DIY Bed Frame & Wood Headboard ($1500 Look for $100!)

A DIY bed frame sounded so awesome and SO SCARY to me,  for a long time. Finally, we did it! This simple DIY wood bed frame is inspired by some of the $1000 – $2000+ beautiful wooden bed frame and platform bed designs we love.

SO, what does it take? One weekend, $100, and a few simple tools most beginning DIY enthusiasts have!

How to build beautiful $100 easy DIY bed frame & wood headboard with natural finishes & $1500 look in modern farmhouse style!

The detailed step by step DIY bed tutorial will cover:

  • how to build a simple wood bed frame  that is easy to disassemble when moving
  • how to adapt the DIY bed frame and headboard free building plan to any size bed ( king bed to twin bed, with or without headboard)
  • the best natural finishes for your wood bed frame and headboard. ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

DIY bed frame & wood headboard with natural finishes

Last summer, inspired by this amazing book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, we decided to embark on an epic decluttering of everything, the first things we let go of were our huge mattresses and box-springs. Oops! So we just spent an entire year sleeping on the floor.

how to build wooden bed frame & wood headboard   for king, queen or full bed size

When I shared my DIY bed frame idea with our dream mattress company Sleep On Latex, they generously sent us some amazing gifts to support our DIY project : a heavenly mattress made of 100% natural latex foam, certified organic cotton and organic New Zealand Wool! Plus two luscious latex pillows!

 DIY wood headboard with latex pillow

Hubby is always super supportive. This time, he is not only supportive, but beyond excited about how surprisingly easy it was to build this bed and how much he, a born perfectionist, loves our new, sturdy, gorgeous DIY bed!

Step 1: Choose the right wood to build a bed frame ( very important!! )

DIY simple bed frame & wood headboard modern farmhouse and pottery barn west elm style

Do NOT use pressure treated lumber, there might be chemicals in them that you don’t want!

To build a wood bed frame that is beautiful and sturdy, we need to choose wood for strength, work-ability and beauty. Select wood with structural integrity, tight grain, small knots , few  cup and twist, and no splits.

Knots are very dense, making them hard to drill and cut through. Study the plan to see where the screws are, and select boards with few knots in those areas.

choose wood with nice grain

We used Douglas Fir for our DIY wood bed posts and rails. It is a popular structural/construction lumber on the west coast. The wood is very stiff and strong. Southern Yellow Pine / Spruce Fir is also a great choice and popular on the east coast. Other great choices are Poplar, Ash, Oak, Alder, Birch, Cherry, and Maple.

If you are using other species of lumber, make sure that the wood is good for structural use. Don’t just base on the name ‘hardwood’ or ‘softwood’. An example about hardwood vs softwood: Doug Fir is a softwood that is super strong, while Basswood, a hardwood, is super soft and will not hold the screws, which means a bed frame that will fall apart!

buying wood at homedepot

Step 2: gather materials and tools.

When we showed our DIY bed frame plan to a nice Home Depot employee, he got so excited for us, and cut most of the wood for us with great care, which made it so much easier! Take the plans and cut list with you ! πŸ™‚ Some of our resource links are affiliate links, see full disclosure here.

4×4 posts: (2) 4×4 @ 1’2″ L, (2) 4×4 @ 4’6″ L {NOTE: the plans show these two posts on the headboard at 4’5″, but an extra inch gives more flexibility when you layout the headboard} , cut from (1) 4×4 @ 12′

2×6 rails: (2) 2×6 @ 4’8″, (2) 2×6 @ 6’6″, cut from (2) 2×6 @ 12′ ( Some readers asked about using 1×6 or 1×8. They tend to warp, especially at a long length. Look up local lumberyard, they usually carry more varieties than hardware stores! if not, maybe glue 2 pieces of 1x6s instead!

2x4s : (2) 2×4 stringers @  6’8″, (1) 2×4 @ 4’8 for top of headboard, cut from (1) 2×4 @ 8′, and (1) 2×4 @ 12′

1x4s : (10) 1×4 @ 4’8″, (3) 1×4 @ 2’11.5″, cut from (6) 1×4 @ 10′

free building plan for wood bed frame & headboard

Plywood slats and spacers: (14) 3″ wide x 5′ long.  We used PureBond 1/2″ thick plywood which is a great quality, formaldehyde-free plywood. The sheet is 4’x8′. Home Depot cut it to 4’x5′ first, then to 3″x5′ slats  for us. We cut one of them into smaller spacers later.

Slat supports: (2) 2×2 @ 6’3, cut from (2) 2×2 @ 8′, save the extra to use for stringer supports

Please follow good practices to build safely and smartly. Follow safety guidelines for each tool. Work on a clean level surface, free of clutter or debris. Always use straight boards. Always wear safety goggles and hearing protection. And remember to check for square after each step!

drill wood with kreg jig
free plan for DIY wooden platform bed frame with headboard

IMPORTANT: after all the wood is cut, check the pieces together which have the same length: this will ensure our DIY bed frame is square and all the pieces fit nicely. Consistency is more important than numbers!

For example: all the 1x4s on the headboard should be the same length as the two 2x6s on the headboard and foot-board. It is OK if all of them are, let’s say, 1/4″ less than what is written on the plan (this diy platform bed frame is forgiving if you are off by 1/2″ to 1″ ). It is NOT OK if some of them are 1/8″ more, and some are 1/8″ less than the 4’8″ on the plan.

pottery barn style wood bed free building plan

Sand all the cut surfaces and exposed surfaces so the wood is nice and smooth. If you want to paint or stain the wood, now is a good time.

Step 3: How to install bed rail brackets

How to install bed rail brackets

This important step is not difficult, but it requires patience and accuracy. If you do it right, the rest of the DIY bed frame is super easy!  Let’s see how to install bed rail brackets in detail.

