Introduction: Cedar-Planked Platform Bed Frame

About: Building design/consulting in Vancouver, WA. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to look in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to …

Looking to maximize the space of your apartment?

A platform bed is an ideal way to gain storage and create a comfortable, elevated bed.

Create a custom platform bed following the building basics shown here for any room! This project can be completed over the weekend using tools and materials that costs less than even the most modest wood bed frames.

Questions & Comments are always welcome,

Best! Jeff

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here are the suggested tools and materials for building a platform desk.



  • (10) 2x4s
  • (3) 2x6s
  • (3) 2x2s
  • (1) box 3" Screws and/or Nails (see note below)
  • 1-1/4" Drywall Screws
  • Cedar boards (bought from Habitat Restore)
  • (2) 4x8 3/8" Plywood or OSB
  • (<1) quart Paint (optional)
  • Electrical (optional) - see electrical step

Cost: All materials cost around $80 from HD/Lowes/Habitat. All tools cost under $120 and were purchased refurbished online or used off craigslist. Links provided for where I would buy today on Amazon.

Fasteners: I recommend using all screws for the project. In the past I used primarily nails but always required a few screws. Depending on the boards used for the siding you may need to pre-drill and use smaller screws.

Step 2: Frame the Platform

The photos show a mix of two steps: Framing & Securing

Determine the size f the platform based on the space available and requirements of your mattress.

  • I used 60"x80" for a queen mattress. Notice the corner is has a bump out where the building framed around plumbing risers.... to fit the irregular space I am adding the length of the bump out to the top piece of the frame (notice how it extends past the last 2x4)

Cut the long pieces to length allowing for the width of the two end pieces. The long pieces are 3" less then the overall length if you are working with 2x4s (dimensioned lumber) Secure each 2x4 connection with (2) screws.

  • (4) 2x4s cut to 77"
  • (2) 2x4s cut to 60" & 60" + bump out

Step 3: Secure the Platform

How high to you want the bed?

  • Maybe you want to use the height of storage containers you own?
  • Maybe the height of a window, desk or dresser?
  • Personal preference?

Secure to Wall: To support the platform you'll install 2x4s directly to the wall. Working back from the final mattress height subtract the mattress thickness (mine = 8"), the ~1/2" of OSB and the 3-1/2" of 2x4 used as part of the frame. Use the level to make a light pencil line on the wall. Then screw in a first 2x4 under the line. You'll need to use a long enough piece to space across 2 studs which you'll have to find by taping the wall, using a stud finder or guess/check. After catching the first stud I use the level to confirm the position before setting the second screw. Do this at any place where the bed will contact the wall. Any other corners will have a leg.

Secure to Floor: After connecting to the wall use the level to ensure the platform is level and take a measurement of the height for any corners that are currently unsupported. I used a milk crate and a cooler to support the platform before it was secured with the leg. I only needed one leg but it's common to need two. Cut the leg from a scrap 2x4 and secure it with two screws on the inside corner of the platform.

Step 4: Framing Head/Side Board

Do you want a Head and/or Side Board?

I think it adds a lot to the bedroom and provides an opportunity to add a shelf.

Similar to the installation of the support for the platform I installed a 60" 2x4 about 24" above the platform. I then used 2x2s to span from the top 2x4 to the platform. The 2x2s give me a surface to secure the finished cedar boards.

...use the level for the horizontal and vertical 2-bys to ensure level and plumb installation.

Step 5: Platform Decking

Cut the OSB (or plywood) to the right size using measurements. I cut the material outside then set it in place.

It was necessary to cut around the 2x2 material for the headboard. I used a handsaw.

Connect the decking to the platform using the drywall screws. Even with a span of just over 24" there is minimal flex in the decking once the screws are installed.

Step 6: Head/Side Board Installation

Finish the framing -- In the photos it shows how the vertical 2x4s were screwed to the platform after the decking was installed. I had to notch out and drop them in.. this could be avoided. The top piece is installed directly to the wall. From there 2x2 was used to tie the side board framing back to the wall.

Install the cedar -- Installation started at the bottom but I measured from the top to ensure that the top would be flush. I cut the boards to length out on the porch.

Install the top -- In the last photo you can see painted 2x4s and 2x6s. I used the mix of lumber to create the top. Along both sides there is an overhang of about 1".

Step 7: Finished!!

Click ahead to see a few optional details I added to the project.

  • In the photos above there are 2x6s that were added to finish the leg and run along the top/side of the head and side boards.
  • I installed this bed frame in 2012. It was simple to take down and only required an hour to unscrew the frame and another ten minutes to spackle the walls.
  • Since 2012 I've built 4 more platform beds. Here's a link to the next one.

Follow to see the next one when I post in 2018.

Step 8: Option 1 - Electrical

Be Careful!!

If you are familiar with electrical work then the photos should provide the necessary direction for my crude installation. I can provide more detail if it's helpful.

Step 9: Option 2 - Cigar Box Storage

A simple, useful addition

In 2018 I posted how I reused these cigar boxes for shelves at the desk and kitchen... Cigar Box Shelves