Upholstered Bed Frame DIY Part 1


Upholstered Bedframe

This is a relatively simple project.I designed my plans based on similar bed frames found on sites like Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.  The first time, I made this on my own and it took me two afternoons to complete, including the upholstery.  As you can see from some of my pictures  we made a second frame for another room.  Mr. Handy tested my plans to build the frame and we noticed it was missing some pictures to help guide someone who has never worked with wood.  I hope the newly updated post helps you easily create the Restoration Hardware style bed-frame for a minimal cost.  🙂 Together Mr. H and I finished this project from start to finish in under one day… and we took lots of breaks 😉     I drew out a plan by using the measurements of my mattress and the upholstered headboard that I made 9 or 10 years ago.  I planned out the wood I would need and figured in the finished height of the bed with mattress on.  So here is how I did it.  Use these plans and adjust as you need for your mattress size.

King Size Bed Frame Materials & Cut List

  • Difficulty: beginner/intermediate
  • Print

Materials needed for King size frame:

  •   4- 1x12x8′ pine boards for sides kiln dried ( I used the rough kind as it was being covered but if you wanted to stain you will need finished wood)
  •   6- 1x4x8′   spruce or pine
  •   3- 2x4x8′   spruce or pine for center support
  • 18- 1x3x8′  spruce or pine for slats
  • Brackets and wooden feet
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • 2″ wood screws
  • 1  1/2″ wood screws
  • 2″ nail gun nails (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Protective eye glasses 
  • Drill with proper bit for screws
  • Wood drill bit for pilot holes on ends. 1/8″ worked for the screws I used.
  • Chop Saw or Circular Saw   * If you have all your measurements some hardware stores will cut the pieces to the size you need.  However keep in mind that for this many cuts a busy Saturday is probably not in your favour 😉
  • pencil and carpenters square or speed square  ( This makes sure your cuts are square)
  • Optional* Nail gun and compressor but really helps if you are making this by yourself to nail together in a couple of spots and then add screws and glue for strength.

Cut List for King Sized Frame:

  • 2- 1x12x81″
  • 2- 1x12x74″
  • 2- 2x4x79″
  • 2- 1x4x79″
  • 4- 1x4x74
  • 2- 1x3x74″
  • 4- 2x4x8″ for corners
  • 4- 2x4x10″ For corners
  • 2- 1x4x24″
  • 16-1x3x74″
  • 4- 1x4x24″

I built the bed-frame in the room where it was going to be placed.  You might be thinking oh no your floors.. Don’t worry, I was careful even though they were being resanded and stained the next month.  You should consider making this in your garage or protect your floor with cardboard to reduce scratches.  Double check your ceiling and door height especially if your bedroom is on the second floor and you need to do stairs… You don’t want to make this and then it not fit.

Step 1 Stiles and Rails

Please wear protective eyewear.

  1. Use carpenter’s square to square up the ends of the wood, then measure, mark, and cut all of your wood.

2. Use a  two of the 1x12x81″ pine boards, these are for the sides (stiles) and two of the 1x12x74″ pine boards, these are for the ends (rails)  The rough finish pine boards is actually 1″ if you buy smooth finished board you will have to adjust the length of this cut to make up the difference for the width.  

3. Place the boards together and using a nail gun, tack together with the sides (stiles) placed on the outside of the ends (rails).  Once tacked secure for strength with 4 – 2″ -2.5″screws per corner.  I pre-drilled my holes first to prevent splitting.  If you are making this to be stained use the kreg jig if you have one to join the corners.IMG_67644. Next add two of the 1x4x79″pine boards to the sides.  Use an extra scrap piece 1×4 on the floor in each inside corner rails (This is to allow for the 1×4 and the 1×3 straps to sit flush with the sides once flipped over. Place the 1x4x79″ on each side and glue, and screw in place with a 1 1/2″ wood screws every 6 -8 inches.IMG_67675. Add the 2x4x79″ to the inside, mark  28″ from the inside of the  sides (stiles).  Center the 2×4 to this mark. Again using the scrap 1×4″ to rest the 2×4 on while you screw in place.

6. Screw in place from the outside of the 1×12 into the end of the 2x4x79″ with three 2 1/2″ screws per end.IMG_67737. Use two pieces of 1x4x24″ across the center 2×4 supports, glue and screw in place.IMG_6771

Step 2 cuts & Step 3 Side and center support8. Place the two 1x3x74″ and two 1x4x24″ boards horizontally across the middle and screw in place.  This is to help the 2×4’s from twisting in the center.IMG_6775

