How do I make my own bed?

Before you stop laughing, I’m not talking about how one puts the sheets, pillow cases, and blankets on in proper order. Rather, I have a queen-sized box spring and mattress, but no frame. I’d like to know if it’s possible to purchase materials and construct my own bed frame.

The skills I can bring to this party:[list=1][li]I know how to wield a hammer.[/li][li]I can use a saw.[/li][li]I can use a measuring tape.[/li][li]I can use a screwdriver.[/li][li]I know how to use an electric drill.[/li][li]I know how to drill pilot holes for screws.[/list=1]Skills or tools I do not possess:[list=1][]I own no clamps\.[/li][li]I do not have a lathe.[/li][li]I do not own a plane, nor am I skilled in the use of one.[/li][li]I am unfamiliar with how to select wood for a furniture project.[/li][li]I am only somewhat familiar with how to make wood joints.[/li][li]Although I’d like to use dowel-and-socket fasteners, I am not familiar with how to make good, solid joints with this method.[/list=1]My questions:[list=1][]Do I possess the minimum skills for this project?[/li][li]Have I the necessary tools?[/li][li]Would it be cheaper to buy a pre-made bed frame?[/li][li]If I have the minimum skills and tools, then where can I get simple plans for a queen-sized bed frame?[/list=1][/li]
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I envision a bed with 4x4 corner posts, 2x6 or 2x8 side- and end-rails (and possibly a center rail or plank to support the center of the bed), and several slats, but I am reluctant to invest in materials until I have a design on hand which will not threaten to collapse if someone flops their fat ass on the edge (for example).

Is this a reasonable home project or is this something best left to the pros? If I could afford to buy a new frame, box spring, and mattress, I would, but I’m hoping I can acquire the materials a bit at a time, then assemble the frame in a weekend.


Baloo - the above is Norm Abram’s (New Yankee Workshop) website results for a search on Bed Frame.

I would think, (keep in mind, this is Missy thinking! :smiley: ) that you would be able to buy the materials premade that you could not make, e.g. the posts, however, you may want to look into unfinished furniture - they generally have very good prices, and you finish it yourself.

Hey - keep us informed on what you do - I love this kind of stuff! Really! (Mr2U is perpetually doing stuff like this!)

If you are thinking of getting more involved in DIY then an electric planer is a real benefit, you can get blades that’ll cut rebates and slots.

A router would be handy too but takes a bit of getting used to.

Why not go along to one of those pine furniture retailers and take a look at the construction, once you’ve seen how its done you should be able to copy it, maybe you could sneakily sketch it while nobody is watching.

Another alternative, go to your local public library and find a book on it.

It is usually as expensive to make yourself as to buy since the materials will be at retail but the quality of the job you do will possibly be better and you get exactly what you want.

Go for it, and fill up the medical kit first .

FWIW, you can get some pretty nice queen-size bed frames from IKEA for under $300. Go to and do a search for bed frames, or order their catalog. I don’t know if that’s more than you were hoping to spend, but they have some of the least expensive furniture I’ve found. Good luck!

Above is from Popular Mechanics and also has some projects, instructions, etc. you might find useful.

300 bucks? Yikes! I think I’d better just print out those plans and see if my local hardware store can help me come up with some dimensions.

Don’t hold yer breath, folks. Barring lottery winnings (unlikely – I don’t play that game) or inheritance (G-d forbid – I like mom the way she is – still breathin’) it’ll take me a while to gather the materials. I’ll let ya know once I get started.



Have you priced lumber yet? Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy it than to buy the lumber and build it yourself. Found that out when we were planning to build a dog-house.

Oh, brother, just put that sucker on the damn floor. It will cost nothing and you need no special skills. Plop, drop, cover and sleep. It works. I had my bed like this for 7 years because I didn’t want the hassle of moving a bed frame. Honestly, you don’t need a bed frame. And it’s a hell of a lot easier to flip the mattress when it’s like this…

Byz (I can call you Byz, can’t I?): Despite the appealing frugality of your suggestion (I’m a Scotsman at heart – maybe cheapness is an inheritable trait?) I will not follow it for several reasons:[list=1][li]Having a crapped out box spring & mattress on the floor is a constant reminder that when TW left, she took our rather nice bedroom suite with her and had her trailer-trash* relatives donate the rather unsanitary-looking setup I now possess (I Lysoled it heavily before I ever slept on it, and kept a watch for saber-toothed crotch crickets for several weeks before I could sleep soundly on it).[/li]
[li]The effects of age are creeping up on me (and occasionally ambush me when I am not vigilant). I like to be able to sit on the edge of my bed without having my knees even with my chin. It makes getting out of bed, if not less dignified, then at least less of an effort.[/li]
[li]Building my own bed frame will allow me to have a constant reminder that no matter my circumstances, I do not give up – I shall never be defeated (yeah, I know that Death guy will eventually get me, but I at least hope to put up a fight and maybe get some concessions before it’s over).[/li]

*No offense intended, but her nearest relatives give a bad name to poor white trash.

Well, if all you want is something to hold the box spring up off the floor (setting aside all arcane guy-stuff considerations of “the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul…”)–um, where was I, sloshing around in bad Victorian poetry…

Anyway, you could go the Basic Sandbox Route, which is where you go down to Menard’s and get a bunch of 1x6s or 1x8s or 1x10s or 1x12s, depending on how high up you want the bed, and throw together a child’s bottomless sandbox that’s a little bit smaller than your box spring. This is basically two sticks on one side, and two sticks on the other side, matching up at the corners. (Be sure to do the actual construction in the bedroom, otherwise you’ll never be able to get it through the bedroom door.)

You can reinforce the corners with angle irons if you’re going to be doing a lot of bouncing around on it. And you can put some extra sticks across it, to keep the box spring from plunging through to the floor, some cold winter night.

Then prop it up on your choice of Martha Stewart K-Mart Designer Bricks.

Or Martha Stewart books themselves, if you want to make a real statement.

Cheaper than cheap.

I think you should be collecting deadwood from the nearest wild space or conservation area.

You could almost build it entirely of found timber if you didn’t mind the rustic feel.

You could remove the bark or not. Though I think it would come off of it’s own accord after several years.

You could make the four posters, with wool with a little branching at the top, it could look cool.

Like I said, cheaper than cheap.


Just get a metal bed frame, basically an angle iron rectangle with wheels. They always have brackets on the ends to attach headboards & footboards. The side rails will be hidden by your bedcovers anyway. That’ll get your mattress and box up off the floor for about $40.00 IIRC, and you can buy/make a nice headboard & footboard at any time after. Just remember to get some 1x6s to lay across the frame to help support the box.

Hell, if you lived anywhere near me, you could come over and we’d make you a nice wooden bed frame in a weekend, they aren’t at all difficult, but nice wood can get pretty spendy these days.

BTW, I really liked your website.

What Bumbazine said. About the iron frame and the web pages.

Have you been to a lumber yard lately? Trouble’s right. Wood is very costly. If you built a big upside-down box type thing, wouldn’t it be really heavy?

I know someone who had lots of those heavy plastic storage crates, full of textbooks, mostly. They were taking up valuable space, and the crates were all the same height, so she had plywood cut to fit, laid it over the crates, and put a mattress on top of it. Temporary solution, but practical.