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Easy DIY Platform Bed

This Easy DIY Platform Bed is the perfect build for beginners! Get the free plans and how-to tutorial at www.shanty-2-chic.com!

I’m back to share the Easy DIY Platform Bed that I made for my son 🙂 If you missed the Free Plans for the Planked Headboard, you can check them out HERE! I saw a platform bed in a West Elm catalog and loved how chunky the base and platform were, so that was my inspiration and I built it for about $55!!!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE FREE PRINTABLE PLANS
Easy-DIY-Platform-Bed

This is a VERY EASY piece to build so it is perfect if you are a beginner! Here’s how I built it! This plan is for a full size bed but it is very easy to adjust the measurements to accommodate another size 🙂

Easy DIY Platform Bed

make-cuts

I started by making all of my cuts for my top and bottom frame. Watch our How to Use a Miter Saw video HERE!

drill-pocket-holes

Then, I drilled all of my pocket holes with my Kreg Jig set for 1 1/2″ thick boards. (You can find the Kreg Jig HERE on Amazon) and check out our How to Use a Kreg Jig Video HERE!

top-frame

I attached the top frame with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws

bottom-frame

and did the same for the bottom frame.

attach-bottom-frame

Next, I flipped the top frame over and attached the bottom frame to it with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

attach-center-support

I flipped it back over and attached the center support with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. You may need help flipping the bed back over, at this point, because it is heavy.

attach-cleats

Finally, I attached the 2×3 cleats with 2 1/2″ wood screws (I call for 2×2 in the plans because 2×3’s are not available in every region.  If you do use 2×2’s for the cleats, get furring strips to save money). I like to use the Spax self-tapping screws. I find them at Home Depot and they are pricey but you don’t need to pre-drill with them!  If you use regular wood screws, make sure to pre-drill first to prevent the wood from splitting.

Rustoleum_Dark_Walnut

To finish, I applied one-coat of Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut Stain (you can find it HERE on Amazon). If you are buying your supplies at Home Depot, get the Varathane brand in Dark Walnut (it’s the same stain).

add-slats

When the bed was dry, the hubs and I took it inside and into our little man’s room!  I used my brad nailer to attach the 1×3 slats.  I just spaced them out evenly and attached them to both cleats and the center support. You can use the cheap furring strips for this part, Just make sure they are smooth so they don’t tear-up your mattress.

slats-added

To attach the headboard to the bed, I drilled 2 1/2″ spax screws from the backside of the headboard legs into the bottom and top frames of the platform.

Platform-Bed-Plans
how-to-build-a-platform-bed
Easy-DIY-Platform-Bed

I just love it so much and I’ve overheard our 11-year-old bragging to his friends (on a few occasions) that his mom built his bed – which is the best part for me 😉

Don’t forget to check out the headboard plans HERE and if you like the wall color in his room (I’m obsessed!) you can read about it HERE! I have received a lot of questions about the quilt on his bed, it is from Pottery Barn Teen but, I bought it a couple of years ago so I’m not sure that it is still available.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

~Ashley

DIY Platform Bed

This Easy DIY Platform Bed is the perfect build for beginners! Make sure to click the link below to download and print the full set of plans with the cut list!
https://www.shanty-2-chic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/DIY-Platform-Bed.pdf
Author: Shanty2Chic

Supply List

  • 8 1x3x10
  • 1 2x8x10
  • 2 2x8x8
  • 3 2x6x8
  • 1 2x4x8
  • 3 2x2x8
  • 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 2 1/2″ Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Finish of Choice

Instructions

  • Cut List
  • Assemble the bed upside down. Start with the top frame. Use glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws at each connection.
  • Assemble the lower frame. Make sure the edge pocket holes are facing the same direction.
  • Lay the top frame on the floor with the pocket holes facing up and stack the lower frame on top. Secure them together with pocket hole screws.
  • Attach the 2×2 cleats to the sides and the center 2×4 support in the middle. The 2×2 cleats are just screwed into the bed frame with wood screws and the 2×4 support is secured with pocket hole screws on each end. All three of these pieces should be 3/4″ lower than the top of the top frame.
  • Add your slats and the construction is done! Now, all you have to do is sand and finish as you wish and enjoy your new platform bed. This platform bed was made for a previous headboard that I also made. Search our site for “Planked Headboard” to see it. As always, if you decide to make this bed be sure share it on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share it too!

182 Comments

  1. Chris on January 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Looks like a great idea/plan. What would everyone recommend – With or without the headboard? If I build the bed first, would it be difficult to add the headboard later? 2017 resolution, dive head first into my passion for woodworking projects. Thanks!

  2. Joey Curl on November 14, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Would this fit a 54” W x 75” L mattress?