These surface mount bed rail brackets come in 4 pairs. The brackets with the slots goes on the 4 bed posts, and the brackets with the “claws” goes on two 2×6 6’6″ long side rails, one on each end.

measure bed rail brackets

Set a 2×6 rail ( or use a smaller scrap piece of 2×6 ) on a foot-board post, the top of the rail should be flush with the top of the post. The end faces of the rail and post are touching when mounted.

Set the pair of brackets in a locked position onto the post and rail, and mark the outer edges of the brackets and each drill hole carefully.

easy DIY bed rail brackets

First, pre-drill each marked drill hole, and attach the slot bracket onto the 4×4 post using 2″ to 3″ long screws. If you are off, the rail will not be flush to the post. Remember to keep checking at each step! We used these 2 1/2″ screws ( use with star drill bit) to attach the brackets to the 4x4s.

This happened to us once. We filled the drill holes with JB Weld wood putty and redid it.

jb weld wood putty
Have some JB Weld wood putty handy, you might need it to correct mistakes!

Next, attach the “claw” bracket to one end of the rail, check everything is square and flush. We used 1 1/4″ screws to attach the brackets to the 2x6s.

Don’t tighten the screws too much on the “claw” brackets yet. At this stage, we want to easily hook and unhook these brackets. In the final step when we get the brackets hooked together, we will tighten the screws so the bed is rock solid!

how to install bed rail brackets

Repeat this process until you installed all the brackets. Keep checking to make sure everything is lined up accurately in all dimensions: height, width, and depth.

best bed rail brackets : very sturdy and strong

Step 4: build wood bed frame and headboard

Tip: It is easier to drill all the pocket holes first, then screw the pieces together.

When building the headboard, create the center panel first, then attach it to the posts, and then add 2×4 top piece and 2×6 bottom rail. See diagram below.

how to build wood headboard

The key is to leave a tiny gap (even 1/32″ is enough ) between the 1×4 slats to allow room for wood movement. More about wood movement in the DIY headboard tutorial here

Instead of making this super long tutorial even longer, I have included detailed step-by-step instructions on how to build the center panel, how to check for square, wood movements, plus other helpful tips in this DIY wood headboard tutorial here.

wooden DIY headboard free building plan
DIY wood headboard tutorial here !

It also includes variations on how to build a wood headboard like this if you already have a bed frame and just want to add a headboard!

For our DIY headboard, I gave the boards a light gold stain to bring the white pine 1x4s closer in color to the Doug Fir posts and rails,  using Recipe #7 in this tutorial: Easy Homemade All Natural Wood Stains with 7 Recipes!

7 recipes to make wood stains in any color using natural household materials! These quick and easy wood stains are super effective, long lasting, low cost, and non-toxic!
Easy Homemade All Natural Wood Stains – 7 Recipes!

We decided to leave our wood bed frame natural, another good option is a whitewashed wood finish. Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to whitewash wood in 3 simple ways-

farmhouse whitewashed wood plank wall
How to whitewash wood in 3 simple ways

To build the footboard, use 2.5″ pocket hole screws to attach the 2×6 to the 4×4 posts, check they are flush at top and on the side that faces out.

Because our goal is to keep this DIY bed frame easy to assemble and disassemble when we move, I design it so the bed slats and supporting 2×4 stringers are held in place by supports and spacers,  instead of attached to the bed rails.

building foot board

The key here is to measure carefully so the bed slats are just 1/4″ below the top of the 2×6 side rails. You can have them flush with the top of the 2×6 side rails, we chose the 1/4″ offset for a cleaner look, and 1/4″ does not affect how the mattress sits on top of the platform bed.

The U-shaped slots for the 2×4 stringers are made from 2x2s, screwed onto the 2×6 rails on the headboard and footboard. The 2x4s just slide sideways into the slots. You can also use 2×4 joist hangers like these.

free woodworking plan to build bed with slats to support mattress

The 3″ wide slats are supported by the 2×4 stringers and 2x2s attached to the side rails with screws. The slats are held in place by 3″ wide spacers cut from one extra slat. The spacers are 3 1/8″ apart for a little wiggle room.

When you glue or screw the spacers onto the 2x2s, line up the two 2×6 side rails, so the spacers are perfectly lined up too. See image above.

Step 5: assemble the DIY wood bed frame

assemble the DIY wood bed frame

Time to enjoy the sweet fruit of our labor and assemble our DIY wood bed frame!

First, place the headboard and footboard where you would like the bed to be. Lift the 2×6 side rail and slide the bed rail bracket claws into the slots so they lock in place. Two people can do this pretty easily.

If you have trouble, loosen the screw on the “claw” brackets a little. After the brackets are hooked together, tighten the screws so the bed is sturdy and solid.

easy to assemble bed frame

Place the 2×4 stringers sideways into the U-shaped slots on the headboard and footboard. Add the slats.

Add your favorite mattress and pillows! We LOVE our beautiful mattress made of 100% natural latex foam, organic cotton and wool, and our latex pillows, gifts from Sleep On Latex , a company which has received tons of raving reviews! You can read more about their unique story here.

all natural latex mattress in modern farmhouse bedroom

We can honestly say that when things are made with love and care, they radiate joy into your living spaces. Our bed, mattress and pillows bring smiles to us each day.

scandinavian boho style room with DIY wooden bed frame

Because we are inspired by the amazing book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, we are adding furniture very slowly and only choosing things that spark joy in us.

We will build night stands or other pieces at some point, but for now, why not get creative with things we already have and love? A wood crate and a white bar stool can hold a few books, a cup of tea, and some lovely plants. Life is perfect.

make a farmhouse wood bed frame with headboard

Additional tips: How to adapt this DIY bed frame plan to any size bed, with or without headboard.

This DIY queen bed frame plan can be easily adapted to create other sized beds using the reference chart below.

modern farmhouse bedroom with wooden bed and white duvet
Pin this to your DIY Furniture or Bedroom Ideas board!

For example: to build a king size bed frame, just add 16 inches to  the length of all the horizontal components: the 1x4s, 2×4 and 2×6 on the headboard, the bed slats, and the 2×6 on the headboard.

