behind the books. If your wall has a patterned wallpaper, then try and paint it the most prominent colour in the wallpaper. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ve left my MDF board unpainted.

Once dry, open and arrange the books on the board, trying not to leave any large gaps between them. Turning a few of the books sideways can help to make them fit on the board better.

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Now you need to fix the books in place. For each book, lift the pages up (leaving just the hard front and back cover laying flat) and screw the cover to the MDF. Two 10mm screws for each side was enough for ours.

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All your books should now be securely fastened to the MDF board. Next, you need to fasten down the pages, so grab your staple gun, lift the two centre pages out of the way (these are the pages which will be visible when finished) and staple down the remaining pages on each side.

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Now everything should be fixed in place, in the order that you would like, except for the two centre pages of each book. Use spray glue to stick these down so that no ugly staples are showing.

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Hold the centre pages down for a minute (or until the glue sets).

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All that’s left to do now is to hang itΒ above yourΒ bed. It’s pretty heavy, so we used 2 packs of theseΒ to hold it.

That’s it! Pretty simple, huh? (or at least that’s what Dominic said πŸ˜‰ )


  1. Love it. I have admired your headboard in your Instagram feed. Elinor x

    • Thank you – it’s a very easy and cost effective way to revamp a bedroom. x

  2. Sabina

    25 April

    I am literally sooooo glad you posted this, I REALLY want to give it a go.
    (I would ask my boyfriend but he’s positively DIY useless!! haha)

    I’m going to have a little dig around my local charity shops to see if I can find any hardbacks! πŸ™‚
    XX

    • Oh, I;m sure you could master it yourself, it’s fairly easy to do. And yes, that’s where we found most of ours with the added help from eBay. We would stop at any charity shop, hoping that they’d have some and quite often they would.

      Good luck! Please let me know if you do it x

  3. heyimManon

    26 April

    I love it, because books are a huge part of my life !! One day, if i have my own home, I’ll do that headboard ! Thank you πŸ˜‰

  4. nowJess

    26 April

    I love it!! Thanks so much for the tutorial, this is definitely something I want to do one day! πŸ™‚

  5. Naushin

    30 April

    I love this but I also know it would mean an open invitation to scribble for my toddler. Insert eye roll. Until she’s older to know better, I will eye yours admiringly!

    • Ah, what a shame. Thankfully, Penny has resisted the urge to draw and scribble all over it (I’ve just jinxed myself, haven’t I? πŸ˜‰ ). But, admire away and once she’s older, you can enjoy your own. x

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