Finishing the Bed

We’re not at work today and both home safe!  We hope all our Boston friends and family are home safe too!  Stay strong! We have incredible service men and women and we’ll get through this!

So yesterday we started telling you about building the bed and got as far as staining, but today we’ll go through how we actually put the whole thing together, materials you’d need and cost.


So, after the stain had dried and we brought everything upstairs, we started assembling the headboard first.  The supporting legs for the headboard are two 2x4s so we started off by laying those down and measuring them to be 63″ apart at the head and at the foot (so they remain vertical).  We laid everything down on a sheet incase they were still a little tacky and used one of our finished 1×4 boards as a guide since those were cut 63″ long.


There’s a 1×3 that acts as a top finishing ledge so our first board went right to the top of the 2x4s.  We applied a little wood glue where the two boards met and then nailed in 2 finish nails to secure the boards.  Voila!  And we just kept on like that on after the next, checking our legs were square every now and then until we ran out of boards.  DSCN1627

Once those are all done, we attached the 1×3 top ledge board to the 1×4’s and 2×4’s using the same method: wood glue and finish nails. Easy as that, the headboard was all done and assembled in probably about 20 minutes!


We moved the headboard to the wall and got it out-of-the-way and it was time for the frame.  The frame is made up of all unstained 2x4s since you won’t see them.  We applied some skirt boards to the frame that are finished, but that comes after.  So we laid out our two 80″ 2×4’s and end 57″ 2×4’s to create a square box.


To connect the 2×4’s and make sure they were structurally secure and ready to carry the weight of potentially two grown people, we used 3″ structural wood screws that we picked up at Lowes and I terribly forgot to take a picture of!  These are great to use, though, because they are self drilling (no predrilling required) and they countersink (so you don’t need a countersink drill bit).  That saves two steps, so although they have a star shape on their top and required us to purchase a special drill bit, we were all for it!  (After we got home and opened the box of screws we noticed that the drill bit was included in the box that we bought, so you may not even have to purchase the drill bits like we did!)


We used 2 screws at each end connection point, drilling from the outside of the 80″ 2×4’s and into the ends of the studs.  After that, we spaced the frame infill pieces evenly in the middle and go to town doing the same thing at each end.  Next we set up to attach our skirt/finish boards to the outside of the frame.  Our plan called for 1×8’s, but we decided on 1×10’s (just cause we liked the look) and they are supposed to extend about the frame about 1″.  This frame, once assembled, is heavy and would be very difficult to hold up and secure the skirt boards evenly.  We found that by stacking our frame legs (a 2×4 and a 2×3) and using those to prop up the frame, it gave us an even and consistent height to secure the finish boards and have that little bit of a lip for the mattress to sit in.


Then we attached all the finish boards the same was as the headboard – with a little wood glue on the back side and some finish nails from the exterior side.


Now it was time to attach the legs and I was getting so excited I missed a picture here!   Boo!  Well, we started by flipping the whole frame over (this is where some muscles come in very handy!  Thanks, hubs!), so the top was the bottom and attached the legs upside down.  The legs consisted of a 2×3 and a 2×4 secured through the finish boards into the frame (structurally sound) with the same 3″ wood screws we used on the frame itself.  Remember, you need this to support some weight! We also added some wood glue here for good measure, since it couldn’t hurt, right?  Here’s it all flipped over again once those were connected.


We pulled out the headboard, marked out the height of our platform (15″ in our case) and marked that on both the front and the back side of the headboard legs with a pencil.  I drilled in the 3″ screws from the back, while Jake held up the frame from sitting inside of it.  All four hands were busy, so again, no picture, but not very difficult at all.  2 3″ screws on each side (no glue here) and our frame was fully connected to the headboard and the whole thing was self-supporting!


We moved it into place against the wall, pushed our mattress on it and we may or may not have jumped on the bed a few times and done a little dance that it didn’t fall apart…maybe.  🙂


I love how the dark walnut stain looks with the stormy blue walls and just the overall rustic feel of it.


Time for the promised breakdown of materials and our final cost:

  • (9) 2x4x8: $28.08
  • (7) 1x4x8: $15.26
  • (1) 1x3x8: $1.52
  • (1) 2x3x8: $2.33 (we couldn’t find a shorter piece, you only need 30″)
  • (3) 1x10x8: $31.26
  • Wood glue $3.97
  • 3″ Screws: $9.37
  • Drill bit: $6.97
  • Minwax Stain: $7.77
  • Sandpaper: $0 (had some from previous projects)

For a grand total of: $106.53!!!  We had a gift card for Home Depot (thanks Mom &Dad!), and we ran back and forth from Home Depot to Lowes so out-of-pocket we only spent $56.39.  We did spend the additional $69 on the miter saw, but I’m considering it a birthday gift and can’t wait to use her again! Considering that this queen Farmhouse bed from Pottery Barn is $1299 (although a tid-bit fancier) and we only spent $56 and about 6-7 hours on this bed, we’re calling this a HUGE success and a good decision!

Here’s a shot with our intended duvet cover so you can see how the whole color room is all coming together for our rustic/homey/comfortable/traditional vibe we’re going for (that’s a style, right?). Don’t mind the non-matching nightstand that is getting refinished/replaced.



We hope you’re inspired to try to do this yourself!  The money we saved and the fun we had doing this was well worth it!  I, for one, have some serious wood working/measuring confidence now that could get me trouble, but could also lead to greatness…. like new window trim and crown molding greatness… 🙂

Let me know what you think!  Share you’re success or failures!  Got ideas on what we should try next? Share!

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