How to Build a Bed Frame

DIY Guide To Building a Bed Frame

There are a few things in the home that most people consider to be a requirement not a luxury. One of those things is a bed for home owners to sleep in. After all without one, getting a good sleep is a lot less likely. But a lot of beds these days over complicate what it is needed and it can be hard to find simple designs without the extras. For people looking for an alternative option to the beds on offer today there is the idea of planning and building your own bed frame. Building your own bed frame means you get the clean lines you want and is cheaper too. Here are some steps to help you towards that goal.

Build your own bed frame

Things you need to plan and build your own bed frame

  • A saw
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape
  • High quality cuts of wood – get a few extra just in case of an error in cutting or measuring, also include extra for the support beams
  • Plywood (veneered)
  • Pencil
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Sander and safety goggles
  • Wood stain and possible wood conditioner if you are using a soft wood

First Step – Planning your own bed frame

Bed frame with storage design

It is very important when building anything, (but especially building something people will be using) that you carefully plan out the build first. Decide now what kind of bed frame you are aiming for – there are a few types like the Murphy that folds up or something more basic like a platform. Then you also need to plan out what materials you want to use use including the type of wood you want to use. For something inexpensive and easy to work with you can use a soft wood like pine, birch is a bit more expensive and a little harder to use, then hardwoods like oak or maple are even harder to work with and the most costly. Some of you decision should be based on what you like the look of, but also it needs to be at your level of expertise, and affordable.

Second Step – Measure and then measure again

Meaurement for bed frame

A lot of people make errors when doing a project themselves because one or more measurements are a little off which can put a hitch into the whole thing. Use a measuring tape to measure out how big you need the frame to be, keeping in mind where you will place it and the size of the mattress you are using. Note down each measurement then re-check each one carefully again. Now you can go get the necessary sized lumber for the frame.

Third Step – Working the wood

bed frame idea

In this step there is the process of cutting the wood, sanding it down and staining it. Measure the wood to the sizes you want and mark with your pencil where you need to cut. Use your saw to cut the wood to the right size, if you want to you could just purchase the pieces pre-cut to the sizes you want from certain suppliers or carpenters even. You then need to sand the wood down making sure you use goggles, and follow the wood grain rather than go against it so the sanding is more even. The staining process depends on the wood type you went for. If you chose a soft wood these can have patches and uneven blotching so you need to use a pre-stain wood conditioner first. Hardwoods do not need that extra layer.

Fourth Step – Making the frame

Using the wood glue, when the stain is dry you can now glue the bed pieces together, making sure they match your measurements. Use the screws and screwdriver when the wood glue has dried to add further support to the frame to make sure it is safely secured. If you have decided to make a bed larger than a full size, (a queen for example) you will now want to cut and add in some support beams to the frame. How many you use is your choice but there should certainly be a center frame at least to help support the weight of the mattress and the people sleeping on top of the frame. Support frames do not need to be glued first, you can attach them with just the wood screws.

Fifth Step – Further assembly

Finally you need to put all of it together with the headboard, foot board and so on. Spread your materials out so they are within easy reach, and are easy to find. Attach s sheet of veneered plywood to the top of the bed frame with wood screws. If you want to turn this into a four poster bed you can cut four square posts to the height you want and attach to each corner of the bed frame. You then need to put on two bed rail hangers where the rails usually go. In the supports cut in some grooves and put in a piece of veneer plywood. A DIY bed frame is also perfect if you are building your own DIY murphy bed with furniture from popular brands like IKEA.

Completed bed frame


Once you have put the whole thing together check how strong it is and whether it is secured well enough everywhere. You can always add in a few more wood screws if you want to. To check to see if the frame is sturdy enough you will have to lay some weight on top of it to see if it holds. Gradually up the weight you put on it. Hopefully it holds and you now have a bed frame you built yourself!




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