Introduction: King Size Wood Flooring Platform Bed and Headboard With Built-in Lights and Outlets and Hidden Drawers for $400!
Wow, that's a really long title!
A few years ago, I designed and built this headboard for my wife (fiance at the time) when we lived apart. It plugs into any 1 standard wall outlet, and includes 2 light switches for the overhead lights (3-way switches so either side would control them), and 4 regular outlets (2 on each side at the base) in order to accommodate anything we'd ever need to plug in on our side. I built it with the intent that no matter where we moved, no matter what room it went in, there would be outlets and lights for us - no more fighting over the 1 plug 10 feet away for our clocks and cell phone chargers! The original was made to fit a queen bed on one of those cheap metal frames with a box spring nestled in it.
Fast forward - 2 big dogs, and 1 kid later (with another on the way), we've decided it's time to get a KING SIZE BED. I can't really reuse this headboard anymore, so I've decided to start from scratch and build another! This time around, we decided to do a solid wood headboard (no padding or colors like the old one), and will also incorporate a platform bed with drawers.
Step 1: Materials List
I did the best I could along the way to save receipts. I'm sure I forgot something here or there, but for the most part, it's all listed. Some things I bought on sale, some things I found on eBay, the rest were from Home Depot.
I added about $20 in screws/nails because I buy those in bulk and had a supply of them already on hand.
This is approximately the order that I used the materials throughout the project, so if you wanted to buy in stages, just start at the top and work your way down.
In the end, the "guts" of the project totaled $350, and the wood flooring to cover was $50.
Step 2: Platform Bed With Drawers and Outlets
I will first outline how I did the platform bed and drawers. I toyed with doing 2-3 drawers on both sides or even one at the foot of the bed. Ultimately, due to cost and simplicity of the woodworking, I decided on 1 large drawer on both sides. This way, I could maximize the volume of storage under the bed. To allow for nightstands, I placed the drawer as close to the foot as possible.
As for measurements, I was only particular about the height, width, and length of the bed. We wanted a platform bed that was flush with the sides of a king mattress (76"x80") and 16" tall. We chose 16" because that's what the height of the old bed was up to the top of the box spring. This new bed was designed NOT to have a box spring, but instead use strips of wood as the support for the mattress. Again, I wasn't particular about any other measurements other than the overall dimensions - I built the primary members first to exact dimensions, and then "winged it" from there for the rest. You will see.
Step 3: Bed Frame Guts
First, I cut eight 16" 2x4 pieces. Each pair was screwed and glued to create four square legs. Next I prepared the outside frame pieces and also cut the inside long runners. It's your choice what size to make these, but cut them so the OUTSIDE dimensions are 76x80 for a king bed. There's really no need to miter the corners as they will all get covered with the wood flooring. Butt joints will do.
I attached the four outside legs to the outside pieces of the frame by using 6 inch bolts with washers and lock washers. Every one of these joints was glued for more strength. NOTE: I offset the head piece on the frame to the inside (see photos). This was done to allow the final product to slide right up to the wall of the room later. Keep in mind, you will need some CRAZY long drill bits (or you could use a spade bit), and something to countersink the bolt heads. Each leg uses 4 bolts: 2 in both directions offset from each other.
Once the outside members are attached to the legs, and you are satisfied with squareness, you can attach the inside runners. I chose to use deck hangers to carry the load. Deck hangers are excellent at transferring weight to the crossmembers. Divide the bed width into thirds and mount the deck runners on center.
Because I was paranoid about sagging despite having 4 runners to carry the load, I added some dual purpose hidden legs. They are dual purpose because not only to they help carry some load, they also serve as a mount for the drawer slide holder. How far forward from the head of the bed should you mount them? It's your choice! I think I went with 24" since it was a nice round number.
