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Woodworking: 6 simple DIY bed frames

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
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Topics covered: Woodworking, carpentry, DIY.

Many people love a good DIY project, but building your own bed frame can seem like an undertaking that's a bit out of your league. After all, a bed is a piece of furniture that bears a lot of weight and movement, and it gets use for about 8 solid hours every single day (and maybe more, especially on the weekends!). 

However intimidating building your own bed may seem, there are several simple designs that allow you to create a sturdy bed frame without needing years of experience and craftsmanship in order to do it. The bed frames from these designers use simple materials and construction techniques that anyone can wrap their heads around – no carpentry skills required!

1. ​Stacked on cabinets or drawers

One of the easiest ways to DIY a frame for a bed is to use a stacked construction. Using several cabinets or drawers of the same height, you can lift your bed a few feet off the ground without the need of legs. There are even DIY designs for temporary and low-cost beds that include using a bed frame of stacked cardboard boxes!

You can create a bed like this by buying new cabinets or cubbies, or by finding objects of the same height at thrift stores. Keep in mind, however, that depending on how you build the bed, it could become a hassle to move should you choose to relocate. That said, your wisest course of action may be to keep your stacked bed frame in a more modular, detached form.

​2. Pallet bedframe

It seems you can find a tutorial to make anything from a pallet nowadays, from tables to chairs to swings, and even beds. This method is both simple and cheap, and due to the construction of the pallet, it's fairly sturdy as well. Pallets are a simple tool for building a bed, and their modular nature allows you to create different versions of a bed frame depending on your preferences for height and width. You might choose to let the pallets extend several feet beyond your bed, forming a small elevated platform around your bed. You can go for a natural look with wood, or you can paint the pallets for a crisp, modern look. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you'll need to support your mattress all the way to the edges – don't let your mattress hang over the sides of the pallets, as this will ruin the shape of your mattress over time.

3. ​Industrial piping

Use a sturdy metal pipe framework to contribute to a more industrially-themed bedroom. Due to the nature of these pipes, you'll be able to find all sorts of pieces that you can mix and match in order to make your own unique design (it's like Tetris… for your bed frame). 

You can do most of this yourself, but it's not a bad idea to get a professional welder to come in and seal your pipes. They will be able to determine the spots that you can leave unwelded (for easy take down) and spots that structurally bear a lot of weight and should be welded for extra stability and strength. Consider this an investment in your future, as this sturdy industrial design is bound to become one of your longest-lived pieces of furniture!

4. ​Suspended platform

Here's an idea for the more adventurous sleeper! If you tend to roll around a lot in your sleep, stick to the more grounded options, but if you don't mind the swaying feeling of being suspended in air, this bed frame design is one you might consider. 

A design like this instantly conjures up visions of relaxation, luxury, and leisure, drawing a connection to a casual swaying hammock on the beach. This particular version offers a degree of mobility with a design that allows the platform to be hoisted up and out of the way during the day – an excellent solution for small spaces. 

Building this one is simple enough, but the preparation is more involved. The suspended design needs a sturdy anchor in the ceiling, and it may be that the beams of your home are located in the wrong spots for such a design. You may also have to have a professional interior architect insert special plates within the ceiling of your home in order to help evenly distribute the weight of the anchor points.

5. ​Cinderblocks

If you loved legos as a child, this is the bed frame for you. Not only is this easy to DIY, it's very easy to re-DIY if you didn't like the first version. Other similar designs include beds made from wooden produce crates, bricks, or an assembly of plastic milk crates. The height of your frame is somewhat limited – as the height increases, stability decreases – so if you're looking for a higher bed, it's wise to include a box frame in addition to a mattress.

6. ​Headboard only

This bed frame isn't really a bed frame at all – it's just the illusion of one. This mattress and box spring are raised by wooden boards just a few inches off the ground, but the lack of bed frame is made up by the addition of a headboard that anchors the bed to the wall, giving a grounded appearance to the simple design. This is a simple visual trick that involves little more than a wooden board and some paint.

For headboard ideas, see this ideabook: 10 Stylish Headboards for a Good Night's Sleep

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