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How To Build a Platform Bed

Learn how to build a platform bed from metal bookshelves.

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build platform bed from metal bookshelves Watch Video
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Cut the Shelves

For this project, metal display shelves were used. To build a similar project, make sure the shelves are structurally sound enough to support a lot of weight. Cut the shelves into sections of equal height to act as legs for the platform. Make sure to use eye protection when cutting. To have the shelves double as steps, make sure they are structurally sound enough to support the weight. If not, reinforce them. To accomplish this, attach 3/4 inch MDF to the underside of each shelf using screws. Bolt the shelving together using 1/4 inch bolts of appropriate length.

cut shelves into sections of equal height

Step 2: Make the Platform

Take measurements of the bed -- the space where the platform and shelves that you just cut will go. Use these measurements to determine the dimensions of the platform. Build the platform with standard framing techniques. Use any kind of lumber. In this project, we used 1" x 5" pine as the framing and 3/4 inch MDF as the lid for the platform. Don't attach the MDF to the framing at this point.

make platform for bed

Step 3: Attach the Fabric

Cut the fabric to size. Install grommets in each corner. Screw through the grommets into the steel on the back of the shelves using self-tapping screws. Make sure to pull the fabric taught while working to ensure the fabric stays straight.

Step 4: Install the Bed

Put the shelves in place, and then bolt together. Put the framing in place, and then bolt together as necessary. If building into a corner, the shelves will only support two sides. Add 2" x 4" legs where needed, and then attach the framing to the studs in the walls where possible. Attach the MDF lid to the framing with screws. We used silver screws and finish washers to mimic rivets.

put shelves in place and bolt together