Okay, so now you have a 6 legged monster. Time to add the drawer slide mounts. The mount at the foot of the bed was super easy - just measure the distance and cut. Make sure you cut two the same size since you will use an identical piece on the head of the bed. For the head side mount, this is where a little math comes in. Figure out how low you want the base of the drawer, and that is how low to put the mount. I chose to have a 3 inch gap under my bed so I could slide my feet under there and not crunch any toes, so 16" minus 3" gives me 13". This is how long to cut the 2 special hanging pieces on either side (see pictures).
I added one last piece between the two mounts to keep them square to each other and reduce vibration when the drawers slid in and out.
Step 4: Drawers and Drawer Slide Mounting
Now that you have the bed frame built, you can start on the drawers. There are tons of ways to go about doing drawers, but I like SIMPLE. Materials also dictated my construction techniques. It pains me to use chipboard, but it was on clearance at Home Depot, so I went for it. My mentality was, if they ever fell apart, I could replace the drawers with new ones. Plus, I was painting them, so no need to get nice wood.
Once you have your frame built with the drawer mounts where you want them, attach the drawer slides to the mounts. Measure the inside of the drawer slides to get your width (be as EXACT as possible). Choose a depth that suits your fancy, and go to town on the drawers. I won't tell you how to build them, but I'll share my choices. I used butt joints for all the corners, and routed the underside of the edges in order to countersink the base into the sides. Every edge was glued and screwed for strength. The base was made out of 1/4 inch ply. Lastly, and most importantly, the face of the drawer is about an inch taller than the back. This creates a lip on the bottom edge for you to grab instead of mounting traditional drawer pulls. If you go this route, MAKE SURE you incorporate this lip measurement into the rest of your drawer. If you don't, you could end up with a drawer that isn't seamless with the rest of the bed side.
If you notice in the pictures, I have fully extending drawer slides, but my drawers don't fully extend out. This is because the largest reasonably priced slides I could find were 24". That left a LOT of wasted volume under the middle of the bed. I chose to make the drawer about 32" deep to compensate. The slides DO extend fully, but because the drawer is deeper than 24", about 8" of drawer is left under the bed. This was completely reasonable to reach items in that space to me.
My two cents on drawer slides: I skimped on virtually every part of this bed, with the exception of the drawer slides. They are about $20 a pair for 24" versions. They are fully extending and hold 100 pounds. I would DEFINITELY get the nice ones. Also, drawer slides are very temperamental. Be patient with them. You'll get the hang of it after awhile.
Once the drawers are all finished, it's time to mount the receiver end of the drawer slide to the drawer itself. Follow the directions that came with your slides - it should be self explanatory.
Step 5: Attach the Mattress Support Strips
This step is simple. Take your 1x3s, and screw them in! I used a 1x3 as a spacer between the boards. I glued them down as well for extra strength. If you feel like it, you can screw them to your middle boards too. I did this step before the covering step to help keep the whole structure square. Also, I mounted the 1x3 without cutting them, then came back with a circular saw and sliced off the edge of each one.
Step 6: Covering the Bed
The beauty of this part is that you can cover your frame with whatever you want. Because of cost (and the challenge of seeing if it would work), I chose to use wood laminate flooring. Another reason was because I was able to choose a wood grain that I liked, and it was pre-finished and durable. After a little shopping around, my wife and I found a wood flooring at Lumber Liquidators on sale that we both liked. You could certainly use solid wood - keep in mind it will start to get heavy though.
The idea here is to use contact cement to glue the wood flooring planks to a 1/4 inch piece of plywood, then use your homemade sheet good to cut whatever size you need to cover the frame.
I started with the head of the bed and worked my way forward. From top to bottom, it was 3 sections. 1: the top 2x4. 2: the height of the drawer. 3: the leg bottoms. You can sort of see these 3 stages in the pictures.
How did I attach it? You ready? Good ole' wood glue. No hardware! I elected not to use hardware because the flooring sheet that you've made is not really thick enough to accept a screw or nail. Make sure you have LOTS of clamps ready! I did this in stages too. I spread this out over a week, doing 1-2 pieces a day. I'd glue and clamp them, and let it dry overnight. Be patient!
