You might find it surprising how affordably you can decorate and furnish your home with little more than concrete blocks and plywood. From storage cabinets and shelves to coffee tables and even bed frames, concrete blocks allow you to create your own look at a fraction of designer prices. A bed frame made of concrete blocks doesn't even have to reveal its design. Covered with a bed skirt, it is indistinguishable from any store-bought frame, but uncovered and painted it lends an eclectic flavor to your bedroom. It also allows you access to storage space underneath.
Measure the width and length of your bed. In the United States, a twin bed is 39 inches by 75 inches, a full bed measures 54 inches by 75 inches, a queen bed offers 60 inches by 80 inches and a king bed delivers 76 inches by 80 inches. Terms such as "California," "Expanded," "Super" and "Grand" indicate a variation of the standard size, either in length or width. In addition, beds from other countries often differ in dimensions.
Measure the block's depth (the length of the spaces running through the block) and the width (the longest side). A standard concrete block measures 7.63 inches high, 7.63 inches deep and 15.63 inches wide. Divide the length of the bed by the width (rounding up, with a standard block, to 16 inches each) and the width of the bed by the depth of the block (rounded up to 8 inches when using a standard block) to find the maximum block count if you do not want underneath storage.
Adjust the block count to use fewer blocks, to ensure the frame does not extend beyond the bed, if you choose a solid frame. Any excess block material, sticking out from under the mattress and foundation, will create rough, hard surfaces that you may stumble, scrape and bang against.
Mark and cut a sheet of plywood to match the size of your bed. Use an additional sheet if your bed is larger than 4-by-8-feet (the size of a sheet of plywood). Sand the edges smooth to eliminate splinters and jagged spots.
Lay a floor covering over your floor if you have wood floors or any surface that may become abraded or damaged by the concrete blocks. Additional plywood sheets, cut to size, plastic sheeting, fabric, felt, and old sheet -- any handy material that will cover the floor and prove stable is suitable.
Arrange the concrete blocks, solid sides facing up and down while the holes face sideways, around the area you will place your bed. Place the corner blocks first, then work from the inside of the frame out, spacing the blocks as desired to create storage space beneath the bed. Use at least one block every three feet for proper support..
Set the plywood on top of the concrete blocks, butting the edges together if more than one sheet is used. Check the edges of each side of the bed to make sure the blocks do not extend past the wood. If they do, remove the plywood and adjust the blocks. The plywood protects your mattress or box springs as well as distributing weight evenly across the blocks.
Spread a dust ruffle over the entire bed frame, or choose a unique finish. Painting the concrete gives a modern feel, or fabric glued to the plywood edge is another choice. Use the holes in the concrete blocks to access storage beneath the bed, when finished.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Calculator (optional)
- Circular saw or other saw as desired
- Carpenter's pencil
- Straight edge
- Plywood -- any thickness
- Plastic sheeting, fabric, felt or other floor covering (optional)
- Dust ruffle, paint or other finishing choice
- Increase access to the storage space under your bed by creating a break between the blocks as you arrange them.
- Use unbroken sheets of material under the concrete blocks, if applicable, to make it more convenient to slide all the blocks at once, instead of individually.
- Glue felt, fabric or other material to the bottoms of the concrete blocks instead of using a sheet of protective covering over the floor, if desired.
- Use your imagination to customize your bed frame. Slide wood boards between the blocks, for instance, to create individual compartments. Make a headboard, complete with cubby holes, by building the concrete blocks up to the desired height. Experiment to come up with your own designs.