DIY Bed Frame

I followed plans based on the great Ana White’s farmhouse design and built darling daughter a twin bed from scratch. I only dropped the headboard on my toes once but the pain lasted quite some time.


This little power tool is my current favorite toy. It’s a battery-powered air nail gun. I’m not smart enough to understand how the pressure is built up to shoot those nails through wood but I do know it’s way easier than asking a friend for hers, driving to her house, and getting the compressor hose wrapped around my ankle. This is the start of the foot board. If you want instructions on how to build it go mess around in Ana White’s website. If you want tips on what not to do when building this bed frame stay here. For instance! When you don’t use the entire tube of Liquid Nails, cover the opening so you can get at it later! Goes way faster when you’re not swearing at a tube of glue slowly oozing out a pin hole.

She says to measure my own boards instead of following her measurements exactly because all wood can be slightly different sizes. I didn’t listen. Now the pieces have a public-facing side and a hide-behind-the-mattress side. Basically every project I do has a public-facing side and a hide-behind-something side.

During the build process I had this little furball helping again. He likes to stand in the middle of a project looking all cute-like and wanting attention. He’s not even my dog. My neighbors know we have a slight obsession but I’m afraid of the answer if I were to ask if they mind. He sucks with a drill though.


Here’s the headboard without the top two pieces of wood to give it that extra oomph. It could stay like this but we liked the idea of being able to pile dishes and water bottles and socks on top, and a 2×6 holds these much better.

Headboard with finishing pieces on top. Socks will totally fit up there.

Blankets and sheets pile nicely on the footboard’s 2×6.


The best part is that darling daughter wanted it in her room – still unpainted – because we had already sold her old metal frame and her bed was on the ground. Not good enough. So instead of having the wood dry out in the basement, it dried for three weeks in her room. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the smell of pine myself but she didn’t seem to notice and she didn’t squirrel away acorns as far as I can tell.


This monster weighs about as much as an elephant. I discovered a few things after the assembly point.

One: the sideboards like glue (please see aforementioned glue issue that derailed this step). The nail gun nails were not holding these 1x12s on the 2×4 frame inside so I cut them a fraction shorter and added glue. Some swearing ensued and now they are fine.

Two: It has to be easier to paint it in pieces in the garage like a normal human being instead of constantly sliding an elephant back and forth with paper bags stuck to each foot to get to all sides to paint.

Three: When you have to paint in her room she is in charge of the music selection. There’s no 90s hairband singalong party.

I primed one night, painted first coat one night a few days later, then finished up with the second coat of paint. I like to use Behr “High Hide White” for my white of choice. A Behr rep once told me it’s better than untinted and is a pure white color. There isn’t a color card for this color, you just tell the paint worker to type it in.


Finished piece looks great in her room! So far it hasn’t collapsed, but you saw that glue…


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