DIY Bed Frame Plans

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After over a year, our DIY Bedframe continues to be one of my most popular posts, and finally I’m getting around to putting plans and dimensions up to help you build it.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be better about providing tutorials and plans when I promise them. I won’t always be able to provide detailed instructions for every project, but when I say I will, I should do so in a timely fashion. I’m finding myself playing catchup from last year’s projects, so please bear with me.

I’ve been pretty intimidated by Google Sketchup in the past but my patient husband is slowly teaching me so I’ll be able to create better and more accurate drawings. It is really an amazing program (and it’s free) that allows you to visualize something you’re building (even draw a 3D model of an entire room to scale).

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all eager to stop hearing me blather on and get to the good stuff.

The Bed that Chris Made

Step 1: Create inner frame

Bed frame 2 interior dimensions

The structure of the bed was created using an inner frame of 2×6″ and 2×4″ lumber (although in reality lumber measures 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″, as reflected in the plans). The whole inner portion was put together using framing nails and a nail gun. Most of the nails were shot in from the ends. Some of the middle pieces had to be attached using nails fired in at an angle (toe-nailed).

Step 2: Attach outer frame

Bed frame 2 exterior dimensions

The outer frame pieces were attached to the inner frame using screws drilled through from the inner frame. You may need to adjust the measurements of the outer pieces based on how tightly the inner frame fit together, so you may want to hold off on cutting the side pieces until you’ve measured.

Feel free to adjust the height of the legs depending on how thick your mattress is and how high you want to be sleeping.

If you’re using a foam mattress, you’ll want to cut a piece of plywood or MDF to make a solid platform for the bed.

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And that’s pretty much it! It’s a pretty simple design, so hopefully I was able to communicate how to do it.

Note: Please double check the measurements against your own mattress and adjust accordingly. We custom made this bed according to our IKEA king-size mattress, which may be slightly different from yours.

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38 Comments on DIY Bed Frame Plans

  1. Zsivon
    September 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm (3 years ago)

    My boyfriend used this plan to make our own bed frame and it is so sturdy and I love the way it turned out! Thanks

    Reply
  2. drew
    January 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the idea.

    I added joist hangers for extra supprt (I naturally overbuild) I also bulit drop down doors on the side for extra storage as well as keeping the dog out .

    Reply
    • Camilla
      April 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Wow, well you know if there is ever an earthquake, that bed might be the best thing to crouch next to.

      Reply
      • drew
        April 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm (3 years ago)

        * under…

        I lifted the legs to a under bed height of 12″ so use able storage and self shutting doors

        Reply
  3. mitzi
    April 4, 2015 at 2:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I was looking to make my own simple bedframe but with a possibility to add shelves next to the bed.
    I made this, added the bookshelves and it looks great. Thanks so much!
    I am so bad with measuring and this was SUCH a help to me.

    -also I impressed my boyfriend by building my own bed. LOVE IT!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      April 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Good for you! I totally couldn’t have built this by myself without my husband helping, so you go girl!

      Reply
  4. Wes
    April 21, 2015 at 2:52 pm (3 years ago)

    This is awesome. I’ll be using that plan to build my own this weekend (queen size though). I know you mentioned how sturdy it is, which I’m sure makes it quite heavy. Can you give me an idea of how heavy? I mean is it something that will eventually be able to be moved in one piece, or would you have to disassemble it to remove it from your room? Thanks for any advice you can give!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      April 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes it is very heavy. Two strong people could move it but it would be very difficult to lift up or down stairs, not to mention it might not fit through the door/hall. We built a similar queen size bed before this, and when we moved, we disassembled it. It did creak a little more after we reassembled it so we added joist hangers to prevent the wood from rubbing.as much.

      Reply
  5. Mary
    April 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I am planning on using this plan for my bedframe for my new apartment! I am very new to woodworking. What length of framing nails/what type did you all use? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. jen
    May 5, 2015 at 4:19 pm (3 years ago)

    I did this but for some reason with the mattress my be ended up being 3.5 ft tall! It was pretty ridiculous. Ended up having to take the legs off again and took them to home depot to be cut down 8 inches but other than that it looks great super sturdy and heavy and I feel really proud for doing it myself.

    Reply
  7. Teresa
    May 20, 2015 at 6:02 am (2 years ago)

    This is by far the easiest diy plan for a king size bed frame that I have found. We are about to get started on this project and only have one question….. did you not put any support under the middle of the frame? I would love to not have to do that, but just want to make sure that it isn’t necessary. Can’t wait to get started on this project!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      June 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Nope, not necessary. With the 2×4’s set up the way they are (on their short sides), this bed is as sturdy as the second floor of a house.

      Reply
  8. amber
    June 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a beautiful bed!! I was interested in building a queen, as don’t want a box spring and have a 12inch memory foam mattress. I have looked for dyi beds for about 2 months and have not found one I loved. However, I love this one! How did you come up with the measurements for the king? Do you know what the cut list would be for a queen?

    Reply
    • Camilla
      June 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm (2 years ago)

      We measured our mattress (from IKEA) and added a few inches on either side for fit. Not sure about queen measurements sorry!

      Reply
  9. Aunti Kim
    July 18, 2015 at 3:06 am (2 years ago)

    I have fallen in love with this bad frame! but I am unexperienced at woodworking and need to find a friend with tools. I will need to scale it down to a full-sized bed. If I succeed I will post a picture…but I can tell you it won’t be anytime soon because I’m also a procrastinator. Thanks for sharing these plans.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      August 23, 2015 at 10:43 am (2 years ago)

      Haha I’m assuming you meant “bed frame” not “bad frame”, lol! Thanks!

