My husband and I have been talking about buying a new bed for sometime now, but after purchasing our first home and creating budgets for three expansive home improvement projects, a new bed just wasn’t going to happen. Our master bedroom – a separate suite on the third floor of our home – has been neglected for so long that we’ve both become accustomed to sleeping on a cheap metal bed frame and box spring. Our master suite is also the room where neglected furniture, artwork and decorations get shuffled around. A new bed is really the least of our problems up here in the design graveyard.
Still, everyone should have a comfortable place to lay her head. So this week, during a seasonable lull in commissioned work, I decided to build a bed. Don’t be intimidated by the size of this project. Building a bed is actually quite realistic even for the beginner builder. In fact, this is probably one of the easier builds you can do of this size and the impact is equally as large.
Materials and Supplies:
- Miter saw (optional)
- Circular saw
- Orbital sander
- Sandpaper (120-grit and 220-grit)
- Wood glue
- (28) 2 ½” construction screws
- (38) 1 ¼” construction screws
- (3) 2x6x96” pine boards
- (6) 2x3x96” pine boards
- (8) 1x2x96” pine boards
- (4) 6” Mid-century legs
- Gold spray paint
- (4) Steel Bed Rail Fasteners
- (2) 4×4 chunks (13” total length) or (3) 2×3 (19 ½” total length)
- (2) corner braces (optional)
- Wood stain
The first step is to cut down all of your wood. Using a miter saw cut your wood to the following dimensions:
- (2) 2×6 pine boards cut to 83 ½” (bed rails)
- (2) 2×6 pine boards cut to 60” (head and footboard support rails)
- (2) 2×3 boards cut to 77” (cleats)
- (1) 2×3 board cut to 80 ½” (center support rail)
- (8) 1×2 boards cut to 60” (bed slats)
- (2) 2×3 boards cut to 6” notched out to 1 ½”x2 ½”
- (2) 4×4 boards cut to 6 ½” (legs for center support rail)
*If you don’t own a miter saw, you can easily complete this step using a circular saw.
Once your wood is cut, it’s time to sand all of your pieces. Using an orbital sander, sand everything using 120-grit sandpaper. This will take off any large nicks and blemishes in the wood and clean up rough edges and splinters. Now, use 220-grit sandpaper to sand just the exterior sides to get them extra smooth.
I used THESE steel bed rail fasteners in this build, because it makes disassembly super easy in case you move to a new home. The only caveat is that fasteners are not forgiving. Your bed must be aligned and perfectly square. At the end of the day, this is a very good thing. You want your bed to be square, but keep in mind that wood does warp, so be extra careful when picking out your wood at the hardware store. On a flat surface, assemble your bed rails and mark where your fasteners will go. Once you have all your fasteners properly marked, attach them to the wood using 1 ¼” construction screws. Once all your bed rail fasteners have been attached, assemble the bed to make sure that everything lined up as planned. It’s much easier to adjust and move fasteners now, so take the time to check your work before moving on to the next step.
Now it’s time to assemble your side rails. Using wood glue and 2 ½” construction screws, attach a 2x3x77” cleat to the inside of your 2x6x83 ½” bed rail, aligning the cleat with the bottom of the bed rail. Repeat this step on the other pair.
Build your center support rail. This bed accommodates a queen size mattress, whose dimensions require a center support rail to help distribute and support the weight. Take your 2x3x80 ½” center support rail and attach a 4x4x6 ½” leg 16” from either end of the support rail. If you don’t have any 4x4s on hand, you can use (3) leftover 2x3s instead. Simply space them equally across the board. Attach the center support rail legs using wood glue and 2 ½” construction screws.
Your footboard and headboard support rails will keep the center support rail in place with the use of a 2x3x6” notched board. To notch your board, simply measure a 2 ½”x1 ½” notch. Drill a hole in the right and left corners and then cut it out using a jigsaw. Attach this notched board to the center of both your headboard and footboard support rails using wood glue and 1 ¼” construction screws. **If you don’t want to bother with notching out boards, you have the option of using corner braces (like these) instead.
Now it’s time to stain. I chose to stain only the exterior sides of the bed. This is a platform bed, so the mattress sits snugly inside the frame, hiding any raw interior wood. Let the stain dry overnight before assembling the bed inside the house.
Paint the metal hardware of your bed legs. This is optional, of course, but I chose to paint the metal on my legs using gold spray paint. To do this, just tape off the wood areas and then spray with gold spray paint. Let dry completely.
Attach your legs. Once the stain and paint has dried completely, it’s time to attach your legs to the side rails. Drill a hole into the wood, add a small amount of wood glue to the underside of the leg and screw it into the hole until snug. Repeat this step for the other 3 legs.
At long last, it’s time to assemble your bed! Clear the area in your room where you’ll be building, preferably in the spot the bed will be sitting. Assemble your side rails using the bed rail fasteners. Set the support rail, legs down, into your prepared notches. Lastly, set your slats in place by laying them parallel across the 3 support rails. There’s no need to attach the slats – the weight of the mattress will keep them from moving.
And that’s it my friends. Now you have a brand new platform bed – rivaling some $1,000 store-bought versions – for just under $80. Building it is almost as easy as making the bed. Practical. Useful. Sensible. Boom!
If you follow me on Instagram (@jillianize), you know that I already finished the headboard and hung new lights! Stay tuned for the tutorial on that and more big things to come in our master bedroom over the next couple of weeks!