Thursday, February 21, 2008

How To Build A Platform Bed

A few years ago my son decided to move out of his upstairs bedroom into the basement where he would essentially have his own apartment. The downstairs is all complete with an entertainment room, bathroom and bedroom, so we decided to let him move in. All I had down there at the time was two twin mattresses. He slept on them for a few weeks until I figured that I better make a move. I really didn’t want to go out and buy a bed, no less a box spring which is impossible to buy without the purchase of a new mattress. Since both mattresses were relatively new I thought a king size platform bed would accommodate both of the twin mattresses and hopefully look great in the room.

I looked around on the internet for a while for free plans on how to build one….but found none. I did find a few plans but they would cost me plenty and seemed very complicated (I hate reading directions). So I made my own plans. How hard could this concept be? A large, study box with a platform....right? That is exactly what a platform bed is and turned out to be very easy to build.

I created a box, added a large platform and a headboard. Keeping in mind that this was going to be a rather large bed and would be holding two twin mattresses (and my son) I decided to use sturdy, 2' X 10’s with ¾” plywood for my platform. It was fairly easy to build but a rather large project. Once it is done the sky is the limit in terms of embellishing it. I decided that bamboo would look nice and be masculine enough for a teenage boy. I went over to Pier 1 Imports and purchased two large bundles of bamboo with no idea at the time what the heck I was going to do with them. You’ll see………

Since this bed was made before I started this blog I don’t have step by step photographs, so I had to improvise. Here is how I made the bed:

Things you will need:

Keep in mind that this what you need for a king size platform holding two 39" X 75" twin mattresses. If you were making the platform for another size you would obviously adjust the measurements.

I wanted my box smaller than the platform. I wanted a headboard and wanted an 8 " ledge to go around the sides and bottom of this bed.

* 2' X 10's. Enough to create a box with supports. Mine measured 65" X 65" with a few boards in between. THE GUYS AT HOME DEPOT CUT ALL THE WOOD FOR ME!!! These are large boards and a pain to cut, so be nice, smile and they will make all the cuts for you.

*1 1/2 " screws-power screws (sheetrock screws) work well. Long enough to go through your plywood and anchor into your plywood. These screws will do that job.

*2 pieces of 3/4 plywood. They come 4 feet by 8 feet. 3/4 inch is thick and sturdy enough. They are difficult to get home unless you have an SUV or minivan.

*trim ......I needed trim fastened all around the perimeter to keep my mattresses together and so they wouldn't fly all over the place. This project required a lot of thought!

First make the box (or base). Below is my pathetic drawing of how that box should be built. I had Home Depot cut for me six 2' X 10' boards so I could create a box that measured 65" X 65".

You are building a rectangle. I screwed in 2 more supports boards and scattered three small supports across. This just adds to the stability of your box and gives you a place to screw your plywood into.

When my box was all complete I covered the outside with beadboard to give it a finished look. You don't really see it when completed so it could also be painted. You can see from the photo below that you do not see the base.

Now you take your two two pieces of plywood and screw them in. Use plenty of screws and fasten it where all the 2' X 10' supports are. That includes the perimeter, the center supports and the cross beams.

I then glued and nailed in trim all the way around where the mattresses would sit. This trim holds my mattresses together. I used a pretty good size trim so it would keep my mattresses tightly together.

Above you can see the finished bed. If you look carefully you will see what I did with the bamboo. I bundled it together with rubber bands and cut it into 6 inches pieces using a trim saw. I glued them onto the ledge of the bed creating squares. Each square changes directions. Then nice finishing trim is added to the perimeter to create a completed look.
Here is a closer look at the bamboo and the finishing trim. I used a trim saw to make the angles.
The headboard is a sheet of plywood cut to measure the exact width of the bed -92". I added trim to the center and more bamboo. The bamboo is glued on. The plywood is stained green.

You can connect the headboard using L-brackets or you can just rest that headboard behind the bed.

The platform bed is easy to make. How you want to finish it is up to you. You can paint it, add beadboard, hand paint, stencil, decoupage, padding and fabric to the headboard or staining. You can leave the ledge plain, decorate it another way or leave it plain. The headboard could be another size or shape.

I'm not sure of the exact price of the completed bed but I can tell you it wasn't much compared to what it would cost to buy it.

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  1. You're son must think you are the coolest mom around - so handy that you can even build him a bed!

  2. Looks great. If you ever saw a show on Style Network, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic...she build a bed very much like your bed for a male client. She put locking casters on it so it could be moved and would look 'industrial' for him. She made the bed with blue bedding. It was very nice.

  3. Casters would have been a great addition. I wish I had thought of it because there is no moving this bed now.


  4. That's have really given me some great ideas!

  5. Christy,

    I bet your son is thrilled! That's a really great looking bed.


  6. My son is so thrilled with this bed that I doubt he will ever move out...........that may be good or bad, only time will tell. Actually this bed is very comfortable when you consider there is no box spring under it. I think it is really good for you back.


  7. Thanks for sharing. I had an idea to build my own bed, but could not find information: how to. So I finally bought it.
    May be next time...

  8. What an amazing bed!! Check out this one too for Platform Bed.

  9. Christy Your Idea and Design is Beautiful, restful on the eyes Do Think its possible( o Or Heard of?) to come up with the same look but keep the box spring, just a frame that cloak(s) the original and as a border i have plenty of very light teak parquet flooring I would use in place of bamboo, have a bamboo head board to raise or lower behind bed,


  10. Gives inspiration to those of us who have a simple creative side and wants a style that fits our personality within a budget that does not take from the cookie jar.

    Bobbie S. Staley
    Indio, Ca.

  11. ok, this is too awesome!!!! My husband found plans for a platform bed last night, but we decided it sat too low to the floor. This one is perfect! I can see us creating it in our own style! Thank you!!!!

  12. Shari,
    This bed was really not the difficult to construct. You can make it exactly how you want and get very creative with the style. Good luck with it. I know your going to love it and believe me it is very comfortable.

  13. I am a teenager making a platform stage in my room for a king bed, and plan on putting storage underneath it as well, i have also been looking searching for helpful plans or designs but i still havnt found any. :( I am pretty much just making it up and hoping it turns out ok haha it seems simple enough :) Your bed does look great, and has been very helpful :)

  14. This platform bed has lasted years and my son still loves it. Putting storage under it will be a bigger challenge, but if you need it, you should do it. I made this design up myself too. I'm glad my bed and the pictures I provided have inspired you.
    Thanks for writing and good luck with this project.

  15. Wow This platform beds is really good and very comfortable.... Thanks for sharing your best products.

  16. Great job using the two twins to make a king. One of the best ways to re-use functional mattresses and save money. If there's ever an issue with the seam between the two, getting a bed bridge foam pad that covers the meeting point is a smart idea.

  17. Very useful post.It was very relevant.I was searching exactly for this.Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such useful posts.

    Heavy Duty Caster Wheel & Locking Casters

  18. aw! I see this as a unique king size platform bed, using bamboo to beautify the bed is perfectly out of the box