To build a twin size bed frame, reduce 21 inches on the length of all the horizontal components: the 1x4s, 2×4 and 2×6 on the headboard, the bed slats, and the 2×6 on the headboard. And reduce 6 inches on the length of the 2×6 side rails and 2×4 stringer ( you only need one stringer because the twin bed is a lot narrower.

Mattress Sizes Comparison Chart for twin, full, queen and king bed frames

To build this DIY bed frame without a headboard, just change the two taller 4×4 posts to the same height as the shorter 4×4 posts, omit everything above, that’s it!

Some of you might be wondering if parts of this wood bed frame can be made from pallets. The answer is yes!

However, not all pallet wood are suitable. Before you start, please check out this detailed guide on where to find and how to work with pallets!

Best natural finishes for your wood bed frame and headboard:

My favorite wood finish is an all natural furniture wax made from bees wax and olive oil. You can get the easy non-toxic wood finish wax recipe here. You can also buy them, these two are both great : a beeswax furniture polish, and a butcher block wood conditioner

natural wood finish DIY

I also selected a couple of great DIY bed ideas you can explore – a DIY upholstered bed frame here, an IKEA hack bed frame with storage here, and a pallet bed frame here.

Happy building!

209 Comments

  1. Wow Ananda, you did really great! Years back I hired someone to do the bed frame for me because I don’t know how to do it myself. I’ll definitely bookmark this for my future reference as I am currently planning on doing one. Thanks!

  2. So I built a King version of this over the weekend. The outstanding project is very easy to complete and it looks great in my daughter’s bedroom!

  3. Thanks so much for posting! The bed frame looks great, and for a great price.

    You said that you used recipe #7 from the tutorial for “staining” the headboard. Recipe #7 from the tutorial appears to be essentially 50% acrylic paint and 50% water. What color acrylic paint did you use for your headboard?

    • hi Rob! i used a golden brown color i mixed from a brown and a yellow. you can use any brands and mix them, latex paint works too. i just use lots of different brand paints left from various projects! πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Ananda – I am very excited to make the bedframe. I went to Home Depot today to scope out materials, and noticed that the plywood labeled “1/2 inch” is really 1/4 inch thick, and the plywood labeled “3/4 inch” is really 1/2 inch thick. Can you tell me which one you used?

  5. This looks like a really sturdy design and even someone like me can follow the instructions! Thanks for adding the download feature as I have saved it and plan on building this bed soon.

  6. Hi Ananda this is really helpful, excited to build this frame! One question for you as I’m thinking about recessing the mattress an additional 1-2 inches so that the frame keeps it a bit more contained. Based on the plans it looks like if I were to drop the slats 1-2 inches the mattress may get stuck on the 4 posts – do you think this would happen and any thoughts on how to adjust the plans so the recess is possible? Thanks!

    • hi Madeline! the mattress doesn’t shift at all if that’s your main reason for recessing. if you want the look, the easiest way might be to just add a row of 2x2s on top of the 2×6 boards AND the 4×4 posts, kind of like a frame around the mattress. you can use pocket holes to attach the 2x2s to the 2x6s. πŸ™‚

  7. Hi, just a quick thank you. We just finished making this as a king size bed and it looks fantastic. Really appreciate it.

  8. Hi there!

    Great design and thank you for sharing!

    Could you confirm these measurements look correct for converting this build into a full size bed frame?

    4Γ—4 posts:
    1. Cut from (1) 4Γ—4 @ 12β€²
    β€’ (2) 4Γ—4 @ 1’2β€³ L, (for posts at left and right ends of the bed)
    β€’ (2) 4Γ—4 @ 4’6β€³ L (for posts at right and left side of headboard)
    {NOTE: the plans show these two posts on the headboard at 4’5β€³, but an extra inch gives more flexibility when you layout the headboard}

    2Γ—6 rails:
    2. Cut from (2) 2Γ—6 @ 12β€²
    β€’ (2) 2Γ—6 @ 4’2β€³ (for headboard)
    β€’ (2) 2Γ—6 @ 6β€³ (for side rails)

    2x4s:
    3. cut from (1) 2Γ—4 @ 8’ and
    4. cut from (1) 2Γ—4 @ 12β€²
    β€’ (2) 2Γ—4@ 6’2β€³ (for stringers)
    β€’ (1) 2Γ—4 @ 4’2” (for top of headboard)

    1x4s:
    5. cut from (6) 1Γ—4 @ 10β€²
    β€’ (10) 1Γ—4 @ 4’2β€³ (headboard)
    β€’ (3) 1Γ—4 @ 2’11.5β€³ (for the back supports)

    Plywood slats and spacers:
    6. Cut from 1/2 in thick x 4’x8’ Plywood sheet
    β€’ (10) ½” thick x 3β€³ wide @ 4β€²6” long (slats)
    β€’ (18) ½” thick x 2” x 3” (Cut from ½” thick x 3β€³ wide @ 4β€²6” long) οƒ  (Spacers)

    Slat and stringer supports:
    7. Cut from (2) 2Γ—2 @ 8β€²
    β€’ (2) 2Γ—2 @ 6’3 (slat supports)
    β€’ 2×2@ 4 ¼”(stringer supports)

    • Hi Amanda,

      Iapologize, I think I made a mistake. Should the slat supports be as follows?:

      (2) 2Γ—2 @ 5’9 for a full bed frame (instead of 6’3”) or some other length?

      Thank you!

      • hi Ariel! the 2×2 should be 6’3″ minus 5″, which will be 5’10, 5’9 will work too! they can be 1 or 2 inches shorter but not longer! πŸ™‚

  9. Hello, I’m a little confused by this description “to build a king size bed frame, just add 16 inches to the length of all the horizontal components: the 1x4s, 2Γ—4 and 2Γ—6 on the headboard, the bed slats, and the 2Γ—6 on the headboard.” When you say “all the horizontal components”, does that include the side rails, or just the head and foot boards, 1x4s, and bed slats? If I add 16″ to all the side rails, that would make the side rails on the long side of the bed 7’8″+, which seems excessively long? Thank you for this excellent tutorial! I can’t wait to make it, I just want to make sure I plan my measurements correctly!

