Inexpensive and Easy to Build Platform Bed

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All it takes is a few pieces of particle board and some pine boards and you too can have a very sturdy new bed.  Add a mattress and bedding and you’r done…the headboard is extra!

This platform bed project is a long time favorite of Shari’s and mine.  We were working with a young couple on a redo of their bedroom and our goal was to save them money and give them a wonderful look for the room.  They didn’t have a bed frame only the mattress, so we were looking for solutions to provide them with a proper bed.  Shari recalled a simple platform bed that she had constructed for herself in college and thought that it would be a great way to save money and have a great new bed.

dressed platform bed

Well, I have to say, many years later, that simple ideal has been used in many bedrooms, my guest room included.  So here is how to build your own platform bed.

Materials List:

• Particle board sized to your mattress
• 1 x 4 pine boards (for trim)
• 1 x 12 pine boards (for base)
• Straight metal straps
• 8  3 inch  “L” brackets
• 120 grit sandpaper
• Screws
• Cordless drive
• Wood putty or spackle

Instructions:

1. Create the platform, as always, I like to have the lumber yard cut the particle board to size, it saves a step and if you don’t have a circular saw, this is a great way to complete a project.  If you have a circular saw, cut the particle board to size, making sure to use a guide to get a nice straight cut.

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If you are building a twin size platform, you can get the platform out of one piece of 4’ x 8’ particle board.  Any larger and you will need to put two pieces together, one at the head of the bed and the other at the foot.  Keep the two pieces together using metal straps on the underside of the platform.

Tip:
Most home center stores will make cross cuts for you or have a cutting center (hand saw and miter box) for you to cut lumber smaller pieces of lumber to length.  Extra cuts are a minimal fee.

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2. Sand all of the pine boards before you start to remove any sharp edges or splinter, use 120 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the edges.

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3. To create the base frame for the platform, cut the 1 x 12’s so that they measure 2 inches less than the length and width of the particle platform top.  The base frame will be a rectangular shape with 4 pieces of 1 x 12’s used.  Secure the base frame together using wood glue and screws. When the base box is finished, it will be placed in the center of the underside of the particle platform.

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4. Attach the particle platform to the base using the “L” brackets.  Use two brackets on each side of the rectangular base frame.

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5. Flip the bed over (you will need some help for this) and add the 1 x 4 trim to the edge of the particle platform.  Cut the 1 x 4 inch pine boards to length and attach the trim so they rise above the platform by 1 inch.

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This will create a lip that will hold the mattress in place.  Attach the trim to the platform using wood glue and screws, remembering to drill a pilot hole and counter sink hole for the screws.

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6. Fill all the holes with wood filler or spackle (depending if you are staining or painting the bed) and sand smooth.

7. Finish the bed by painting with a satin latex paint or stain the wood and add polyurethane for protection.

As I mentioned, I have constructed several of these platform beds, for guest rooms, dorm rooms, well just about any where that a bed was needed and budget was a concern.

As for the headboard pictured, we used cut our design from a piece of plywood, wrapped it with quilt batting and stapled the batting to the back.  We then added the fabric over the batting, stapling to the back as well.  then, we used an inexpensive lining fabric to cover all the raw edges on the back of the headboard.  to do this the staples are exposed all the way around, though you could hot glue a piece of ribbon or trim to cover the staples if you wish.  We then added two  1″ x 4″ pieces of pine to the back with wood screws and let them extend down far enough for us to screw them into the trim around the platform bed to hold up the headboard. You can see this best in the black and white photo at the top.

For another headboard idea, check out our article on how to make an upholstered headboard from our “Around the House with Matt and Shari” program on Public Television.

Matt

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