About the corners: I chose to miter them in order to give the illusion of a continuous strip. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at making mitered edges. My solution was to sand the corners down after glue up to create a beveled edge. I happened to have some wood stain that looked good against the rest of the pattern, so I used that to blend it. It actually came out really nicely.
About laminate flooring in general: You have to be patient with this stuff - it's made of a particle board/mdf type material, and is very durable in a vertical direction - but not very durable in a lateral direction - hence gluing it to a backer ply. This beefed it up enough to stand up to what I was doing with it.
Step 7: Add Electrical Outlets
Disclaimer: I am not an electrician. I do, however, have a mechanical engineering degree, and my father-in-law is a contractor (who was consulted). I take no responsibility if you can't wire an outlet properly.
For this step, start with your electrical box. I chose to mount mine to the back leg of the bed, but you could use the drop down a little further south and get the same effect. Pretend you are mounting a new box in drywall, and do the same here! Trace your square, cut, and hammer the nails into the stud. It's really that simple. For the plug that goes into the wall, you could just cut an extension cord, but they sell 5-15 foot sections of cord with a plug on one end and the other end stripped and ready to go. Make sure you get a decent gauge though - 14/2 is what I chose. 14 gauge is what most houses have running in the walls. The /2 simply means 2 shielded wires plus a ground. /2 is all you need for outlets.
I suggest googling how to wire outlets so you don't screw something up! I chose to take wall power to one box, and then have a single wire traverse the bed to the other box. You'll notice the wiring staples holding it to the underside of the bed.
Lastly, USE AN OUTLET TESTER. They are a couple of bucks, and they tell you if you wired the plug properly! See below.
Step 8: Headboard Time!
Whew! Ok now that the bed is complete, we are half way there! The headboard is actually way easier than the bed. Build a frame for it, attach the plywood, glue the facing, cut some holes, and wire it! It only took me a couple of days to finish.
These pictures show the frame. Simple - make it as tall as you want. Pay attention to the orientation of the middle piece - it's horizontal NOT vertical. This is because I used a florescent fixture as my light source. A vertical brace wouldn't have allowed me to mount that (not to mention the hole for the window would have a nice 2x4 running through it).
Also of note, I notched the bottom of the legs to fit perfectly onto the bed legs. See pictures.
Step 9: Cover It
Cover the frame with plywood, then with the wood flooring. I used a router with a trimming bit and also a 45 deg bevel bit to clean all the edges up. I ran all the wiring for the switches and light at this time as well. I also cut the window for the light to shine through. I kind of worked on all 3 of these things at the same time as I had a lot of down time in between glue-ups. I had a lot of scraps left over from the bed, which is why there are a lot of oddly shaped pieces.
When wiring the switches, make sure you get "3-way" switches - and also using "14/3" wire. This will allow either switch to control the light no matter what position the other switch is in! You can google how to wire these correctly. I provided the diagram I used for this.
Step 10: Attach to the Bed!
The headboard should rest on the legs at the head of the bed. To prevent it from falling forward, I used some scrap lumber left over from making the drawers, and screwed them to the middle crosspiece and then to the legs. I didn't really care about it falling backwards, since the wall would support it in that direction! In the end - the headboard was heavy enough that there wasn't really a threat of it falling in either direction, but I just wanted to be sure.
That's it! No holes in the wall!
Step 11: Make and Attach the Glass!
As for the glass, we got a custom cut piece made at the glass shop, and went to town on it with some frosted glass spray paint! We used some spare contact paper as a pattern, sprayed over it, and then removed the paper. It was pretty easy! I attached it by routing a lip out on the backside of the window, and then using some mirror holders on the backside to hold it in place.
Step 12: Finally Done!
It took several weeks, but I'm really proud of it!