How to… fix a broken headboard

By | February 21, 2013

Has this scenario ever happened to you…

The day has finally arrived! Your new, gorgeous headboard has arrived in all its glory and is just begging to be attached to your bed. So you oblige it, tightening up those bolts like a pro. Come time for bed(fordshire), you slide under your duvet and snuggle down, all warm and protected by your new headboard. But then, 3am arrives and you hear a splintering sound … the bolts you’ve attached have splintered the wooden struts and the headboard is slowly falling to the side! The bolts were too tight! Frustrated and cranky, you glower at your hands, cursing your own strength, resigned to the fact you will have to fork out more dollar for another headboard….

But do you really have to buy another headboard? Pfft, of course not! That’s what I’m here to help you with :)

With headboards, the struts need to be placed in the correct position to support and balance the structure. If the measurements aren’t correct, you run the risk of damaging the headboard as the support from the struts won’t be evenly distributed, rendering the whole thing weak and extremely liable to snap and come crashing down at some unholy hour in the morning. To avoid this, there are simple ways to go about fixing your headboard:

All headboards have their struts measuring in at 6″ (15cm) from either end of the board. This means that the headboard is balanced and the weight is distributed evenly from either end keeping it safe and secure.
So if you’re fixing a single (3ft, or 90cm to keep it simple) headboard, the measurements will be: 90cm – 2 x 15cm = 60cm.
The 60cm will be the empty space between the struts, the balancing weight for the support of the headboard.

Of course you must ensure that the wood you are using to replace your broken struts are of a good quality and durable; there’s no point fixing your headboard with chipboard struts huh!

Here is a lovely little infograph to help you in your strut measuring adventures:

For some extra information, for all you headboard-hounds out there, these are the standard distance measurements between the struts:

  • Single Bed (90cm) – 61cm
  • Small Double (120cm) – 90.8cm
  • Standard Double (135cm) – 106cm
  • Kingsize (150cm) – 121cm

As you can see from the image above, these distance measurements are just an added detail for you to ensure you have the correct position for your struts :)

The confused little Wedo Man in the infograph has two paths to choose from: the standard two strut headboard, or, if you’re a lucky thing and own a kingsize bed, you’ll have a kingsize headboard.

Now, the thing about kingsize headboards (or 6ft behemoths as I like to call them), they are in fact so large that they must use four struts to distribute their weight evenly. The diagram above shows that the measuring of the struts is still the same as smaller headboards, but perhaps if you break it down and think of it this way things will be a bit easier:

In its basic form, a 6ft headboard is just the size of two 3ft headboards stuck together. So, to keep things relatively simple, why not just draw a line down the center of the board and from there, measure in the 6″ from either end of the board, and then do the same from the line you’ve drawn in the middle, much like in the diagram with Wedo Man.
This will ensure that your struts are spread at equal distances, and are distributing the weight evenly and effectively to keep your headboard strong.


So there you have it! Headboard strut DIY has never been so easy, so go forth into the world and remember, repairing is caring ;)


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