    • hi Adri! it means just the head and foot boards, 1x4s, and bed slats. πŸ™‚ side rails stay the same because king and queen matresses are the same length at 80″ . happy building!

  10. I have a question about the side boards. Is the board that supports the slabs screwed into the side boards straight through?

  11. HI Amanda,

    This bed looks really nice and I am making my list to purchase the materials. I have a question though. How did you do the 1/2″ offset on the center panel of the headboard to the posts? I did not see any instruction on that or did I miss that? Thanks!

  12. Hi, wondering if you could build the headboard in king size, without the stain and ship it I will pay you !!! Please

    • hi Edgar! thank you πŸ™‚ we are just too busy with the blog to make thing for sale, but if you show this post to a local carpenter ( lumber places can usually refer them) i’m sure you can have it made with nice unique wood and save on shipping! πŸ™‚

    • hi Rosalyn! thank you! πŸ™‚ we don’t currently have a drawing for full bed, but in the final section we have instructions on how to convert this bed plan easily to other sizes.

      • Thanks, Amanda! I did see that, but I didn’t see the specific numbers for the full bed. After looking again I figured you’d subtract six inches on the length of all the horizontal components: the 1x4s, 2Γ—4 and 2Γ—6 on the headboard, the bed slats, and the 2Γ—6 on the headboard. And reduce 6 inches on the length of the 2Γ—6 side rails and 2Γ—4 stringer. Is this correct? Thanks, again!

  13. Hi Ananda,
    Do you have a complete list of materials you used for this project (types of screws, etc.) I’m a total beginner and want to make sure I’m buying the right stuff at Home Depot. Thanks in Advance!

    • hi! in addition to the the materials list in Step 2, always use deck or structural wood screws that are strong and durable, length of screws should be at least 1/4″ to 1/2″ less than the total thickness of materials you are joining. this is a good choice with lots of length options (amazon affiliate) https://amzn.to/3r2funT πŸ™‚

  14. I took a couple of weeks off at the end of last year to make a queen size version of this bed. The details and information on this tutorial are AMAZING.

    In true DIY fashion, we made a few modifications to the plan to suit our taste.
    – Added a cap to the top of the headboard
    – Cut several angles for aesthetics
    – used plywood for the base for the mattress
    – Recessed the platform down in to the frame by 2 inches

    Thank you for taking the time to make such an awesome tutorial and keeping this available to people like me that would have otherwise never have attempted to make a project like this. We love the results!

    • I know your comment is months old but I’m not very handy but looking to try to make this bed πŸ™ƒ.

      Jeff when you recessed the slats, how did you avoid hotting the corner posts? What adjustments did you make?

  15. Hi. Great plans. I just finished making a king frame and I love it. I did lower the headboard by not using one 1×4 (so I can fit it down the stairs if I ever move), and lowered the headboard posts accordingly. I did add an extra stringer for more support, and I also put 23” supports inside the frame on each corner with the ends cut at 45 degrees so there is no lateral motion to the frame. I stained all of the wood with Minwax Jacobean stain, and love how it turned out. Thanks for sharing this!

    • hi Aaron! thank you so much for sharing your experience! πŸ™‚ the 23″ supports sounds great! did you use pocket holes or brackets to attach them to the side boards?

      • Hi Ananda. Kind of crude but the supports were made from extra 2x2s, and I just drilled them right into the rails with 2 inch screws. Again I don’t plan to move anytime soon so I just went with the easiest option at that point. Thanks!

  16. Hi there, I wanted to share my experience with making the frame. We made it for a king bed and elected to make it without a headboard. Unfortunately once we sat on the bed the plywood broke underneath!

    So we took it apart and I found a more affordable and sturdy way to construct the bed frame using 2×3’s

    For starters I cut the each 2×6 2” shorter, the bed frame without a headboard was too big for the mattress

    Screwed one 2×3 horizontally to each side boards, 1/2” above the bottom of the board

    Attached 7 2×3’s (cut at 74”) which were secured to the side boards via kreg jig. These lay on top the 2×3 mentioned above. I spaced them 11” apart. This replaced the 2×2 and plywood

    Finally used the metal 2×4 joist holders to hold 2×3’s instead of 2×4

    • hi forrest! thank you for sharing your experience! πŸ™‚ lots of people have made this bed without any plywood breaking, did you have 2 2×4 joists? also would the 7 2x3s make it harder to take apart the bed when moving?

  17. Hey, Ananda! This is exactly what I’m looking for! My family and I just moved into a cabin with a loft space, so we need something that’s off the ground for moisture, but not too far or else we won’t have space for our noggins. I’m gonna do some measuring to see; we might need to shorten the posts a wee bit.

    My question is if you notice the middle 2x4s at all when you’re laying on them?
    We’re going to try to sleep on just a 3″ latex topper instead of a full mattress. I imagine your latex mattress is probably 6″ at least, so a good bit more. How’s it feel?

      • Awesome. I think we’re gonna do a DIY topper mattress by combining two 3″ toppers from Sleep On Latex. Should save us a few hundos! and I think 6″ is better than 3″ in this case.

        Amazing that y’all got a sponsored mattress. That’s super generous of them and good on you for calling on the resources!

        Thanks again!

        Josh

  18. Thanks so much for posting this detailed tutorial! I’m so psyched to make this and really appreciate all the tips and tricks.

    Do you happen to know whether this plan is sturdy enough to also hold a boxspring? I know yours is mattress-only but wasn’t sure if you had a sense of whether it felt strong enough to hold both!

    • hi gina, yes it is sturdy enough to also hold a boxspring, however, i would drop the level of slats another 2″ lower so the box spring don’t shift, or make the bed posts higher so you don’t need box spring to add heights if that is the reason πŸ™‚

  19. Hello!! First, thank you so much for sharing your plans for this bed! We made one for ourselves (with a slightly different twist on the headboard) and we LOVE it!! Goes so well with our decor and looks like it should have cost way more than it did!

