How to Make a Sofa Bed for a Camper

Updated February 21, 2017

Trying to find furniture to fit your camper may cause you to decide that making your own would better suit your needs. If you want to make a sofa bed that fits the space you have or just want to add a personal touch to your space with your own sofa bed creation, you can assemble and create a sofa bed frame in the Mission style that can be enhanced with a few personal design touches of your own.

Measure the space where your sofa bed will be located. Determine the measurements you will need to fit the sofa bed comfortably into the space. Research bed frames that you can purchase that meet your requirements.

Purchase the wood and materials that you will need. Look at your local thrift store for old bed frames that you can convert to sofas. Determine what additional materials you will need aside from the frame for sofa arms, cushions and fabric coverings.

Lay out a dust sheet and set out the wood panels you will be working with along with your other tools. Separate screws, nuts and other hardware into a sealable craft container or sandwich bags.

Pick out the materials you will need to form the legs and seat portion of the sofa. Assemble the sofa chair legs and set aside these assembled sections. Gather the wood pieces and materials for the lower portion of the seat frame.

Assemble the outer frame of the section as well as the inner slats for support to create a rectangular frame similar in look to a wooden grate. Set aside the lower frame when it is assembled.

Select the materials you will need to form the upper back of the sofa and lay them out in your work space. Assemble the pieces required for the back frame and set them aside similarly to the lower frame. If you want to stylise the upper frame, you may wish to shape the inner wood slats using a circular saw to stylise them before assembly.

Assemble the arm sections for your sofa bed if you have included them in your design. Gather the assembled sections for the sofa bed frame and join them together. Attach hinges and an extra supporting leg to allow the frame to be folded down completely into a flat bed.

Sand the assembled wood section to smooth out the pieces and prepare it for painting or staining. Stain or paint the wooden frame sections and allow them to dry completely. Measure the size of the bed frame and research the size mattress you will need and purchase a sofa bed mattress that can double as the base of your couch sofa.

Measure and note the lower frame and upper back portions as well as the full bed size to determine the fabric and cushion sizes you will need. Purchase the required foam cushion pieces and the fabric you will need to cover them. Sew together your cushion covers and insert the cushions.


Choose an assembly area that can double as your paint location without damaging or staining other furniture or materials. Purchase or make smaller lap cushions to arrange on your sofa when not used as a bed. Attach bed lifts to the bottoms of the legs to lift the sofa up to the desired height.


Wear proper safety equipment like goggles, face mask and gloves when working with saws, drills and toxic chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill with screwdriver bit attachments
  • Screw driver
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Nails, bolts, screws, hinges
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint or wood stain
  • Fabric
  • Batting or padding
  • Twin bed frame
  • Wood
  • Sketch pad
  • Pencil
  • Bed lifts
  • Craft container
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About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.