How to build a four poster bed frame

Updated February 21, 2017

A four-poster bed is one of life's luxuries, and it certainly commands a price when store-bought. Building your own poster bed won't be cheap, but it will cost considerably less than any other handcrafted wooden poster bed on the market. A simple, modern design is surprisingly easy to make, and you don't need master carpentry skills to do the job well.

Lay two, 62-inch-long planks of 2-by-8 lumber in a row resting on a 2-inch edge, approximately 80 inches apart. Position 2 planks of 82-inch 2-by-8 lumber over the ends of the planks; the 62-inch planks will form corners with the inside edge of the 82-inch plank ends.

Square off the 62-inch planks to be at right angles to the 82-inch planks, then secure the planks together with 3-inch wood screws driven through the side of the 82-inch planks into the abutting ends of the 62-inch planks every 3 inches. This is the base of the queen-sized poster bed frame.

Insert four pieces of 62-inch-long 2-by-5 lumber into the bed frame, pushing them down to be flush with the floor. There should be two pushed up against each end of the base, and two evenly spaced in the centre; there will be 3 inches of space from the top of these 62-inch mattress support planks to the top of the bed base.

Lay a plank of 82-inch 2-by-3 lumber flat on the work surface. Place two planks of 80-inch 2-by-4 lumber on each end, at right angles to the 82-inch plank. Secure the two planks to the 82-inch plank with four wood screws through each end. Repeat with two more 80-inch planks of 2-by-4 and another 2-by-3 plank of 82 inches for the legs and side of the poster canopy.

Stand the legs upright, so that the 82-inch canopy side is in the air and position the legs on either side of the bed base. Have a helper assist you to lift the bed base to 5 inches from the ground and clamp the base to the four legs at this height, using the carpenter's square to ensure the legs are square with the base.

Drive four 4-inch bolts through the side of each leg into the bed base, and tighten the bolts on the inside of the base with the accompanying nuts.

Climb a step ladder and have your helper pass you a 70-inch piece of 2-by-3 lumber. Position this plank over the end of the legs at the top, forming corners with the 82-inch canopy sides. Attach the canopy end plank to the legs and the end of the canopy side with 3-inch wood screws. Repeat on the other end of the bed to complete the canopy.

Stain or paint the four-poster bed in the desired shade and leave to dry as per the stain or paint manufacturer's directions. Insert two sheets of 3/4-inch plywood, sized 30 by 40 inches, into the bed frame, resting on top of the 62-inch support planks in the base. The poster bed is now ready for a mattress.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 planks 2-by-8 lumber, 62 inches
  • 2 planks 2-by-8 lumber, 82 inches
  • Carpenter's square
  • Drill
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • 4 planks 2-by-5 lumber, 62 inches
  • 2 planks 2-by-3 lumber, 82 inches
  • 4 planks 2-by-4 lumber, 80 inches
  • Clamps
  • Helper
  • 4-inch bolts and accompanying nuts
  • Step ladder
  • 2 planks 2-by-3 lumber, 70 inches
  • Wood stain, varnish or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 pieces 3/4-inch plywood, 30-by-40-inch
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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.