Freestanding BRIMNES Headboard Hack (no wall attachment required)

The IKEA BRIMNES headboard with storage is a wonderful solution for small bedrooms. It’s like having a “nightstand” and storage unit all in one.

It also comes with adjustable shelves and a holes for table lamp cables. A thoughtfully designed piece of furniture.

The only downside is it requires the headboard to be fastened to the wall. In many situations, it may not be possible to make holes in the wall.

Hacking it into a freestanding unit is not all that difficult. Here are two ways to get it done.

Freestanding BRIMNES headboard hack with DIY legs

brimnes headboard hack

I live in a rental and didn’t want to attach the IKEA BRIMNES headboard to the wall or mark the wall. At the same time, I also wanted it to not move and make noise.

The solution was to add legs to the headboard and make it a freestanding unit.

IKEA item used:

Other materials:

Prices in AUD


  • Screwdriver or drill with Phillips head
  • Drill with 8mm drill bit
  • Adjustable wrench x 2
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Hot glue and/or tape (optional)
  • Liquid nails (optional but recommended)

1. Making the support legs

Build the bed head entirely as per IKEA’s instructions, stopping before attaching it to the wall, obviously! Cut the 35×67 pine legs to approximately 310mm. If you want to save more money and not have the adjustable feet (risky, but doable), then cut to ~332mm. Drill holes in the bottom of both legs to 5/16”, and then widen. Take the two furniture leg T nuts and hammer them in.

add legs to IKEA BRIMNES headboard to make a freestanding unit

2. Attaching support legs to the BRIMNES headboard

Use the two right-angled metal braces (per leg) and the wood screws to attach the pine leg to the bottom of the book case. If you have glue or Liquid Nails, I’d recommend using some here too as I don’t really trust the particle board over time. Screw in the adjustable table feet. The headboard will now stand up on its own.

3. Securing headboard to bed frame

To attach it to the BRIMNES bed so that it really doesn’t move, put the book case up against the bed as it is supposed to be, and drill 2 x 8mm holes through both the bookcase and bed.  Use the 8mm x 60mm bolts, combined with the 8mm washers and the metal braces that came with the BRIMNES bed head, and bolt the bed head to the bed.  This will make it nice and sturdy!

4. Protecting the wall

Finally, to protect the wall a little further, take a thick strip of material (I used the thick packing cardboard that came in the BRIMNES bed head box), and use 2 final wood screws to attach it to the top of the headboard, making sure to recess the screws in.  This will allow for a bit of extra cushioning.

Freestanding IKEA BRIMNES headboard hack

Note, there might be some spiky screw points inside the storage shelves — I used a bit of hot glue and tape to cover them and make it safer.

How long and how much did it cost?

Prices included in the list above. Total cost (factoring out spares left over) was $13.85 Australian.  I had scrap wood – probably add another $2-5 if you don’t.

What do you like most about the BRIMNES headboard hack?

Freestanding IKEA BRIMNES headboard hack

It is neat, sturdy, and silent, and I can easily disassemble it to take it with me when I move again.

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Figuring out how to attach the legs to the headboard in a sturdy way.  

What to pay special attention to?

Where you drill in the wood screws, to maximise the particle board you drill into. 

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

I used 25mm wood screws throughout because that’s what I had. But that meant that there were some sharp points sticking through into the storage shelves, and I’ve already scratched my hand. I covered them over with hot glue, but if you could also get 15mm screws that will solve the problem

My wife is also very happy!

~ by Rowley Cowper

BRIMNES headboard hack with IKEA table legs

Unfortunately it seems too many of IKEA headboards are designed to be wall-mounted. That complicates things for renters like myself (my landlords LOVE the wallpaper in the house). I came up with a very simple, easy way to make the BRIMNES headboard freestanding.

brimnes headboard hack


  • IKEA BRIMNES headboard
  • 2 VIKA FURUSUND solid wood table legs (See FAQ below for FURUSUND alternatives)
  • Hand saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Shorter screws or a Dremel

How to add IKEA legs to the BRIMNES headboard

All you do is screw VIKA FURUSUND table legs into the bottom/rear of the BRIMNES headboard.

I went with these legs because they are solid wood, and you need to cut them down. IKEA doesn’t offer table legs that are the right length.

After assembling the headboard, I figured out about where I wanted to put the legs (the only space for them to screw into is the bottom bookshelf on either side.) I placed my legs as far in and back as I could, to minimize their visibility.

Next I measured how much of the leg I needed to saw off to get it level with the front legs of the headboard.

I have a little Buck Bros hand saw kit I bought at Ace (you can get it at Home Depot, too). It’s cheap and comes with a block that steadies your cut. It does take some muscle, though.

I sawed off the few inches I measured, then screwed the legs into the headboard.

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

Here’s where you can do better than I did. I realized before I started that the screws that came with the FURUSUND were too long, and would break through the bottom of the shelves.

I could have just gone to the hardware store and bought shorter screws, but it was late, and I wanted to get it done.So, I went ahead and screwed through the bookshelves, and then used a Dremel (and eye protection!) to get the screws level with the shelves.

Dumb idea. It worked, but just go get the shorter screws.

Voilà! Renter-friendly, freestanding storage headboard.

~by Meredith, Austinite in Boston

More Questions on the BRIMNES headboard

What kind of furniture leg can I use to support the BRIMNES headboard?

IKEA no longer sells the FURUSUND. To do this IKEA hack, you can opt for the HILVER which is similar but pricier and it doesn’t make sense to use such a lovely pair of legs as support. I recommend getting cheaper wooden furniture legs from Amazon or your local hardware store and cut them to the required height of approximately 13″/ 33cm. Measure your BRIMNES headboard for exact height.

Or as one commenter, Amanda, suggested, use the LACK TV unit to support it. You’ll still need to cut the legs to the right height. She says, “an easy way to measure is to turn the headboard upside down, place the assembled media unit in the middle, also upside down, and then mark off the legs to match the length of the headboard legs.) Once the legs were cut we flipped it all over and drilled a hole through the bottom shelf into the LACK unit to screw the two together. I just used one screw on each side and the headboard is very stable. It could be freestanding in the middle of the room. Plus, the LACK unit is open on the ends, providing additional storage space underneath!”

How do I make the BRIMNES headboard taller?

2 possible ideas on how to DIY a taller BRIMNES headboard.
1. Stack two headboards together to hack a taller BRIMNES headboard.
2. Flip the headboard over and use the current legs to create storage.