How to Make a Queen-Sized Plywood Bed
We were in need of another bed since we sold our last one before moving into the RV. I built the last bed from some Anna White plans and we were really happy with it. But this time around, I wanted to design my own piece, and Kreg Tools helped me make that a reality. More detailed plans for this bed, including all the materials and cut lists are available on Kreg's DIY project plan site, BuildSomething.com. This bed frame accounts for a box spring, if you don't have one, decrease the height of the head board by 14 inches.
- Break Down the Plywood Sheet
- Prepare the Individual Pieces
- Build the Bed Frame
- Attach the Legs
- Build the Headboard
- Attach the Two Assemblies
- Add the Mattress Slats
1. Break Down the Plywood Sheet
For this project, I special ordered a 4' x 8' sheet of walnut veneered plywood. I understood the saying, "pretty penny" when I shelled out $130 for this beautiful material. You can use any sheet of plywood from the home stores that would normally cost around $50. I used the Kreg Accu-Cut guide for my circular saw to break down the large sheet into three more manageable pieces. I don't like wrangling large sheets across the table saw, so using a circular saw with a guide track was perfect for this job.
2. Prepare the Individual Pieces
I cut the individual pieces on the table saw because it's fast, accurate, and awesome. You can totally use the circular saw with the Accu-Cut guide track for these cuts, but I'm more comfortable on the table saw. I then used my miter saw to cut each pieces to its appropriate length.
Then came the edge banding. This step is completely optional, but my wife didn't like the look of the plywood layers (some people do) so I had to hide them. Edge banding is a wood veneer with glue added to the back. It comes in a roll that you cut and iron onto the plywood edges. I used an edge banding cutter to trim off the access material from the pieces and sanded them smooth.
To join the components together, I am using pocket holes joinery. I used the Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig to quickly and accurately add all of the pocket holes. To see a full parts breakdown, check out the BuildSomething.com plans.
I finished all of the pieces with 2 coats of spray lacquer. After they were dry, I took all of the components into out room for assembly.
3. Build the Bed Frame
Because I pre-drilled all of the pocket holes, assembling the pieces went pretty fast. I attached the two side rails to the footboard with some 1 1/4" pocket screws (which I used for all the pieces). I added the slat support rail to the long sides and the vertical slat along the back to complete the bed frame.
4. Attach the Legs
I made some simple geometric legs for this modern-looking bed. I started with the rectangular plywood pieces and cut off a triangular section that measured 5 1/2" up one side and 2" in on the bottom. The front leg assembly is made of two pieces, one is 3/4" wider than the other so that when they are screwed together, the look like they are the same size. I attached the legs to the bed frame from the inside with more screws. When adding the back legs, push them past the end of the bed frame 3/4" to leave room for the head board.
5. Build the Headboard
This is the stylistic part of the bed, and the piece that will be seen most often. I went with a modern slat design that alternates between 3" and 1 1/2" wide pieces. I laid the slats down on the floor and used some scrap pieces of 3/4" plywood strips as spacers. With the edges lined up, I laid on the outer vertical support pieces, aligned the pieces together, and drove in 2 screws per slat from behind. The center support was then centered between the outer supports and secured from behind using more screws.
6. Attach the Two Assemblies
Now that the two major components are built, it's time to put them together. The headboard should fit inside the gap you made in the rear legs, up against the back bed frame support. Drive in some screws on the sides of the head board supports into the legs. For additional stability, add screws through the back of the headboard supports into the bed frame.
7. Add the Mattress Slats
Drop in the 12, 1"x4" mattress slats onto the bed frame's slat support rail. Space them evenly apart and secure them down to the rail with 2 screws on both ends. You can forgo the screws if you want, but if your mattress moves, the wood can rub together and start to squeak.
Look What You Made!
Now add your box spring and your mattress and yo've got a bed! All in all, this design is pretty economical, let's break down the material cost:
- 4'x8' sheet of plywood (Maple plywood from Lowes) $53
- 1"x4" mattress slats (x13) $29
- 2"x2" slat support rails (x2) $4
- Kreg 1 1/4" pocket hole screws (100 count) $4
- *Optional edge banding (3 rolls) $20
Wow, so you can make this entire bed for under $100 in materials! ($110 with the edge banding). Because of the straight-forward nature of this bed design, you can easily start this project in the morning and sleep in it by the evening!
I really hope you liked this simple bed frame project. I have to give a big thank you to Kreg Tools for sponsoring this project possible and if you want to build this project yourself, go check out BuildSomething.com for the full build plans.