Disclaimer: I do not generally create plans – I am much better at following plans. And often photos of the process are the last thing I think of. But here it goes!
I built a bed for our guestroom which I talked about here.
Of course when I fell in love with the bed on-line – there were no building plans associated with it. So I spent a lot of time, measuring and drawing and paper and created what I feel is a pretty close replica!
7 1×6 (8 foot length)
5 1×3 (8 foot length)
3 2×10 (8 foot)
2 2×3 (8 foot) These are studs and aren’t great pieces of wood, but they won’t ever be visible.
Screws (based on kreg jig instructions)
1. Footboard posts
You will be attaching 3 pieces of 1×3 together with glue in order to create a 3×3 post. I cut three sections at 20″ and glued them together with wood glue using many clamps 🙂
They weren’t exact on the ends because after it was glued I trimmed the ends down for a nice even finish at 19 inches long. Create two posts this size – these will be part of your footboard.
2. Headboard posts
Cut 4 additional 1×3 pieces at 19 inches and two at 45 inches. Create two separate posts with 1 45inch piece and 2 19inch pieces. Glue these just as you did the footboard posts and clamp with all pieces flush on the end.
Cut 1×6 boards to length per the diagram below. (You’ll notice the two boards on the edges are actually the 1×3 you created in step #2)
You should be able to get two lengths out of every 8 foot board. Lay them out on a flat surface and ensure that they sit flush on the base.
Also lay out your two end posts. The top of the end post should sit 7 inches from the top of the piece next to it.
It’s time to attach the boards together. There are two methods to doing this. I own a Kreg Jig(which I highly recommend and can’t say enough of my love for it) which was my preferred method. If you don’t own one, you may simply screw a couple boards across the back to attach it. My kreg method:
I marked across the back where I would make all my pocket holes for the kreg. I chose to dril two holes within an inch of each other on each board that I was joining. I used 3 to 4 screws on each board that I joined together. This was a rather tedious process.
I used a lot of clamps to hold it tight so my boards would be tight together. I ended up reinforcing the whole thing with a 1×6 and a 1×3 across the back. (note: you might want to reinforce it even more with a couple more boards – or when creating the headboard posts, instead of cutting two pieces at 19inces – make it a solid post, 3 pieces glued together at 45 inches.)
This is how the posts look attached. (shown face down)
With the boards secured together I was able to move forward with cutting the design. Using Illustrator I drew what I felt matched my ideal headboard to scale. After drawing the headboard, I cut it in half so it would fit on the printer paper. I sent that file to Staples for an engineer print, $3.50. I cut out the print and traced it on to the back of the headboard. (you can see my 1×6 I used to reinforce the headboard)
I was ready to cut:
This was a new tool for me. I’ve used it once before in working in Hallie’s room but it was minimal and I didn’t use it exactly for it’s intended purpose. Steve saw me pull this brand new tool out and I could see his skepticism. I had worked so hard already and he didn’t want me screwing it up at this point. He told me to practice on a small board we had lying around. So I quickly drew a scrolly line and started to cut. It was a disaster and I couldn’t hit the line to save my life. I immediately walked over to the project to start the headboard. Steve had fear in his eyes. “Are you sure you’re ready – you didn’t even hit the line on your practice.” I can do it. The headboard was heavier and didn’t move around like the little board did. I nailed it. I never wavered from the line and it was near perfection. But I learned something valuable from my practice board – CUT FROM THE BACK SIDE! As you cut, the bottom of the board will be your nicer/cleaner cut.
Cut a 2×10 to 60.5 inches. Using the kreg jig, drill four holes on each end (on the inside) of the 2×10. (the jig gives you a chart as to what size of screw you should use based on the size of the pieces you are connecting.)
Once again I use clamps (this one in particular is a kreg specific clamp) to make sure everything is tight as I drill. I attached my board a 1/2 inch below the top of the post.
5. Bed rails
Cut 2 2x10s at 80.5 inches. (attach mattress support and hardware later)
Sand like crazy with a fine sandpaper. The 2×10’s especially have to be sanded down a lot to get them looking nice.
Wipe everything down really well after sanding and using a lint free cloth condition the wood based on manufacturers instructions. Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner found here
This is my first stain project and it went much better than I expected. I used a lint free cloth and with gloved hands, I rubbed the stain into the wood. It really was as easy at that. Once again follow manufacturers instructions. For a darker stain, apply another coat. For lighter stain – wipe some off. Minwax Jacobean found here
I have never liked this step. I used it on my cabinets in Wisconsin and I could never get a uniform look. So, I almost skipped this step altogether. But after looking at the bed for four days after I stained it, I realized it needed something a little more – after some research I came home with Wipe-on Poly, Satin, made by Minwax. I followed the directions and even watched a couple YouTube videos and I loved how easy it was to use. It went on evenly without streaking and it left a beautiful soft finish. I did two coats. Minwax Satin Wipe-On Poly found here
Attach the 2×3 (cut 5 inches shorter than the bedrail) using 3 1/2inch screws into pre-drilled holes:
You can attach the bedrails to the frame any way you please. Some use a lag bolt, some use screws. I use bedrail hardware. I used it on our bed and it’s pretty hard to screw up! I use Rockler Hardware found here.
Decide how high you want your bedrails to sit on the bed. I like them fairly high so certain boxes can fit underneath, if you place the rails a little lower, then more of the headboard will show once you get the bed made up. Either way – it’s totally flexible and you can choose how you prefer to position them. Attach the hardware to each bedrail (the same distance from the bottom of the board) on each side. Attach the coordinating piece to the footboard and headboard (the same distance from the bottom of the board). There are no instructions that come with this set, but you can play around with it and figure out which piece needs to be screwed in at the correct place. I do make sure that my bedrail hardware is the piece with the knobs. These line up with the footboard piece and you push down to lock the bedrail into place. Once you get the bed set up you can place additional support boards across your frame to support your mattress and box.
One challenge I had with this bed is the 2x10s. First of all, it’s hard to find a good piece of wood in this size. I promise you it’s worth your time to find the perfect board. I had one board that was just slightly bowed and it caused some problems. With the hardware attached, they are nearly as wide as the post which isn’t ideal. So if your wood is bowed at all it won’t sit flush. If this bothers you, use a 1×10 instead.
There you have it – I’m sure I left out something – but I’m not a professional carpenter, so cut me a little slack! Let me know if you have any questions!