Project Guide

How to Build a Wooden Bed Frame

1
Cut Lumber
Use a circular saw to cut the lumber into the required dimensions.

Purchase and cut the lumber pieces based on the below cut list: 

  • Get four 2- x 4-inch x 8-foot whitewood: cut four 40 ½-inch frame sides and four 13-inch frame center supports 
  • Get four 2- x 4-inch x 10-foot lumber: cut eight 58-inch frame cross members 
  • Get four 1- x 8-inch x 8-foot whitewood: cut two 81-inch apron (sides) and two 62.5-inch apron (head and foot) 
  • Get one 1- x 3-inch x 8-foot whitewood: cut four 14 ½-inch legs (sides)
  • Get one 1- x 4-inch x 8-foot whitewood: cut four 14 ½-inch legs (front and back)
2
Create Pocket Holes
Use a jig to create pocket holes in the frame pieces to make the joining secure.

Collect all of the frame cross members and drill two pocket holes on each end with the lumber pieces standing vertically.

Tip: The holes are drilled at an angle to hide the screws that connect the pieces together. The depth of your pocket holes are determined by the thickness of your cut lumber pieces.

3
Create the Frame
The cross bars of the frame are attached to the platform to ensure stability and support on the ends and in the middle where the frame can bow.
  • Layout the frame cross member so that you have one on each end of the frame sides.
  • The middle cross members get placed at 13 ½ and 27 inches on the frame.
  • Once they are in place, screw them together.
  • Repeat these steps to make the other half of the bed frame.
  • Line up the long sides of the two frame assemblies.
  • Clamp them together and make sure they’re square.
  • Mark the center of the conjoined assemblies at 18 inches, then drill 3/8-inch holes to bolt the pieces together.
  • Insert the 5/16- x 4-inch bolt into the conjoined pieces with the accompanying cut washer, lock washer and nut. 
  • Add wood glue between the pieces, then tighten to secure.

Tip: Now is a good time to transition the construction to a larger workspace, or place it on the ground, if the area or surface you’re utilizing isn’t large enough.

4
Attach Aprons
The wood for the side apron adds strength and gives a more finished look to the piece.
  • Prop the frame assembly up 1 ½ inches from the ground. You can use scrap pieces of lumber, or 2- x 4-inch and 1- x 4-inch boards. 
  • Line one of the side apron pieces even with the ends of the frame assembly with a 1 ½-inch over hang on the top edge. 
  • Clamp into place. 
  • Measure and drill the holes for the bolts 3 ¼ inches down from the top edge and 1 ½ inches on the overhang side. 
  • Do this at 8, 29, 52 and 73 inches. The holes should be in the center of the 2- x 4-inch frame assembly. 
  • Repeat this step to attach the other side apron. 
  • Line up the foot apron so that the ends are flush with the outer edge of the side apron pieces. 
  • Clamp into place. 
  • Drill holes for the bolt 3 ¼ inches down from the top edge. Do this at 8, 31 ¼ and 54 ½ inches. 
  • Add wood glue, then insert and tighten the bolts in place. 
  • Repeat this step to attach the head apron.


5
Attach the Legs
Apply wood glue to the inner surface of the legs before nailing, and clamp in place to give the glue time to cure. This gives the legs added holding power.
  • Flip over the frame assembly to attach the legs. 
  • Align the legs one at a time with the end of the side apron. 
  • Secure in place with brad nails. 
  • In the same way that you did the side legs, attach the front and back legs. The only difference is that they will be aligned flush with the top of the apron and the face of the side legs.
6
Attach Supports
Be sure to add center supports in the middle of the frame cross braces.
  • Place center supports onto the second and fourth cross frame members at 30 ½ inches. 
  • Place center supports onto the middle cross frame member at 24 inches. 
  • Use your speed square to ensure the supports are square with the frame assembly. 
  • Secure in place with wood glue and 2 ½-inch pocket hole screws. 
  • Sand everything smooth and wipe it down to get rid of the sawdust.
  • You can now cover each hole with a pocket hole plug. 
  • Apply a coat of paint or stain to complement your bedroom decor.
Once you have completed your bed frame, consider adding a DIY wooden headboard to complete the rustic look.