How to Build a Wooden Bed Frame

Three Methods:Standard Queen BedPlatform BedTwin Size Captain's Bed

Do you have a rickety metal bed frame? Or maybe you keep your mattress on the floor with no frame at all. Have you considered getting a wooden bed frame? It can add a wonderful appeal to your room, and it will get rid of those annoying squeaky metal parts. But keep in mind, they aren't cheap. Here's a simple plan to build your own wooden bed frame that can be modified to any size (or height!) you want.

Method 1
Standard Queen Bed

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    Purchase all the gear you need. See the "Things You'll Need" list below for specific details. The goal is to build a frame that will fit a queen-size mattress (60" wide x 80" long). Beyond that, you'll need to visit your local home improvement warehouse to acquire three basic things:
    • Bed rail hangers
    • Wood
    • Wood screws
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    Mount the bed rail hangers. This hardware is essential in forming a rigid connection between all the bed rails in the frame. Secure the bed rail hangers to the end of the side-rail and head post. Double check that each placement is consistent. Repeat the process for all corners.
    • These hangers can sometimes be hard to find in hardware stores. If so, check online retailers.
    • Bed rail hangers are usually sold 4 sets to a package.
    • In the place of bed rail hangers, you can use 8 long lag bolts. When tightened, the lag bolts make the bed very solid. Lag bolts are also much easier to find than bed rail hangers.
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    Attach the support rails. Screw the support rail to each side rail. Make sure to space the screws about 12" (30.5 cm) apart. This provides maximum weight support.
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    Create the support blocks. Cut a groove into the support block and support beam, as shown. This groove should be a centered 1.5"x 3.5" slot, with the wider measurement following the wider part of the block.
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    Attach the support blocks. Attach each support block to the center of the head rail and foot rail with screws as shown in the image.
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    Connect the rails. Connect each rail to the post using the bedrail hangers.
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    Add the support beams. Insert the support beam between the two support blocks.
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    Insert your plywood mattress surface. Rest the plywood on the support rails and support beam. It should fit into the inner part of the bed frame. Once this is done, the mattress can be placed in the frame.
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    Finished. Enjoy your new bed!

Method 2
Platform Bed

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    Gather your materials and supplies. You'll need a circular saw, a number of basic L brackets, 3" decking screws, some MDF or plywood, and then several cuts of lumber. For lumber, you'll need:
    • Two pieces of 85" 2x4
    • Five pieces of 67" 2x4
    • Eight pieces of 19 3/8 2x4
    • Two pieces of 75" 2x12
    • Four pieces of 57" 2x12
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    Create the base frame. Using standard butt joints, use the decking screws to join together the 75" 2x12s and two of the 57" 2x12s into a 60"x75" box.
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    Add the base bracers. Slide in the remaining 57" 2x12s, space the box into thirds, and then use the decking screws to screw the bracers into place. Set aside the completed base.
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    Create the platform frame. Using standard butt joints, use the decking screws to join together the 85" 2x4s and two of the 67" 2x4s into a 70"x85" box.
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    Add the platform bracers. Slide in the remaining 67" 2x4s, space the box into 4 sections, and then use the decking screws to screw the bracers into place.
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    Add the platform supports. You will now add the 19 3/8" 2x4s between the bracers, two to a section. Space them evenly but stagger them, so that the leftmost and second right most sections have the supports at the same level and the rightmost and second leftmost have the supports at the same level. Attach these with decking screws as well.
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    Reinforce the corners and joints. Reinforce the inside corners of both the base and platform with L brackets. You can also add L brackets around some of the other interior joints as well for added strength.
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    Add the plywood surface. Trace and cut plywood to fit the surface of the platform. This will likely take two pieces of plywood to cover. Attach the plywood with decking screws to the inside bracers, such that the screws won't show on the exposed platform.
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    Paint the bed. Sand the wood and then paint or stain the bed to the desired color.
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    Done! Arrange the platform on top of the base in the final location. You can attach the platform to the base with a few strategically placed L brackets if you want to. Just top with your mattress of full or queen size mattress!

Method 3
Twin Size Captain's Bed

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    Get your materials. You'll need two Ikea Expedit bookshelves (the 2x4 square size), several feet of velcro, a saw, decking screws, 24 basic L brackets with mounting screws, and lumber in the following cuts:
    • Four 38" pieces of 2x10
    • Six 28" pieces of 2x10
    • Four 16 & 3/4" pieces of 1x10
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    Create the end boxes. You'll be using the lumber to build two end shelves which share the weight of the bed with the Expedit shelves. The boxes are created by Connecting two 38" sections of 2x10 lumber to two 28" sections of 2x10 lumber into a 38"x31" box. Secure the pieces together using decking screws, 3 for each connection. Secure each corner with an L bracket at the center.
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    Add the center brace. Another piece of 28" 2x10 is then centered and attached in the same way to create two sections in each box. Secure the center brace with an L bracket on each side at both the top and bottom.
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    Add in shelves if desired. If you want to have shelves, you can add these in easily with some 1x10 lumber cut to 16 & 3/4". Adjust the shelf to the desired height and then secure the bottom with L brackets, two to a side.
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    Add a backing to the end shelves. Trace the shelves onto plywood and cut out the backing with a jigsaw. Nail it into place by hand or using a pneumatic nail gun.
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    Add feet to the end shelves. You will probably want to add felt feet to the bottom of these shelves to keep them from scratching floors or moving around. These are easily bought from many different types of stores.
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    Paint all four bookcases to match. With the shelves done, you will want to paint them and the Expedit shelves to be the same color. Use spray paint which is graded to go on laminate.
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    Attach the plywood to the end shelves. Cut a piece of plywood to be 38"x75". With both shelves facing outward and the Expedit shelves dry fit between them, nail the plywood into place by driving two nails through the plywood and into the top of the sides of the end shelves.
    • You can glue on a non-slip mat, like the ones which go under carpets, if you want to.
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    Adjust the Expedit shelves as necessary. Adjust the Expedit shelves so that they are flush with the sides of the end shelves.
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    Add finishing touches. Ikea makes several useful inserts for Expedit shelves. You can add baskets, pull out drawers, or just basic doors, and all come in a variety of colors. Enjoy your new bed!
    • This bed should be used by a child only, as it cannot support extreme weights.

Tips

  • Adjust the wood choice for your corners, and you could have a gorgeous four poster bed! (larger diameter, turned posts are all you would need to change to make this bed frame into something amazing.)
  • Sand any rough edges to make the bed frame smooth.
  • Drill pilot holes before screwing any pieces together.
  • Stain the wood using a color you like for an extra nice look.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 Bedrail hanger sets
  • 4, 4x4x21" (10.1 cm x 10.1 cm x 53.3 cm) - wood pieces for posts at foot & head
  • 2, 2x6x60" (5cm x 15.2 cm x 1.5 meters) - wood piece for the foot rail & headrail
  • 6, 2x4x8" (5cm x 10.1 cm x 20.3 cm) - wood pieces for the support blocks
  • 2, 2x6x80" (5 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.032 meters) - wood pieces for the side rail
  • 2, 2x4x80" (5 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.032 meters) - wood pieces for the support rail
  • 3, 2x4x80" (5 cm x 15.2 cm x 2.032 meters) - wood piece for the support beam
  • 2, 3-1/4'x5', 3/4" (8.2 cm x 12. 7 cm, 1.9 cm) plywood
  • Box of 2-1/4" (5.7 cm) woodscrews
  • Box of 1-1/4" woodscrews (if screws not included with bedrail hangers)
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Stain|Wood Stain (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Woodworking