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.


Grant (not verified)

Sat, 02/27/2010 - 18:31

Ana, I love your blog. I'm looking for some additional insight on how to screw the boxspring frame to the headboard/footboard. You say,"Screw into the headboard, and screw at an angle into the four posts." Is all the screwing done from the inside? How long should the screw be? I don't want to end up with a squeaky bed (like my current bed is). Any tips? Have you ever used bedrail hangers or lagbolts?

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 06:24

Lag bolts would be the way to go. The most important thing to remember here is that the legs support all the weight, which is then carried by the side rails. So you will want to fasten the siderails to the legs, and not just the headboard and footboard (although the headboard and footboard are also fastened to the legs and are very sturdy). The easiest way is to "toenail" your screws from the siderails into the posts, which basically means start by drilling at an angle from the inside of the siderail, drilling into the leg posts.

I just want to note that another reader built this bed, sent me photos, and commented that her bed was much stronger than the Pottery Barn bed they just broke. Zero complaints about the sturdiness of this bed.

Hope this help! Ana

Toni M (not verified)

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 07:49

Ana, Mikk just finished building our second bed from this plan. We used "L" brackets to hold the 2x6 side rails to the 4x4 posts on the headboard and footboard. The bed does not move a single bit. WE love this bed plan and making it for our boys. I will send you more pictures of the 2nd bed when we have a chance.

Angela (not verified)

Sat, 03/27/2010 - 17:55

My husband and I are so excited to get started making our own furniture! Being that we're completely new to the process, we made our first pricing run to Lowe's today and I'm not sure we know how to shop for lumber! The only pine we found was MUCH more expensive than mentioned in a previous comment. The 1x6's alone were $13 EACH, and we didn't even SEE any 4x4's where we were sent to look - Were we looking in the wrong place? The pine we saw didn't have many knots, either - was it the fancy kind? lol - needless to say we felt pretty clueless. Should we be looking for something else or is Lowe's just getting pricey?

Anonymous (not verified)

Mon, 03/29/2010 - 10:53

Angela, are you in the south? We're having the SAME problem. We made some benches that called for 2x12's, those babies were $19 each. Only one choice (at Home Depot) and they were pre-sealed. I thought that was fine but turns out the seal gums up my orbital sanding paper almost immediately. It was a disaster. We ended up buying 2x6 instead and spent another $44 on those ($11 each x 4 for two benches). My hubby was a little more than ticked.

I don't think it's your shopping, I think it's just WAY more expensive down here.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


Sat, 05/26/2012 - 15:16

All of us are reeling from price shock for lumber especially as you increase in width. I have taken to using my Kreg Jig to combine smaller width boards to make a larger one. Clamps, a flat surface and sandpaper are a necessity. Then you can rip them to your size or do as I do and just adjust your plans for a slightly wider board. On some projects I can do this and others I have to rip which, unfortunately, I do at my own risk. Then wood filler comes in handy.

Angela (not verified)

Tue, 03/30/2010 - 04:56

We're in OK, so, yes, we're south-ish. Aw, that makes me sad! I was really looking forward to building our own, but at rates like these we might be better off financially buying our furniture cheap until we can afford to build something for quality.

Paul (not verified)

Thu, 05/06/2010 - 08:21

Anna (et. all), I love Knockoff wood and am building this simple bed for my first project. My father-in-law and I are building it for my 2 yr. old son and are 'stuck' at step 3. In this step, it says to predrill through the 4x4 and use the 4" screws to attach to the headers. My question is should this be counter sunk half way through the 4x4 or just predrilled? The reason I ask is that if you don't counter sink the 4" screw, then it only goes in 1/2 inch into the header. Counter sinking seemed to make more sense, but I wasn't clear from the directions. Thanks in advance for your help and keep up the amazing work.

llmhogan (not verified)

Sat, 05/08/2010 - 15:12

Hi Ana, I love this bed! Do you have any suggestions on how to convert to a twin XL bunk bed?

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