Dimensions:See dimensions above.
Wood:4 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long 1 - 1x3 @ 10 feet long 1 - 1x4 @ 6 feet long 1 - 1x6 @ 6 feet long 6 - 1x10 @ 8 feet long 4 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long 3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long 4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long 1 - 2x6 @ 4 feet long 2 - 4x4 @ 8 feet long 1 Sheet of 1/4" A1 Plywood* 3 Sheets of 3/4" A1 Plywood* 2 Sheets of cheap 3/4" Particle Board like this. (You could also use the good A1 plywood here, but no one will see these pieces and they are used only for support. They are hidden under your mattress. I did this because it is the most cost effective option - the particle board is half the price.) *Like Ana White, I am committed to only using Pure Bond plywood in my home so as not to slowly kill off my family with formaldehyde.
Hardware and Supplies:1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws 1 1/4″ Screws 3″ Screws 4″ Screws 1 1/2" Finishing Nails 4 sets of 20" bottom mount drawer slides Wood Glue Wood Filler Medium Grit Sandpaper Primer or Wood Conditioner Paint or Stain
Tools:Kreg Jig Jigsaw Circular or Table Saw (Optional, to get straighter lines when cutting your plywood. You could also use the Jigsaw for this.) Miter Saw (Optional, but very helpful) Drill Countersink Bit Nailer Sander Level Measuring Tape Carpenter’s Square Safety Glasses
Boards:2 - 1x2 @ 78 1/2" - Bottom Trim 2 - 1x2 @ 10 3/4" - Center Trim 2 - 1x2 @ 26 1/4" - Footboard Trim 2 - 1x2 @ 27" - Back Trim (on the headboard side) 1 - 1x2 @ 12 1/4" - Footboard Center Trim 2 - 1x3 @ 54" - Headboard Rails 1 - 1x6 @ 63" - Headboard Top 8 - 1x10 @ 37 7/8" - Drawer Inside Front/Back 8 - 1x10 @ 20 3/4" - Drawer Side 2 - 1x12 @ 22 1/2" - Center Drawer Divider 4 - 1x12 (ripped to 10 1/2" wide) @ 38 1/4" Drawer Front 2 - 2x2 @ 78 1/2" - Cleats 4 - 2x2 @ 13 3/4" - Leg Support 4 - 2x4 @ 12 1/4" - Back Side Trim 4 - 2x4 @ 30 1/2" - Head/Foot Top Trim 2 - 2x4 @ 81 1/2" - Side Top Trim 6 - 2x6 @ 5 1/2" - Feet 1 - 4x4 @ 54" - Headboard Bottom Trim 2 - 4x4 @ 46" - Headboard Side Post
Plywood:4 - 1/4" PLY @ 37 7/8" x 21 1/2" - Drawer Bottom 2 - 3/4" PLY @ 78 1/2" x 22 1/2" - Bottom Base 2 - 3/4" PLY @ 78 1/2" x 12 1/4" - Back Base 1 - 3/4" PLY @ 54" x 21 1/4" - Headboard Base 2 - 3/4" PLY @ 74 1/2" x 20 1/2" - Top Base 4 - 3/4" PLY @ 27" x 12 1/4" - Head/Foot Sides 1 - 3/4" Particle Board @ 74 1/2" x 13" - Center Bed Support 1 - 3/4" Particle Board @ 54" x 48" - Bed Top (long) 1 - 3/4" Particle Board @ 54" x 26 1/2" - Bed Top (short)
General Instructions:Make sure to re-measure and check for square after every step. Sometimes when building your measurements can be off very slightly, and it’s important that your numbers are exact. (Especially when working with doors and drawers!) Measure your available space before building this plan to make sure that it will fit. Please read through the entire plan before getting started.
Cut plywood as shown in the diagrams. There will always be scrap leftover in large projects like these - make sure to save them for your next build! If you're uncomfortable cutting your own plywood (or simply can't get the 4x8 sheets into your car), bring these diagrams into your local blue or orange and they should make at least some of the cuts for you.
Step 2:Create the "core" of one of your base sides by attaching your center drawer divider to the bottom and back of your drawer base with your Kreg Jig. You could also counter sink 1 1/4" screws from the back side of the plywood, but the Kreg Jig makes for a stronger hold. Make sure that there is a 38 7/8" gap on either side of your center drawer divider.
Step 3:Attach your 2x4 back side trim to the head/foot sides with your Kreg Jig before attaching them to the "core" you made from step 2. Make sure to leave a 3/4" gap on the front of your 2x4 to allow for your trim in the next step.
Step 4:Attach 1x2 center and bottom trim with finishing nails and glue as shown above. Make sure your center 1x2 is centered on the center drawer divider and your bottom 1x2 is flush with the bottom of your center trim.
