Much More than a Chunky Leg Bed Frame

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 06/23/2010 - 19:55
| Print this plan

This simple bed frame can be easily upholstered to make a upholstered bed, or just painted to make a beautiful wood frame.

If you aren't a fan of modern hip furniture, a fan of West Elm's Chunky Bed, you may be thinking, enough of that bed already!

And I'm not going to ask anyone to be paitent, we will soon be returning to the Early American furniture style that I so greatly favor.  Instead, I'm going to ask you to be innovative, and imagine this bed with a different headboard, perhaps an upholstered headboard  . . .

Because if I was building an upholstered bed, I would simply use this plan for the bed frame and wrap the siderails in batting and fabric and staple to the inside of the side boards.

Like I did here. Even easier than painting!  And I would construct a headboard much like this one, just a little longer.

I even love this bed without a headboard.  And by no means do you have to make your bed chunky.  You can use any style leg you choose, creating many different looks that could compliment any decor.

But for today's purposes, we'll stick with the chunky legs.  Besides, you can build them from scraps, and free is always a good thing!

UPDATE: Big Box Detox took this plan and made a fabulous upholstered bed! It's unbelievable! Check out the feature photo.

Overall Dimensions are shown above. Composition is solid wood boards. This bed is sized for a Queen. You can easily adjust the size of the bed to fit a king, but I recommend add a center leg under the center support for a little extra support. You can omit the center support for a twin mattress.


Shopping List

2 – 1×8 Boards, 8′ Long
1 – 1×8 Board, 12′ Long
2 – 2×2 Boards, 8′ Long
2 – 2×6 Board, 8′ Long or Stud Length
13 – 1×3 Boards
2″ Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Sand Paper
Finishing Supplies

Common Materials
wood conditioner
Cut List

2 – 1×8 @ 60″ (End Rails)
2 – 1×8 @ 81 1/2″ (Side Rails)
4 – 2×6 @ 5 1/2″ cut at 45 degree angles (Corner Supports)
1 – 2×6 @ 80″ (Center Support)
2 – 2×2 @ 80″ (Cleats)
4 – 2×6 @ 5 1/2″ (Leg Bases)
16 – 1×3 @ 6 1/4″ (Leg Trim)
13 – 1×3 @ 60″ (Slats)

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


Step 1

Build the box out of the 1x8s as shown above.

Step 2

Adjust the bed frame for square and fasten the corner supports in the corners as shown above. Keep the top edges flush. This will be the bottom of your bed frame.

Step 3

Mark the end rails 30″ in and fasten the center support to the end rails using 2″ screws and glue or pocket holes from the inside. Keep top edges flush. This will be the bottom of the bed.

Step 4

Flip the bed frame over and mark the side rails down 2 inches on both sides. Attach the cleats with 2″ screws and glue, screwing every 6 to 8 inches.

Step 5

Step 6

Attaching the legs is easy. Simply line up the legs with the outside corners of the bed frame and screw through the corner supports into the top of the leg blocks. Use at least 2 screws. You could easily attach a different type of foot to the bed in the same manner.

Step 7

Lay your slats on top of the cleats and screw down. Also screw to the center support. Space slats approximately 4″ apart.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler. Let dry completely and sand with coarse sand paper. Refill holes with filler, and let dry completely. Sand again, this time with medium grit sandpaper. Then sand with fine sandpaper. Vacuum with a soft bristled brush to remove any residue. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Let dry. Apply primer and paint for a painted finish, wood conditioner and stain for a stained finish. Finish with a clear coat if necessary. Of course you would have skipped all of these steps if you were using fabric.
Project Type


bookladydavina (not verified)

Wed, 06/23/2010 - 20:08

I have a question regarding weight limits on these type of slat board bed frames. Anyone have any idea what they are? Would a 300+ pound person be in trouble of breaking the boards? We love some of these plans but have some larger relatives who would likely be using them.

Also, love the site! I'm also up here in Alaska and it's great to see some great craft ideas for up here where it's hard to get stuff! :)

Joe (not verified)

Wed, 06/23/2010 - 20:45

Please don't stop with the modern or simple furniture. That's the reason I found, subscribed, and check your site daily!!!

Karen P (not verified)

Wed, 06/23/2010 - 23:34

thank you soo much for posting this bed! while I like your rustic, farmhouse style furniture plans, I love the simple, modern style furniture. I can not wait to make this bed. I showed my husband the plans and he's dubious that I can pull it off on my own.

Beth (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 00:41

Question about the modification for a king size. When you say to add a center leg--do you mean one just like the other four chunky ones? Or something else entirely? I need a visual for that one! I love this plan--we have been looking at platform beds for a while now, and this one is almost exactly what we need!

Catherine (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 02:48

You read my mind! I was about to try to design something simple like this myself because the "captain's bed" was a little involved for us, & lo & behold, look what I found when I opened my Google Reader!

My own alteration on the plan will be to raise it up twice as high, so I can fit some of those long plastic storage boxes underneath. And there might be a linen dust ruffle with inverted knife pleats to cover it all, so I can have another place to indulge my love of fabric!

Thanks, Ana! This is just what I needed. (Plus, I love the mix of modern & farmhouse. Variety is the spice of life!)

T Ennis (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 03:25

This is what I have been dreaming of for a bed and night stands! Thank you so much. There is no way we would be able to afford this suite.

orange sugar (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 04:37

I absolutely love the modern furniture you have been posting. I'm hoping you will post a modern dresser to match the nightstands.

Barrette (not verified)

Thu, 06/24/2010 - 05:27

Yahoooo don't stop with the modern furniture. I LOVE this bed and can't wait to make it for myself. I thought I'd go with the farmhouse bed but have held off waiting for time to do it. But now this, this bed!! This is what I've held off for!!! THANK YOU :) Can't wait to post 'done' photos