One of the things I realized when I began my apartment overhaul was that my old bed was going to have to go.
For years, I’d had a cheap, brown, metal, adjustable bed frame. For years, I’d had a plush, pillowtop queen bed. When I moved into my current, tiny studio, I decided to give my queen bed to my girlfriend. The replacement was a (not Tempurpedic) memory foam mattress.
To convert my trusty, old frame into something that could hold my new mattress, I purchased 2 x 4 slats and some plywood to create a quick-and-dirty platform.
This worked fine until I moved the bed kitty-corner (?) across the room from the loveseat, which meant that any time you sat on the loveseat, you were looking at my ugly, brown bed frame.
Original Bed Frame on Risers ... Not Pretty.
Ugly, Old Bed Frame on Risers
Now, there are folks who would take the ‘easy’ way out and put a bed skirt on the situation.
Then there’s me.
I decided the thing to do was to build a bed frame. I figured, I wanted something both pretty and functional. I wanted to be able to store things under the bed, but only in those spaces you could hardly see (i.e. the far corner). I wanted the eye to be able to travel as far as possible for running into an obstacle. Make the space look as big as possible.
My friend J offered to help. Actually, the brother of a friend, but who’s keeping track?
He came by to help me determine what was needed, and off I went to the lumber yard. Here’s what I got:
- (3) 74″ long (6″ ish inches wide) pieces of hardwood (in this case, poplar)
- (2) 54″ Long (6″ ish inches wide) pieces of the same hardwood
- (2) 2x3s 72″ long
- (2) 2x3s 50″ long
- (4) square cut out of the remaining hardwood
- (6) Top Plates
- (6) Legs
My first understanding of the project. This is not what we ended up doing.
THIS! is what we ended up doing. Or, at least, much closer to reality as you can see from the following pictures…
Keep in mind I already had slats from my old, makeshift platform bed to use. A quick overview of the project:
- Make a box out of the hardwood / poplar pieces.
- Using L-Brackets, attach the 2x3s so they create a ledge on which the slats can rest.
- Put the square in the corners, underneath the join of the 2x3s.
- Polyurethane the legs.
- Attach the top plate.
- Screw in the legs.
- Polyurethane the wood.
- Attach the third 72″ piece of hardwood in the center of the box, this will support the slats. (We had to cute the piece down a little to fit snuggly.)
- Put down your slats, set your mattress atop, and make the bed!
Ok, so first things first, let’s lay out the wood we have and get a visual.
Lay It Out & Walk It Through
The Foreman Inspects J's Work
Once we had a picture of what we were doing, we built the box and added the 2×3 ledges using a bunch of 1″ L-brackets.
2x3 Ledges Courtesy of L-Brackets
We put in some wood filler to hide the corner screws.
Before the Wood Filler
With the frame and the ledges finished, J layered the squares underneath the 2×3 join to give the top plates a secure attachment location.
Putting in the Top Plates. Getting Ready to Screw in the Legs.
Once the squares were in place, the top plates were attached so we could screw in the legs. I had purchased 6 legs with the idea that there would be one on each corner (4) and then one or two in the middle for additional support. That brought the total to six. J screwed in four of the top plates, while I Polyurethaned the legs.
Testing the Legs
The frame was basically ready to go, so we attached the legs before finishing up.
Finally, we added the last piece of the hardwood as a middle support.
Putting in the Middle Support
Corner and Middle Support
The last thing we did was drop the slats in. They sit right on the ledges. If they have any give, the middle support is there. Not to mention we attached two legs to the middle support for even more structure.
Finished Frame Angle
Inside the Finished Frame
Finally, the bed was ready to be made!
All Made Up and Pretty
Yup, that’s about what we did. Took the about 8 hours, not including shopping and acquiring the pieces! I haven’t regretted a minute of it. And I feel I should mention that it’s FitzKitty tested and FitzKitty approved (see foreman photo above).