    I do have a question for you. Over time we are dealing with a LOT of squeaking in the joints. I’m not sure if there is a good tip or trick for eliminating that? It squeaks loudly even when we just sit down on it. We also used Douglas fir. At one point, I did take the slats off and took the side rails off to tighten all the screws to see if that would help. So far, nothing we have done has helped with the squeaking. Do you have any ideas for us to try?

    Thank you!!

    • hi Amanda! is this caused by the headboard not tight against the wall because the baseboard push the bed out a bit? if so, you can add a spacer wood piece behind each headboard post so when you lean it’s less stress on the joints.
      you can also try wood shims (available at home depot) to make the joints tighter, which would help! πŸ™‚

      • Ah! So your bed is pushed up against the wall?? We do not have our headboard touching the wall. I have always had my beds before sitting an inch or two from the wall just so that it doesn’t leave marks on the wall. But you are thinking that maybe using the wall as support could help with the squeaking?? Hadn’t considered that, but may have to try it if I can’t figure out anything else to solve this super squeaky bed issue! Thank you! 😊

        • hi amanda! yes, squeaking always comes from joints, either they are not meeting tightly, or too much stress on them! you can pad the wood a little with felt pads where they touch the wall also. πŸ™‚

  20. How much space is there between the bottom of the bed and the floor? Could you fit those long plastic containers under it for storage?

  21. Hi! I am all done measuring and cutting, getting ready to drill. Any other thoughts on screw type, aside from length, for attaching the brackets?

  22. Is it possible to make taller posts for twin size bed? Any limit on height? I would like to upgrade from 14” posts to 21” to make the bed frame higher.

  23. Can I use a full plywood sheet instead of slats ? Thoughts on that please. I see mixed comments about using plywood sheet vs plywood slats. Thank you!

    • hi! full sheet can work. we decided on using slats because we don’t want a full sheet to warp, slats are easier to move, also there’s more air circulation for the mattress! πŸ™‚

  24. Amanda, thank you for the inspiration and all your work to prepare your plans and sharing them! I made some very slight variations to the measurements to accommodate a queen size mattress and then one big change: The headboard is 6′ tall, and the footboard is 37.5″ tall, to allow for a tall greyhound’s kennel beneath the bed. The only big addition was another 2×6 at the bottom of the headboard, and a supporting 2×4 connecting the stringers and this additional 2×6 to deal with any sway from this added height. Does this add a challenge to my son & Daughter in law getting in and out of bed… well, yes. I also added two side panels with bed-lights that hang on each side of the bed with floating shelves, and used the same beetle kill wood as the headboard. I also took your suggestion of a linseed oil/beeswax finish that turned out very well. If you would like a photo of the end result, I’ll send it to you.

    • hi garry! thank you so much for sharing your experience! πŸ™‚ yes you can send it to our facebook, instagram, or email ananda(at)apieceofrainbow.com , we are always happy to see our readers DIYs!

    • Can you please share the picture. I am planning something similar for the Floating shelves for the Full bed I am planning for my son. So the picture will be helpful.

  25. Hello, is it possible to make this platform bed without the headboard? I have a carved room divider that I put up flat against the wall as a headboard behind my current bed.
    Thanks!

  26. Hi Ananda. My wife saw these plans and wanted me to make this bed for us. I bought all the materials at the beginning of COVID, but have just recently made my cuts and am finishing sanding. However, I’m confused about one thing. Considering you put your stringers to the edges of the 4×4, in your drawings it shows the length as 85” (7’1”). Taking out the 3.5” for the back post, that means the length for a mattress is 81.5”. Does this mean the frame sticks out 1.5”? In the same vein, does that mean the width sticks out 3”? I ask because I don’t want any extra wood frame showing or bumping into with my legs/knees. If I had to err, I’d rather err on the frame being a tad smaller than bigger. I ask because I’d like to confirm before I start assembling everything together. Thanks! Enjoying putting this together, as well as all the great questions from everyone!

    • hi eric! yes the frame is 1.5″ more on the bottom, left, and right side than the mattress, bt it’s really unnoticeable because of the bedding. I don’t think you want it smaller than the mattress- it would not look as nice with the mattress sticking out! πŸ™‚

  27. Love this bed so much! I was wondering if I could get the download for this? Looking for a fun new project this weekend :).

  28. Love the design and can’t wait to build this bed! On the cut list, it shows the height of the headboard 4 x 4 posts as 4’6″; however, on all of the drawings they are shown as 4’5″. Which is correct?

    • hi courtney! thank you so much for noticing that! the plans show these two posts on the headboard at 4’5″, but an extra inch gives more flexibility when you layout the headboard. i may have mentioned it somewhere but it’s such a long tutorial, i will also add this note in the cut list. thank you so much and happy building!! πŸ™‚

  29. Great design, both simple and elegant. I’m curious about the inside dimensions between the legs. I’m trying to modify for a full size frame, and also have enough room underneath to slide a twin size mattress between the legs. I figure I need 1/2 inch of clearance on both sides – would need 75″ total distance between the front and back legs. Does that make sense?

    • hi paul! i think a twin mattress is 75″ long, and you meant 76″ distance right? yes that will work, although you can slide the twin mattress diagonally a bit and since a full frame is much wider, you should have no problem πŸ™‚

  30. Hi, very nice guide by the way. I’m planning to build one for my father who suffers from GERD/hiatal hernia/acid reflux. I’ve got basically no woodworking skills. I want to modify the plan so that it becomes an inclined bed frame with 5 degree elevation (length of bed height should be 7″ I believe). I haven’t been able to find plans anywhere but your bed frame is a good starting point. You can google: “The Torr inclined bed frame” to get a better understanding of what I’m trying to build. There is a Facebook group called: “Inclined Bed Therapy Group”. People would be forever grateful if you could make public plans for a solid inclined bed frame.

