Get Crafty with Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Make a Bed Frame

white metal bed frame

Learning how to make a bed frame is one of the things that you don’t think about until you don’t have one anymore.

Most of my life, I’ve had a bed frame and never thought about not having one, especially as a kid. Even into my adult years, I had one in my dorm room, and with the bed that my parents gave me post-college. It wasn’t until I started using more significantly sized beds like fulls and queens (and when I had to pay for them myself) that I began to not to use a bed frame.

I noticed a difference in the quality of my sleep as well as maintaining cleanliness surrounding my bed. So building a bed frame is quite appealing. If you’re like me and wondered if having a bed frame is useful — you’re right.

Purpose of a Bed Frame

It’s something you might not think about, but what is the point of having a bed frame? There are some practical and impractical reasons to have a bed frame.

For practical purposes, you can use the space underneath your bed to maintain cleanliness, to store items like pillows and blankets, and much-needed support for a box spring. For less practical reasons, many feel that having a bedframe allows for better feng shui.

Without a space underneath the bed, the bottom of your mattress can become an ideal place for mold, dust, and insects. There’s nothing to stop the mattress from sliding off of a box spring if you don’t have a bed frame.

You can also use it as a natural storage space for extra pillows and blankets for the bed.

For the less practical reasons, many feel that having a bed frame allows for better feng shui (a Chinese-based system of laws that consider the spatial arrangement and orientation concerning the flow of energy in a particular space).

It allows for vitality to circulate, which can affect your sleep pattern, make you less vulnerable to drafts or cold air, and can give you a feeling of stability and solidity. This awareness is where learning how to make a bed frame can come in handy.

You’d be surprised at how long the concept of the bed frame has been around. Before you make one, learn the history of the bed frame.

History of the Bed Frame

The idea of a bed and bed frame has been around for quite a long time. The first bed frames popped up in ancient Egypt around 3000 B.C. to 1000 B.C. The invention of the raised bed kept a person off of the cold ground and away for things like mice, snakes, and bugs.

Plain wood became the norm for the average person while bed frames covered in gold and jewels were typical if you were in the upper class.

During the Roman times circa 1000 B.C. to 476 A.D., metal bed frames were for those who were wealthy, while commoners had beds made out of wood with wool strings to hold up the mattress.

As time moved on, bed frames became more sophisticated. With four-poster beds, mattresses becoming bigger and shared less with others, and storage was added to keep under the bed frame.

You can now buy them online or at retail stores around the world, but you also have the capability of learning how to make a bed frame.

Understanding the history of the bed frame is one thing, but it’s another to know why you should learn how to make a bed frame. There are many reasons, but here are a few as to why you should make your bed frame.

Reasons to Make a Bed Frame

Learning how to make a bed frame isn’t something you do very often. It’s an adventure in do-it-yourself crafting that many people don’t take on.

I found, however, that those who do make their bed frame enjoy the challenge, appreciate their bed more, and love the customization and cost savings. These are among the reasons why you should know how to make a bed frame.


Creating something made just for you can bring a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to replace. When you learn what you need for your mattress size, aesthetic, and sensibilities, your project feels more special and catered to you and your needs.

The materials, colors, and design are entirely in your control, and that ability is priceless. Making something yourself helps you to appreciate all of the time and energy that goes into crafting a piece.

And learning how to make a bed frame can give you a sense of accomplishment that no retail store can offer.

Cost savings

The best thing about learning how to make a bed frame is the amount of money you can save on a custom bed frame. While typical metal frames can be in a low price range, custom bed frames can reach into a very high price range.

When you decide to make your own, you save money not only on the bed frame but any possible maintenance.

You can keep all of the supplies and materials that you use for later. Not only that, but some of the supplies can be used to create other items like end tables, headboards, etc.

It might take more time and energy, but the amount of money you save could be worth it.

Since I’ve officially convinced you as to why you should make a bed frame, here is how you make one.

How to Make a Bed Frame

So now I bet you are wondering how to make a bed frame. Well, don’t get too excited just yet. There are a few things you need to know before you start.

First, you need to decide the size of the mattress you’re going to use. Then make sure you have all of the proper tools and materials required for this project. Make sure that the frame materials are high-quality to ensure stability and durability.

