Hailey Storage Bed - Twin

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 04/07/2011 - 12:29
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storage bed

Do you have a project sitting in the garage, that has been sitting there for quite some time?

Believe me, I understand.
I've been so good at only working on one project at a time this past year, but with Grace's new bed, I just go stuck.  
I have been wanting to create a bedroom storage system that can easily be arranged in a variety of ways to create anything from a reading bench to a twin storage bed to a full bed to even a storage daybed.  And I knew I wanted this system to be easy to put together and easy to disassemble, and easy to modify.  So I've had these plans drawn up for quite a while.
We built one bench.
And that bench has been sitting in our garage since before I got the flu, since before I took on rebuilding the website.
I became quite discouraged with it.
You see, I had originally intended for the headboards and footboards to be made with a 1x3/1x2 leg, but when I went to assemble the footboard, there was no room for the plywood.  And I wasn't quite sure how to progress.
But as I was designing the Cabin Bunk System (and also a more girly bunk system) it occurred to me that I could use 2x4s for the legs, creating more space for the panel, and also a sturdier footboard and headboard.
The bed was done the very next day.  The very next day.

And for those of you who do not like the exposed bench feet under the bed, I encourage you to take a better look at this bed . . . the things you notice when you DIY :) I plan to add an upholstered bench to the foot of the bed.

Fits a standard twin mattress. Convert to a full by simply adding 15" to all width-wise measurements.


Shopping List

4 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long OR 1 sheet of 3/4" plywood or MDF ripped into 11 1/2" wide strips, 8 feet long

12 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
1 - sheet of 1/4" plywood or hardboard
1/2 sheet of 3/4" particle board
3 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
2 - 2x4 @ 8 feet or stud length
Common Materials
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

4 - 1x12 @ 75" (Bench Top/Bottom)

5 - 1x12 @ 13 1/2" (Dividers)
8 - 1x2 @ 18" (Legs)
8 - 1x2 @ 72" (Top/Bottom Trim)
2 - 1/4" Plywood @ 15" x 75" (Backs)
1 - 3/4" Particle board @ 33" x 30 1/4" (Headboard Panel)
1 - 3/4" Particle Board @ 33" x 15"
2 - 1x3 @ 39" (Headers)
4 - 1x2 @ 33" (Panel Trim)
2 - 2x4 Ripped down to 3" width @ 18" (Footboard Legs)
2 - 2x4 Ripped down to 3" width @ 48 1/4" (Headboard Legs)
2 - 1x2 @ 75" (Cleats)
14 - 1x3 @ 13" Approx (Slats)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Table Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Start by building a simple box out of 1x12 boards as shown above. You can place the cubbies at any spacing, just try to keep the middle cubby in the center. I built one bench with pocket holes, one with 2 inch finish nails and glue - and either way works just fine.

Step 2

Then add the legs as shown here. Again, use either finish nails or pocket holes. Tops and outsides are flush.

Step 3

Now trim out the tops and bottoms. It's a good idea to also secure the top/bottom trim to the cubbies as well.

Step 4

And then tack some 1/4" plywood to the backs. Use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Now it's time to build the headboard. First we must make a decision. If you have a table saw, rip 1/4" off each side of your 2x4 boards so that the total width of your 2x4s are 3". Also, this will give you a nice square edge to your 2x4s. I ripped mine, and all dimensions given are for ripped 2x4s. If you do not have a tablesaw, it's really okay. You will just need to subtract an inch from the headboard/footboard panels and trim. This is noted in the diagram. Once you have decided on your leg widths, cut your particle board panel to the correct width, and the trim. Attach the trim with 1 1/4" finish nails and glue.

Step 7

Now the legs. On Grace's bed, we tapered the legs slightly. Taper the footboard first, to match the clearance under the benches. The headboard is really not necessary, as you can barely see this.

Step 8

Use 2" finish nails and glue to attach the headers to the bed. On Grace's bed, we glued a flower applique for an added touch of girly to the headboard.

Step 9

Build the footboard in the same manner as the headboard.

Step 10

As we go to assemble the beds, we will need to do something about the gap in between. I wanted the mattress to be able to breathe, as children can have accidents. So I choose a slatted system. To begin, use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue (on the top edge of the cleat so you don't poke through) to attach cleats 3/4" down from the bench tops.

Step 11

Then I took a measurement (important, as your 1x12s could be a different width) of the space in between and cut a pile of slats and screwed them down.

Step 12

If you want to have some hidden storage (the cubbies on the ends are perfect for fabric bins, and also allow for a nightstand) it's easy to build doors. You should measure the opening, with your doors starting in the center of the bed and covering the outer dividers. I used 1x2s to build a frame, placed plywood on the back (make sure that the plywood is 3/4" short on the ends, so that the door can sit fully inset) with 3/4" finish nails and glue, and attached with hinges and clasps. After many trials and as many errors, the easiest method I found was to use hinges as shown above.

Step 13

Assemble the bed by attaching the headboard and footboard to the benches with 2" screws as shown above. Grace's bed is extremely sturdy.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Thu, 04/07/2011 - 13:01

Great plan for a twin bed. I am sure it will be all the more enjoyed considering the time it took to complete! I like the cabinet doors underneath. Kids rooms can get so junky and I love a door that conceals the mess! I am
currently building  a modified version of the farmhouse bed for my
husband and I. I just finished building storage benches on either side
to attach the head and footboards. I am so excited! Now if it would quit
raining I could get some work done! and if the baby would take a nap,
and my toddler would give me a break, and the laundry would do itself...
I love your site and the inspiration it brings. If you could make a
plan for some kind of kid corral so I could get a free minute of time I
would be much obliged!


Thu, 04/07/2011 - 13:10

A bench at the end and: Legs? What legs? :)

I personally would prefer the footboard to be just a wee bit taller. I don't know what the heck my son does all night but his mattress (on a flat base) always shimmies down through the night -a slightly higher footboard would keep it in place.

Otherwise, it so rocks. One can never have too much storage in a kids' room!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 13:18

This is really nice if the bed can sit away from the wall on both sides, but if your room configuration requires that only one side is facing out this seems to be a lot of unnecessary lumber and labor to build the box that will be hidden against the wall.  Can you suggest an alternate plan for if you can only use a cubby system on one side?

mbrottem (not verified)

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 14:31

We're going to try and build a bed a year as a fund raiser for a local non-profit to help foster and adoptive kids.  This would be perfect!  Beautiful.


Thu, 04/07/2011 - 18:17

I LOVE this bed. I have been trying to figure out how to make a twin storage bed out of 1*12's instead of ply wood and this is exactly that. I'm already thinking of how to convert this to a day bed for our spare room. Thank you so much Ana!

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