    • hi eric, thank you for the suggestion! it looks like all you need to change is to cut the ends of the two long rail at an angle (maybe 5 degrees?). the lumber store or home depot should be able to cut that very accurately for you if you bring our drawings with photos and info on the inclined bed frame! πŸ™‚

  31. Thanks for this tutorial. Just built the frame for a king sized mattress and laying on it for the third night so far. It’s so sturdy and looks so awesome, The instructions were pretty thorough & I didn’t run into any problems. My wife & I are about to move so I’m grateful this design allows me to break it up into 4 pieces (plus the supports). Makes things so easy. Wish I could post pictures on here but not too sure if that’s possible!

    • thank you so much Trey for sharing! we really need to figure out a way for everyone to share photos here! πŸ™‚ feel free to tag us on instagram or post photos under our pins for now. and good luck with your move!!

  32. I’ve been looking for bed ideas for about 3 years and never came across yous until now. This is the one I plan to build. My only question is where did you find the brackets for the side pieces to the 4×4 post? I’ve looked and cannot seem to find these, I really like the idea of easy moving capable.

  33. So excited to try this build! Would you be able to help me on the measurements for a full. I have tried the math a couple times but I am fairly sure I am doing it wrong. I took off 6 inches from the measurements but saw your reply above about not removing the 6 inches from the verticals and now I have confused myself more. TIA

    • hi anysa! The Queen is 5 inches longer than the Full, and 6 inches wider, so i would take 5″ off along the length, and 6″ off along the width. Height should be same! πŸ™‚

  34. I had the best time with this project. I am such a dang rookie when it comes to building things. This bed was a kick in the pants fun time for me. My cost for the wood was $75. The challenge and best part was learning how to use the pocket jig. I chose to use pine for my bed. I just had a new home built and have been using the color espresso as my accent color for furniture. So I bravely stained away at each board and watched the wood transform before my eyes. I was smiling from ear to ear with the results. Thank you for the amazing plans and the joy you brought to my new home. My bed looks so rich and professionally done. The dark espresso color just pops and shines!

  35. How on earth did you get your materials under $100? I just got quoted for white oak, which isn’t even particularly expensive, and for all the materials I need not including plywood, it’d be $2500 at a lumber yard. And they’re the cheapest around here! Poplar, which is the cheapest, would still be over a grand.

  36. Hello! I am not a math person at all and I’m really struggling to make the necessary conversions for a California King. My husband is very tall and has to have that extra length the Cal King offers. Is there any way you would convert the measurements for me for a Cal King bed? I don’t know if I’m over thinking it or what but I’m terrified of spending a lot of money on lumber and making measurement errors that leave us with lumber we can’t use…especially with a baby! I would appreciate your help more than you’d know!

  37. I’m having trouble determining the placement of the 2 U-shaped rests for the 2×4’s. Is their location along the 2×6’s arbitrary? Also what is the 4 1/2” on the diagram referring to as it pertains to how “deep” to set them?

    • hi sam! yes the placement of the 2 U-shaped rests for the 2Γ—4’s along the 2Γ—6’s does not have to be super exact, just around 20″ from each side rail. the 4 1/4” on the diagram is how β€œdeep” to set them so the horizontal slats for the mattress can be level. πŸ™‚

  38. The bed looks amazing! I am currently adapting your plans to my own project using a $15 headboard that I found at the Restore. I have one concern regarding your use of pocket hole joints. I don’t see any problem with the headboard, but with the bed frame itself, I would worry that the joints to the 4×4 posts would fail if any significant weight were applied. I’m addressing this by using joist hangers (shared by another commenter), but I was wondering how yours have held out over the years?

    • hi mary! our bed is holding up great like day 1! πŸ™‚ we used bed brackets for crucial joints, although pocket hols can be quite strong too. πŸ™‚

  39. We made this bed in 4 days with 0 fights!! Stained it darker and used joist hangers instead of making our own for the 2 x 4s that hold the slats. Since it was a king size we used 4-2x4s Loved this project!

  40. I love this bed plan! Thank you for posting, Did you use sketchup for the plans with measurements in the tutorial?

  41. Hi! I have a small Kreg R3 jig, do you know if this will work, or do I Need the one you advertise in the directions? I’m new to the kreg jig, only used it once so I’m still learning! Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

    • hi! the screw sizes are different depending on thickness of wood. for example: to join 2x to 2x, you need 2 1/4″ to 2 1/2″ screws. to join 1x to 2x, you need 1 1/4″ to 2″ screws πŸ™‚

  42. very nice job! i love how it looks. it goes so well in the room, and looks super comfortable. i’m so impressed!

  43. The math for adjust to king size doesn’t add up. You are an inch short.

    2 x 6 headboard is 4 foot plus 8 inches = 56 inch plus nominal 4 x 4 posts are actual 3.5 each = 7 inches

    56 plus 7 plus 16 added to adjust from queen to king is 79 inches.
    I think the headboard and foot board need to be 57 inches to make it work to be actual 80 inches.

    57 plus 7 plus 16 = 80

    Or am I missing something here?

    • hi patrick! so a queen mattress is 60″ wide by 80″ long, vs a king mattress is 76″ wide by 80″ long. the queen bed frame is 63″ wide to have 3″ extra, the king bed frame would be 79″ wide to have 3″ extra as well. πŸ™‚ does that help?

      • Yes. Thank you. I’m going to tackle a king without a headboard shortly. Need to round up the HD pocket hole jig and brackets. Do you think the two – 2×4 stringers in the middle should be adequate for a king bed? Maximum weight load would be around 550 worst case. Add a 3rd or is that overkill? Kind of excited to give this a try. I’m not a work worker so I measure twice, cut once. Love the simplicity of this plan,

        • hi patrick! it should be plenty strong, but feel free to add a 2×4 for peace of mind! πŸ™‚ definitely measure twice or more! happy building!!

  44. Hi there, do you have any idea how to change these plans so that I could use 1×6 or 1×8 boards for side rails instead? I would like to just use wood from the hardware store but they don’t seem to carry 2×6 in select S4S boards. They also just have 5/4×4 boards so would it be possible to use those instead of 2x4s? I want to make sure the frame is still strong enough. Thanks!

