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Build a Shadow Box Headboard

Project Overview

Build a Shadow Box Headboard

Make your own graphic focal point above the bed with a grid of boxes painted in the colours of the Fireside palette. Each square is a simple build. We painted them in alternating shades of red, orange, plum and purple before mounting them securely to the wall.

9 Steps

  1. From a sheet of MDF
  2. To cut the mounting brackets
  3. Assemble boxes
  4. Install the box mounting brackets
  5. Apply wood filler
  1. Sand,
  2. Using a level
  3. Pre-drill each bracket
  4. Finally,
Show all steps »
From a sheet of MDF

Step 1

From a sheet of MDF

(medium density fibreboard) cut twelve 12" x 12" pieces for the faces and 48 2-½" x 11-½" pieces for the sides.

Step 2

To cut the mounting brackets

rip three 2 ½" lengths. Then rotate your blade 45°, adjust the fence to 1 ½" from the base of the blade and run all three pieces through the saw. Finally cut twelve 11" lengths for the box brackets and twelve 10" lengths for the wall brackets.

Assemble boxes

Step 3

Assemble boxes

with carpenter's glue and 1 ¼" 18-gauge brad nails.

Install the box mounting brackets

Step 4

Install the box mounting brackets

so that the pointed edge of the 45° cut will hook over the wall brackets and butt up against the wall.

Apply wood filler

Step 5

Apply wood filler

in all brad nail holes and along all exposed end grains.


Step 6


prime and paint.

Using a level

Step 7

Using a level

(preferably a laser level) mark a line for the wall mounting brackets.

Pre-drill each bracket

Step 8

Pre-drill each bracket

and mark the location of the holes on the level line. Then drill into the wall, insert plugs and fix the bracket with two ½" flat head woodscrews.

Step 9


hang each box by fitting the box bracket over the wall bracket.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 3 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


  • 1" #8 woodscrews
  • 1" #8 wall plugs
  • 18-gauge brad nails
  • 4 sheets of 1/2 MDF
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Wood filler
  • Paint

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