How to Make Under Bed Drawers - the Average Joe Way!

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Introduction: How to Make Under Bed Drawers - the Average Joe Way!

About: Average Can Be Extraordinary

Here is how to make some DIY drawers for under your bed! I went with really simple construction for these under bed drawers with wheels. I hope it inspires you to make some for yourself. #BedroomStorage #Storage #DIY #Woodworking

Supplies

Step 1: Measure Your Bed

Before you make any cuts you'll first need to measure the space under your bed. This is so you can determine how big your drawers need to be. Measure the height from the floor to underneath the bed rail. Also measure the space between the headboard and foot board legs. This will give you the area you have to work with.

You will need to allow a clearance gap for the drawers so I went with a 12mm gap on the left and right as well as on the top (in red). Because the wheels need some clearance too, I allowed a space of 10mm on the bottom as well as a 12mm space in the middle to allow clearance between the 2 drawers (in red).

This will leave you with 2 areas (in green). These are how big your drawer fronts will be. We can now work backward to figure out the size of the drawers. I allowed a 30mm space left and right and 30mm from the top too. This leaves an area (in blue) that represents the Width and the Height of the draw body itself.

The last measurement to get is how deep the drawers need to be. If you have a double bed, you may want to have drawers on both sides so make sure you account for 2 drawers deep.

Step 2: Cut the Pieces

With the measurements sorted its time to cut all the parts you need. To cut the 12mm MDF to width I used my table saw. If you don't have a table saw you could use a circular saw and a straight edge or even ask your local DIY store if they have a cutting service. They will ask for a cutting list so make sure you have a clear one for them to follow.

The pieces can then be cut to length at the mitre saw. Again, this could be done with a handsaw if you don't have a mitre saw. For each drawer you will need a bottom (the full size of the drawer) 2 sides for the front and back (in blue) and 2 sides for the left and right (in green) as well as a drawer front.

Step 3: Construct the Drawer Bodies

The layout for the construction is much better if you have the front and back side pieces (in blue) sit inside of the left and right side pieces (in green). This way, when you're pulling on the drawer, you're much less likely to weaken the joint over time because you're pulling sideways on the screws rather than pulling them directly out of the holes.

To fit the pieces together, sit a front and side piece on the base to the drawer. Make sure they're flush together then drill 2 thin pilot holes through the side piece and into the edge of the front piece. Apply some wood glue and then secure the pieces together with 2 screws. Do the same for the other 4 corners so you have an outer frame put together.

You can now flip it over and secure the bottom to the drawer in place. This time apply the wood glue and make sure the bottom is flush all the way around. Drill pilot holes and secure with screws. I used 2 screws on each of the 4 sides.

Now you have the drawer body together you could leave it like this but its much better to increase the strength of the joints with wooden dowels.

Step 4: Add Dowels

Because we're using 6mm wooden dowels, use a 6mm drill bit to drill a hole in between the 2 screws that are already in place in each corner. Add some wood glue to the wooden dowel, fit it into the hole and then hammer it flush to the surface.

At this stage you can make sure all the screws are tightened slightly below the surface too. Do the same for the bottom of the drawer too. I added 2 wooden dowels to each of the 4 sides.

Step 5: Clean Up the MDF

Now its time to clean up the drawers a little. I first used a flush trim bit in the router to flush up the bottom to match the sides. This really could be done by sanding too though. I then used a round over bit in the router to remove all the sharp edges, again, sanding could be used instead but it would just take longer.

Step 6: Template for Drawer Pulls

For the drawers I wanted to cut out some drawer pulls. You may want to add drawer handles onto yours though. I used the bandsaw to cut out a template, you could use a jigsaw to do this instead though. I then used that template, centred on the drawer front to mark up the drawer pulls. A jigsaw helps to remove the bulk material but you could use it to make the cut entirely.

I opted to use the flush trim router bit again. This time it followed the template which I clamped in place, giving me an exact cut that I can repeat on the other drawer fronts. The roundover bit removes the sharp edges but again, sanding by hand would work too.

Step 7: Paint

Now its time for paint. Take my advice an don't waste your money on MDF sealer. It never works as good as the label suggest so I recommend using Egg Shell wood paint instead. It works great on MDF. I applied 1 coat with a foam roller, let it dry fully, gave it a light sanding by hand and then applied a second coat. You can go with any colour you like for this.

For the drawer fronts I followed the theme for some Grufallo beds I'm making but you could use a finish to match your decor.

