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.



Tue, 10/30/2018 - 18:25

I have not built it yet but did take a look at the plans. A twin will fit, the full interior dimension is 38"x75.5" so it may be tight on the sides but you have a half inch to play with on the length. I am planning on adding some sort of spacer in there depending on the mattress I buy, only because making the bed could be a challange if it is really tight on the sides.


Fri, 01/24/2020 - 08:46

I have started cutting my material and it looks as if the 2x4’s should have been ten foot long. You would be able to get more of the cuts from 17 ten foot boards. I wish these plans would have a cutting diagram so you could see which cuts to do with one board(easier to see if you have enough materials)


Mon, 11/05/2018 - 21:06

This plan is indeed very tight for a standard size twin mattress.  If anyone is interested I did make a Sketchup plan for an actual twin size mattress (38x75). 

Here is the link to download it. 

Warning, it is not a complete drawing, it is just enough to get the right sizes for the critical components, I did not draw the roof or the matress slats. I also have 14.5" under the bed instead of 10" due to a storage need that I have.  Good Luck!