  3. Sparky Mahoney on October 22, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks. I was looking for some simple platform ideas and this is exactly what I had in mind. I’d like to pass along some advice however that can save people a great deal of time and money in doing this.

    First off, I’d stay away from pocket holes except the cap – and even then you don’t need to use them at all. Pocket holes have very weak shear strength. It’s fine for small cabinets, bookshelves, tables, etc. but for big heavy things like bed frames – and the mattress, and the blankets, and the people on them – not so much. And even here you used them incorrectly on the bottom part of the frame as you have them on the inside. That means the screws are heading into the end of the other boards, which is the weakest part and most likely to break under load. You should always be screwing towards the center of the board, never the outside/end. Seeing as you were staining it you wouldn’t even notice the filled and sanded holes afterward. The other major downside is Kreg jigs aren’t cheap so unless you plan on doing a lot of pocket holes in other things it’s a waste of money.

    A lof ot people will tell you that just screwing the boards together – into the end grain – isn’t great either, and they’re right. However even that provides more shear strength than a pocket hole, particularly if the pre-drilled hole is counter-sunk and you use washers on your wood screws. That alone triples the shear strength right there because the surface area of the washer prevents the screw from being pulled in.

    However, there’s an even better way to do this. There is hardware out there specifically designed for making bed frames. Use your fave search engine and look up “bed bolts” and “bed rail fasteners” and/or “bed rail brackets”. The brackets are the fastest, cheapest, and strongest option. Also they fit on the inside of the frame for those who don’t want bolt holes exposed like you get with bed bolts. And if you want to do it even cheaper just go get some galvanized steel deck brackets from your local big box store. They run about a buck each, so it doesn’t get any cheaper of faster than that. The upside to many of the bed hangers is it makes it easy to disassemble and move the bed too. Unscrewing things only weakens them.

    I’ll be building one of these this week or next so I’ll take some shots to upload and show what I mean. I’ll also be capping out the frame with brass hex screws which looks really sexy. 😀

    P.S. For all the people asking for queen sizes, the rule of thumb is you always want an inch or inch and half leeway so 62″ or 63″W and 82″ or 83″L is good. Your mattress is going to sink and stretch over time so giving it that bit of space means it doesn’t end up looking like a souffle at some point down the road.

    • lisa on October 28, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Do you have pictures of how your project is put together? Could your share your cuts for a queen size bed. Thanks

    • Chris on January 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      i am too interested in how your design came out especially for a queen size bed. Thanks!

  4. chivette lover on August 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    OK, I’m lost on an item. Yellow boards are 55″ and they sit on the inside edge of the other boards. That is 52″. So you can not have the yellow boards sit exactly on edge. Did you just split the difference? Is one side even with the edge?

  5. Ryan Kuechenmeister on July 21, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    This was so much fun to do! This is the first big project my wife and I took on since moving to Kauai. The bed turned out beautiful. We customized the measurements for a King and it worked great.

  6. Bridget Quint on June 1, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I am building this bed this weekend and went out to get everything I need tonight. I’m curious what cuts I need to make. My mattress is full size so I plan on following the directions exactly. I see the drilling instructions but no indication of where to make cuts! Please advise, I’m excited to get to work!!

    • Bridget Quint on June 1, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      I think I just figured out the answer to my question… The cuts are the corresponding lengths shown on the first page of directions.. In inches… Below the arrows for drilling?

      • Shanty2Chic on June 1, 2016 at 8:44 pm

        Yes. There is a cut list on the plans 🙂 good luck!

  7. Madison Smith on May 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    do you need a box spring for this bed? What kind of mattress did you use?

    • bengalcatlover on January 24, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      I know this is old, but in case anyone else reads this and is wondering!

      You can add additional slats if you want to avoid the use of a box spring. How far apart you want the slats would depend upon the type of mattress, with latex mattresses having the most stringent requirements – ideally around 2.75″ between slats (no more than 3″), so you can’t go wrong with that. The warranty for your specific mattress may explicitly state what kind of support is required or else that warranty may be voided.

      And in case you are wondering, you don’t want to just put down sheet plywood to bridge larger gaps, as lack of air to the bottom of the mattress risks the development of mold/mildew – particularly in humid climates. In the very least, you would want to put what’s called a “bed rug” between the plywood and your mattress to allow air circulation.

  8. Rhonda Williamson on April 30, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Do you still need to add the slats if you are using a box spring and mattress?

  9. Johnny on April 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Totally messed up measurements!. For example: Slats – 1 x 3 x 10′ and final length 52″. 1 and 3 can’t be foot’s because it’s impossible to have 30cm depth, 60 cm width. As far I can understand: Slats are: 1inch x 3inch x 10 foots, and final lenght after cut is 52inch right?