    • hi! 1×6 or 1×8 tend to warp, especially at a long length. look up local lumberyard, they usually carry more varieties than hardware stores! if not, maybe glue 2 pieces of 1x6s instead! πŸ™‚

  45. Hi! We’re excited to follow this plan to build bed frames for our master and guest bedrooms. I lean towards a taller bed. Can this be easily adapted to be a bit taller without jeopardizing sturdiness? Thank you!

  46. Does the supply list include the wood needed for the head board or just the bed frame? Do I need to make sure I look at both the supply lists on this link and the head board link?

  47. I love your design! I have a question: Do you think the bed would be structurally weaker if I used 1×6 boards for the rails instead of 2×6 boards? I’d like to use poplar, and there isn’t any 2-by poplar stock at my local home centers. I’d use doug fir, but they only have 2x4s, nothing wider.

    I’d have to figure out something for the legs because poplar and doug fir 4x4s probably don’t go well together even with a gel stain, but my main concern is with the strength of the frame if I were to use 1×6 poplar boards.

    Thanks!

    • hi jacky! 1×6 may warp because it is a pretty long piece. i would look up local lumber yard, because they have a much wider selection than general home centers, and i am sure there are lumber stores near you. if not, you can “make your own 2×6” by gluing two 1x6s together and clamp them tight for 24 hours. πŸ™‚

  48. Hanna Norell, if you want the mattress to sit between and below the bed rails, you will not only have to lower the position of the slats, but you will also have to change the dimensions of the bed by about 2 inches in both directions. The plans given are for the outer dimensions of the bed to match the matress, what you will want is for the inner dimensions of the bed to match the matress size.

  49. I’ve looked through your plans, and I didn’t see anywhere in them that you say what size bed your material list is for. Is this a full sized bed or a queen bed? I’m looking to make a queen size. Would I need to adjust the material list?

  50. Thank you for putting so much thought and care into this tutorial and how to deviate; it’s really helped me vector in what I want to do when I build a bed. Do you find that your mattress slips around on your bed frame, or is it held pretty securely?

  51. I made this bed frame last year. Because I could only find a 4x4x10′ for the legs and headboard supports, I shortened the headboard. Painted it with one coat of red latex so the grain shows through. It’s beautiful and even elegant. Now I have to make another bed frame and wanted to try another design, but after fruitless looking, decided to go back to this design. The directions are very specific and that really makes the whole project so easy! Thank you!

  52. So glad I’ve found such awesome instructions here. This is one of the best tutorials on building a bed!

  53. So happy we found your plans for this bed! Just recently finished building ours, switching it up a bit with our headboard. LOVING the results! And feeling accomplished for actually building a piece of furniture! 😊

  54. Wow! As coolly at you it turned out. Bed simply super! Such beds in shops stand from $1000, but I even couldn’t think that it can be made most and for only $100. I just moved to the new apartment and itself should choose quickly furniture so far there do repair and repair system of heating, after all in Philadelphia is cool now. Whether now I will think it is worth buying in shop or it is better to make most. Thanks for the instruction, I will watch further your new ideas.

  55. I cannot figure out how to get the graphics that you used on the box with the oranges. I signed up for your emails, but I feel like I’m just going in a circle looking for the graphics. Thanks for your help.

  56. Just finished mine! Such a fun way to spend time, I absolutely loved the finish product. Thanks for putting this together, I would have never thought this was something I could do and have it actually turn out well!

  57. Hi Ananda, what are you using to connect the short side of the bed frame to the posts? Are you gluing the 60″ 2×6 to the posts?

  58. Hi! What color stain did you use? I noticed you posted a link to the diy stains and you said you used recipe #7, but I am a little bit confused because when I went to the page, recipe #7 was a recipe for staining wood colors like blue?

      • Hi Ananda,

        Love the bedrame and headboard, thank you for sharing your design! Do you remember what colors you mixed and in what ratio to get this color? Thanks!

        • hi kate, i mixed maybe 50% brown to 50% golden deep yellow, then thinned it with some water. it’s a good idea test on some scraps cut from the headboard! πŸ™‚

  59. Love the project quick question though how did you get the 10 slatst slats for the headboard I have 3 1x4x10′ and 3 1x4x8′ and am only coming up with 9 slats after you take out the 3 2’11” pieces for the back.

  60. Wow, this is beautiful. Such a great tutorial too with all the info anyone could need! Thanks so much, hoping to make our frame within the coming weeks!!!

  61. so dumb question. when screwing the 1×4’s to the 1×4 supports. did you screw from the back going forward or through the front? also is glue on the 1×4’s a bad idea?

    • hi nick, glue will form a really strong bond if you clamp each piece tightly for 1 hour, which is possible, but screws are easier. we did it from the back because it looks better that way. happy building! πŸ™‚

  62. Amazing work! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    If I wanted to modify this so that the mattress didn’t sit atop the entire thing, but rather fit into the frame (with a few inches of wood surrounding the lower half of the mattress) would that be possible?

    I imagined adding an additional board to make the sides taller, or dropping the slats down so the mattress was inside the parameters of the wood would work…though I really don’t have much experience with woodworking and realized the measurements may be a bit too small to fit a queen size mattress into the frame as opposed to having it floating.

    What are your thoughts on this? I hope the way I’ve explained it makes sense!

    Thank you so much!

    • hi hanna, yes you can drop the slats lower, and / or use 2×8 instead of 2×6 . the current plan measurements of the 4 sides will allow the mattress to fit inside. but double check your mattress, especially if it has hard rigid sides!

      • Hi ananda! Was wondering, for making this accommodate a full size bed, would I just reduce all measurements by 6 inches? According to the chart at the end of the article a full size bed is 6 inches shorter on both sides than a queen.
        Thanks in advance

      • If you drop the slats lower for the mattress to fit further down into the frame, will the foot board posts need to notched out to allow this to happen?

