Introduction: DIY Mini Daybed

About: Home & DIY blogger (, YouTuber, maker, and boy mom. Weeklyish DIY videos. If I can do it, then so can you! Find me on Instagram @ErinSpainBlog.

I'm going to show you how I made this DIY mini daybed using 3/4" thick plywood to create a reading nook for my kids. I upcycled our old crib mattress to use for the cushion on this. Check out the YouTube video or blog post for more info!


You can find a full supply list in the description box for the YouTube video or here:

Step 1: Cut Your Wood

I cut my 4' x8' sheet of 3/4" thick plywood to the following dimensions
(you can adjust your dimensions accordingly depending on the size of your mattress and how much space you want around it):

  • (2) at 63″ x 33″
  • (2) at 24″ x 33″
  • (4) at 12″ x 33″
  • (2) at 6″ x 33″

Step 2: Attach Your Sides

After I had cut all of my plywood, it was time to assemble everything. First, I needed to attach the sides. I did this by using my pocket hole jig to create pocket holes along each end of one of my large panels (this will be the bottom), then I attached the sides (my 24″ x 33″ pieces) using 1 1/4″ pocket screws. (Sidenote: If I were doing it over again, I would have flipped the panel over so the pocket holes are on the very bottom and not visible.)

Step 3: Attach Your Cubby Partitions

I flipped it over (on its side), and marked and measured 21″ increments along the back, and used a straight edge to mark a vertical line at each of those points (so two lines).

Then I used my countersinking drill bit to drill a few holes along the
vertical lines. This is where I will screw from the back to attach the cubby partitions.

I lined up my 12″ x 33″ partition panels on the other side and drilled
from the back into my predrilled holes to connect them. It took some playing around to get them straight but I was able to do it. If you have someone to help you, a spare set of hands would have made it easier.

Step 4: Attach Top

I drilled a couple of pocket holes at each end of my second long plywood panel, then placed it in front of those partitions to attach it (this will be the seat when we flip it upright). I used my countersinking bit to pre-drill holes on the front of it, and I drilled into the partitions from the front of the seat panel. I awkwardly attached it to the sides using pocket hole screws.

Step 5: Add Legs

After everything had been assembled, I went ahead and added the legs before flipping everything upright. (I ordered some Mid-Century style furniture legs online.) I measured 2″ in from each side and marked the holes for the furniture leg brackets. I predrilled holes, and then screwed the brackets on. Then, I used a larger drill bit to drill a hole in the middle.

Usually the bolt that comes with the furniture leg is adjustable and can be screwed into the leg to make the bolt shorter, but I couldn’t get these to cooperate, so I ended up screwing them all the way through the bottom of the daybed and then using my Dremel to cut the excess bolt flush from the other side.

Step 6: Add Center Support

I needed to add a center leg for support underneath the day bed, so I opted to use a 2×2 cut to 6 5/8″ (cut to the same length as the other legs). I simply screwed this onto my bottom panel from the top using a 2″ wood screw.

Step 7: Add Arm Rest Pieces

After the legs were attached, I flipped the whole thing over, being careful to lift as I flipped it so I didn’t damage the legs.

I then attached my remaining 12″ x 33″ panels by drilling pocket holes along one side of each of them and attaching them to the seat with 1 1/4″ pocket screws.

I added the tops with wood glue and brad nails. You can use wood filler to putty over these but I didn’t bother since they weren’t noticeable. Just be sure to set your depth so the brad nails countersink themselves. (At this point you can add whatever finish you choose. I just sealed it with Polycrylic.)

Step 8: Add Cushion

Next, it was time to add the cushion. I used one of our old crib mattresses for this. I laid fabric out upside down, and then laid the mattress upside down on top of the fabric. I placed a 2’x4′ piece of 1/4″ plywood in the center of the mattress (it doesn’t have to be the exact size of your mattress, you just need something to attach the fabric to if you want to make a no-sew version like this). I folded the sides of the fabric in and stapled them to the plywood, and then I folded the ends in, pulling it as tight as possible while stapling that too.

Step 9: Enjoy!

That's it! You can store books and/or accessories in the cubbies for easy access. My boys have really enjoyed this little spot in their playroom!