Simple Bed (Twin Size)

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 07/17/2019 - 12:22
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Build your own simple bed frame with our step by step tutorial and off the shelf lumber and minimal tools.  We love the classic mission style, the easy construction, and the sturdy final product, sure to last and last. Boxsprings are optional. Free woodworking plans by

Also check out our full size verison plans of this bed.

mission style bed frame plans

Reader submitted photo by GMWW 

Simple bed woodworking project plan dimensions
Fits standards twin mattress


Shopping List

3 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long

4 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long

1 - 4x4 @ 8 feet long (for headboard posts)

1 - 4x4 @ 6 feet long (for footboard posts)

4 - 2x6 @ 8 feet long

2 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long

7 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long (or similar for bed slats)

1 - 1/4" long brad nails (a couple hundred)

16 - 5" long self tapping wood screws OR 2-1/2" pocket hole screws if you have a Kreg Jig

40 - 2-1/2" long self tapping wood screws

Cut List


  • 2 - 1x6 @ 38-1/2"
  • 14 - 1x6 @ 2-1/2"
  • 6 - 1x4 @ 30"
  • 2 - 4x4 @ 45"
  • 1 - 2x6 @ 47-1/2"


  • 3 - 1x6 @ 38-1/2"
  • 14 - 1x6 @ 2-1/2"
  • 6 - 1x4 @ 23-1/2"
  • 2 - 4x4 @ 32"
  • 1 - 2x6 @ 47-1/2"


  • 2 - 2x4 @ 79-3/4"
  • 2 - 2x6 @ 75" (cut to fit)
  •  14 - 1x3 @ 38-1/2" - slats
Cutting Instructions

Cut boards with a compound miter saw (preferred) or a circular saw with straight edge.

Avoid cutting very small pieces - instead, cut a small piece from a larger piece.

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


Step 1

Headboard Construction

Lay out headboard panel as shown in diagram.

Glue and nail from the back side to hide nail holes.

The final small piece should be cut to fit for a perfect fit.

NOTE: If you plan to join the headboard panel to the legs with pocket holes, carefully place nails at the outer edges of the board to allow room for drilling pocket holes in next step.

Step 2

Headboard Construction

Attach the headboard panel to the legs with either 1-1/2" pocket holes and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws (most recommended since holes will be hidden) or use screws from outside of 4x4 legs drilled into panel (fill with wood filler for final finish).

Step 3

Headboard Construction

Attach top 2x6 to headboad with 2-1/2" self tapping wood screws and glue.

Step 4

Footboard Construction

Build the footboard as you did the headboard, but finish the back side of the top of the footboard with remaining 1x6 as this will be exposed in the final product.

Step 5

Siderail Construction

Attach 2x4 siderail cleats to the 4x4 legs with 2-1/2" screws.  The green blocks shown in the diagram can be used to help assemble the bed but are NOT attached to the bed.

Step 6

Add the siderails to the cleats to finish the bed.

Step 7

Slats should be per mattress recommendations.  You can use scrap wood, plywood or other materials.  As shown, we use 1x3s cut to fit.

Step 8

Fill all holes with putty and sand and finish as desired. You can choose to assemble the bed (as in step 6) after the bed is finished and moved into the room. Just make sure you do a test fit first.


Toni M (not verified)

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 17:47

Hi Ana, I have been looking over this plan all day today and last pondering this plan. What type of wood would you recommend building it from? I went to Home Depot here in AZ today and found wood to be extremely expensive. Oak was over $4.50 a linear foot for 1x6 and Polar was around $3.50. I was looking at pine as well but they have different types and some of it has lots of knots in it. This is my first wood project and I am not sure exactly what to do and I am somewhat confused on wood choices. I was hoping to make this for around $40-$50 like your post indicated, but I am not what wood you used to get it at that price. I could use some insight as to what to do here. I read your posting today about woods but it still leaves me confused.
Thanks for all the help,

Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 07:56

Hi Toni,

I have been thinking about your comment, and wanted to add that there is a wood in the maple family, called Rubberwood or Parawood, that gaining much poplularity in the furniture making world. It is up to 50% less than maple or other hardwoods, is ecologically friendly (the rubberwood tree produces latex, and is only harvested after latex production diminishes) and becoming more and more available.

We discussed this on the Facebook fan page in a discussion. Perhaps try calling around to see if rubberwood is available in Arizona.

Good Luck!


Toni M (not verified)

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 20:26

Thanks for the info Ana. We decided to go with pine and are in the process of building the bed right now. We spent around 75-80 on the I guess AZ is a little more expensive.

We are having so much fun and love building it. Since this is our first project we are finding out several things. One of them is to measure a little over since the table saw takes out 1/16" so we had to over measure to compensate for it. We also found it is SO much easier to drill pilot holes for the screw on the boards...and also to rough sand the boards before assembling. It was some what difficult to sand some of them when we had it all put together. I am not sure if those are things people should know and we just missed them.

Also, I wanted to let you know that there is a mistake in your wood to buy. You need (2) 2x4's not one. You have to cut two board that are 50 1/2" and there are only 96" in 8'. We also found that you have to screw in the spacers at the end of each side. We just glued them and left them over night and then this morning when we put the posts on and went to pick it up, they came out...oops.

Thanks so much for your plan. We really are having a good time working with it and cant wait to start the 2nd bed. (We have two little boys that both want one).

Romy (not verified)

Mon, 01/18/2010 - 19:32

Hi Ana,

I am so inspired by your talent and your ability to just do it.I never thought I could but your directions look quite simple. I would love to make this bed for my son. The only problem is that I need a double/full bed since he falls off the twin size. I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,

The Yates Family (not verified)

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 21:38

Love LOve this bed! How would I make it for a full size mattress? Thanks for all the awesome plans!

Tom (not verified)

Sat, 01/30/2010 - 17:37


Your site is really inspiring. We're considering building a bunk bed. Your plan shows 73 1/4" for the length of the twin mattress, however standard twin mattress dimensions on the net are 75" long. Is this a mistake or can a twin actually fit in a 73 1/4" space?

Thank You.

Anonymous (not verified)

Sun, 02/14/2010 - 13:51

I am also wondering if we could see plans for a full sized bed??? I LOVE this website :)

Rae (not verified)

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 07:33

HI - LOVE this plan. If we wanted to add slats to avoid using a box spring, would we need to use a different sized board for the side rail? Would 2x6 still work or should we use 2x8 (if that exists, I've never seen that size but never actually looked for it).

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