Since you’ll be working with power tools, make sure you were in a ventilated space to avoid any injuries or breathing issues.

Step by Step Instructions

All right now that you have all of the tools, materials, and rules, let’s learn how to make a bed frame. These instructions are for a king-sized mattress.

You can modify any of the measurements and specifications to length and width to fit your existing mattress size.

1. Cut the panels

Use the cutting guide to make the cuts ahead of time. Cutting the boards this way will make the process a lot easier. You can also cut this with a table saw if that helps you. Remember: Measure twice, cut once!

Make sure that your blade is on the right side before you use a rip fence or cutting guide. You can discard any cross-hatched areas.

Keep all of your other pieces. If you don’t find a guide to be useful, a straight two-inch by fou- inch and a couple of c-clamps (a clamp device used to hold a piece of wood or metal in place) can be a cutting guide for you.

2. Assemble the frame

Now that you’ve cut out the panels, start collecting the pieces. Use wood glue and screws to secure the panels together at the corners. You can do that by drilling three holes into each end of the side panels and twisting the screws in on the flat surface.

Once you do that, assemble the 4 pieces (there should be 12 screws total) that will make the frame. Each one of the pieces should be flush next to each other.

Once all four of those pieces are together, install the gussets to the bottom of each frame corner. Use the wood glue and 3 wood screws on each side (making it 24 screws in total) to make sure that everything is flush or slightly recessed.

Check the diagonal measurement for the frame with your square. Both of the measures need to be equal.

3. Install the corners

Next, chop the 4 by 4 plywood pieces into 4 separate 11.5-inch long pieces. Be aware that the back of them should be notched out so that you can wrap around a frame corner.

The bottom should be flush and protrude 1.5 inches above the top of the frame. You want to start with marking the cut with a 10-inch line and a 2-inch line on the 2 adjacent sides.

Push your saw blade forward to the setting of a 2-inch depth in and make 2 of the boards 10 inches. Subsequently, you’ll want to make two perpendicular cuts using the same two-inch depth.

There should be cuts 3, 4, and 10 inches from the end. You should see a small piece of wood that connects the cut-out corner in the drop.

Grab your vibratory saw or your hammer and chisel to remove the final wood pieces and clean up the inside corner.

You’ll want to cut the back of the 1.5-inch top at a 45-degree angle. Don’t forget to grab the wood glue to connect the interior faces at the corner and grab a nail to attach it to the bed frame.

4. Install the cross slats

Install two plywood ledger strips to even out the bottom of the bed frames. Use your wood glue and fit the 1.25-inch screws about 6 inches on center at the face surface of the side panel.

You’ll need to measure the distance between the bed frame sizes for this king-sized version. Cut to the proper size.

Install those cross slats 12 inches on center and use a screw to insert a piece on each end. You can install a middle leg if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary for the design.

5. Finish up

This step depends entirely on the legs. If your legs have a threaded rod at the top, you may want to install the leg mounting thread into that corner gusset on each side.

Then you’ll establish a washer and nut to tighten it up. If you can’t reach the mountain thread, use a quality adhesive at the thread, hole, and top.

If you want a tighter fit, make the hole smaller for a threaded rod by about 1/16 of an inch to spin the leg clockwise into the wood.

6. Cut and let dry

You’re almost there! Cut eight pieces of the trim to fit between the corner posts. Install them at the top and bottom of the boundary of the frame.

Then caulk all the joints in new holes with the painter’s caulk and let that dry for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, put two pieces of sheathing over the crossbars. Note: this instruction only applies if you don’t have a box spring. If you do, you can skip this step.

Finish up everything by painting the frame with the color of your liking. Let the paint dry, and now you officially have a bed frame!

And in case you’re a visual person, we’ve included a short video to help you along in your DIY project.

What Do You Think?

How did this process turn out for you? You’ve created a custom bed frame made specifically for your bed, you saved a lot of money in labor, delivery, and overall craftsmanship, and you did it with your own hands (and some help if you had any).

The satisfaction of knowing that your mattress will be safe and sound with a good night’s rest ahead of you is all you need to be proud of your creation.

How did your bed frame turn out? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of our step by step instructions and how will you make a bed frame?