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.



Sat, 11/01/2014 - 21:03

Hi there,

I love the bed building so far, but am at a complete loss as to where the screws/nails go.  Does anyone have any update or information on where to add screws, nails, and brackets?  I've just begun this plan, but it seems like it falls apart right after the cut stage.  Would so much appreciate the help on this.


Fri, 11/28/2014 - 09:31

Good afternoon ShaunSmith,

I just finished bulding this bed today. I build the basic headboard and footboard like the plans say (nail gun w/ 1 1/4" nails. I attached the 4 x 4s with 2 inch screws. I used a 1/4" spade bit to bor through the 4 x 4. I came back behind it with a 1/2" bit with a stopped to only go half way through the 4 x 4. I then put my 1/4" spade back on and drilled through the 4 x 4 hole and into the head/foot board a little. I then put on a 3/16" bit and drilled as far as it would go. I attached it with the screw and then filled it in with putty after the fact. For the 2 x 4 on top. Same deal except I used my (…) counter sink but so that the screw would be below the surface. Attached two over the 4 x 4 and three along the length of the top. Once in place, I filled them in with putty, sand, paint. I also used 1/4", 5 inch lag bolts to secure the rails to the bed. 



Fri, 11/28/2014 - 09:21

First off, big fan of the site and love the plans. I built this bed over the past week (off and on due to work and a newborn). I made one change. I cut a 3 1/2" 2 x 2 and put it in the corner at the base of the 4 x 4. Basically, when I put the rails on the overlap of the 2 x 2 rests on this addition. That way you are not trying to put bolts in while holding up the bed. Also, it all lines up perfect everytime. Just a thought I had to make life easier since this bed can be quite dense. Thank you all.



Sun, 04/10/2016 - 15:37

The only wood species readily available (and affordable) here in Northern California are doug fir, redwood, and "whitewood". I'm told by Lowe's that their whitewood is seagrape, and Home Depot's is something in the spruce/pine/fir range. We're hoping to stain the beds when they're done, and have heard that doug fir doesn't take stain well. As this will be a first project for us, can you recommend one of these wood species/types over another?


Sat, 11/05/2016 - 14:39

These are the worst. Why do I need to read all about your life mixed in with the plans? I'm glad you can fit in your jeans, but how is that relevant to the illegible diagrams?


Tue, 12/13/2016 - 23:43

Hi! I'm new to the site, though I have built several of the projects here. I would consider myself a newbie woodworker on the cusp of becoming a novice. I need very clear, unambiguous directions or I get completely bamboozled. I've found some of the directions are very confusing for this project. The diagrams in Step 1 and 2 appear to be for the footboard, but it's unclear -- I'm assuming they're for the footboard because of the measurements that are shown on the diagram. Then the waters are further muddied when the cut list has the 1x4 rails for the footboard at 20 1/2 inches. However, the diagram shows the rails as 21 1/2 inches. I didn't notice this until I had finished doing the entire cut list. Which is the correct measurement? I'm stuck with 20 1/2" footboard rails, so if the correct length is in fact 21 1/2", will this discrepancy come back to haunt me? I know from hard-earned experience that small, seemingly insignificant errors of 1/4" will in very short order become magnified and throw off an entire project. It happened when I built the 2x4 Adirondack chair. The directions for the angle cuts were very confusing, and in frustration I went with "close enough", which seemed to be a very insignificant difference from what the plans intended. Wrong! It threw everything off so nothing fit properly and I had to scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch. I don't want to have that happen with this project, so I'd like to make sure I'm not totally messing things up. Will the discrepancy between the cut list directions and the diagram upset the whole apple cart?



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