If you are looking for a sturdy, but incredibly cheap to build diy bed frame – this project is for you! This tutorial is written for a standard queen size mattress, no box spring needed. This bed frame cost me about $50 bucks in lumber and screws.
Truth be told, this is a project that’s a little bittersweet to me. I finished this up right before my Dad passed away. I remember calling him on the phone and telling him that I finally finished Hannah’s bed. He never got to see this in person, but I would like to think he would approve. I’m just getting around to writing up the tutorial for this simple DIY bed frame.
I don’t know why bed frames cost so much money. Especially when they are mostly crappy metal or aluminum and end up getting super squeaky after a while. A squeaky bed is a major pet peeve of mine. Once I drew this project out on paper, I figured out that I could make the entire thing out of cheap 2x4s. And the best part is that I could customize the height so it didn’t block Hannah’s window. Yay!
Things You’ll Need
- Six – 2x4x12 (get them cut in half at the store, see cut list for dimensions – you’ll have some leftover too)
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Orbital Sander and sandpaper (I used 180 grit)
- 2.5 inch pocket hole screws
- 2 inch countersinking wood screws
- Drill plus screwdriver bit and drill bit (for countersunk screws)
Notes: I chose not to use wood glue because this bed frame may need to be disassembled at some point. Also, I assembled this bed frame in the room it was going in, so I made sure to sand all top and side wood pieces before assembling. I also chose not to paint or stain it and just it keep it bare since the bed frame is completely covered by the mattress and bedspread.
Make the following straight cuts.
- Two – 72 inch 2x4s for the sides
- Two – 57 inch 2x4s for the top and bottom
- Four – 9 inch 2×4 legs
- Six – 60 inch 2×4 slats
- Six – 8.75 inch slat legs (CONFIRM BEFORE CUTTING – Please read step 4
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diy bed frame tutorial
How to build a diy bed frame with 2x4s
Total time: 1 hour
drill pocket holes
Using your Kreg jig, drill pocket holes at each end of the two sides and top and bottom pieces.
assemble sides to legs
Using 2.5 inch pocket hole screws, attach each side and top and bottom piece to the legs. Please note, the wide part of the legs are facing out towards the sides. Then sand all pieces.
Assemble bed frame
Now attach the top and bottom to the side rails, using 2.5 inch pocket screws. Make sure your top and bottom rails are sanded prior to assembly.
cut middle leg supports and attach to slats
Take one of your 60 inch slat pieces and lay it on top of your bed frame. Measure from the bottom of the slat to the ground – this measurement will be the size of the 2×4 leg supports you need. For me, it was about 8.75 inches. I chose to have six supports total, staggered throughout (see top photo reference).
To attach the slats, I drilled pocket holes in each leg support – then attached them to 4 slats using 2.5 inch pocket screws. The other 2 slats will lay on the top and bottom of the bed frame and don’t need supports.
Attach slats to bed
Line two of your slats up on the very top and bottom of the bed frame, and then space your other slat pieces with the leg supports throughout the center. First, drill a pilot hole at the end of each wood slat. Then, attach each slat to the bed frame on both ends using countersinking screws. (The Countersinking screws won’t stick up and damage the mattress.)
And that’s a wrap for this easy project! My daughter loves her bed (so much better than that old squeaky metal one). And I will tell you, even without the wood glue, this thing is sturdy as heck!
You can repeat this tutorial for other mattress sizes, just make the bed frame slightly bigger than the mattress and you are good to go.
The real beauty of this wood project is that it’s cheap and no frills – you can put it together in about an hour after making your wood cuts. And don’t worry – you don’t see the bed frame aside from the legs, so no one knows it’s a 2×4 bed!
Next up? A headboard! Stay tuned!