We Built a Bed!

I was trying to go for something clever and cute for this post title, but I am just too excited!  We built a bed!  A whole bed!


I’ve assembled, I’ve repaired, I’ve altered and painted… but this is the first thing that Jake and I have ever built with our own two hands completely from scratch and we are so proud of ourselves! We originally were only going to build a headboard and find a metal frame for the mattress.  So first things first we put a plan together for the headboard after searching Pinterest, magazines and catalogs, we finally found what we really wanted (which was the rustic wood headboard I posted about here).  Then I went about making a 3D model, then a plan, then a sketch and finally had it all laid out and completely understood how it was all going to go together (I’m nothing if not a planner!).


We are new homeowners so we don’t have much in the way of power tools.  My father did pass down to us an old circular saw of his, but I have to say that Jake and I are none too steady with the cuts on it and for this type of project we really wanted some precision.  I got some gift cards (awesome!) to both Lowe’s and Home Depot for my birthday earlier this month so we decided to look for a miter saw that would give us nice steady straight cuts, but would also let us cut at angles for some future ideas we have.  We picked up this miter saw from Lowes that was $119, I had a $50 gift card, so this beauty was a birthday present to myself for only $69!  She and I are going to be great friends, I just know it!


After designing our headboard and looking around to find a metal bed frame, we weren’t having much luck.  Unfortunately we had donated our old one, my sister had done the same with another and new ones cost about $80.  That seemed like a lot of beans for something we were going to have to turn into a platform (we have no box spring) and then try to disguise with a bed skirt of some sort. I’m a great admirer of Ana White’s site and even more so of her collection of FREE plans for just about anything!  Check her site and her book out if you haven’t!  We scooted over there to see if there was something we could find that would suite our needs using her handy plan search engine.  Sure enough, we found this plan for a “Fancy Farmhouse Bed“, and although we loved the headboard that was also designed with it, we decided to use the simpler one we had already designed and use her plans for the frame and supports.


Ana’s seriously awesome.  It looks like she lays the whole thing out in Sketchup and puts up dimensions, etc as well so they’re so easy to follow.  I use a different 3D software (Revit), but is it any wonder that this is a girl after my own heart!?!   Anyway, between her plans and my plans we assembled our shopping list and headed to both Lowes and Home Depot to use up those gift cards and get what we needed.  I’ll put our material list and final cost breakdown at the end of this project, but here’s a recap of our Saturday from our Instagram pic.


When we were ready and while the wall paint was drying we got to work measuring twice and making our cuts.  I’m not going to lie, this was mostly my job.  My hubby is incredible, but better with wires that he is with wood, so I took the lead on measuring for this one. Not to say that we both didn’t have a good time with our new lady friend, though (that sounds awkward).

4-Making Cuts

Once everything was cut and ready to go, I pulled out the boards that would make up the headboard and grabbed some tools to beat them up a bit and make them look reclaimed and weathered.


This is as easy as it sounds and just use whatever you have.  After you stain the boards the spots that are marked will hold the stain a little darker and look like they’ve been there for years. Sneak peek:


See how the stain sits in the groove and adds some contrast and interest?  After I beat up the boards I used our rotary sander to sand them down so they would be nice and smooth with no splinters.  I used a medium sand paper for this and didn’t need to take it any further than that.  I would definitely invest in a rotary sander for this or get ready to work on some serious arm muscles!  I think we picked our’s up on Amazon for less than $30 a while back.


After sanding, I wiped the boards down really well to remove any sawdust or dirt that would leave the wood bumpy and went to town staining.  We used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut and using a staining pad (and gloves) I just wiped it on smoothly with the grain, adding more where there were knots or my abuse marks or anywhere where I wanted it to be a little darker.  Then I let it set for quite a few minutes (about 10) since I wanted a nice deep penetrating color. When I felt ready I used a clean rag to wipe the excess stain off and set them up to dry (we had a nice breezy day).




This wrapped up our day 1 with the bed project, so tomorrow I’ll post about how to assemble the whole thing!  The next steps definitely took 2 people, but only took about 1.5 hours and was pretty easy.  Just look at what we ended up with!


Anyone else ever build furniture? Have a stain they like working with? Fall in love with a power tool?  No? Just me?  I’m not buying it! 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. This is BEAUTIFUL!! I love it!! No wonder you were so excited about your weekend project. Congrats on such an incredible piece. Now…when are you making one for my guest room???


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