Build a Twin Bed




Introduction: Build a Twin Bed

This instructable will hopefully show you how to make a twin size bed (for a 75"x38" mattress) using common framing lumber and without the need for any special woodworking skills.  The tools I used were a mitre saw, table saw, drill and random orbit sander, but it could likely be built with nothing but a circular saw and a drill if a person was determined enough.  As always when using power tools, make sure you wear eye and hearing protection and understand how to properly use the tool before proceeding.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

2x4x8' - 6
1x4x10' - 4
1x4x8' - 2
1x3x8' - 1
5/16" x 3 1/2" x 8' tongue and groove pine beadboard (wainscotting) - 3
3/8" x 2" dowels
bed hardware
1 1/4" and 2 1/2" wood screws
wood glue
wood filler

mitre saw or circular saw
table saw
drill, small drill bit with countersink (if you don't have a countersink use a small bit to drill the pilot hole, then a larger bit to drill the countersink), 3/8" drill bit, driver bit
tape measure
paint brush

Step 2: Cut Lumber to Length

First cut all your lumber to length.  This bed was made for a 75"x38" mattress.  If your mattress is a different size you will have to adjust the measurements to fit.  Remember the old saying, "measure twice cut once".

Cut four of the 2x4's into two 35" lengths and one 24" length each.  Cut the other two 2x4's at 75" each.  Cut each 1x4x10' into three 38" lengths.  Cut one of the 1x4x8' into two 38" lengths and the other 1x4x8' into two 41" lengths.  Cut the 1x3x8' at 71 1/2" and then rip it into two 3/4" strips.  Cut the pine beadboard into ten 17" lengths and ten 6" lengths.

Next cut a groove 3/8" wide by 1/2" deep centered on one edge of four of the 35" 2x4's.

When finished you should have the following:

2x4x35" - 8 (4 with grooves, 4 without)
2x4x24" - 4
2x4x75" - 2
1x4x38" - 14
1x4x41" - 2
3/4" x 3/4" x 71 1/2" - 2
17" beadboard - 10
6" beadboard - 10

Step 3: Build the Posts

Take two of the 35" 2x4's that don't have grooves, put wood glue on one side and screw them together with the 2 1/2 wood screws.  Do the same with the other two 35" 2x4's that don't have grooves and also with the 24" 2x4's.  Make sure your screw heads sink below the surface of the wood.  Fill in the screw holes and the joint where the 2x4's meet with wood filler and let it dry.  Sand.

Step 4: Drill for Dowels

Drill a 3/8" hole 1"  and 2 1/4" from the top of the grooved 2x4's centered on each butt end.  Make the holes 1" deep.  An easy way to drill consistently deep holes is to put a piece of tape around your bit at the correct depth.  Also drill holes centered on each post 1" and 2 1/4" from the top and 13" and 14 1/4" from the bottom.  Glue a dowel in each hole on the ends of the 2x4's.

Step 5: Complete Headboard and Footboard

Lay one of your 35" posts on the ground.  Put glue on the end of one of the 35" 2x4's.  Align it with the top of the post, groove facing down, by inserting the dowels into the post holes.  Drill pilot holes in the sides and top and screw it to the post.  Glue the end of another of the 2x4's and align it 12" from the bottom of the post, groove facing up, by inserting the dowels into the post holes.  Drill pilot holes and screw it in place.

Slide the long pieces of beadboard into the grooves.  Glue up the other end of the 2x4's and insert dowels.  Place the other 35" post on top, aligning the dowels into the holes.  Drill and screw in place.  Stand the headboard up and attach a 1x4x41" to the top using glue and screws. Lay the headboard flat on the floor to make sure it is not twisted and crosstape to make sure it is square. (measure diagonally from corner to corner in both directions and ensure the measurement is the same).  Make any adjustments necessary.  Fill all screw holes and sand when dry.

Repeat the process with the 24" posts to make the footboard.

Step 6: Making the Mattress Support

Lay one of the 75" 2x4's down and attach one of the 71 1/2" strips flush with the bottom edge using glue and 1 1/4" screws (be sure to drill pilot holes first).  Leave a 1 3/4" space at each end for attaching your bed hardware.  Repeat with the other 2x4.

Mark out where your support slats (1x4x38") are going to go on each 3/4" strip.  They should be spaced 2" apart.  Drill pilot holes and screw the slats in place, angling the screws so they go into the 2x4.  Cut a 1 3/4" x 1" notch in each end of the last slats for attaching your bed hardware.  (If you are using different hardware than me you may not need to do this)  Sand.

Step 7: Finish

Do any touch ups with the wood filler if necessary and any final sanding and then paint your project.  Attach bed hardware to ends of mattress support and 12" from bottom of each post.  Attach mattress support to headboard and footboard.  That's it.

UP! Contest

Participated in the
UP! Contest

Furniture Contest

Participated in the
Furniture Contest

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    Silly Hats Speed Challenge
  • First Time Author Contest

    First Time Author Contest

2 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for sharing your hard work and do have a splendorous day!


7 years ago on Step 7

Very nicely done