How to Build a Bed

Beds are a part of everyone’s daily life, bookending everyone’s day in blanket-wrapped comfort. There are hundreds of possible styles of beds, and thousands of possibilities for surrounding room decor.

How To Build A Bed

Building a bed frame may seem like a thing of the past. Not so! Building a bed frame not only builds or exercises your woodworking skills, it allows you the creativity and freedom to create the bedroom masterpiece you’ve always wanted.

Before You Build a Bed…

Before you start sawing and hammering, there are a few key considerations to review while in the planning process.


How to Build a BedDetermining the size of your future bed is the first step in the frame building process. Will the bed be for one person or two? How much space is in the future bedroom? Is vertical space a possibility? These questions will help narrow down not only the size of the bed, but the best bed type as well.


There are many types of beds. Some beds are variations, combinations, or adaptations of other types of beds! Here are some common bed types:

  • Platform
  • Loft
  • Standard (Basic)
  • Four-Poster
  • Bunk Bed
  • Trundle Bed
  • Daybed
  • Bed with Storage


  • Will this bed be for yourself, a friend, a family member, or a child? The future owner plays a large role in the type and material you’ll work with.
  • If building a bed for a friend or family member, you want to make sure to get as clear a picture of what they want as possible. Have them sketch out drawings or pull pages of similar beds from magazines so you can have a visual to work from.
  • For young children, it’s generally not a good idea to feature sharp or pointed corners on furniture. Children can get carried away with playing, or simply trip! Rounded or padded corners are your best bet for children’s furniture.
  • Is your recipient eco-conscious? If so, they may be delighted to receive an eco-friendly bed made out of reclaimed wood, used palettes, or even refinished old piping!

How to Build a Basic Platform Bed

These instructions will help you build a basic pine queen sized platform bed. This bed is perfect for a single mattress without box spring or a futon mattress, and would be perfect in a teen’s room or a guest bedroom. You can substitute a different type of hardwood if desired.


  • 1 10’ 1×4 pine (grade III or better)
  • 2 10’ 2×4 pine
  • 4 14’ 1×4 pine
  • 2” #10 wood screws
  • 3” #10 wood screws

Helpful Tip: Remember to pick good, pitch (sap) free wood. Sometimes pitch can leak through sealant. Selecting quality wood now will spare you the headache of cleaning up sap from your linens and floor later.



  1. First, it’s a good idea to make sure the ends of each board is square. This will help prevent a crooked bed or overhang in your finished product.
  2. Next, measure, mark, and cut all your pieces in the guidelines below. This ensures that you don’t spend time later re-cutting or searching for a piece that was accidentally omitted in the shopping trip.
  3. You will then pre-drill each of the 4’ 2×4 boards. Mark the end of each board ¾” from the side and tip of the board, and start drilling. There will be eight pre-drilled holes in total.
  4. Assemble the base using the 2×4 boards and 3” screws. You’ll want to place the ends of the long boards under the shorter boards. Use your square on the interior corners of the frame to make sure everything is even.
  5. Use a pencil to mark where you will lay your slats. You can either lay out the slats first and eyeball it, or mark at the following measurements on both of the long sides of the frame: 2 ½”, 9 ¾”, 17″, 24 ¼”, 31 ½”, 38 ¾”, 46″, 53 ¼”, 60 ½”, 67 ¾”, 71 ½”.
  6. Use four 2” screws per board to attach the slats to the bed frame. The endmost slats will overhang 1” on either end of the frame.
  7. Make your bed’s legs using the 1×9 boards. Butt them together and fasten with three 2” screws each.
  8. Attach your bed’s legs to the underside of the frame using 3” screws.
  9. At this point, you can stain, sand, and finish your bed any way desired.
  10. Congratulations – you are done! All you need to do now is add a mattress and sheets before settling down for a good night’s sleep.

Board Size Guidelines

14’ 1×4

  • Cut nine pieces of 4’x7” from three of the boards
  • From the fourth board, cut one 4’x7” and five 1’x9”

10’ 1×4

  • Cut one piece at 4’x7”
  • Cut three pieces at 1’x9”

10’ 2×4

  • Cut one 4’ even from each board
  • Cut one 5’x11” from each board

Northside Tool Rental

Building a basic bed requires attention and precision, but is a fairly straightforward project which can be done in a weekend.

There are many variations you can try with a platform bed. You can include under-bed storage or lighting. You can also install a headboard, whether utilitarian to store books or upholstered to look appealing.

When you’ve done your planning and are ready to start building, visit Northside Tool Rental at one of our five metro Atlanta locations for the equipment you need to get this project rolling!