Simple Bed (Twin Size)

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 07/17/2019 - 12:22
Difficulty
Beginner
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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 Ana-White.com

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

Collections
mission style bed frame plans

Reader submitted photo by GMWW 

Dimensions
Simple bed woodworking project plan dimensions
Fits standards twin mattress

Preparation

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

HEADBOARD

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

FOOTBOARD

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

BED FRAME

  • 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.

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

Instructions

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.

Help Improve This Plan

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Comments

hunter (not verified)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:03

I did some homework and found out that actual size and nominal size are different.
So I was totally wrong.

However, another question would be:

We have 2 - 4x4 x 8' for legs, which are 2 x 41" +2 x 31" = 144", so can I buy one 4X4 X 12' instead?

Thanks.

hunter (not verified)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:07

I did some homework and found out that actual size and nominal size are different.
So I was totally wrong.

However, another question would be:

We have 2 - 4x4 x 8' for legs, which are 2 x 41" +2 x 31" = 144", so can I buy one 4X4 X 12' instead?

Thanks.

hunter (not verified)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:11

I did some homework and found out that actual size and nominal size are different.
So I was totally wrong.

However, another question would be:

We have 2 - 4x4 x 8' for legs, which are 2 x 41" +2 x 31" = 144", so can I buy one 4X4 X 12' instead?

Thanks.

Jason Lebo (not verified)

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 12:40

I am very movie and I am so on the verge of firing this up, this weekend.

Quick question - Step 3

Now let's add the posts. Predrill 1/2 way through the posts on the outside.

I assume when you say outside - you man on the far left and right? Then do you cover the holes later with wood putty? Would I need a drill press for this step?

Is there a way to attach with pocket holes? Or would that not be as strong? I am making this for a 2 year old.

Will (not verified)

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:45

Hello ana,

been looking for something to build for awhile and saw this thought it would be great. there is something that i need help changing though...well first im going to make it a bunk bed thats the easy part, just trade the foot board for a head board on the bottom bunk and a foot board for a head board on the top. but i wanted to make the side rails stronger so was going to glue two 2x6 and have one longer. i wanted to BOLT the side rail on the side of a bed instead of on the inside...to do this i would just cut out of the 4x4 legs a 2x6 deminsion so it was still flush, but im having troubles figuring out the measurement changes. is this worth it and would it actually make it stronger? OH and im kinda slow at this i dont understand how to do step three.

DaveyDaveDave (not verified)

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 19:19

For those thinking of substituting plywood. Plywood often uses formaldehyde based glues in its production. You do not want that around the kids. Make sure your plywood is free of such glues. Don't rely on the sales guy at the big box store. Contact the manufacturer.

Alisha Copeland (not verified)

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 09:41

Can you please tell me what I would need to change if we are not using a boxspring? Thank you so much.

ccalderon83

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 14:22

Hi Ana,
I was wondering if you could use beadboard or wainscot planking instead of the slats? Since youd want to see the plankinking on both sides could you attach it to a thin piece of plywood? How would you do this? Any suggestions??
Thank you,
Carissa

Ashley24256 (not verified)

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 09:15

I've made two sets of simple bunk beds for my kids...I'm having problems with the wood splitting...like when I bump into the side of the post! I even had a 4x4 literally just fall off before assembly, which made me very nervous that these would not hold. Any tips?!

Caro

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 15:53

Hi Ana,

I've been looking at your plans on your website and your book, and was finally ready to build my first "real" project. My son needs a big bed and I wanted to make one for him.
After a lot of time spent to recalculate the measures to suit New Zealand bed sizes, I quickly calculated an average price for the bed (originally wanted a Farmhouse bed with storage) and I discovered that the price of wood is just too high here.
On the comments for this "simple bed" plan, you mentionned the cost of 1x3 in Alaska. The equivalent here is a bit over 5 US dollars.
Although I would love to build my own bed, it seems just not realistic as "ready made" beds are just more affordable.
I am SOOOOOOOOOOO disappointed, I even managed to find a Kreg Jig !
I think I will just build small items, unless I grow my own pine trees forest !!!
Thank you again for sharing your plans,
Caroline