How to Use an Old Bed Frame for Planting Flowers


Using an old bed frame for a flower garden creates an eye-catching display affectionately referred to as a flowerbed. When painted in bright colors, this playful bed breathes life into a mundane yard making a bold statement that you enjoy life and all its little quirks. For a touch of romance, a coat of white paint to the frame against delicate pastel petals, airy green foliage and trailing flowers does the trick.

Prepare the Bed Frame

Step 1

Prep the bed frame to create the desired results. Antique iron or wooden bed frames allowed to weather naturally from exposure to the elements create the illusion that they were abandoned by families as they moved on. A coat of paint in the desired color alters the look and feel of the bed. Choose colors that appeal to you and create the appearance you desire.

Step 2

Select a location for the bed. Most flowers prefer full sun, but many varieties grow in shade or partial shade. Choose the location that meets your needs and select flowers later that match the lighting.

Step 3

Measure the dimensions of the base of the bed frame to determine the size of the flowerbed. Use garden stakes to mark the corners in the soil and run twine between the stakes. Adjust until sides are parallel and the bed is properly oriented.

Step 4

Measure the distance from the bottom of the head and footboard (where the mattress and box spring generally rest) to the bottom of the legs.

Prepare the Soil

Step 1

Remove the sod from the marked area. Till the soil to the depth of the bed legs. Remove any rocks or roots from the soil. Add three inches of compost or well-rotted manure and till it into the soil.

Step 2

Mound the soil to the center and place the bed frame over the area. Sink the legs of the bed into the soil so the surface of the soil is level with the bottom of the headboard and footboard.

Step 3

Smooth the soil to fill the area inside the frame. This forms the basis of your flowerbed.

Step 4

Choose flowers with lighting needs that match the lighting of the area and fit the motif of your creation. Bright oranges and reds create a fiery display while purples, whites and pinks create a cool retreat.

Step 5

Plant flowers following the recommended spacing and depth and water thoroughly. Allow the soil to dry to the touch before watering again.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tools
  • Garden tiller
  • Old bed frame
  • Outdoor paint (optional)
  • Compost/well-rotted manure
  • Seedlings


  • NC State University: Annual Flowers: Preparing the Soil
  • Cornell University: Flower Garden Design
  • University of Illinois Extension: Gardening with Annuals

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University Extension: Annuals for Shade
  • Utah State University Extension: Annuals for Sun
Keywords: flowerbed, bed frame flowerbed, plant flowers

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.