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Build a Modular Storage Bed For Cheap In Like, 5 Seconds. And Save The World A Little.

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My other half and I are nomads currently living in Boulder, CO, til we figure out our next move. Being nomads means we've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a few months. Urban camping is fun for awhile, but we needed a change. When he went away on a business trip recently, I decided to surprise him and make us a bed. Plus it had been awhile since I built something and my brain was itchy. I captured the process with my iPhone. 

Here were my design protocols for the bed building project. 

1. Storage underneath. I drag a lot of books around.

2. Simple to Build - I don't have my power tools with me, so it had to be simple E.g. No sawing or cutting to size.

3. Simple to Dismantle - For fun, I also decided to see how I could get away with out drilling or nailing stuff together. 

4. Inexpensive - the budget was $23. 

5. Bonus Protocols :: Has to look good, be sturdy, & it has to be possible for one person to carry & transport the materials without a truck or van. (Bike transport possible if you have a bike trailer!)


Here's what I did and how I did it. 
 
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This is bad ass. Not a nomad currently, but we have the boxsprings on the floor with the mattress and pad on top of it since we moved a year and a half ago. This would be a good idea if I ever decided to do it! The cheapest metal platform frames I've been looking at online clock in around $100 or a bit more so we've just been doing without so far. I like the cabinet storage idea!

I got my frame at Waldo Mart(walmart) for less than $100....if I remember correctly, I THINK, it was about $65 or $70 delivered...as in delivered to my door.

It's not a fancy frame, but then again, I do not need fancy, just functional.

BTW, my bed is a twin, NOT a full, queen or king size.

MrMiz2 years ago
I don't know the stress loads of OSB but any "extended" activity in middle of this might cause the OSB to fail. I've actually had OSB fail on me this way before, but because of a different activity. Maybe the distance in the middle is closer than it looks.
I would agree about the stress loads of OSB in that layout. I would suggest finding some 2"x4" pieces of wood the same width or slightly shorter than the total width of the cabinets; within 6" of the total width will work, so long as you don't lie on the extreme edges of the bed. Lay the 2"x4" pieces across the cabinets, and then the OSB. If it's time to move, take everything back to where you originally found/bought/"appropriated" it from. I would say three or four 2"x4" pieces would work well.
Katie Brennan (author)  smmiller5062 years ago
MrMiz Good point about stressing the OSB. My plan for that is a milk crate full of books that I can slide into to the middle if I see an issue, or a builder can purchase a 5th cabinet. FYI so far so good, the setup is working. And smmiller506, yes definitely ""If it's time to move, take everything back to where you originally found/bought/"appropriated" it from."" I'll add both these points to the instructions. Thanks for sharing your tips!

now far be it for me to tell you what to do or how to do it, so I won't even go there.

having said that, because of the makeup of OSB sheet goods, experience has taught me to never trust OSB. Unlike plywood, OSB is made of slivers of wood all glued together....plywood is made of sheets of thin wood.

OSB does not have the same strength as plywood, is very susceptible to ANY kind of moisture(not talking intimacy, but rather moisture in the air, spilled drinks, etc), and even though it does not apply in this instance, has a rougher texture than plywood. the rough texture has a tendency to trap moisture(barometric) & also has a tendency to harbor bacteria & parasites.

This is what I have learned the hard way from experience.

But let reiterate that I love your idea, I love the cabinets, & I love the fact that it is Nomadic like you & your other half.

Definitely inspiring. TY for sharing

So nice to do the extras for him! :)

I must say that I would still be very concerned for your lovely wood floors, as even mild movement will cause your sleepers to shift and scrape the floor. Perhaps a few well placed rubber backed welcome mats might work to protect the floor...?

I'd suggest both cabinets 5 and 6 for this task. I weigh in at 132 kilos (300 pounds and 6'4"...) and I would assume you and he weigh less than me, combined. I'd be splitting the OSB if I rolled to the center, and I'd be a bit concerned for the cabinets should I put my shoes on while sitting on one corner of the bed. Your mileage may vary.
SIRJAMES091 month ago

COOL IDEA!! I never would have thought about kitchen cabinets..

and according to the pics, you use them like mini lockers on their sides. AWESOME!!

simple; cheap(inexpensive); easy build;....I love it! :)

I'm in the designing phase of a bed with storage underneath...but I have a twin frame & mattress I'll be using(minus the legs)...I'm thinking big box(size of twin frame) with a bed that lifts up....hydraulic rams maybe for lifting? Not sure yet....but you have definitely inspired me to get working on it.

TY Ma'am for sharng! I love it! :)

MrPemby10 months ago
Great friggin idea and I really want to say that yours is one of the more fun, yet still easily step by step to follow I have read in a while. Best instructable I have read in a long time (well that is also something I was looking to make).
DeanAshby1 year ago
I love to use space under the bed for storage. I live in a small apartment in Sydney and often have storage problems. Space under the bed is often overlooked and quite wasted. I would love to store books and maybe some cat toys there. Wait, I can even make a storage space and a cat bed for my cat can’t I? Thanks for the idea. You rock!
Your hardwood floors are beautiful!
Fabulous idea!
l8nite2 years ago
sounds like a great idea and not just for nomads !
Katie Brennan (author)  l8nite2 years ago
not just for nomads, i agree!
hherzog2 years ago
I love it! I'm a nomad currently in rehab, but I still love keeping things handy that will make for a quick escape, so I'm definitely going to be hitting up the Re-Store this weekend to check out their cabinets! Thanks for the great idea!
Katie Brennan (author)  hherzog2 years ago
Wow, it's so cool put this out there and have people find it useful! Thank you hherzog! Good luck with your project!