  63. I was looking for information regarding this and finally got one. Thanks for sharing the information with us. The article was a great help to me.

  64. Hi there! We just finished building this bed this week end! We adapted the plans to build a king-sized bed frame and WE LOVE IT!! We just got a new mattress (leesa sapira) and it was so fun to have a new bed altogether! The bed is very sturdy and well put together. We used Douglas fir and a walnut stain. We loved trying out a pocket hole jig! The instructions were helpful although there were a few things we had to figure out on our own. A few notes for the tutorial:
    1. If using Douglas for the highest grit sand paper you want to use is 100/120…otherwise it doesn’t absorb stain as well.
    2. We highly recommend using pre stain. It’s a super easy step that doesn’t take long and it helps the wood to evenly absorb the stain as opposed to having it’s softer and harder spots absorb the wood lighter and darker.
    3. For the headboard you actually need TEN 1×4’s. The instructions say 9 but the diagrams show 10. It was very frustrating to get everything ready to assemble the headboard only to discover we had to run to the store and buy another and cut, sand, pre stain, stain and clear coat one random board.
    4. Depending on how you assemble the bed, the strivers could use an extra inch or two in length. They still work a little shorter but maybe cut them a little longer and sand or cut it down later.
    5. Also, instead of using wood, we bought 2×4 joists to attach the stringers. They’re about $0.75 each and was just easier for us.

    The project took us about a week in all. We were only really working in the evenings and juggling two small children and extremely hot temperatures. I’m pregnant and still found this to be an enjoyable project to do together with my husband. Everyone is so impressed with our bed and we think it’s pretty great ourselves!!! I wish I could post pictures!

    • hi Eliese, thank you SO much for sharing your experience! congrats on your new bed!! i have corrected the 1x4s amount, sorry about that! i also added a note for people to check out your comment for more helpful tips! best wishes! =)

    • Hi Eliese! I just finished making this in king size (using poplar), and used the metal joist brackets too! Indeed, they were only $.78 at Lowe’s. My support slats and spacers were actually .75” boards, instead of .5” plywood, so this allowed me to hang the stringers a tiny bit lower to accommodate the extra height.

      I ran into your issue with the headboard, too… I was one board shirt, but could only fit a 1×3 at the bottom, instead of a 1×4. It looks like Ananda used a smaller piece here too.

      Ananda, thank you for sharing your plans! This was a blast to make! How can those who have followed your tutorial share photos of the final product?

    • Would you be able to share the materials with wiemeasurements for the king size bed? I would love to start this project up this week. How is your bed holding up? This looks like a simple and beautiful frame.
      Thanks so much!

  65. Is there any concern that the design wouldn’t be strong enough for a king bed? Specifically, would the frame need more center support, such as extra stringers and/or legs?

    Thanks!
    Mary

  66. The stringers should be 6 ft 10 inches instead of the listed 6 ft 8 inches. Instead of 2 inches longer than the side rail, the stringers need to be 4 inches longer because you gain 2 inches in length on each side from the posts.

    • hi pat, thank you for the observation! in this case, we installed the 2×6 (below the headboard ) flush at front with the posts, so the stringers only gain 2″ at the footboard. hope it makes sense! =)

  67. HI, I am planning on building a bed frame but I have noticed that a lot of the wood I’ve been looking at have dimensions that are a bit off. The 4 x 4s are really 33/4 x 33/4 and the 2 x 4s are 11/2 x 31/2 etc…

    Was this the case for the lumber you used to build your bed? I’m not sure if this is standard.

    Thanks for your help and your beautiful oh so inspiring website.

    Laura

  68. I love your bed! Thank you for the detailed plans and especially how you installed the brackets. I had trouble with those and switched to these brackets from Rockler – rockler.com/surface-mount-bed-rail-brackets. But will give the ones you used a second try since I still have a set and plan to build a king size bed, My problem with the brackets was with the claw side. Once screwed on they were difficult to insert. I will try loosening the screws and then tightening them after like you suggest doing. Thank you for sharing your awesome talent and creativity.

  69. WOW… I just can’t believe my eyes… This is absolutely beautiful… Like you guys made a bed yourself… Great job????????… Would be a good memory for you both

  70. Firstly, I can’t imagine how a half empty air mattress could possibly spark joy! LOL So then did that mean that there was a lack of joy during the time you slept on the floor? I went without during a good part of my life, so not only does everything I have chosen to have in my house or just the freedom of choice in my life, bring me a spark of joy…but I appreciate and a am grateful for all inanimate AND animate things in my life. BUT that being said, I absolutely love your bed and your craftsmanship! Kudos and enjoy!!

    • hi mary, great question! πŸ™‚ our life was full of joy when we slept on the floor, it was liberating to have very little stuff! however, being joyful does not mean everything will stay just the same – it actually make us want to create and refresh things. this bed gives us a new “blank” canvas to decorate our bedroom for fun in a lot of new ways! stay tuned! πŸ™‚

  71. I love, love, LOVE DIY projects… I would love to give this headboard a try, it’s simple and beautiful! I love the wood texturized white wash wall decor as well that I will some day DIY for my house too! THANK YOU!
    Last year one of my guy friends invited everyone to a bonfire in his backyard (he just built a firepit) Well, he had a TON of wood palettes and all of a sudden he started carrying them out and breaking them for the fire… I had to go save those things… Noooooooooo, I yelled… give those things to me… then I explained the value of them and he had to go get new firewood to burn. I’m not going to lie, kind of felt like a DIY superhero…lol
    Okay, now I’m done with my story… :)!

  72. I will have to think about this as I am considering getting my daughter a new bed in the near future. I am not sure that this is the right size for her room, but this looks great, maybe I can make some modifications.

  73. Wow, what an undertaking – I’ve never thought of designing my own bed but I guess it makes sense to have something perfect and personal when you spend a third of your life in it! The final result looks stunning – enjoy sleeping on the gorgeous mattress!!

Leave a Reply to ChrisCancel Reply

Send this to a friend