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Reinvent a Room: Budget Decorating Projects

How to Build a Modern-Style Platform Bed With Headboard (page 1 of 2)

Follow these instructions to build a wooden platform bed with a slatted headboard. You can make both pieces together or just one of them.

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  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Use hardwoods, such as poplar, alder or oak, for this project. The steps allow you to build either the bed or the headboard alone if you prefer only those parts of the project.

This project uses pocket-hole joinery. If you're not familiar with it, take a look at the basics.

Cut List

Use the diagrams in Images 1 and 2, as well as the cut list, as guides. Be sure to double check measurements as you build and make adjustments before you cut the parts.

The finished dimensions (Image 3) are 50-1/8" high x 65" wide x 98" deep.

Bed
feet (20) - 3/4 x 9-1/4 x 9-1/4
end rails (2) - 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 40-1/2
side rails (2) - 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 61-3/4
platform (1) - 3/4 x 48 x 75
platform side trim (2) - 3/4 x 8-3/4 x 75
platform end trim (2) - 3/4 x 5-1/2 x 65

Headboard
narrow headboard panels (2) - 3/4 x 5-1/2 x 47-3/4
wide headboard panels (2) - 3/4 x 6-1/2 x 33-1/2
headboard rails (2) - 3/4 x 3-1/2 x 57-1/2
wide headboard slats (5) - 3/4 x 5-1/2 x 65
narrow headboard slats (5) - 3/4 x 1-1/2 x 65

Make the Feet and End Assemblies

Drill a pocket hole centered on one face of each of the feet parts, as shown in Image 1. Use corner clamps to position four feet as shown in Image 2 and Image 3, and assemble using glue and #17 x 1-1/4-inch wire brads.

Drill three pocket holes on each end of one face of the end rails, and a total of three pocket holes positioned vertically: one at 3 inches from each end and one centered.

Drill three pocket holes on each end of one face of the side rails, and a total of five pocket holes positioned vertically: one at 3 inches from each end, one at 17 1/4 inches from each end and one centered.

Position one end rail 3/4 inch from the narrow end and flush with the top (where the pocket holes are placed on the feet assembly) and the vertical pocket holes pointing in the same direction as the pocket holes on the feet assembly, as shown in Image 4. Attach using glue and 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws as shown in Image 5 and Image 6. (Clamp a 3/4-inch piece of scrap to the assembly to help with the offset spacing.) Repeat to create a second assembly.

Position the side rails as shown in Image 7 and attach using 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws only as shown in Image 8. Be sure to attach the side rails to the other end rail assembly as well.

Remove the side rails for final assembly later.

Fill the brad holes with wood putty or stainable wood filler that is slightly darker than the stain you plan to apply. Paint or stain the feet, end rail assemblies and side rails as desired. If staining, apply a pre-stain conditioner as directed by the manufacturer. Apply a topcoat of polyurethane as desired.

Build the Platform

Cut the platform to length per the cut list using a circular saw with a straightedge guide (Image 1). Double check the length of the platform, as you will need to match the length of the platform side trim to this measurement.

Rip the platform side trim to width. Retain the excess from the 1x10s to use as a spacer in a step for building the headboard.

Drill seven pocket holes on one face of the platform side trim: one at 1 inch from each end, one at 10 inches from each end, one at 24 inches from each end and one centered.

Attach the platform side trim to the platform using 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws only. Double check the width of the platform with the side trim, as you will need to match the length of the platform end trim to this measurement.

Drill nine pocket holes on one face of the platform end trim: one at 1 inch from each end, one at five inches from each end, one at 10 inches from each end, one at 20 inches from each end and one centered.

Attach the platform side trim to the platform and platform side trim using 1-1/4-inch pocket-hole screws only, as shown in Images 2 and 3.

Use a number or lettering system to mark the positions of each of the trim parts in relation to the platform.

Disassemble the platform and paint or stain as desired (be sure to not paint or stain over the position marks). Add a topcoat of polyurethane as desired.

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