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Over the past year the majority of our projects have been for my son’s bedroom. A headboard. A growth chart. Some industrial shelving. I just can’t stop. So when we decided to get him a new mattress, I though we might as well build a platform bed for it! Why not? It was definitely a labor of love, but I thought y’all might enjoy seeing the process. If you decide you want to make your own, PLEASE share your pictures. I would love to see them!
Start off with a trip to Home Depot (or whatever hardware store you prefer) and purchase the following:
- 4 – 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ plywood (3 of these need to be “pretty,” since you’re actually going to see them, but the last piece is only for support under the mattress so it can be the cheaper, “ugly” stuff)
- 7 – 1x3x8 boards
- 6 – 2x4x8 boards
- 6 – casters/wheels
- 25 – 1/4 x 1 1/2 lag screws
- Wood Glue
- stainable wood filler
- wood stain
Now it’s time to get to work…
Start off by cutting two 2×4 boards 80″ long at a 45* angle and another two 2×4’s at 62″ long. These will be the sides of the frame. We also cut 4 pieces that were 16′ long to use as braces in each corner. Here’s a pic of all the pieces cut…
and here’s one once we assembled the frame.
We countersunk (or pre-drilled) the holes for the screws to make sure the wood didn’t split when we screwed them in.
So once the frame was built we attached 6 casters (wheels) to the bottom of it, one in each corner and then 2 in the middle. It’s important to place the wheels as close to the inside of the frame as possible so that when the trim is added later the wheels don’t hit the trim. Also, the wheels have 4 screw holes, so we decided to “straddle” the joint in each corner for a little added stability.
Then it was time to build the cubbies. You’ll need 3 sheets of 3/4″ plywood and make the following cuts:
- 6 pieces measuring 12″ wide and 78 1/2″ long (These are top , bottom, and back sides of the cubbies)
- 2 pieces measuring 12″ wide and 62″ long (These are the back and front of the bed)
- 4 pieces measuring 10 1/2″ by 12″ (These are the dividers in the cubbies)
Grab a top and bottom piece and 2 dividers. Place the dividers 25 3/4″ from each end and attach them using wood glue and a nail gun. Repeat this for the other side, and you’ll end up with 2 of these…
Place these onto your rolling frame and hit it with some more glue and nails.
Then attach the two end pieces that you cut earlier and attach them to each end. Tadah!
We decided to add a little support in the middle since the mattress that we bought was HUGE and since our 5 year old has a tendency to jump on the bed!
We cut 4 pieces at 36 1/2″ long from 2 x 4 boards we had on hand and added a 36 1/2″ x 78 1/2″ piece of plywood to fit inside. (Make sure you measure this open area first to make sure your measurements match.)
At this point we used 1 x 3 x 8 boards to trim around the whole bed. Apparently this is where I started slacking in the photo taking department. Sorry! But basically you’ll measure each edge and cut your boards accordingly. Cut them at a 45 degree angle at the corners for a cleaner look and use wood glue and a nail gun to attach them. I wanted a more distressed look on this bed so I used my sander to soften and round the edges and corners.
Here is where things got…frustrating. I have promised on this blog to be completely honest with y’all and that includes sharing my failures too!
We knew we were going to have a LOT of nail holes, so when we bought the wood we also picked up some wood filler. My original vision for this bed was to have the whole thing stained to match my son’s shelving in his room, so I made sure to get filler that specifically said stainable on the package. Once all the trim was on and I was done sanding the edges I started filling the holes. All 1,254,395 of them! I hit the trim with the sander once more to get any excess filler off the face of it and then grabbed my stain. I used a cloth to wipe the stain on the inside of the cubby and worked my way to the outside. And then I stopped!
Stainable my foot!! Do you see this mess?! Not only are the holes darker than the rest of the wood, but the area around the hole (where I had sanded off the excess filler) was lighter! I’m not a patient person, but I didn’t want to give up just yet.
So I sanded this whole area again to try and even everything out and tried staining again. Nope! Same result, more frustration! I was done. I threw my cloth down, ripped my gloves off, and stormed out of the shop. (Imagine a 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum.)
Just kidding! But seriously, I didn’t know what to do after that. I had this vision of what I wanted this bed to look like and now that was gonna happen, so I wanted to give up. I thought about smashing it with a sledge hammer and lighting it on fire, but the hubby said NO! What a buzz kill. Instead, I left it in the garage for 3 weeks so it could think long and hard about its behavior.
Eventually, I decided to paint the trim white to match my son’s dresser and leave the inside of the boxes stained. I did go ahead and stain the entire thing because I planned on distressing it and I wanted the darker color show through. so after putting 2 coats of the white paint on, I grabbed a coarse sanding block and roughed it up it in a few places.
That looks even more amazing than I had originally planned. Don’t you just love when a mistake turns into a thing of beauty?
OK OK, enough gushing. Time to move on. Next up, the footboard. I was inspired by this headboard from Shanty-2-Chic. I love the randomness of the boards, but random is something I really struggle with. I’m all about order and symmetry, so I had to really dig deep.
We grabbed all the scrap pieces of wood we had from this project (and thousands of others) and started cutting and piecing them together into the empty space at the foot of the bed. Once I had them all “randomized,” I took them back off one by one and numbered them so I could put them back the same way. Then they all got a coat of stain. I didn’t want the same nail hole fiasco this time around so we used some liquid nails instead and just glued them on.
And that’s it! It fits into this room so perfectly. We still have to build a headboard that will match the footboard, but for now I’m just enjoying how this nightmare project ended up being so dreamy!
Hope y’all like it as much as I do!