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How to Build a Bed Frame

Did you know you spend about 1/3 of your life counting Zzz? Whether it’s exotic or traditional your bed should be comfortable, stylish, and practical. By sticking to this easy DIY design, you can have your very own handmade bed for far less than the cost of buying a new one.

Getting Started

The best way to begin this project is to determine exactly how much space you have for the bed. The plans below are for a queen sized bed frame and headboard. Feel free to adjust the lumber cuts to suit your specific spacial needs.

What You Will Need

  • Handheld Sander
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • 2 ½” Deck Screws
  • 1 ¼” Deck Screws
  • Corner Brackets
  • Carriage Bolts
  • Hex Nuts
  • Lock Washers
  • Ratchet
  • Set of Deep Sockets
  • Power Drill
  • Rags
  • Paint Brushes

Lumber List

  • 5 – 2” x 6” x 8’
  • 1 – 2” x 4” x12’
  • 4 – 2” x 12” x 8’

Make Your Cuts

Cutting your lumber beforehand can save you serious time during assembly. For the frame, cut two of the 2 x 12 x8s to 77”, these will be used for the head and the foot of the bed frame. Cut the other two 2 x 12 x 8 to 86”, these will be used as the frame side supports. For the headboard, cut five of the 2 x 2 x 8s down to 77”cut three pieces of the 2 x 4 x 12 to 42”.

Prep Work

Since this bed will be pretty large, some prep work before assembly can make all the difference. First, use the handheld sander to smooth out the lumber. After the sanding is complete, wipe off the dust with a damp rag and let the wood dry for a few minutes. Now you can apply stain to the wood. Remember, the more coats of stain you apply, the darker the final color will be. When you are satisfied with the color, let the stain dry completely.

If you would like to go with a more rustic look, you can distress the wood of the frame and headboard using nails, a hammer, chains, or pretty much anything that will leave stress marks on the new lumber. Next, apply a coat of polyurethane to the lumber. This will add a slight gloss and protect the bed frame’s finish. Let the poly dry completely before attempting assembly.

Assembling the Headboard

On a flat surface, lay out the 2 x 6s evenly facing down and lay one of the 2 x 4s in the centre. Use the 2 ½” deck screws to attach the centred 2 x 4 to the 2 x 6s. Now, space out the other two 2 x 6s on either side of the centred board. These should be spaced out about two feet from the centre. Attach these using your drill and 2 ½” deck screws.

Building the Bed Frame

Attach your corner brackets to the header and footer pieces using the 1 1/4” decking screws. On your headboard, mark each of the 3 support 2 x 6s where they will attach to the header board. Drill these attachment holes and use your carriage bolts, hex nuts, and washers to connect the header and headboard. Using the 1 ¼” decking screws, attach the side boards to the header and footer board corner brackets.

At this point the frame and headboard should be finished. Take a step back and admire your work, you just built you very own bed from scratch!