I was so excited when my good friend, Stacy, of People Just Float decided to come down for a building visit. She lives up in the bay area, so I very rarely get to see her. (Luckily her twin sister lives down here in LA, so can use her to lure Stacy into my garage.) Stacy is the one who originally introduced me to Ana White and the world of DIY, and I will forever be grateful to her.
Stacy wanted a daybed that she could use as a sofa, but also could double as a bed for guests. She loved Ana’s Rectangles Day Bed based on West Elm’s Windows Daybed, but wanted something a little different. I have an out of control obsession with all things herringbone, so I suggested we try to mimic that look with lumber. I sent her my sketch-up pictures and she was very trustingly on-board. (Pun intended.)
Although this was Stacy’s first furniture building project, she was absolutely amazing. A natural. Seriously. There were times when we were just working and didn’t need to talk to each other because we knew what to do. I’m usually kind of a lone wolf when it comes to my projects, but Stacy can come crash my garage anytime (wink wink).
That being said, I would not recommend this as anyone else’s first project. The pattern with the mitered cuts is deceptively tricky. But, in my opinion, well worth the effort as ours turned out great.
Estimated Cost: $50-75
5 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
9 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
8 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
3 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
Hardware and Supplies:
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Finishing Nails
2″ Finishing Nails
2 1/2″ Finishing Nails
Medium Grit Sandpaper
Primer or Wood Conditioner
Paint or Stain
2 – 1×2 @ 36″ – Bottom Support
9 – 1×2 @ 9 7/8″, mitered at 45 degrees on each side parallel to each other – Center Herringbone (both sides touching middle)
9 – 1×2 @ 9″ measured from the long ends, mitered at 45 degrees on each side NOT parallel to each other – Center Herringbone (longer piece, one side touching middle, one side touching the top/bottom)
9 – 1×2 @ 4 3/8″ measured from the long ends, mitered at 45 degrees on each side NOT parallel to each other – Center Herringbone (shorter piece, one side touching middle, one side touching the top/bottom)
8 – 1×2 @ 3 5/8″, measured from the long ends, mitered at 45 degrees on each side NOT parallel to each other – Side Herringbone (shorter piece, one side touching middle, one side touching the top/bottom)
16 – 1×2 @ 11 5/8″, mitered at 45 degrees on each side parallel to each other – Side Herringbone (both sides touching middle)
17 – 1×3 @ 39″ – Slats
16 – 2×2 @ 18″ – Center Herringbone Supports
2 – 2×2 @ 8 1/4″ – Center Legs
2 – 2×2 @ 75″ – Cleats
4 – 2×2 @ 30″ – Legs
2 – 2×2 @ 39″ – Side Top
1 – 2×2 @ 75″ – Back Top
2 – 2×4 @ 75″ – Back/Front Bottom
2 – 2×4 @ 39″ – Side Bottom
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.
Also, for this particular project, I would cut as you go. The herringbone pieces should be cut to fit as sometimes there is discrepancy between the gaps.
Attach your legs, back top and bottom as shown above to create the back of your daybed. You can join them using either your Kreg Jig or by countersinking 2 1/2″ screws into your legs. Your 2×4 bottom piece should be attached 7″ from the base of your legs.
Before joining, place your 2×2 center herringbone supports into your frame, leaving 7″ of space in between all of them. It’s very important that these are spaced correctly or else your herringbone won’t work out. Attach them to the frame using your Kreg Jig and wood glue.
Here’s where it starts to get a little tricky. There are three different sizes of herringbone in the back: a small piece that touches the top and side, a center piece that touches the sides only, and a bottom piece that touches the side and bottom. I’ve listed out very carefully how to cut each piece in the cut list, but the most important thing to be wary of is your miters. Notice that the top and bottom pieces are not mitered parallel, but the center piece is.
Attach your herringbone pieces with 1 1/4″ finishing nails. Also, make sure to use wood glue!
Beginning to feel déjà vu? Ah, yes. But, this one is a bit different than step 3. Instead of having only one center piece, there are 2 parallel-mitered center pieces on each side. (It just worked out that way with the longer measurements.) So, you have two identical herringbone pieces on the bottom, and one shorter, NOT parallel mitered piece on the top touching the top 2×2 and side. Nail and glue them in just like in step 3.
Attach the 2×2 cleats to the inside of your 2x4s by countersinking several 2 1/2″ screws through the front of your cleat into the 2×4. (Note: it is important that these are very strong. We put about 5-10 screws on each side with wood glue to make sure that these suckers didn’t go anywhere.) It is easier to predrill your countersink holes while your 2x2s are on a table or on the floor rather than held in place on the bed. (In my case, I used a drill press.)
When placing them, make sure to leave a 3/4″ gap on the top to leave room for your slats.
Attach your slats to the cleats by countersinking 1 1/4″ screws on each side. You should leave about 2″ in between your slats. They won’t fit perfectly end to end, you’ll have some space on one side. Remember to use wood glue!
This step is optional, but if you want to add a little extra support for “heavier loads”, add 2 2×2 feet connected by bottom supports that are screwed into your cleats. We didn’t do this, but I wanted to add the step just in case you decided add more strength to your bed.
Finish your project as desired. Make sure to sand it down with medium grit sand paper and fill in all your holes with wood filler before tackling that paint or stain. For more tips on finishing, visit The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Finishing.