    • Shanty2Chic on April 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      I’m not sure I follow?? The 1x3x10 will be cut down to 52″ long. A 1×3 is actually .75 thick and 2.5″ wide.

  10. Mackenzie Warren on March 10, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    where did you buy the wood? I want to built this for my house in Montana! I am a broke college student with time on my hands and think it would be perfect!

  11. The JuiceArtist on December 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for the plans, however they are useless without any measurements on them for the pocket holes. Very confusing and I am fairly experienced when woodworking. And what size bed is this for?

    • Shanty2Chic on December 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      The plans state (at the top of the cut list) to drill pocket holes for 2 1/2″ pocket hole screw. The tutorial also mentions to set your Kreg Jig for 1 1/2″ pocket holes. The paragraph under the “Click HERE for Plans” states that this is a full size bed plan. I’m not sure how much more I could have explained it. Thanks!

      • The JuiceArtist on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

        I saw the heading about drilling pocket hole screws on the arrows. It’s the measurements that are missing from the plans. The arrows are just randomly in places. I can figure it out the math and choose places to put them, just wanted to clarify if there were any more technical plans you have that were more precise? I do appreciate your time and love your site.

        • Shanty2Chic on December 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

          The plans DO state the measurement depth for the pocket holes. There is only one depth for a 2 1/2″ pocket hole screw.

          • The JuiceArtist on December 29, 2015 at 6:39 pm

            I think this is getting lost in translation. Not the depth..the distance. No worries.



          • Shanty2Chic on December 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

            Oh, got it. Sorry! The distance doesn’t matter 🙂 I just eye ball…



          • The JuiceArtist on December 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

            I was attempting to build off the plans instead of reading line by line of what you did and compare that to the plans. Your plans don’t have measurements on the placement. No worries. After careful reading out of the whole blog, it says “you just spaced them evenly” instead of drawing the plans accordingly. Sorry for the hassle.



    • chivette lover on August 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      you cannot be “fairly experienced” if a bed frame is to much for you

  12. JK John Hitman on November 22, 2015 at 2:08 am

    I took your platform bed and made a few design changes to make it into 12 drawer captains bed for my 8 year old. He loves it.

    • Ashley K on August 22, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Love, love love! :-O Congratulations (: The colors are beautiful! Would you mind sharing how much project cost you in supplies, including or excluding the drawers? I would love to know. Thanks!

  13. Dalecia on November 10, 2015 at 12:13 am

    How would you convert this into a twin bed?

  14. BusinessTeacherInMO on November 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you so much, ladies, for your great designs and sharing of your plans! Here are my results for my CaliKing!

    • Shanty2Chic on November 9, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us 🙂

  15. BusinessTeacherInMO on November 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for such awesome designs and sharing your plans! Love what you ladies are doing! Here is my final results of my California King.

  16. Brian on October 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    The finished bed

    • B3NZ0 on April 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      what size bed is this for? Queen?

      • Brian on April 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        This was a king size. 2 years later and it still looks great and very sturdy.

        Be sure to make sure it fits in the bedroom doorway. I learned the hard way, as I assembled it outside then realized it wouldn’t fit through the door. Had to partially disassemble then reassemble in the bedroom.

        • Emily Laurent on October 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

          Do you happen to have the measurements?

  17. Brian on October 16, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I built a King Platform bed from your Plans and I couldn’t be happier how it came out. Thank you for the inspiration.

    My suggestion for anyone building the king size is to make sure you assemble it in the room you plan to use it. I realized after assembly round #1 that it was too big put together to fill in the door frame.

  18. HOLLIE on September 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    My husband and I would love to build this bed but add drawers underneath, any recommendations.

    • Shanty2Chic on September 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      We actually recently posted a bed that is a platform with drawers!

  19. Pam Irving on September 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Thanks soooo much for the inspiration! My daughter bought her first house recently. There was a potting bench made of beautifully weathered pallets left in the back yard…she wanted a bed for her birthday…I saw this post…voila! The universes collided!

    She and I tore the pallets apart. Hubby and I built it with your directions while making a few minor mods (altering the size to queen and making the headboard to hang from the wall using French cleats…to keep the headboard from banging the wall every time “Baby” jumps on the bed ????) I used three colors of stain and combinations of the three to get the interesting boards. I also painted the plywood backer black so the gaps between the irregular boards would disappear.

    Beautiful bed, happy daughter! Thank you!

    • Shanty2Chic on September 23, 2015 at 9:41 am

      So pretty and great use of pallets! Thank you for sharing:))))

  20. Scott Dunn on September 14, 2015 at 9:28 am

    So to make sure I have the mathi right. Can someone verify? This is for a king.

    • Virginia Rothenflue on November 18, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Scott – Did your measurements work? I’m planning on building the king size today. Thanks in advance!!

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