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.


Don (not verified)

Sat, 07/03/2010 - 10:37

For some crazy reason i can not find 4x4 pine anywhere? I'm in Denver and i swear no-body carry's a 4x4 of any kind unless it's a Douglas-fir at home depot.

Anybody out there in Denver got any ideas where i might find 4x4 pine?

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 10:55

I ran into the same problem at Lowe's in Texas. I asked the lady why I couldn't find pine 4X4s online, and she was looking in the store and said she had a pine 4X4 but it was mislabeled as Douglas Fir. She said it was definitely pine by looking at it, though. Maybe you can double check that the actually wood is pine even if labeled differently.

In reply to by Don (not verified)


Thu, 05/12/2011 - 11:16

Douglas Fir is a fine wood for this use. It's a little harder than pine, and a bit more prone to splitting (so pre-drill any screw holes). But it's wonderfully strong and easy to work. I used it to build the legs for my workbench, and it's also made the jaws for a very nice vise using the offcuts from the bench legs.

Kathy (not verified)

Tue, 07/13/2010 - 11:32

Hi, I am making this bed for my daughters. Beds are SO expensive in New Zealand but lumbar is too! So before I went to the timber place, I went and shopped the bed place. MDF beds for $500+! New incentive! Just need to get a nail gun!

Matt (not verified)

Mon, 07/26/2010 - 06:55

Hi Ana. I'm confused a bit by step 7. I get that we screw into the headboard with 3" screws, but I am confused as to how to toenail also into the posts.

If I use 2 screws screwing F into G, a total of 8(?) for all 4 corners, am I going to have enough room to tonail through that joint into the bed posts?

I'm about 30% done with the bed as is, and I'm very excited as this is my first real woodworking project. My son is 2 and really has outgrown his crib, so we are VERY excited to get this bed done and have him settled.

Thanks again for the plans and encouragement that you provide. You have a fantastic site!

Salt City Gradman (not verified)

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 18:08

Ana- I've noticed that you use Google Sketchup. Any reason why you don't post the actual google sketchup files for download? Then we could just click on different parts to get dimensions and change views and everything. Just an idea that might help. Love your site!

justin (not verified)

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 09:17

I made two of these for my daughters. Thanks for the plans! I used bed bolts and dowels to fasten the bed rails. that way the head and foot boards would be interchangeable and can be stacked in to bunk beds. love the website

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:04

My husband and I are going to to make two simple beds that will stack into bunks that can be put together or taken apart for a friend who cant find such a thing for less than $400 (mdf junk). We want to be able to do what you described above so we can get the beds up into their 2nd floor (steep narrow staircase).

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a way to do this. Tips?

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