Miter the edges of your 2x4 top trim at 45 degrees off square as shown above. (The measurement given represents the distance between the two longest edges.) Attach your 2x4 top trim to the top of the base using your Kreg Jig. (Create your Kreg holes on the inside of your head/foot side pieces and the center drawer support.) When lined up, the edges should be flush with the outside 2x4 back side trim and also the center 1x2 front trim. Add a few finishing nails from the top for additional support, particularly on the long side piece. Remember to use wood glue!
Attach your 1x2 footboard and back (headboard side) trim using finishing nails and wood glue. On the footboard side, there will be a 3/4" gap at the center. On the headboard side, it should line up flush with the edge of your plywood. (When coming back to do the 2nd base unit for the other side of your bed, remember to reverse these pieces so that when the two base units are put together the footboard gap is still on the outside edge.)
Before you start this step, cut a few scrap pieces 3" tall and prop them up underneath your base. This will give you the height you need and allow you to make sure your inside feet are level to the ground when you line them up.
Attach your long 2x2 cleat first, countersinking it into your base using several 2" screws. The ends should fit right underneath your 2x4 top trim. Once that is properly secured, add your 2x2 leg supports by Kreg Jigging them into your 2x2 cleat and also countersinking 2" screws into the back of your base. Your leg supports should sit 26" from the ends of your cleat leaving 23 1/2" in between them. It is very important that these pieces are incredibly secure. They will add a ton of strength to your bed.
Attach your 1x2 footboard center trim onto the edge of your plywood with wood glue and finishing nails. Leave a 3/4" gap on the outside edge - this is where the other side of your base will slide into it. (Once you have moved on to the other side, skip this step and DO NOT attach the other side of the 1x2 to it. You will never be able to pull apart your bed bases to move the bed if you attach it to both sides.)
Cut the feet out of your 2x6 as shown above using a jigsaw. (I also have a pretty awesome tapering jig that I got from Rockler that you use with your table saw and consistently cuts the same taper every time. I highly recommend it if you’d like to make the investment and taper a lot of legs.)
Attach the bed feet as shown above, starting with the feet on the footboard with the tapered edges always going on the outside. Use your Kreg Jig to attach them to each other first, and then you can attach the solid piece to your bed frame from the inside using your Kreg Jig and wood glue.
Build the inside of your drawers as shown above. Attach the front, back, and sides from the inside using your Kreg Jig. The bottom of your drawer can be attached using 1 1/4" finishing nails and wood glue. (When you attach your bottom mount drawer glides, this will further secure your plywood in place.)
Step 14:Attach drawer slides to the inside of your drawer bases, leaving a 1" gap on the bottom. (I know it's hard to get drawer slides right, so lean a little on the higher side if you have to - up to 1 1/4".) Slide your drawers in and check them before proceeding to the next step.
Step 15:Line up your drawer fronts in the opening, leaving a 1/8" gap on all sides. Once the placement is perfect, nail them in place with 1/4" finishing nails and wood glue.
Using your Kreg Jig and 1 1/4″ screws, attach the plywood to your 4×4 headboard posts with the tops flush. Leave a 1 3/8″ gap on each side of the front and back of your plywood to create an inset. (To make this step easier, usually i find a scrap or object that is the width that I need the gap to be and lay it underneath the plywood before I line it up with the posts. In this case, I would probably create a stack that was 1 3/8″ using a scrap 1x board, a scrap of 1/4″ plywood, and a scrap of 3/8″ plywood to equal the height that I need. That will create an exact and even surface for you to lay your plywood on and screw in your pocket holes.) At this time, I would also drill some extra pocket holes on the top and bottom of your plywood piece to prepare for the next steps.
Attach the top of your headboard to the base by using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws in the predrilled holes you created in the plywood on step 16. For extra stability, attach your top to the 4×4 posts using 2″ screws. (Make sure to countersink your holes for a clean finish!) There should be a 1″ overhang on all sides of the board when lined up with your 4x4s.
Step 18:(This is a back view of the headboard so that you can see where it attaches easier.) Attach your 4x4 directly underneath your plywood flush with all sides of your post. For the sturdiest hold, attach the 4x4 to your plywood using your Kreg Jig and countersink 4" screws on either side of your posts. After the bottom trim of your headboard has been secured, attach your headboard rails to your 4x4 posts using your Kreg Jig. They should be flush with the front of your posts. (Reference the photo above for where to attach them.
Step 19:From this step on, DO NOT use wood glue. This way you will be able to unattach and easily move your bed in the future. I would also do all of the subsequent steps in the room where this bed will live, otherwise it will get really heavy. Attach your headboard to the bed frame using 1 1/4" screws into your 1x3s from behind.
Screw your center bed support into the two bases, remembering to countersink your screws. (Remember - no wood glue!) Along with your headboard, this will unify your two base pieces.
Lay your bed top pieces on top of your bases framed out by your 2x4s. Screws are optional - these will stay in place regardless and are just used to support and create a level surface for your mattress. Before laying them in place, I would also drill a 1/2" hole along the edges to use as finger holes to easily remove them later if you decide to move your bed.
Finish your project as desired! For tips on finishing, check out the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Finishing.