Diy wooden bed frame ideas

Do NOT use pressure treated lumber, there can be toxic chemicals in them!

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

Knots are extremely 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.

We used Douglas Fir for our DIY wood bed posts and rails.

It is a favorite structural/construction lumber on the west coast. The wood is extremely stiff and strong. Southern Yellow Pine / Spruce Fir is also a grand choice and favorite on the east coast. Other grand choices are Poplar, Ash, Oak, Alder, Birch, Cherry, and Maple.

If you are using other species of lumber, make certain that the wood is excellent 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 haspoor screw holding characteristics.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

Which means a rocky and squeaky bed frame!

Step 4: build wood bed frame and headboard

Tip: It is easier to drill every 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 2×4 top piece and 2×6 bottom rail. See diagram under. The key is to leave a tiny gap (even 1/32″ is enough ) between the 1×4 slats to permit room for wood movement.

More about wood movement in the DIY headboard tutorial here

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

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

It also includes variations on how to build a wood headboard love this if you already own a bed frame and just desire 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 Every Natural Wood Stains with 7 Recipes!

Easy Homemade Every Natural Wood Stains – 7 Recipes!

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

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, ckeck they are flush at top and on the side that faces out.


Tutankhamun’s bed (in Cairo Museum)

A DIY bed frame sounded so awesome and SO SCARY to me, for a endless 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!

The process of designing and building our DIY bed is so rewarding, we learned a ton! In this detailed step by step tutorial,I will share with youour free DIY bed frame with headboard building plan, plus everything we own learned in this project:

We will start with what are the best wood choices to build a bed frame – SUPER important!

The detailed step by step tutorial will cover how to build a simple wood bed frame that is simple to disassembled when moving, how to adapt the free DIY bed frame plan to any size bed ( king bed to twin bed, with or without headboard) and the best natural finishes for your wood bed frame and headboard.

We just spent an entire year sleeping on the floor, love this.

( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )

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!

I always wanted to design and build a beautiful and simple DIY wood bed that is uniquely ours, and share the simple plan and tutorial with everyone.

When I shared my thought with our dream mattress companySleep 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!

Hubby is always super supportive.

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


The actual date for the invention of the first platform bed is impossible to pinpoint, as the modern box-spring was not invented until the mid-1860s.[2] Since the basic definition of a platform bed is «a bed which uses only a mattress», every incarnations of the bed up to that point would necessarily functionally be considered platform beds. While we generally ponder of the modern platform bed as having a solid surface for sleeping; rope, leather and wooden or bone slat bases were every used as supports for early mattresses.

Platform bed development was closely intertwined with the evolution of the modern bed. The earliest humans most probably slept on the ground. It would own been freezing, hard and offered no protection from crawling insects or little animals. Readily available piles of leaves and branches could be covered with animal pelts which provided superior warmth and comfort to sleeping on the ground probably inspiring the first thoughts of a raised dedicated sleeping space.[3] The basic platform bed concept was born from this and has developed ever since in numerous styles and materials but always on the basic principle of raising one’s sleeping surface off the ground developed by early humans.

Some of the earliest existing platform beds were created by the early Egyptians who created a wooden framework glued and lashed together which own been found in numerous burial tombs[4] For instance, in King Tutankhamen’s tomb a gilded ebony platform-style bed was found. Studies of ancient hieroglyphs propose that the platform beds were revered in Egyptian culture. While common people slept on simpler constructions, the trend developed to decorate the woods surface with gilding and paints and also to use carving to enhance the beauty of this utilitarian object.

Ivory, exotic woods and metal were used as inlay or even as the entire foot on the best constructions, bringing artistic design to a commonplace object.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

This style of platform bed, which might be more accurately described as a chaise longue or daybed were the basic building blocks leading to today’s modern platform bed. This period provides the earliest representation of platform bed construction to survive.

