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How to Build a DIY Bed Frame

DIY wooden bed frame, complete with a mattress and bed coverings in a master bedroom.

A bed is often the centrepiece of your bedroom, but finding the ideal bed to complement your décor can be challenging.

Designing your own wooden bed frame can be a less costly alternative to purchasing a new one – and a much easier task than you might expect.

If you have intermediate-level skills with tools – particularly cutting wood and drilling – you can follow our step-by-step guide and create your very own DIY queen bed frame.

Adjust the specifications as needed to suit your mattress (double, queen or king-size) and assemble your bed frame with the tools listed in our guide.

Finally, you can stain and finish your bed frame as you like, add a headboard, or not! Be sure to read over the list of tools and materials required before you begin and get started today!

Skill Level: Expert
  1. Step 1 Measure and Cut the Wood

    A pair of male hands operates a miter saw on a flat surface to cut a beam of wood.

    Assemble and cut all the pieces of wood you will need for your homemade bed frame as follows:

    Cut List:

    • 2" x 4" x 8’ Whitewood
    • Four 40 ½-inch frame sides
    • Four 13-inch frame centre supports 
    • 2" x 4" x 10’ Lumber
    • Eight 58-inch frame cross members 
    • 1"x 8" x 8’ Whitewood
    • Two 81-inch apron (sides)
    • Two 62.5-inch apron (head and foot) 
    • 1" x 3" x 8’ Whitewood
    • Four 14 ½-inch legs (sides)
    • 1" x 4" x 8’ Whitewood
    • Four 14 ½-inch legs (front and back)
  2. Step 2 Drill the Pocket Holes on the Frame Cross Members

    A male worker operates a power drill to drill pocket holes in an upright wooden frame.

    Drill two pocket holes on the ends of each frame cross member. Place the lumber standing vertically to make your drilling easier. The depth of each hole will be determined by the thickness of your lumber pieces. For greater accuracy, use a pocket hole jig.

    Tip: The holes should be drilled at an angle to conceal the screws that connect the pieces together.

  3. Step 3 Build the Frame

    A male worker drills holes into a wooden bed frame resting on a worktable.

    To build the frame you’ll need ample working space so you may want to consider transitioning to a larger workspace at this point.

    • Lay out the frame cross members so that you have one on each end of the frame sides.
    • Place the middle cross members at 13 ½ inches and 27 inches on the frame.
    • Screw the middle cross members into place.
    • Once the middle cross members are in place, repeat the process to complete the other half of the bed frame. 
  4. Step 4 Join the Two Frame Assemblies Together

    A pair of male hands uses a pencil and ruler to measure and mark.
    A male worker’s hand uses a metal ratchet to screw and tighten a metal bolt into a wooden bed frame.
    • Line up each of the long sides of the two frame assemblies.
    • Clamp them firmly together to make sure they are square.
    • Use a pencil to mark the centre 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.
  5. Step 5 Place the Frame on the Ground

    A male worker places a large wooden bed frame on the floor of a large workspace.

    Now that your bed frame is assembled, you’ll want to place it on the ground of your workspace for the next step.  

  6. Step 6 Attach the Side Aprons

    A male worker kneels to inspect a wooden bed frame and side aprons.
    A male worker uses a power drill to screw side aprons onto a wooden bed frame.
    • First, prop the frame assembly up 2 ¼ inches from the ground. You can use scrap pieces of lumber, or 2 x 4-inch and 1 x 4-inch boards.
    • Next, line one of the side apron pieces evenly with the ends of the frame assembly, maintaining a 1 ½-inch over-hang on the top edge, then clamp them firmly 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 inches, 29 inches, 52 ½ inches and 73 inches. The holes should be in the centre of the 2 x 4-inch frame assembly.
    • Repeat this step to attach the other side apron. 
  7. Step 7 Attach the Foot and Head Aprons

    A pair of male hands joins two pieces of wood together using a clamp.
    • Line up the foot apron so that the ends are flush with the outer edge of the side apron pieces. 
    • Clamp in place. 
    • Drill holes for the bolt 3 ¼ inches down from the top edge. Do this at 8 inches, 31 ¼ inches and 54 ½ inches. 
    • Add wood glue, then insert and tighten the bolts in place. 
    • Repeat this step to attach the head apron.
  8. Step 8 Attach the Legs

    A male worker applies wood glue to the wooden leg of a bed frame.
    A pair of male hands operates a power drill to attach a wooden leg to the side apron on a wooden bed frame.
    • First, flip the bed frame assembly over, with the bottom facing upward.
    • Align the legs one at a time with the end of the side apron.
    • Secure in place with 3/8-inch carriage bolts.
    • Now you can attach the front and back legs in the same way as you attached the side legs. They should be flush with the top of the apron and the face of the side legs.
    • The 1x4’s should be glued and fastened to each other along the corner joint.
  9. Step 9 Install the Centre Supports

    An inset illustration displays where the centre supports for a wooden bed frame should be positioned.
    A split image of a worker installing centre supports in a wooden bed frame and an inset illustration indicating where to place the centre supports.
    • To install the centre supports for your bed frame, first prop the supports up with a piece of scrap lumber.
    • Next, place centre supports onto the second and fourth cross frame members at 30 ½ inches, as demonstrated in the above illustration.
    • Place centre supports onto the middle cross frame member at 24 inches, as demonstrated above.
    • 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. 
    • The centre supports require 4 screws at 3 inches in length each.
  10. Step 10 Sand and Finish the Wood

    A male worker in a large workspace sands the side of a large wooden bed frame.

    With your bed frame completed, you can now sand the surfaces to a smooth, even finish.

    Wipe down your DIY wooden bed frame to get rid of the sawdust.

    You can now cover each hole with a pocket hole plug.

    For the finishing touches, apply a coat of paint or wood stain to your homemade bed frame, selecting a shade that best complements your bedroom decor.

    Once you have moved your DIY wooden bed frame to the bedroom, add your queen size mattress. Test the frame to make sure it isn’t moving around. If it is, you may need to tighten the bolts.  

  11. Step 11 Final Thoughts

    A brown headboard against a beige wall with a light on beside it.

    A headboard isn’t essential in the design of your DIY bed frame, but it can serve as a cold barrier between your wall and the top edge of your bed. A headboard can also serve as back support when sitting up in bed.

    If you’re making a matching headboard, attach the headboard legs to the wooden bed frame first and tighten them securely. Then, you can either drill the headboard directly into the bed frame or bolt the headboard to your wall using wall mounts.

What You Need for This Project

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