Do it Yourself Wood Bed Frames


It's time for a new bed frame, but instead of paying exorbitant prices at furniture stores, you can build your own wooden bed frame for about $100--a little more if you have a home improvement store cut the lumber for you. You can choose between a standard wooden slat frame or be creative with a wooden platform frame.


Before you purchase all of your lumber and materials, you need to take measurements. Take exact measurements of the length and width of your mattress as well as the area where your bed will go. You will need to determine how high up from the floor your mattress will be. This will determine the dimensions of your lumber. Get pieces of lumber that are at least two inches thick.

Basic Frame

The basic frame works for both the slat and platform frames. If you have a king-sized bed, then the measurements for the frame would be about 80 inches by 76 inches. You may need to build two frames for the platform frame depending on how tall you want the bed. Begin by creating an L shape with two pieces of wood that are the same height and thickness. Mark on both pieces where the screws will be placed and drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting. Apply a thin line of wood glue on the edge where they will meet and line them up before placing the deck screws. Deck screws are used because they are thicker and stronger than conventional screws. Repeat this until your basic square frame is finished. Next, you are going to take two pieces of wood that are the same length as the frame and screw them into place inside this frame for supports to make three equal sections. Additional supports can be added to this by staggering smaller support pieces across the width of the three sections. It should resemble a wall frame. Fill in the top of the screws with wood putty.

Slat Frame

Finishing the slat bed is simple once you have finished the basic frame. You will take slats of wood, the same length as the width of the bed but about six inches wider. These slats will be placed along the top of the basic frame and screwed into place. Make sure you drill pilot holes before placing the screws. Each of these slats should have one screw for each support beam. The slats should be placed no more than three inches apart. Sand the frame. Then you can paint or stain the sanded frame. Once it's dry, you put your mattress on it and you're finished.

Platform Bed

The platform frame is a bit more difficult to finish because depending on your height requirements, you are going to be working with two frames. If you desire a bed that is lower to the floor, then you only need the single base frame. If you want a taller one, then you will need to build a base frame that is between six and 12 inches smaller than the size of your mattress. The smaller frame will have wider planks of wood while the larger one will have planks that are about half that width. This will create a taller, stronger frame. The small one sits on the floor and the larger one is anchored to the cross supports with deck screws. Make sure you drill pilot holes before placing all screws. Place a sheet of three-fourths-inch medium-density fiberboard about an inch longer on each side than the dimension of the top frame to create the platform. Use wood glue and screws to secure it. Remove any excess wood glue before it dries. Once you are finished building, you can paint or stain the sanded frame.

About this Author

Randi Cardoza has been writing since 2008. Her specialties include health and fitness, DIY projects, home improvement, gardening and crafts. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in marketing from Western Illinois University.

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