Platform beds that might be recognized as more precise representations of today’s platform beds were better defined as loft beds. The beds were originally situated high off the ground to permit for more living space under. Over time the beds moved closer to the ground, to their present placement.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

Early twentieth century design in both Europe and America incorporated elements that helped lead to the wide variety of platform bed styles available today. Minimalism styles and influences in painting and sculpture quickly found their way into furniture design, offsetting the more elaborate designs found in the Victorian Era. The Asian approach of «less is more when done artfully» and the cultural appreciation for natural materials also helped to define the basic feel, shapes and decorative elements found on today’s platform bed designs.

Mission style furniture also drew on these trends emphasizing precision craft and a simplicity of materials which lead directly to the basic geometric building block theme still seen as crucial elements of a modern platform bed. In the 1940s futon and futon frames incorporated the platform bed ethos and continue to this day to be a favorite offshoot of the platform bed idea.[2]

Today, platform beds are generally made from wood, metal, bamboo or leather and may or may not include a headboard and foot board.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

Platform beds are capable to support a mattress without the use of a box-spring, although numerous beds are capable to accommodate the box-spring if desired.

Step 2: collect 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 grand care, which made it so much easier! Take the plans and cut list with you ! 🙂

4×4 posts: (2) 4×4 @ 1’2″ L, (2) 4×4 @ 4’6″ L, 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.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

They tend to warp, especially at a endless length. Glance up local lumberyard, they generally 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′

Plywood slats and spacers: (14) 3″ wide x 5′ endless.

We used PureBond 1/2″ thick plywood which is a grand 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 additional to use for stringer supports

Please follow excellent practices to build safely and smartly. Follow safety guidelines for each tool.

Diy wooden bed frame ideas

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!

Tools needed to make a bed frame:

  1. Sand paper : I used 120 grit sand paper for sanding the cut surfaces, and 300 to 400 fine grit sand paper to sand the exposed wood surfaces
  2. Bed rail brackets : Our DIY bed frame can be easily assembled or disassembled when moving thanks to these awesome bed rail brackets!

    They don’t come with instructions, so I own included detailed instructions on how to install these brackets.

  3. Kreg Pocket Hole Jig: this one is a excellent starter pocket hole jig, use it with a woodworking clamp, or this bigger set which has a built-in clamp, 1.25″ Pocket Hole screws and 2.5″ Pocket Hole screws
  4. tape measure, combination square, pencils for marking
  5. drill, circular saw or jig saw, safety goggles, dust mask, hearing protection. Follow safety procedures!!

IMPORTANT: after every the wood is cut, check the pieces together which own the same length: this will ensure our DIY bed frame is square and every the pieces fit nicely.

Consistency is more significant than numbers!

For example: every the 1x4s on the headboard should be the same length as the two 2x6s on the headboard and foot-board. It is OK if every of them are, let’s tell, 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.

Sand every the cut surfaces and exposed surfaces so the wood is nice and smooth.

If you desire to paint or stain the wood, now is a excellent time.

Step 3: How to install bed rail brackets on wooden bed posts and side rails

This significant step is not hard, but it requires patience and accuracy. If you do it correct, the relax 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″ endless side rails, one on each end.

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 finish 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.

First, pre-drill each marked drill hole, and attach the slot bracket onto the 4×4 post using 2″ to 3″ endless screws. If you are off, the rail will not be flush to the post. Remember to hold checking at each step!

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

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

Next, attach the “claw” bracket to one finish of the rail, check everything is square and flush.

Don’t tighten the screws too much on the “claw” brackets yet. At this stage, we desire 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!

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

Step 5: add supports for slats and stringers

We are almost done! 🙂

Because our goal is to hold 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 put by supports and spacers, instead of attached to the bed rails.

The key here is to measure carefully so the bed slats are just 1/4″ under the top of the 2×6 side rails.

You can own them flush with the top of the 2×6 side rails, we chose the 1/4″ offset for a cleaner glance, 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.

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 put by 3″ wide spacers cut from one additional 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.