Simple Panel Bed (All Mattress Sizes) - No Pocket Holes

Easy to build bed frame
Beginner Projects
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You can build this simple panel bed frame (or just the headboard) with just a circular saw and a drill for about $120 in materials.  This free tutorial includes video, step by step diagrams, shopping list and a cut list for Twin, Full, Queen, King and California king mattress sizes.

Also check out our nightstand plans, browse other bed plans, and read our wood finishing post.


A bed is the most important piece of furniture in a bedroom.  Beds increase the comfort and functionality of a room, and add beauty and ground the room.

But bed can be expensive - hundreds if not thousands for a nice, not particle board, real wood bed.  And if you add in box springs, and multiply that by four beds in a home - it's easy to see why many rooms just have mattresses on the floor.


Build Your Own Bed and Save

Have you considered building your own beds?  My first project was a bed, and I highly recommend beds as a beginner project.  You don't have to have perfect joints (like a tabletop) or deal with bulky plywood (for most storage projects)

And there's a big payoff for a small investment.  Most of our DIY bed frames cost between $100 and $200 to build - INCLUDING the box spring built right in!  That's right - for about the cost of the box spring, you can build the entire bed!


Beginner Friendly Bed Frame Plans

I've built ALOT of beds - loft beds, canopy beds, bunk beds, farmhouse beds - but in this plan, I wanted to create a VERY beginner friendly plan, with still a beautiful end result.

So only requiring two basic power tools (that everyone should own) - a drill and a saw - you can build this beautiful panel bed!

diy bed frame

We love the solid wood texture.  We love the sturdiness and proportions.  It's a beautiful bed that transformed this room!


Full Room Tour

This diy panel bed was the star of one of our Airbnb room makeover videos.  You can see the bed build and the entire room makeover in this video.

Most everything in this room is DIY!  We'll be adding all the plans for your use. 


Simple Panel Bed Frame Plans

You'll find the queen sized plans for the Simple Panel bed below. 

We also have the following size modifications:

When using the size modifications, follow the steps for the queen, but use the shopping list and cut list for the different sizes.

dimensions of the simple panel bed
Queen as shown, see size modification PDFs for other sizes


Shopping List

SHOPPING LIST FOR QUEEN - for other sizes, see the downloaded PDFs above


2 - 1x8 @ 10 feet long (can cut in half for transport)

2 - 1x8 @ 8 feet long (use on siderails)

2 - 1x3 @ 6 feet long

11 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long (includes 6 2x4s used for the bed slats)

50 - 1-1/4" brad nails OR 2" self tapping wood screws 

40 - 3" self tapping wood screws (can substitute for 2-1/2" or 2-3/4" lengths)

Cut List

CUT LIST FOR QUEEN - for other sizes, see the downloaded PDFs above


4 - 1x8 @ 57" - panel boards

2 - 2x4 @ 45-1/4" - headboard legs

2 - 1x3 @ 62-1/2" - tops

2 - 2x4 @ 14-1/2" - footboard legs

2 - 1x8 @ 80-3/4" - sidrails

2 - 2x4 @ 80-3/4" - siderail cleats

1 - 2x4 @ ~57" - cut to fit - headboard bed frame 

1 - 2x4 @ 78-1/2" - bed frame center

2 - 2x4 @ 12-1/2" - bed frame legs

18 - 2x4 @ 31-1/2" - bed frame slats (can also use 1x4s or 1x3s or other materials if less expensive/have on hand)


Cutting Instructions



Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

This bed plan does not require a brad nailer, but having a brad nailer will make building this project easier.  You can substitute screws for nails throughout this plan.


Step 1

Layout the two headboard legs.  

Mark a line all the way down each 2x4 leg, 2-1/4" in from the outsides.

Dryfit the panel boards for the headboard on the legs.

Then attach the top 1x8 to the legs, with glue and screws or nails.

Repeat, working downward, for all the 1x8s - just make sure you apply a bead of glue between the 1x8 boards as you go.

Step 2

Apply glue to all top edges of the headboard.

Place 1x3 on top, even overhang on ends, flush to the back 1x8 on back.

Nail or screw down - nails are easier to hide, so use if you have a brad nailer.

Step 3

Repeat steps for footboard, with only one panel board used.

Step 4

Apply glue to 2x4 cleats and place 1x8 siderail on top.  Screw or nails siderail to cleat form outside.

Nails will be easier to hide, so use if you can.

Step 5

Attach the siderails to the headboard and footboard with 3" screws.  

A spacer block cut from scrap 2x4s will make assembly much easier.

Step 6

Screw the headboard bed frame piece to the headboard.

Step 7

Attach bed frame legs to center bed frame support with 3" screws.

Step 8

Screw bed frame center to the headboard and footboard with 3" screws, centered on the bed.

Step 9

Place slats on bed frame, space about 4" apart.

Screw down using the 3" screws.  



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Tue, 02/15/2022 - 18:57

I’ve almost completed this plan but I’m wondering if I should cut the legs off the headboard by about 6”, I won’t be using a box spring and I don’t want a gap between the headboard and mattress, does that sound reasonable?

I don’t want my toddler to fall through the gap or think crawling through there is a good idea lol


Thu, 05/30/2019 - 14:24

Hi Ana - would it be possible to raise the bed? I want to make myself a bed, but I want to make it so I can get rid of the risers I need to store my sewing/quilting stuff under my bed.  I would need about 9.25" clearance from the base of the bed to the floor.  I'm thinking if I add a piece of wood as a brace would make that possible, but I'm not sure.


Mon, 06/03/2019 - 10:45

I am wondering the same thing. My bed has to have a box spring. Could you include the modifications to make a queen bed like this but with a box spring mattress? Thank you so much!! :)


Tue, 06/04/2019 - 03:43

Hi! Love the stain color. Would you mind sharing what brand and color was used for this bed? I am working on building one for our Air BNB. Thanks!


Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:34

Thanks so much for these plans! I'm excited to build this the bed. I have one question, are the 3 inch screws that attach the footboard to the bed frame center go through the footboard so that that are seen from the outside? 



Thu, 01/02/2020 - 12:00

Our local hardware store has cedar on sale, the only cut they don't have is the 1x3. They do have a 1x4, do you think it would make an ok substitute? Would cedar even be a good idea?


Sat, 01/18/2020 - 11:51

Hi Ana. I would like to know what kind of wood do I use?  Douglas fir?  I want to build this for my son.