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How to Build a Kid-Friendly Bed (page 1 of 3)

Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to build a platform bed with built-in storage in the headboard and swing-out drawers underneath.

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Step 1: Sketch a Design

The key to this custom storage bed is tailoring it to the available space and the user's needs. We designed this bed to measure 6' 4" long by 38" wide. Measure the space and sketch out a bed design; graph paper makes it easy to visualize the measurements and keep everything consistent.

Read through all parts of this project while designing and planning your own custom bed. Determine the best size and placement for the under-bed drawers and lazy Susan.

Measure and cut out the side and bottom panels for the bed platform from 3/4" plywood.

Measure and mark the openings in the plywood for the drawer (or drawers) and lazy Susan. Drill a starter hole inside the lines for the openings, then use a jigsaw to cut out the openings.

Step 2: Build the Box

Use wood glue and nails to assemble the sides and bottom. Let the glue dry according to the package instructions.

Measure and cut lengths of 1x2 lumber to match the inside dimensions of the box. Use wood glue and nails to attach these strips around the inside of the platform assembly. They will help support the mattress that will sit on top of the frame. Make sure to measure carefully and keep the strips even -- otherwise, the bed won't be level.

Some of this bed's best features are tucked out of sight: the dividers and storage areas that help keep clothes and toys off the floor. Install a space divider that also supports the mattress, then build a custom toy drawer that rotates on a lazy Susan.

Step 3: Divide the Under-Bed Space

Work with your custom bed design to determine where to divide the under-bed space to accommodate one or more drawers plus the lazy Susan storage section.

Measure and cut two pieces of plywood that will fit snugly against the frame's sides in a "T" shape to divide the space. The pieces should extend all the way to the sides of the frame and come up to the same height as the tops of the 1x2 mattress supports.

Cut small notches in the top corners of the plywood, as needed, to accommodate the 1x2 supports.

Use wood glue and nails to attach the plywood pieces to the platform frame. Make sure to keep the supports level and plumb for the best support.

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