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.



Fri, 12/16/2016 - 16:44

I found, much to my relief, that the 1" discrepancy between the cut list dimension and the one shown on the diagram did not have any noticeble impact (I used the cut list measurement). However...


For my purposes, the 4x4s for this project are waaayyyyy overkill. They headboard with just one post attached was so heavy I needed my wife to help me turn it over. It seemed doubtful we'd ever be able to move it to the spare bedroom without male help, and I hate asking my son to give up his spare time to help with things we should be able to do. Plus, the posts are so dense and "pitchy", the screws were binding when being drilled into place. It's time to cut my losses and come up with a Plan B.


In thinking it over, 2x4s should work just fine in place of the 4x4s, though I'm going to secure them with 3"x1/4" lag bolts. Even with 2x4s, this bed will be incredibly sturdy and able to withstand several very active grandkids (not all at once!) I definitely like the look of it, and it's really easy to build once you get passed the weight and bulkiness of the 4x4s.


One thing I really like about taking a basic design and making changes as the project progresses is that it forces me to think and problem solve. I'm really enjoying this project. I'll post photos when done.

miranda june

Sat, 12/23/2017 - 19:53

Do the side rails (2x6s) get screwed into the 4x4s? Or is it just the 2x2s that are attached to the headboard? I was going to use lag bolts to secure the side rails to the 4x4s, but now I realize that the head of the bolts will stick out and obstruct the boxspring. The bed doesn't seem like it will be sturdy enough without attaching the 2x6 to 4x4s. A pocket screw would solve this of course, but I don't have that kind of equipment--and, according to the tools list for this plan, such a thing is not required for this plan. So....what do you use?? I have all the pieces ready to put together, and I want to do it right!


Mon, 12/10/2018 - 22:08

I’ve started this build and two questions with attaching the 4x4 posts: 1. The 4x4 is not sitting flush with the headboard. Any tips to solve this? 2. When I’m drilling the 4” screw into the middle spacer it does not seem like the screw is long enough. Also, which board should I be screwing into? The spacer, or the 1x6 long board? The reason I ask is because when screwing into the 1x3 on one side part of the wood begins to split? Am I going to have to start over, or will it be sturdy enough? Thanks so much for any replies I really appreciate it.

Brian Famous

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 05:51

I'm assuming both of your questions are around step 3?

For your first question, the 4x4 posts are typically actually around 3.5" X 3.5", whereas the 3 boards you sandwich together for the headboard are each going to actually only be around 0.75" for a total width of 2.25".  This is expected.  You should center the headboard in the middle of the 4x4 post, leaving about a 5/8" reveal both in front and back.  This adds some dimensional interest to the piece.

For your 2nd question, note you are pre-drilling 1/2 way through the 4x4 - and here's the important part not clearly defined, that hole should be big enough for the head of your screw to go in so that your 4" screw sits 2" in your 4x4 and 2" in your headboard spacer.   It's also a good idea to determine where the screw is going to go into the spacer so you can pre-drill this with a smaller bit (think 1/16") to help prevent splitting.  

Best of luck and hope it comes out great for you!


Tue, 12/11/2018 - 08:30

So on one side one of the spacers did split, from the sounds of it was because I didn’t pre drill. Am I going to have to disassemble and replace this spacer? And what about the 4x4 boards posts not sitting flush with the headboard? Is this normal? The gap isn’t substantial but I just want to make sure it’s sturdy enough.... thank you so much for responding. Helps a lot.

In reply to by Carriganm

Brian Famous

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 11:47

If the split is just superficial, you should be fine considering the screw should be going in at least 2".   

For the headboard not sitting flush, do you mean the top of the headboard I'd touching but the bottom is not, or that both can touch but they are not touching the entire length of the side?  If either of these are the case, that means either your 4x4 is warped (does it lay flat on a flat surface) or your headboard is out of square.  If you take your headboard and pretty the floor is your 4x4, does it sit flush there?




Thu, 12/13/2018 - 08:32

My boards were not square. And I ended up drilling pocket holes on the top and bottom on each side of the 1x6 boards. The boards seem way more secure now and sit perfectly flush. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and helping me out!!!!!


Mon, 01/20/2020 - 17:53

Hi Ana,

I love this plan and see that you have it in a full size, but would you happen to have it for a queen. I am thinking about trying this plan but for twin over queen bunk bed. Thank you for your time.




Sun, 12/27/2020 - 07:08

I love this bed and made a twin for my daughter. I love it so much that I want to make one for myself but I have a Queen size mattress. Do you have plans for a queen? id really love make thins for our bedroom. If not I'm gonna have to wing it.


Tue, 01/26/2021 - 12:03

Would there be any issue extending the side rails by 5 inches to make this fit a Twin XL? Also, I’m a little confused by the first step. The spacers and the 1x4 slats get nailed to the 1x6, but the spacers and slats don’t connect to each other in any way? How many nails should be used for each spacer and slat? Also, when screwing the 2x6 to the top of the headboard, do you just go right in the middle of the 2x6 and not worry where the screw ends up in the slat/spacer/1x6 sandwich? Or do you just screw the 2x6 into the 4x4 legs? Thank you for any help! I’m looking forward to getting started.

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