Cabin Bed by Jen Woodhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 01/13/2016 - 03:00
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DIY cabin bed, made from plywood and lumber. Free plans by built by

Oh my goodness, guys!  I have an amazing treat to share with you today.

It's always a treat when I get to work with the lovely, smart, kind, and talented Jen Woodhouse, but this is like a quadruple scoop of salted carmel ice cream ... on top of a godiva cheesecake!

How amazing is this bed that Jen Woodhouse just built?

I'm so thankful to have had a chance to work with Jen to create this bed plan!

Jen wrote me a little while back about partnering up to build her son a new bed. She really loved this bed, but the cost ($2800-$3000 before tax and freight) was prohibiting, and Jen is also conscientious about the materials she brings into her family's home, and wanted to avoid formaldehyde because it off-gasses (especially in a child's bed, where the child could spend 1/3 of their developing life).

It was important to Jen that the bed be made using sustainable, clean materials, with minimal off gassing.  So we worked to design the bed to be built with plywood, using PureBond Plywood. We both love PureBond Plywood because it is formaldehyde free, beautiful, dimensionally stable, and sustainably harvested and distributed.  

We also worked together to create a design that could be easily assembled and disassembled, as Jen's family is in the Service.  We both loved that the panel design breaks the bed up into sections to work on, and then each panel is something you can still handle by yourself.

Want to build it?  You can do it!  Here's Jen's quick video outlining the steps -

So, the plans follow, but before you check them out, head on over to visit Jen Woodhouse for lots more photos, building tips, room styling inspiration, and more!

XO Ana





Sized for Twin Mattress


Shopping List

1 sheet of ¾” plywood, ripped into 2 – 12” wide strips and 1 – 23” wide strips, all 8 feet long

17 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long

6 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long

2 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long

1 – 1x3 @ 4 feet long

2 – 1x6 @ 10 feet long and 4 – 1x6 @ 10 feet long

 2 – 3/4” self tapping screws

1-1/4” finish nails or screws (for attaching roof slats and window trim)

2” screws or similar for attaching bed slats to cleats

Cut List

Cut ¾” plywood into two strips 8 feet long x 12” wide. Cut remaining piece 23” wide (for front panels).


2 – 2x4 @ 11-3/4” (truss center)

4 – 2x4 @ 63-7/16” – one end cut at 30 degrees off square bevel, SHORT point measurement

6 – 2x4 @ 35” 2 – 2x4 @ 19-5/16” - both ends cut at 30 degrees off square bevel, long point to short point measurement

4 – 2x4 @ 10” long (see steps for additional cutting instruction)

2 – ¾” plywood @ 12” x 35”



2 – 2x4 @ 63-7/16” – one end cut at 30 degrees off square bevel, LONG point measurement

3 – 2x4 @ 71-1/2”

1 – ¾” plywood @ 12” x 71-1/2”



2 – 2x4 @ 63-7/16” – one end cut at 30 degrees off square bevel, LONG point measurement

2 – 2x4 @ 71-1/2”

2 – 2x4 @ 45-9/16”

1 – ¾” plywood @ 23” x 45-9/16”



2 – 1x3 @ 18”

4 – 1x2 @ 18-3/4”

2 – 1x2 @ 18”

2 – 1x2 @ 17”


ROOF 1 – 2x4 @ 75” (ridge)

4 – 2x2 @ 71-1/2” (make sure can fit inside roof easily)

26- 1x6 @ 23-3/4”



2 – 2x2 @ 71-1/2”

10 – 2x4 @ 38” (can use different materials or less or more depending on mattress)



Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Table Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Notch out the center truss pieces as shown. Use a jigsaw to cut out.

Step 2

Attach plywood panel to two of the 2x4s that are 35” long with ¾” pocket holes and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws on back side, with everything flush to back. Also drill pocket holes in plywood panel and 2x4s for attaching to legs. Attach to legs with pocket hole screws, leaving 10” space under bottom 2x4, 2x4s are flush on the outside. Lay out the top pieces. Attach remaining 2x4 that is 35” long to center notched 2x4, matching centers. Attach rafters and screw to legs. Use either 2-3/4” screws or 2-1/2” pocket hole screws. Build two that exactly match.

Step 3

Add rafters inside side headers. Screw from outside with 2-3/4” screws to attach.

Step 4

Attach plywood panel to 71-1/2” 2x4s first, as you did the side panels. Remember to drill pocket holes (3/4” in the plywood, 1-1/2” in the 2x4s) for attaching to legs. Leave a 10” space below panel and attach to legs with pocket hole screws. Attach top 2x4 to legs. Everything is flush to inside.

