The Box Frame Bed

A tutorial by


Box Frame Bed


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Tape measure
Circular saw
Orbital sander
  • 4 – Box Frame Bed Brackets
  • 2 – Center Support Brackets (for full-size or larger mattresses)
  • 1 – Mattress
  • Plywood, cut to size
  • 2x4 Standard studs, cut to size
  • 1x6 Common board, cut to size
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Speed square
  • Straightedge (to guide cuts, if you like)
  • Clamps
  • Orbital sander and sanding discs, or sanding block
  • Drill/driver
  • Screws (we used #10 x 3/4" wood screws for the plywood frame, 2" deck screws to attach the 2x4 rails, and #8 x 1" wood screws to secure the slats)
  • Finish of your choice
  • Brush or rag to apply finish
  • Safety gear such as eye protection, a mask/respirator, and gloves

Matt Jensen

Matt Jensen is a maker, designer, and entrepreneur who believes anyone can build. After building furniture for years, Matt began welding hairpin legs in his backyard with a borrowed welder and a $65 Harbor Freight hand bender. His passion for quality furniture led him to found DIY Hairpin Legs and Semi Exact. Today, Matt leads teams at both companies, collaborating with designers and makers to help people create furniture and objects with meaning.

With a little help from our Box Frame Bed Brackets, you can take some walnut or birch plywood and make an amazing bed. This DIY bed frame only takes about an hour or so to build.

Step 1:
Size and prep your wood

Start by cutting your plywood and lumber to fit your mattress size (view cut list). Sand things smooth, remove the dust, and finish the outer plywood frame, if desired.

Step 2:
Assemble the frame

Set the four Box Frame Bed Brackets out. Insert the two longer lengths of wood into the brackets, flush against the bracket corners. Add the shorter pieces between the two sides, at the head and foot ends. Drive #10 x 3/4" wood screws through the bracket holes into the plywood frame.

Step 3:
Add 2x4 rails

Set the 2x4 rails on the inside of the brackets, and attach them to the inside of the plywood frame with 2" deck screws. The bottom of the 2x4s should be flush with the bottom of the frame.

Step 4:
Add a center support if needed

You'll want to add a center support beam to full-size or larger bed frames. Screw one center support bracket onto each end of the beam, and secure it to the inside rails so that the top of the beam is flush with the rails.

Step 5:
Secure the slats

Start by placing the slats at the head and foot ends of the bed, so the first and last slats are flush with the bracket corners. Space the remaining slats out evenly across the rails, and secure to the 2x4 rails with a screw at each end.

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