How to make a wood bed frame with drawers

Written by jennifer holmes
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How to make a wood bed frame with drawers
Basic wood platform bed with no storage. (Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Platform beds with bottom storage drawers give you added storage space. A basic plan is fairly easy to design and build to accommodate your needs. A standard queen-size bed is 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. For this design, we'll make the bed 16 inches high from the floor. You can adjust these measurements for a larger or smaller platform frame.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 6 to 7 plywood sheets at 4 foot by 8 foot in 1 inch thickness
  • 6 to 7 wood strips at 1/2 inch thick by 1 inch wide , cut at 60 inches long
  • Circular saw and sturdy saw horse
  • Router with bit to create grooves
  • Dowel rods 1/2 inch diameter
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws and electric screwdriver
  • Straight thin nails, if needed
  • Leveller
  • Pulls for the drawer fronts

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Take four plywood sheets and cut 18 inches width off on the 96-inch long side of each. Set aside the 18-inch wide by 96-inch long leftover pieces. Router one edge of each plank. On two routed sheets, add a strip of glue inside one routed edge and insert a dowel rod the full length of the 96 inch side to act as a tongue for the groove on the other plank. For now, put together two of the sheets to make the base platform. The size should be 60 inches wide and 96 inches long with no space showing between the tongue and groove.

  2. 2

    Take the four 18-inch wide by 96-inch long sheets and cut off 36 inches from the 96 inch sides. Take one of the 18-inch wide x 60-inch long sheets and stand upright across the top of the bottom end of the platform. Glue in place and do the same at the other end. Take one of the 1/2 inch by 1 inch wood strips and lay it flat, butted up against the inside of the two end sheets. After checking the fit, remove it, lay a strip of glue and replace both strips again. Let dry. Screw in the two strips securely into the bottom platform. Coming from the outside of each standing 18 inch by 60 inch sheet, use long nails to come through into the side of the strips.

  3. 3

    Measure the remaining inside distance between the two standing sheets. This should equal 94 inches without counting the strip measures. Measure 30.25 inches from the inside of the standing end panel. Stand up the third 18 inch tall by 60 inch sheet, then glue it in place across the bottom platform. Measure 30.25 inches from the inside of the new sheet toward the top end sheet. Add the last 18 inch by 60 inch panel across the platform and glue into place. Add strips on one side for the two centre standing sheets, glue, let dry, then screw down the strips and nail from the open sides of the standing sheets into the strips. Add the remaining strips on the other side of the standing sheets and screw down.

  4. 4

    Stand the platform on its side and begin nailing through the bottom platform into the standing planks to lock into place. You may not need more than four to six nails to hammer in evenly across the width of the platform bottom. Press the standing planks against the platform bottom as you hammer in (or screw in using thin screws). Lay the platform back on the floor and check that everything is attached and tightened up. Add on the top platform with the tongue and groove system and nail or screw into place.

  5. 5

    Create simple drawers at 30 inches wide and 28 inches long running into the centre of the platform using the remaining plywood sheets. There should be three drawers on each side of the bed. Check the remaining height, adding in the strip height too. Take off about an inch to find the height of the drawer side panels. Cut the bottom plank and create the sides, back and front pieces to fit on top of the bottom plank. The drawer should be resting on the strips on either side of the interior spaces as you slide them in and out of the space. Add pulls on the front pieces and you are finished. Just decide if you want to stain or paint the frame.

Tips and warnings

  • If the drawers don't pull out easily enough, lightly sand both the bottom of the drawers and the top of the wood strips the drawers are resting on to get rid of any rough spots. Do not varnish or paint this area.
  • Use four right-angled braces over the top corner edges of the frame to firmly secure the top in place so there's no chance of slippage.
  • Always wear eye and ear protection whenever sawing wood.
  • Always wear gloves when working with wood and tools.
  • Test all your pieces once glued and nailed or screwed in to make sure there is no movement. The pieces you build must be secure.

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