Introduction: $15 Bed Frame

We picked up a free mattress and box spring from Kijiji the other day as we are having relatives over to our new house in a couple of weeks. On it's own, that was ok except the mattress would be to close to the ground and would be very uncomfortable to get into or out of. So I built a bed frame for the box spring to sit on. Here's how I did it.

Step 1: Materials and Measurements

Firstly measure your box spring. This isn't particularly important at this stage, but it does make sure you aren't making a mistake when buying materials. The box spring was 53" by 74". I also measured our existing bed to see how far off the ground the top surface of the mattress was, to see what's reasonable. Turns out that's 25". Deduct the height of box spring and mattress means the top of the frame needs to be 10" off the floor.

Next buy your materials. I'm using construction grade 2 by 4s. They look ugly, but that doesn't matter as my wife will tack a skirt round the box spring and frame to make the whole thing look pretty. They are strong enough to build houses from, so they should be able to withstand building made into a bed. You will need:

7 x 2 by 4s
1 box of 3 inch screws (and if you want to, a drill bit to drill pilot holes. I didn't but I'm lazy that way)
1 piece of plyboard big enough to cover the headboard.

Also, you will need
1 1/2 inch drill bit
1 screwdriver. You will probably find a power screwdriver/drill is the way to go.

Step 2: Cut the 2x4s

Cut two of the 2x4s to (in my case) 52" long to form the bottom and top of the frame.

2x4s aren't 2 inches by 4 inches - they are 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches because the lumber mill starts with a piece of wood 2" by 4", and then planes it down to smooth out most of the rough parts. To make sure the frame fits the bed, you need to subtract double the width of the 2x4s from the length of the bed. The bed is 74", so you need three 2x4s at 71" long.

We also need legs for the bed, which can be cut from the offcuts from the 52" and 71" frame pieces. The top of the frame needs to be 10" off the ground, so cut 9 pieces all 10" long. To make sure the legs are sturdy, I'm doubling the legs up. So cut some more legs that are 10", less the 3 1/2 inch depth of the 2x4, meaning cut 9 more legs at 6 1/2 inches.

Finally cut one 2x4 in half to make the frame for the headboard. The 2x4s are 8ft long, so you'll end up with approximately 4ft high headboard.

Step 3: Build the Basic Frame

Place the bottom and top pieces of the frame on the floor, roughly parallel and just over 71" apart. Place the three 71" beams at either end of the top and bottom pieces, and one in the middle.

Put two screws into the end of the bottom beam and one of the 71" beams, giving you approximately a right angle. Repeat this for all four corners, before screwing in the middle beam.

Step 4: Build the Legs and Attach Them to the Frame

Pairing up each of the 6 1/2" and the 10" legs, you should end up with a stack of 9 legs.

Starting at the corners, place four legs under the frame at each corner to get it level. Screw through the 10" half of the leg, and into the frame. Once the corners are done, repeat the process attach the remaining 5 legs to the middle of each side and one in the centre of the bed.

Step 5: Attach the Uprights for the Headboard

Screw in the uprights for the uprights to make up the headboard. Three screws should do it.

Once that's done, measure up and cut the horizontals to complete the headboard.

Step 6: Attaching the Horizontals for the Headboard

Take your 1/2" drill bit, and measure 1 1/2" from the tip. Mark that off with some tape. I've only got 3" screws, I counter sunk the screws 1 1/2" inside the uprights of the headboard.

Mark up where your horizontals will go for the headboard, and drill two holes with the marked 1/2" drill bit. Then when you screw in the 3" screws through the counter sinks, you'll have an 1 1/2" of screw in the upright and another 1 1/2" in the horizontal. Do this for both horizontals, at both ends.

Once that's done, measure and cut another upright to go in the middle of the headboard, and attach a piece of ply board across the front of the head board.

And that's it!

(You could also get your awesomely talented wife to do some sewing)