IMG_67769. Using the 2 pieces of 1×4 plus the metal corner bracket mark, mark the depth to make the bracket sit flush with the rails and stiles.IMG_6779IMG_678010. Make a level mark with your square.IMG_678811. Starting with the 2x4x10″ place it under the marked line tack in place followed by the 2x4x8″ to each corner.  Tack in place under the line with a nail gun and 2″ brad nails.IMG_6790 IMG_679312.  Use glue and screw in place with the 2″ wood screws.  Since I was upholstering, I added a few screws from the outside into the corner supports for added strength. ( I went a little overboard I think)Step 4 Cross center and end supports 13. Add the 1x4x74″ lengthwise, place at the corners also along the outside edge of the 1x12x74″  (1 every 6-8″ is all that is needed.)  I set the bracket in place when I placed the screws in the corners to ensure that they wouldn’t get in the way of the bracket screw holes.IMG_6799

Close up Step 4 Close up to show how the corner is set to the correct depth to add the bracket for the leg.IMG_6796Okay we are almost finished… Ready for the Leg brackets.Step 6 Adding feet brackets14. Add the leg brackets to each corner with 2″ wood screws The screws that came with the brackets are not strong enough imo…Step 6 Adding feet brackets15. Center the bracket in the corner.IMG_6800 IMG_680516. I marked the holes and then pre-drilled with a 1/8″ drill bit to prevent the wood from splitting.IMG_6809

Step 7 Adding feet17. Add the wooden feet.  Click here to see how I stained these legs.  I removed the legs and stained before upholstering.Step 8 close up18. Flip over and add the remaining two 1x4x74″ one at the top and then the bottom of the bed frame just as you did the underside. IMG_679819.  Screw in place exactly as you did the bottom 1x4x74″DSC_7164

Step 9 Adding 1x3's to complete frame

20.  I forgot to cut my slats on my cut list the first time.   Place the 16 pre-cut 1x3x74″ evenly apart along the length of the bed frame.  I did not get too perfect here.  Nail in place.  I screwed the centers but nailed the ends with a nail gun as they started to split as it is too close to the end of the wood.  If you don’t have a nail gun you will need to pre-drill each hole on the ends.


Ready for upholstery

Finished and ready for Part 2 Upholstery.

Keep following for the finished product with a post for a DIY Upholstered headboard.


37 thoughts on “Upholstered Bed Frame DIY Part 1

  1. Marion says:

    I just read your Blog on upholstered bed frame and looked at the ten steps,you are amazing you have so much talent I am in awe.You make beautiful decorated cakes and pastries also interior decorator and then turn your hand to carpentery,you are another Maratha Stewart.


    • The Handy Homemaker says:

      Thank you Cara 🙂
      For all of the wood, brackets, and wooden legs it came to $132.00 (Canadian) including tax (I purchased at Home Depot here in NS) I just used the cheap fir/spruce/pine that they sell. It’s all being covered. I already had the wood screws and glue, but you should probably add on another $20-25 for that if you don’t have those items. The cost of covering depends on the fabric you use. I bought that fabric on sale so I give an exact number, but I think it cost around $50.00 for upholstering materials (not including the staples for my staple gun) Let me know how you make out or if you have any other questions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gale says:

    just read your inspiring post on this upholstered bed frame. Is the finished size of the frame the exact size of the mattress? I was thinking of trying this in a twin size…….


    • The Handy Homemaker says:

      Yes, this bed is exact same size as my king mattress. Once the fabric is on they look pretty seamless (minus the corners if your mattress has curved edges) but it isn’t a noticeable difference. Just take the size of your twin mattress and reduce the measurement to accommodate that size mattress. Hope this helps.


  3. Catherine says:

    Wow! I really want to try this. I work at Home Depot so there is all kinds of cull wood that is usually 70% off, and since I’m going to upholster it it really doesn’t matter if it matches right? Do you have dimensions for Queen bed?


  4. Ro says:

    Hi! I came across this post and want to try it. I recently found a beautiful king headboard that I am planning on purchasing. It already has holes. Would this frame also be able to be attached to a headboard like this?


    • The Handy Homemaker says:

      No there isn’t as the center support is very strong. You could add one or two if you like by adding support wood to attach the legs to with the same idea as the corners. However, I’ve now built 6 of these and we have had zero sagging at all. One of the mattresses is an expensive Temperpedic memory foam and the others are from wayfair that cost 10 time less (Lucid 10 inch memory foam mattresses). My husband and I both prefer sleeping on the Lucid brand that’s at our cottage. Oops sorry not sponsored haha. This is a very heavy frame when finished. Side note The last two frames I built so they could be taken apart. (Not upholstered finished like barnboard) Gluing only side rail supports and leg supports. Predilling the rails and screwing in place instead of nailing. A little more work but well worth it when we moved. Works perfectly taking apart and putting back together. I hope this helps. I’ve also sold two because a couple of friends begged me to make for them lol and they love theirs. Good luck


  5. Jane says:

    Hi there!! I really love the look of this bed and would to make it! I feel like the mattress would move around however as the slats aren’t inset in any way. My thought would be that if the mattress could sit maybe about 3/4’s of an inch down inside the frame, then the mattress would stay in place. Would you have any suggestions on how to do this or should I just look to find another design. Also, the mattress that I would be making the frame for is 47 inches wide by 72 inches long. Thank you so much for your consideration in answering my question 🙂


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