Constructing Your Own DIY Bed Frame

While bed frames aren’t the most expensive thing in the world, nothing beats the quality of doing it yourself and having something solid to be proud of.

It’s an easy project and one which nearly anyone should be able to pull off with a surprising amount of ease so sit back and follow along and we’ll show you how to build a simple but functional frame to keep you from having to sleep on the floor.

Victoria, Homethods Author

DIY Bed Frame

1.) Gather Your Materials

Step 1

You’re going to need some 2x4s for this project.

You’re also going to need to make sure that you have the following around:

  • A Screw Gun
  • Saw
  • Screws, preferably 3” and 1 ½”
  • A Tape Measure
  • Enough Fabric for a Skirt(optional)
  • A Brad Nailer or Staple Gun(optional)

Once you’ve got it all together, you’ll also need to measure your box spring in order to get the proper measurements for creating the frame.

2.) Measuring It Out

Step 2

In order to get a perfect fit, you’re going to have to keep one thing in mind. 2x4s are actually 1 ½” by 3 ½”. The reason for their name is the fact that they’re planed out from a piece of wood that size at the saw mill. It’s kind of ridiculous, we know, but it’s all in the details.

Now, get out your measuring tape and get at the box spring that you’re going to be using. We’ll use a twin frame for our measurements, but things will be a little bit different if you’re going to use something larger.

Since a twin mattress is 75” long, we’ll need to subtract 3” from the total length in order to make sure things fit perfectly. That means that we’re going to mark off three of our 2x4s at 72” in order to make the lengthwise sections of the frame.

For the width, we’ll just cut things at the proper length since they’ll be placed entirely along the outside edge of the frame in order to “cap” it. Measure to the exact middle and place a mark with a pencil.

You’ll also want to make sure you have the proper height. For this, measure the height of both the mattress and the box spring and remember to add on the 3 ½” of the 2×4 you’ll be using. This is going to let you know how long to build the legs of the project in order to make sure you’re on the right track.

3.) Cut the Wood

Step 3

Depending on what kind of saw you plan on using, you might want to make sure that you have a miter box around. These are indispensable for making sure that you’ve got a straight line if you’re using a hand saw.

If you’re using a power saw, use a square to make a mark to cut things tight. Simply square it off with the side of the lumber, then use a pencil to mark it at the desired length.

  • Make sure your cuts are straight.

You’ll also want to make sure that your measurements are precise. If you’re using a circular saw or table saw with a wide kerf, then cut to the outside edge of the line but a hand saw or jig saw will be fine to cut straight.

Keep the off-cuts handy, we’re going to use them to build the legs.

4.) Put the Frame Together

Step 4

Lay the frame out on the floor and get ready to assemble it. Make sure that all of your edges are straight, and measure it again to make sure it’s the correct length. A bit too big is better than a bit too small, but you’ve got around a ½” room for margin of error either way for most boxsprings.

You can drill pilot holes if you’d like, use something thinner than the shaft of the screws you’re using  and make sure the holes are straight. Place them at the ends of the pieces that will be the head and foot of the frame once it’s done. Get as deep as possible, all the way through is a good idea if you can manage it.

To make sure your pilot holes are in the correct place, use a pencil to mark ¾” in from the edge.

  • Now, drive two screws into each connection of the lengthwise boards.

Grab the third piece you’ve cut out for the middle and slide it in to the exact center of the frame, which you should have previously marked. Do the same with this board and you’ll now have the rough frame, which is really the “tough” part of this project.

Put The Frame Together

5.) Making the Legs

Step 5

You kept the offcuts, right?

Go grab them and get back to your saw, wherever it may be. You’re now going to create the legs for your new frame in order to keep it off the ground. Hopefully you wrote down the measurements for where you want the top of the mattress to sit, if you’re not quite sure the average mattress sits between 25” and 30” off the ground.

You’re going to cut four sets of legs here, each comprised of two pieces of 2×4. The desired length is easy to calculate. The shorter one is going to be the height you want to add to the bed, and the longer one is going to be 3 ½” longer in order to account for the width of the 2×4 in the frame. 

Making the legs

Screw them together at the four “corners” of the shorter piece, then you’ll want to put them up in the corners as shown and screw them in from the front with four screws apiece:

Now, screw them to the frame and you’re going to be good to go. 

  • If you want to add a skirt directly to the frame, simply cut fabric to the desired width, run it around the frame, and attach it with a brad nailer or staple gun at intervals of 4-6”.

Putting it all together


It’s a simple project, and one that pretty much anyone should be able to do. Whether you just wanted to pull it off, or you’re simply too frugal to spring for a bed frame, you should be proud of the job you’ve just completed and rest assured that it’ll work just as well as any store-bought frame for a fraction of the cost.