How to Build a Bed Frame
Despite being in our thirties, and married for eight years, my wife and I still slept with our bed on the floor like we did in our off campus college apartment back in 2005. Go Duke Dogs!
Since we have a baby on the way, we decided it was time to grow up and get an adult bed frame. However, when we started looking for beds, we were quickly reminded why we hadn’t taken the plunge earlier: $$$! All the king bed frames with a style we enjoyed were in the $500 - $700 price range. We weren’t excited about making that kind of investment just before having a baby. So, we made a choice that was a no brainer for us: to build it ourselves.
I think the results are awesome. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
All-in it cost us less than $250 and one weekend of DIY effort. So we saved at least half of the cost and had fun building something together.
Interested in building it yourself? Here’s what you’ll need…
- Outer Frame:
- 4 - 8’ 1”x6” Red Oak boards
- 4 - 2’ 1”x3” Red Oak boards
- 4 - 2’ 1”x2” Red Oak boards
- Inner Supports:
- 3 - 8’ 2”x2” Stud quality boards
- 13 - 8’ ½”x3” Stud quality boards
- Outer Frame:
- Mitre Saw or Mitre Box
- Staple Gun
- 1/8” bit
- 5/16” bit
- Screw Driver
- Wood Glue, I used Titebond II
And here is the overall design of the bed frame…
We based most of our design off of a bed we found on the wonderful blog “Decor and the Dog”. The only thing we felt needed to change was the use of 2x4’s as part of the frame design. We knew we were planning on staining rather than painting the frame, so we wanted to use higher quality wood and Crystal is not a fan of the rounded edges that the 2x4’s have.
We also thought it was important for the bed to be able to be disassembled so that we would be able to move it from the room if/when we needed to in the future. To do this we made it so that the slats could be rolled up and purchased some hardware that we used to attach the sides together.
First, we cut the wood. Here is our cut list:
- Outer Frame:
- Cut 2 of the 8’ 1”x6” Red Oak boards to 81” long for the side boards
- Cut the other 2 of the 8’ 1”x6” Red Oak boards to 78.5” long for the head/foot boards
- Cut all of the 1”x3” and 1”x2” Red Oak boards to 16.5” long for the legs. You should have 8 pieces in total.
- Inner Supports:
- Cut 2 of the 8’ 2”x2” Stud quality boards to 79” long for the side supports
- Cut the other 8’ 2”x2” Stud quality boards to 81” long for the center support
- From scraps of the 2”x2” Stud quality boards, cut 3 pieces at 11” long, for the center support legs
- Cut all 13 of the 8’ ½”x3” Stud quality boards to 76 ¾” long
Once all the wood was cut to size, we stained everything using first a wood conditioner, then the minwax stain. We decided not to polyurethane the piece (mostly because we didn’t want to wait the appropriate amount of time before putting it all together), but if you feel your piece needs that protection, feel free to do that now as well. We did glue the legs and sand them prior to staining, but that was the only assembly we did before staining.
Next was the assembly. This was honestly really easy and took minimal time, just follow the instructions that come with the bedframe hardware. The legs are attached to the bed frame with glue on the head/foot boards. We also used longer screws to attach the hardware on those boards, so that the screws went all the way through the hardware, the head/foot board, and halfway into the leg.
Once the outer frame was built, we went to work on the inner supports. We installed the side support beams by clamping them with glue and secured them with just a few screws. We attached the inner support legs to the middle support beam with long decking screws. The other blog only use 1 leg on their support beam. This may be adequate, but we were nervous, so we threw in two more just to be safe.
The tricky part was trying to figure out how to make the middle support beam removeable but still strong enough. After some thought, we realized that the inner support legs will bear the weight, so the joint with the outerframe only needed to maintain the orientation of the center support. So, we just glued some blocks from scrap wood, and drilled some holes for a carriage bolt.
Despite these joints not being weight bearing, we ended up adding screws to the blocks because the glue didn’t hold for one of the joints.
Finally, we laid the slats onto the inner supports and rolled some of our nylon strapping out across them. We secured the strapping to the slats with two of the T50 staples per board.
Now we were able to disassemble the bed by rolling up the slats, unbolting the center support, and unfastening the brackets. We moved everything into our bedroom and reversed the process, and voila: a beautiful bedframe on the cheap!
I hope we’ve given you some ideas that will help you make your own personalized bed. Let us know in the comments what you build!
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