If you’re looking for a sturdy yet incredibly cheap bed frame to build a DIY bed frame – this project is for you! This tutorial is written for a standard queen size mattress, no box spring needed. This bed frame cost me about $50 in lumber and screws.
The truth is, this project is bittersweet to me. I finished this right before my father died. I remember phoning him and telling him I was finally done with Hannah’s bed. He’s never been able to see this in person, but I’d like to think he’d agree. I’m about to write the tutorial for this simple DIY bed frame.
I don’t know why bed frames cost so much money. Especially when they are mostly made of bad metal or aluminum and end up being very squeaky after a while. A bed that squeaks is a huge pet inconvenience to me. Once I got this project down on paper, I figured I could make everything using cheap 2×4’s. Best of all, I was able to customize the height so that it wouldn’t obstruct Hana’s window. Yay!
Notes: I choose not to use wood glue Because this bed frame may need to be disassembled at some point. Also, I assembled this bed frame in the room it was in, so I made sure to sand all the top and side wood pieces before assembling. I also chose not to paint or stain it and keep it free since the bed frame is completely enclosed by the mattress and coverlet.
Make the following straight cuts.
- Two 72-inch 2x4s for the sides
- Two – 57″ 2x4s for the top and bottom
- Four – 9 inch 2 x 4 legs
- Six – 60″ 2″ x 4″ slats
- Six 8.75″ slatted legs (make sure before cutting – please read step 4)
DIY bed frame tutorial
How to build a bed frame with your own hands using 2x4s
total time: 1 hour
Drill pocket holes
Assemble the sides to the legs
using 2.5 in Pocket hole screws-Attach each side and the top and bottom piece to the legs. Please note that the wide part of the legs tapers towards the sides. Then sand all the pieces.
Bed frame assembly
Now attach the top and bottom to the side rails using the 2.5″ pocket screws. Make sure to sand the top and bottom rails before assembling.
Cut out the middle leg supports and attach them to the slats
Take one of the 60-inch pieces of slats and place it on top of your bed frame. Measure from the bottom of the slat to the floor – this measurement will be the size of the 2 x 4 braces you need. For me, it was about 8.75 inches. I chose to have six supports total, staggered all the way around (see top photo reference).
To attach the slats, I drilled pocket holes in each leg brace – then attached them to the 4 slats using 2.5″ pocket screws. The other two slats will be placed at the top and bottom of the bed frame and do not require supports.
Attach the slats to the bed
Screw two of your slats to the top and bottom of the bed frame, then space out your other slats pieces with the leg supports all around the center. Firstly, drills Pilot hole at end of each wooden slat. Then attach each slats to the bed frame at both ends with countersunk screws. (Countersunk screws will not stick and damage the mattress.)
That’s the detour to this easy project! My daughter loves her crib (much better than the old metal bed). And I’ll tell you, even without wood glueOh, this thing is strong as heck!
You can repeat this tutorial for other mattress sizes, just make the bed frame a little bigger than the mattress and you’re good to go.
The real beauty of this wood project is that it’s inexpensive and no-frills—you can put it together in about an hour after cutting the wood. And don’t worry – you don’t see the bed frame other than the legs, so no one knows it’s a 2×4 bed!
Next? Headboard! Stay tuned!