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.


Guest (not verified)

Mon, 07/18/2011 - 17:19

Hi Ana
I am interested in having my husband make this bed for our 2 year old daughter. I was wanting a day bed but havent been able to find one. Are the head and foot board the same size? They look like they are. That is what I am wanting since I cant find a day bed. Thanks!


Sat, 09/10/2011 - 20:21

You'd have to re-work the slat arrangement for the head and foot boards. Not hard to do at all, but if you're not up for it pay for the 1x6 instead.


Mon, 09/26/2011 - 11:41

Just wondered if you have posted the plans for

"I will also be posting a plan with a solid panel for the headboard and footboard, made of hardwood plywood, in a twin sized. This will be more economical." As you mentioned in one of your earlier comments to this post. Thanks.

I actually plan on making the Simple daybed, but would like to use a hardwood plywood to cut down the cost.

jon Schomacker (not verified)

Fri, 11/11/2011 - 10:49

I am planning on making 2 of these beds and stacking them to make bunk beds. How do I attach them to make them safe. I have 2 boys that play rough.

Jack K. (not verified)

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 08:06

Hi Ana! Thanks for the instructions. Quick question though, which type of nails do you use in steps 1 and 2, regular or finish?

UCF99ENG (not verified)

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 11:34

I plan on making this bed this weekend for my daughter. I plan on using my nailgun for the 1.25" and 2" fasteners for the head and footboards. For the remaining screws, I'm going to use some self tapping screws to prevent wood splitting.

I like the pictures that are made in Google Sketchup. I just wished they were bigger because it's hard to see some of the text.

Thanks for making us novice woodworkers seem like professionals.

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 10:56

Is there any way that we can get bigger pictures for the instructions on the simple twin bed.All the pictures remain small even when they are clicked on

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