DIY: How to Make a Platform Bed With Plywood

Written by jennifer harshman
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DIY: How to Make a Platform Bed With Plywood
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Build a platform bed using plywood and decorate it to match your bedroom decor. Not counting the time it would take to paint or stain it and the additional drying time, you could build a platform bed in about an hour. You may want to use a table saw or a compound mitre saw if you have them, but a circular saw can handle the job. Change the look of your bedroom with this simple platform bed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Circular saw
  • Safety goggles
  • 2x12 inch boards, 8 feet long
  • Two sheets of 4 foot by 8 foot plywood, 3/4 inch thick
  • Sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Piece of cloth
  • Drill and drill bits
  • 8 lag bolts 1/4 inch by 3 inches long
  • Ratchet and socket or socket adaptor for drill
  • Six 4-inch long flat mending brackets
  • 1/2 inch long wood screws
  • Screwdriver or screwdriver bits for drill
  • 3 inch long wood screws
  • 2 inch long wood screws
  • Paint or wood stain
  • Paintbrush

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Instructions

    The base for the platform bed

  1. 1

    Cut wood to size. You need two 2x12 boards at 64 inches long, two 2x12 boards that are 84 inches long, and two 2x12 boards that are 61 inches long (before cutting the 61-inch long boards, measure the thickness of the head and foot boards and subtract that amount to be sure of a good fit - usually the thickness will be 1 1/2 inches each). You'll also need 2 pieces of plywood that are 37 inches by 45 inches. Sand to remove any splinters, then wipe with a slightly damp cloth to remove the dust.

  2. 2

    Bolt together a rectangle of 2x12s for the base. Place the 64-inch long boards at the head and foot of the bed, and the 84-inch boards on the sides. Pre-drill holes into the end of the boards so that you can join the ends of the boards to make a rectangle with the boards sitting on their 2-inch wide edges. Place the two boards at right angles and be sure that the ends are flush. Use a drill and a 1/4 inch drill bit and place one hole three inches from the top of the board, and one three inches from the bottom of the board. Drill through both boards at the point where they meet. Drive bolts into the holes you drilled, using the socket and ratchet or a socket adaptor on the drill, bolting together the two boards at right angles to form a corner of the bed's base.

  3. 3

    Place the 61-inch long 2x12s within that frame, running from the head of the bed to the foot of the bed, spaced out evenly. Secure these 2x12 boards with the angle brackets and 1-inch wood screws. For maximum stability, place two angle brackets in each corner where two boards meet. Place one of the two angle brackets one third of the way from the top, and place the other bracket one third of the way from the bottom, so that they are spaced evenly. Attach all of the angle brackets. This forms the base of the platform bed. This base will be covered in plywood. The plywood piece on the top will overhang to make the platform.

  4. 4

    Place the plywood pieces face down on the floor and line them up so that the edges are flush, or even with each other. Lay the mending brackets out on the seam where the two pieces meet, and space them evenly, about one foot apart, all along the seam. Attach the mending brackets to the plywood pieces with 1/2 inch wood screws, so that you make one large piece of plywood. Using a drill with a screwdriver bit makes this go much faster than just using a screwdriver would.

  5. 5

    Place the joined plywood piece on top of the base, with the side that has the mending brackets facing down. Screw the plywood pieces to the top of the 2x12 frame to keep it from shifting, driving a 2-inch wood screw down through the plywood top and into the 2x12 board. Two or three screws drilled into each of the outside edges is sufficient.

  6. 6

    Sand any rough spots, such as around the screws, and wipe away the dust.

  7. 7

    Finish the platform by painting or staining it to match the bedroom decor. Allow it to dry for at least 48 hours. When it's completely dry, put the mattress on the platform and put on the bedding.

Tips and warnings

  • Adjust the length of the boards depending on how much overhang you want. These directions are for a queen-sized bed with a 6-inch overhang on the sides and foot.
  • This bed will support up to 454 Kilogram. For a bed that will need to support significantly less weight, you may omit one of the interior 2x12 boards, have at least one board in the middle to support the plywood seam.
  • If you want to use only plywood, and not 2x12 boards, you'll need to screw together 12-inch wide pieces of plywood to simulate the 2x12 boards. Add a few bridges (short pieces that are perpendicular to the simulated 2x12s). Angle bracket them to the simulated 2x12s. Stagger the placement of the bridges.
  • Adjust the directions to fit other bed sizes.
  • If you want a headboard, try a wall-mounted headboard with this bed.
  • Use caution when using power tools, and use safety goggles.
  • Measure carefully before cutting to prevent mistakes and waste.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for all tools and materials.

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