      Reply
  10. Brett
    July 31, 2015 at 12:54 am (2 years ago)

    Great design, thank you. I have read around that pocket holes and screws that are created with the Jig aren’t good for handling load. Has the frame held up okay with just the pocket holes securing the outer frame? Really wanting to try this design.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      August 23, 2015 at 10:42 am (2 years ago)

      The pocket holes are really just holding the outer part of the frame together. I can’t remember whether we did this or not, but you could always put a few screws through from the inner to the outer frame to make it more secure; then you won’t be relying on the pocket holes.

      Reply
  11. Eli
    August 17, 2015 at 11:47 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks so much for posting the plans up here! We love our new sturdy bed! http://i.imgur.com/5XG4Ibh.jpg. Planning on adding a wooden headboard at some point but the first goal was to get the mattress off the floor quickly, this was a great help!

    Reply
  12. Wes
    August 31, 2015 at 6:40 am (2 years ago)

    Quick question; should you add a piece of wood underneath the inner frame of each leg to provide support? That way the weight of the inner frame is not solely being held up by screws alone? Similar to what you would do with a deck frame where the post is notched out to hold the beam. Hope my question make sense as I am no carpenter haha.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      September 10, 2015 at 9:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you could if you are concerned. It’s not a bad idea, but since it’s only holding up a mattress and two people, we didn’t think it was necessary, and we liked a cleaner look to the legs.

      Reply
  13. Adam
    September 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm (2 years ago)

    If plywood or mdf wasn’t used for the support platform, I assume the inner wood frame design will deform the bottom of the foam mattress. I’m afraid the mattress on plywood/mdf will create mold from what I’ve heard? What size plywood was used? and thickness?

    What size screws did you use for the pocket holes?

    Do you have a sketch of where all the nails would go to connect the outer with the inner frame?

    Hoping this is the correct BOM:
    2x 6’8″ 2×6
    1x 6’5″ 2×6
    2x 6’1″ 2×6
    8x 2′ 11 3/4″ 2×4
    8x 1’8″ 2×8
    2x 5′ 5 1/2″ 2×8
    2x 5′ 4 1/2″ 2×8

    Reply
    • Camilla
      December 14, 2015 at 8:43 pm (2 years ago)

      Residual moisture from plywood as a base will promote mold formation in the mattress. We used a plastic sheet to protect the underside of the mattress from the plywood. But we also live in California where it is very dry, so mold has not been a problem.

      Reply
  14. Brad
    October 20, 2015 at 7:14 am (2 years ago)

    Hi — This is just about right for my skill level. I’d like to make the frame in two pieces (older house with narrow stairs and tight hallways) — how would you suggest I amend the plan? Divide in 2 width ways, or lengthways, and attached with bolts/nuts is what I was thinking but I don’t know enough to assess which would be more stable. Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Brad
    October 24, 2015 at 9:44 am (2 years ago)

    Hi — what size wood are you using for the outside frame??

    Reply
  16. Meredith
    January 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm (2 years ago)

    I love this idea! However, like Adam, I am concern about moisture build up between the mattress and plywood deck. Do you think the frame would be sturdy enough if the inner slats were turned on their side rather than standing upright?

    Reply
    • Meredith
      January 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm (2 years ago)

      I am also curious about your measurements. The width of a standard king bed is 76″ but yours measures just 73″. Did you have a special size? Thank you!

      Reply
      • Camilla
        January 29, 2016 at 2:56 pm (2 years ago)

        Ah this is so long ago now I don’t remember exactly. We made the bed to fit the IKEA mattress so it may very well be a non-standard size.

        Reply
      • Kristen
        March 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm (2 years ago)

        Her inner frame does end up measuring 76″, assuming that the two pieces of wood attached at each end are 1.5 inches thick.

        Reply
    • Camilla
      January 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes absolutely. The way it is built right now is way sturdier than it needs to be =p. The reason we did the plywood base is because we had a latex mattress that required a solid base. We put a sheet of plastic over the plywood to prevent moisture bleed-through from the non-dried wood.

      Reply
  17. matt
    February 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Are those 2×8 boards on the outside frame?

    Reply
    • Camilla
      March 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you’ll see on the sketch they measure 7 1/4″. That’s how wide 2×8 boards actually measure in real life. Odd, huh?

      Reply
  18. Emily
    February 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm (2 years ago)

    How much was this to build?

    Reply
    • Camilla
      March 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm (2 years ago)

      Don’t remember now, but I believe it came to a little over $100 in lumber.

      Reply
  19. Brad
    March 13, 2016 at 10:50 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t see any nails or screws showing form the outside. Maybe I missed something but how is the inside from attached to the outside frame?

    Reply
    • Camilla
      March 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Pocket screw holes made with a Kreg jig. If you don’t want to use those you could also just put a few screws in from the inside of the frame.

      Reply
  20. Brooke
    March 29, 2016 at 8:54 am (2 years ago)

    I love your bed plans, but where is your actual plan write-up and your supply list? Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  21. Jeremy
    May 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm (1 year ago)

    I built our bed from this template and it’s awesome, thanks for posting! Made a few modifications to keep the weight down – trim was 1×8 boards, and I added removable slats to the top since I wanted more support for our mattress. I did the trim and legs with inner angled pocket screws so there are no visible screws or holes on the outside. Legs were 4x4s, with felt pads on the bottom to keep from damaging the carpet. A couple coats of semi-gloss polyurethane gives it a nice subtle touch of class. =)

    Reply

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