Step 8: Glue on the Drawer Fronts

Before gluing the fronts onto the bases I first sanded some of the paint away from the mating surfaces. This will allow the glue to adhere better. With the drawer front centred and flush to the bottom I applied clamps to hold it all together while the glue dried.

Step 9: Add the Wheels

The last step is to add the wheels. Each drawer gets 4 wheels, 2 on both sides. I added the wheels flush to the bottom and set in from the front and back by about 25mm. A short screw through the holes in the wheels secures them in place. 2 screws per wheel.

Step 10: Done!

That's the drawers done! Time to use them to hide all your rubbish under the bed.

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    19 Comments

    0
    shalnachywyt
    shalnachywyt

    Question 1 year ago

    What is "MDF"?

    0
    AverageJoesJoinery
    AverageJoesJoinery

    Reply 1 year ago

    Medium Density Fibre Board. Its a sheet material you can get from Hardware and DIY stores.

    0
    brad ley
    brad ley

    Answer 1 year ago

    Medium density fiberboard
    Finely ground particles of wood that are glued together to make panels. The product is very stable and does not warp, unlike regular wood. However moisture or water will easily damage it.

    0
    poorna.poori111
    poorna.poori111

    1 year ago on Step 10

    This is a very good way to save space, I have them for my cot but there will a lot dust and dirt accumulated at the bottom and inside of the cabinet, if it's possible to install a small flexible mesh on top of the cabinet(something we can easily cover and remove) it'll be perfect.

    0
    AverageJoesJoinery
    AverageJoesJoinery

    Reply 1 year ago

    I like the idea of adding a mesh of some kind. Another option could be to use another piece of MDF as a lid to the drawers. It could clip on with magnets in the corners for easy alignment. I may revisit these at some point and improve on the design. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

    0
    jeanneambro
    jeanneambro

    1 year ago

    Joe, I have been wanting to create boxes for under my bed for ages and I think I finally know how - thanx to you! Only one thing I'll have to adapt - I have nightstands on either side of my bed which keeps me from using the full length of the bed for boxes. I think I'll try coming up with hidden boxes that can only be accessed after removing the box in front; I just have to come up with small swiveling casters to make it work.

    0
    AverageJoesJoinery
    AverageJoesJoinery

    Reply 1 year ago

    Great idea for the hidden boxes for behind your night stands! Swivel castors would definitely be the better choice for those. If you cant source low profile swivel castors, a good alterantive would be have them recessed into the the bottoms. You would lose the space around them in each corner but it would keep them lower to the floor.

    0
    marilynHawk
    marilynHawk

    1 year ago on Step 9

    it's great.. i would like to see what it looks like actually under the bed.. that wood pull out doesn't interfere with the sheets?

    0
    poorna.poori111
    poorna.poori111

    Reply 1 year ago

    There is a commercial model available in Damro Furnitures, I have one, it accumulates a lot of dust if not cleaned regularly.

    15937117525031701849158.jpg159371178546164629352.jpg
    0
    marilynHawk
    marilynHawk

    Reply 1 year ago

    nice!..looks good.. it's cool being able to make it yourself too. Not my area of expertise.. I just admire all the creative people

    0
    AverageJoesJoinery
    AverageJoesJoinery

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Marilyn! These particular drawers are for a kids Gruffalo bed that I'm working on which isn't fully completed yet. If you have sheets that overhang the bed rail you would need to lift them up when you pull the drawer out and when you slide it back underneath.

    0
    KellyK89
    KellyK89

    Question 1 year ago

    Hello,
    Trying to find the wheels you used. What would the name of the type of wheels you used so I could do a search.

    0
    farna6548
    farna6548

    Answer 1 year ago

    If you can't find side mount wheels or have on hand some "top mount" wheels (like these: https://www.harborfreight.com/2-inch-x-7-8-eighth-inch-light-duty-rigid-caster-41513.html or these: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-2-in-Soft-Rubber-Rigid-Caster-with-90-lbs-Load-Rating-49481/203661068, just mount a 2x2 on the side of the drawer to hold the casters. The drawer will have to be a bit narrower to make up for the room, but you shouldn't notice 3". Make the front cover the 2x2 and wheels. I made a front load washing machine/dryer stand and made two pull out drawers with the Harbor Freight wheels. My brother saw it and I had to make him one too!

    0
    jeanneambro
    jeanneambro

    Answer 1 year ago

    While reading thru this I saw that the word "wheels" in the materials list is linked to the exact wheels used on Amazon.com.