Step 5

Step 6

Trim windows out with 1x boards. Nail on with 1-1/4” finish nails.

Step 7

Fill all pocket holes on the panels. Paint or finish as desired. On assembly, screw from INSIDE the four panels together to create the bed with 2-3/4” screws.

Step 8

Set ridge inside end trusses and screw down with 2-3/4” screws.

Step 9

Build the bed slat system by using 2-3/4” screws to attach cleats to side panels, flush to bottom of side panels. Add slats on top and screw down.

Step 10

Build roof system by laying out 1x6 boards with 2x2s on top. Adjust for square. Attach with screws, leaving ¾” gaps in between the roof slats. On installation, set roof panel in roof. You must screw the top 2x2 to the main ridge pole for adequate strength.

Step 11

Additional 1x2s can be added to plywood for the board and batten look with 1-1/4” nails and glue.



Fri, 12/30/2016 - 18:17

Did anyone ever figure out the full size mattress plans? I'm assuming the sides would be relatively easy to adapt, as would the mattress supports, but I'm worried about the roof truss to make it the same angle as in the plans. I guess Home Depot will be my friend for the next few weeks.


Thu, 12/08/2016 - 07:13

Thanks for these plans! I'm ready to get started but got stuck on step 1, lol. How deep should the notch on the center truss be? I'm guessing 2" since the illustration looks to be about halfway through the 2x4, but I wanted to double check. Thanks!


Thu, 01/19/2017 - 12:42

Hello all, I made this frame for a full size mattress.

Let me start off by saying it is NOT HARD to adapt the plans for a larger mattress, however there are a couple things to keep in mind. When you make the sides wider for the larger mattress (54 inches for a full size mattress), you will also be adding height to the ridgeline of the roof and lengthening the diagonal pieces that form the roof (including the actual roofing slats). Also, you will have longer pieces forming the slats that the mattress lays on. 

With that said, I didn't make any changes to the front or back. However, the sides are a different story. The horizontal six 2x4s and two plywood inserts are changes to 50inches from 35inches. This will widen the frame (there are other posts that question the original 35 inches, please feel free to size to your mattress). The center truss is 16 1/4 inches, up from 11 3/4. The diagonal pieces are 28 1/2 inches up from 19 5/16. To be honest the way i found those dimensions was simple, I built the lower half the sides, then laid them flat. I cut the end of one 2x4 to 30 degrees and laid it in place. I then measured up from where the center truss should be, to find the end of the diagonal (again this should be a 30 degree angle). This also gives you the length the center truss should be. Repeat for the other side of the truss, this pieces should be the same. That should take care of the hardest part of the changing the build. The only other change is the 26 roof slats will be at least 33 inches up from 26 inches, this will also depend on how much overhang you want on the bottom end.

Now, there are a few things that I would like to point out. The shopping list for materials will also change. My advice is to think about how you plan to cut all of your piece before you buy your lumber. 2x4s come in 96inch and 104inch and so on, so if you need 50 inch pieces think about the longer 2x4s so you have less waste. Same goes for the plywood, you will need two sheets. 

Also, on a side note, if i was going to make this again i would make the plywood inserts for the sides and back wider maybe 18 or 24 inches. The 12 inch pieces are ok, however the "walls" are very low (this also depends on the thickness of the mattress, ours is 9 inches), and if you have the extra plywood, why not use it.

Ana, a huge thank you for these plans, my son loves his new bed. 



Mon, 01/01/2018 - 12:08


we love the bed and I wan to build it for our son.

I need to translate to metric and i guess also adjust the to european mattress size.

Also I guess I'll run into trouble cause the place of the bed will be at the second floor close to the roof 

so I might need to do some modifications.

Can you send me your seketchup file that ic can adopt it to my needs?





And Happy new year to everybody.


Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:34

OK then I start converting and drawing.

Can you help a little please?

2x4 does it mean 2" x 4" approximately  50 mm x 100 mm ?

What kind of wood do you use for the frame?






Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:34

Amazing job! I would like to inquire  if have the plans for this bed in full size? Thanks!


Sun, 01/28/2018 - 14:54

This is very frustrating. I have not seriously gotten into the build yet but it looks like the materials list is seriously inadequate. 


It it appears to be short at least five 2x4s or more.  


Also no one has ever answered.  Is a twin bed even going to fit?