How to Build a Pedestal Bed

Beds come in many sizes and designs. The end products are as simple as a mattress thrown on the floor to a luxurious canopy covered bed. One of the most popular beds today is a pedestal, or platform, bed. This bed is simple and requires no box springs. It needs only a mattress to make it complete and works well with a memory foam mattress. To build a pedestal bed is well within the skills of the average handyman who owns basic power and hand tools.


  1. 1
    Select the lumber you want to use carefully. Make sure it is straight and has as few knots as possible. The plywood should have one finished side that you will set your mattress on. Also buy two sets of 3-inch (7.62 cm) butt hinges to add some hidden storage capacity to the bed.
    • The size of the lumber will be 2 x 4 inches (5.08 x 10.6 cm) or up to 2 x 12-inches (5.05 x 31.8 cm) in 8-foot (2.44 m) lengths. The width you choose depends on the height you want the mattress to be. The .75-inch (1.9 cm) plywood will be 4 x 8 feet (1.22 x 2.44 cm).
  2. 2
    Cut the wood to the size you need. For the purpose of this description, we will use full-size mattress dimensions and 10 inches (25.4 cm) for the height.
    • Cut 2 of the five 2 x 10-inch (5.08 x 25.4 cm) x 8 feet (243.84 cm) boards to 80 inches (203.2 cm) in length.
    • Make 1 of the 2 x 10-inch (5.08 x 25.4 cm) x 8 feet (243.84 cm) boards to 77 inches (195.8 cm) in length.
    • The two pieces of 2 x 10-inch (5.08 x 25.4 cm) lumber need to be 51 inches (129.54 cm) in length for the end pieces.
    • Lay out measurements and lines on the plywood 27 x 80 inches (68.58 x 195.8 cm), and then cut it out with a circular or jigsaw.
  3. 3
    Assemble the parts beginning by setting the 2 x 10 x 80-inch (5.08 x 25.4 x 195.8 cm) side pieces on their ends. Now, place the two 2 x 10 x 51-inch (5.08 x 25.4 x 129.54 cm) pieces at each end between the two side pieces.
    • Using 3-inch (7.62 cm) deck screws, attach the sides to the end pieces. Pre-drilling pilot holes makes it easier.
    • Take the 2 x 10 x 77-inch (5.08 x 25.4 x 195.8 cm) piece and set it on end, centered 27 inches (68.68 cm) from both sides. Use 3-inch (7.62 cm) deck screws, and fasten through the end pieces into the middle brace.
    • Attach scrap wood for extra support for the bed panels onto the inside flush with the top around the edges.
  4. 4
    Attach the 2 pieces of 27 x 80-inch x .75-inch (68.58 x 195.8 x 1.95 cm) plywood to the center brace with two 3-inch (7.62 cm) butt hinges on each panel to the underside of the mattress panel.
    • Mark the location of the butt hinge at the center brace with the hinge section turned down. Take a .75-inch (1.95 cm) wood chisel and notch out where the hinges go so that, when attached, they are flush with the top of the center brace. You should be able to raise and lower the panels once the hinges are installed. This provides access to the area under the bed as well as hidden storage.
    • Take a .75-inch (1.95 cm) drill bit (for wood) and bore 2 evenly spaced holes in the top of the mattress panels. This provides finger holes on each side to raise the panels up and provide access to the storage area.
  5. 5
    Finish the bed with either a natural finish of boiled linseed oil and varnish or enamel.


  • When selecting lumber, most woodworkers go with pine or another white wood. You can also get redwood or cedar from your Do it yourself store for another interesting grain pattern and color.
  • Have the home improvement store cut the plywood to the dimensions you need on their panel saw. A standard full-size bed is 54 x 80 inches (137.2 x 203.2 cm).


  • Be sure the area is well ventilated when applying linseed oil or enamel.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 each 2 x 10 x 8 foot (5.08 x 25.4 x 2.44 cm) pine or white wood
  • 2 sheets of .75-inch (1.95 cm) 4 x 8 foot (1.22 x 2.44 cm) plywood
  • 3 inch (7.62 cm) deck screws
  • 2 pairs of 3-inch (7.62 cm) butt hinges
  • Circular or jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • .75-inch (1.95 cm) and 1/8-inch (0.3 cm) wood drill bit
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure

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Categories: Crafts