Underlit Pallet Bed




About: I am an old mother, grandmother, and wife, and have just in the past few years realized how much I like and am able to make things out of wood. I have always liked making things, just little stuff out of cl...

I needed a bed in our multi-purpose guest room and wanted a full-size bed in there. My Underlit Pallet Bed is what I came up with!

Step 1: Day 1 - the Basics

I started by planning it out on graph paper and did a test dry-fitting with the pallets on the ground in the way I had it planned out. I thought I had it the way I wanted, but I still cut it out backward. So, plan B was to add on an extra section and 9" on both sides. OK, I made it over that hurdle! Time to really get building!

Step 2: Day 2 - Building the Foundation

First, I put the pieces together to make the bottom of the bed, including those patches mentioned above. Since I had to put legs on it, I began by assembling it upside-down. I began with the bed legs and made them out of salvaged 2 x 6” lumber. They were screwed onto the bottom of the board one at a time, mounting them successively into one another. I made the legs four layers deep, creating 8” of lift. Finally, I put the legs in places I thought may need support, also bearing in mind that I don't want to smash my toes while making the bed.

Step 3: Days 3 and 4 - Painting, Lighting, and Finishing Steps Along the Way

Time to paint! This was going to be too heavy to do all the painting at once, so I had to plan accordingly. I painted the underside section and let it dry. Next, I added a string of tiny lights in the middle between the boards, making sure I had the correct plug ends at the bottom at the top, as I planned to put lights in the head and foot boards and wanted them all to be on at the same time. I fastened them in with zipping ties and staples.

To finish the feet, I added peel-and-stick felt bumper pads to prevent scratching the floors and to make it easy to move the furniture for cleaning. My husband and a friend's son flipped the bed over for me after everything was dry.

Step 4: Days 5 and 6 – the Headboard & Footboard

To make the headboard, I varnished and sanded one pallet and attached it to the bed after it dried. It needed another half a pallet to complete the width, which I cut, varnished, and attached to the head of the bed and to the piece already there. Next, I put a power strip and a phone charger for the little phone cubby, and another power strip plugged into the first one, to use as the on/off switch for the lights. I attached a string of lights inside the headboard and plugged them into the ones under the bed.

For the first part of the footboard, I used part of a pallet but added wood to fill in the spaces between the natural deck boards. I sanded and varnished as described before, and let it dry. Then I attached a string of lights to that part and plugged them into the ones under the bed.

To make the last piece of the footboard, I put leftover pieces from other projects, but had a last minute idea! I decided to put holes with my 3/4" drill bit and inserted flat glass marbles in the holes.

Step 5: Days 7, 8 & 9 -Eevaluation and Second Thought Mods

The pictures show it before I touched up the holes and smoothed them out. When it was dark, I didn't like how poorly the light showed through the marbles, so I added more slats of wood, and a piece on each end to close it in more. Now the light shines through the marbles in the dark.

I had most everything around here that I used to make this Underlit Pallet Bed, with the exception of the varnish. I used about a quart and a half to do the footboard and headboard. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Soon the family will be trying it out, and I hope they’re very surprised!



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wonderful idea and a charming bed! A few questions; why are the individual pieces of the legs different lengths, and can you provide more detail about the leg attachment?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, the leg pieces were scraps I had around the house. I didn't want to have actual legs on the bed, because I thought it may be wiggly and I figured why not use the leftover wood I had and stack it to make legs. Also, I placed them at the connection points where I attached the two pallets together, to reinforce that joined part for stability. I couldn't brace it and also make the braces be legs if I made regular legs. It is very stable this way and the pieces that form the very bottom of the bed are reinforced now with screwing on those boards. Thank you for asking. Thanks about the cell phone cubby. My grandsons come over to stay sometimes, and they absolutely can't be without the phone, and first thing they do when they come over, besides go get ice cream from the freezer, is look for a charging place for the phones.....


    2 years ago

    Also, I love the cell phone cubby and charger!


    2 years ago

    I thought the idea sounded strange but the end result is beautiful.

    1 reply