How to Hang a Headboard (Including Without Nails or Screws)

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It’s time for a new headboard, and you’ve been searching your options. You’ve seen some gorgeous bedrooms with the headboard attached right to the wall, and you think it might be a great idea for you. Maybe your existing headboard is rattling with every movement, and you’re tired of it. There are many advantages to having a stationary headboard. But how to go about attaching it to the wall? We’ve done some searching and have the steps for you.

To hang a headboard from the wall, there are many different options. Most involve putting holes in the wall. To complete the most secure installation, you’ll need to complete the following steps.

  • Purchase a heavy-duty wall-mount or cleat
  • Measure the height of your bed with the bedding
  • Know the height of your headboard
  • Attach the hardware to the wall according to measurements
  • Attach the corresponding hardware to the back of the headboard.
  • Slide the headboard into place over the wall-mount or cleats

Without nails or screws:

  • Create a headboard out of non-traditional, lighter material
  • Hang the headboard using command hooks or velcro strips.

Now that we’ve stated the basic steps in attaching a headboard to the wall, read on to find out more. There are many details involved and this is a DIY project you don’t want to flub.

A cozy bedroom with comfortable bed in modern studio apartment, How to Hang a Headboard (Including Without Nails or Screws)

With Nails or Screws

The traditional way to hang a headboard from the wall is by using some hardware to attach it. Headboards can weigh anywhere from 50-200 pounds depending on their material. This is not something you want falling on you while you sleep. For this project, you’ll need a tape measure, a power drill, a pencil, a level, a stud finder, and wall mounts or french cleats along with corresponding hardware (screws and plastic anchors — this usually comes with the mount or cleats). If you can enlist the help of a friend that would also be helpful.

Purchase a Heavy-Duty Wall-Mount or French Cleats

The very first step is to make sure you have the appropriate hardware. For our purposes here, we’ll move forward discussing installation using French cleats, which will be the best hardware to purchase for this project. Most sets come with two brackets. One attaches to the wall and the other to your headboard. They will slide and lock together. Ensure you check the weight restrictions for the hardware you purchase. Know the approximate weight of your headboard when shopping for mounts.

View these French cleats on Amazon.

Measure the Height of Your Bed with the Bedding

To ensure there won’t be any bare wall showing between the headboard and the bed, you’ll need to measure the height of your bed with the bedding atop. Using your tape measure find the height and make note of the measurement.

View this tape measure on Amazon.

Know the Height of your Headboard

After measuring your bed with the bedding, measure your headboard. Add these two numbers together and subtract a few inches so that once installed, the bottom of your headboard will be behind the bed.

Find the stud in the area you wish to hang your headboard using a stud finder. If at all possible, the middle part of your cleat should be screwed into the stud to solidly hold the weight of the headboard.

View this stud finder on Amazon.

Using your pencil and tape measure, measure the sum of the headboard and bed minus a few inches and make a mark on the wall where the top of the headboard will be. If you have a friend handy, enlist them to hold the headboard against the wall and lightly trace its outline. 

Attached the Hardware to the Wall According to Measurements

Inside the outline or marks you’ve made, make your first hole using the power drill.

View this power drill on Amazon.

This first hole will be where the middle of the French cleat will go. The cleat should be installed around the midway part of the headboard, so ensure this is appropriately placed on your outline. Once the hole has been drilled, insert the plastic wall anchor. If this is difficult by hand, the power drill can be used to install the plastic wall anchor. 

Measure outward from this initial hole in accordance with the distance between holes on the cleat; generally, the holes are about two inches apart. Mark the wall where you will make additional holes. Use the leveler to ensure these holes are level. Use the power drill to make the holes and insert plastic anchors.

Now that all the holes and anchors are prepared, attach the cleat using a screw. Begin by attaching just the middle screw. Do not fully tighten it yet. Use your leveler again to ensure the cleat is in a straight line before tightening completely. Once this is done, you are free to fully attach the cleat with the remaining screws.

View this leveler on Amazon

Attach the Corresponding Hardware to the Back of the Headboard

Next, you’ll attach the other cleat to the back of the headboard. Ensure you are placing it evenly by measuring the space of the headboard on either side of the cleat placement. To ensure even more accuracy, measure the outline you’ve made on the wall in comparison to the wall cleat, and try to mirror that placement as closely as possible on the headboard itself.

Attack the cleat to the headboard in the same manner as you attached it to the wall: drill holes, insert plastic anchors, attach cleat, attach middle screw, level and tighten, then proceed with the other screws.

Slide the Headboard into Place over the Wall Mount or French Cleats

Now that everything is tightened and secure, have your friend help you lift the headboard and slide it into place over the French cleat attached to the wall. These should lock together, and your headboard is now hung on the wall!

Bright luxurious bed design

Without Nails or Screws

There really aren’t any methods we can safely recommend to attach a traditional headboard to the wall without making holes. They simply weigh too much for even the strongest command hooks. However, with a little imagination, you can replicate the look of a headboard hanging from the wall. 

Create a Headboard out of Non-Traditional, Lighter Material

Try crafting your own headboard out of separate wooden boards. You can treat, paint, or stain them however you want, and if you’re hanging one at a time, you can attach them with adhesive instead of nails or screws.

Create a headboard out of craft foam blocks covered in cloth. You can add anything you want for embellishments, like buttons or quilting. Though this is styrofoam, it can still be durable enough. 

View this craft foam on Amazon.

This method could actually allow you a lot of versatility when matching your headboard to your bed. Should your headboard match your bed? Read this post to find out!

Hang the Headboard using Command Adhesives or Velcro Strips

When using Command strips, they can hold up to 16 pounds. If adding a board at a time, use two Command strips for each board on either end. Be sure to clean the wall thoroughly before attaching the adhesives. Any kind of residue will affect the integrity of the grip. 

If using the foam headboard method, Command strips on each corner will do the trick. If you’ve used heavier fabric, consider applying Command strip in the middle top and bottom as well. 

View these Command Strips on Amazon.

How Do You Prevent Damage to the Wall While Installing a Headboard?

To safely install a headboard, you are going to have to make some holes in the wall. The best way to ensure the wall has no further damage from scuffing or other accidents is to measure, measure, measure. Measuring and leveling could prevent you from having to make multiple holes. Double-checking your math can also prevent having to redo any crucial steps. So the most important thing to ensure in this whole process is accuracy. 

Additionally, enlisting the help of a friend can prevent mishaps which result in wall damage. 

How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Bed?

Headboards made to attach to a bedframe have holes for bolts on the posts. To attach a bed to the frame, slide the bolts through the holes on the headboard. Line it up to the bed frame and slide bolts through the corresponding holes on the bed frame. Attach a washer to the end of the bolt through the bedframe and tighten with a wrench. 

Does your headboard lean? Find out why by reading this post!

Can You Use a Headboard Without a Bed Frame?

A headboard can be used without a bed frame. Headboards can attach to the wall or be freestanding. Just be aware, if you don’t have a bed frame now and get one later, you’ll have to adjust the height of a headboard hanging from your wall to correspond with the height of the frame. 

In Closing

Hanging a headboard from the wall can be a satisfying do-it-yourself project. Just ensure you have a free afternoon, the proper equipment, and a friend to help. This thing will be hanging over your head, so don’t scrimp on safety!

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