Don’t get all Mad Max when you can’t find a place to put all of your stuff in the bedroom. Just go down under like a Qanta’s flight and build this easy and affordable under-bed cubby storage frame that is sure to make any kangaroo jealous. Best of all, it’s easy to build in a weekend and works great for any bed and bedroom. So put down that didgeridoo, head to your workshop “outback” and build your own under-bed storage with this DIY Bed Frame while I think of more Australia puns. Good on you mates!
A few nights ago, I was enjoying a peaceful sleep and having a stellar dream about joining the circus and marrying the contortionist, when all of a sudden, the bottom half of the bed collapsed. Needless to say, my dream-marriage was instantly annulled and I ended up on the ground, shuffling around in the dark, trying to find something to prop up my bed with.
Now, I know what you’re thinking about the bed frame – but it didn’t break because of one those wild Home Fixated parties again – it actually broke because it was a piece of crap. It had been in my room for some time now and was on its last legs, pun intended, so it was no surprise to me that it broke in the middle of the night with no warning. It was in the middle of the night that I hatched my plan to go the DIY route and build my own bed frame complete with cubby hole storage.
DIY Bed Frame Materials
I was fortunate enough to have some extra 1×12 that I used for the back of the frame. I also had a few 1×10’s that I used for the top and bottom of the frame and a few spare 2×4’s for lateral support under the box spring. You could use ¾-inch MDF board in lieu of 1×12/1×10 if you’re going to paint the frame and you’re looking to save a few bucks on materials. For my frame, I cut the materials to length, and then pickled the pine 1×10’s and 1×12’s on one side. I used satin polyurethane to cover the pickled finish and protect it from wear and tear. But more about that in another article.
The Two Sides
The entire bed frame is designed so that each side (with the exception of the head of the bed) has an open cubby and the frame supports the edge of the box frame and mattress. The two long sides of the bed frame were the first part I put together and I had pre-measured and pre-cut the materials according to the length of my mattress.
I used some 6d bright finish nails and wood glue to secure the two edges of the 1×10 and 1×12 together. I drilled pilot holes so I didn’t split the wood, but you could easily use a nail gun for this project and skip all of the pre-drilling and nail setting. But since my material was made from some pretty stringy pine, I figured my nail gun would be popping nails out on all the knots in the wood, so I went with the old tried and true hammer.
Once I had the two 1×10’s nailed to the top and bottom, I installed my dividers. I used some leftover pieces of 1×10 that I cut to 9-1/4 –inches and ripped to 8-1/4 –inches. This left the dividers tight between the 1×10’s for supporting the box spring and mattress sufficiently, yet recessed them into the cubby hole slightly so I didn’t stub my toes on them in the dark. Speaking of which, you may want to slightly undersize the base for your mattress to minimize unwanted toe-to-frame contact. After I put one on each end of the boards, I found the center and installed another divider as well.
This part of the project was a no brainer for me, but if you’re not worried about putting doors at the end of the bed, then you may want to 45 each end of the bed frame so you end up with a nicer finish on the corners. However, since I’m mounting doors and hardware on the edge of the 1×12, I opted to follow through with my 1×12/1×10 side pieces all the way to the foot of the bed.
I measured the foot of my bed, subtracted the two side pieces to find the width of my end cubby. I built the end cubby the same way I did the other two side cubbies – by sandwiching the 1×10’s around the 1×12 and installing three dividers for support.
After I nailed the end cubby together, I installed it in between the two side cubbies and toe-nailed it together. Since there’s a big open space in the middle of the bed frame that needs some support to hold the weight of the box spring and mattress, I nailed two 2×4’s on their side across the head and middle of the bed frames. I cut four 10-inch 2×4 blocks for support under the longer 2×4’s and attached them to the inside of the frame so that the nails went into the edges of the 1×10’s and not into the face.
This added much needed support for the bed and it helped keep the frame nice and square. After a quick clean up, the box spring and mattress were ready to go and I was ready for a good night’s sleep.