DIY Twin Bed Frame: How to Build in 10 Simple Steps

You’re probably like me who was a couple of months ago looking for a twin size bed I could build at home. This is the right place because we will describe one of the most beautiful twin beds you can build yourself. Yes, you can make this one.

The reason we’re optimistic is because it doesn’t require hundreds of tools to create a perfect twin bed on your own.

In this article, let’s check out how you make a DIY twin size bed frame.

Items you will need for this DIY twin bed:

  1. Flathead bolts
  2. Circular saw or miter saw
  3. Pieces of timber (1 by 3 and 1 by 6)
  4. Wood glue
  5. Insert nuts
  6. Cross dowel nuts
  7. Quarter-inch dowels
  8. Polycrylic finish

How to Make a Twin Bed Frame

Step 1: Cut Your Timber to Correct Sizes

The first thing you need to do is to cut everything to the required size. Here, we’re using 1 by 3’s for all parts of the bed frame. Either a miter saw or a circular saw will be okay. Pick your favorite.

Cut them at about 16-24 inches high. The average height of a bed frame is approximately 2 feet tall.

You can glue them together to make a thicker version of the timber.

The thickening using glue is not really about adding strength of the bed but rather, it is meant to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Start with the front and then back legs.

After gluing them together, add clamps to hold them as long as possible to get the best bond. Clamping freaks some people out but it’s not a 10/10 difficult process.

Do the exact gluing process for the back legs.

Sometimes, when gluing up the pieces, they may misalign during clumping. Therefore, consider cutting them a few extra inches longer to trim once the glue has dried.

After that, give everything a final sanding to make them smooth to your liking. This will make sure the edges are not sharp and do not cut you while handling them.

Step 2: Cut the Side Pieces

The next step on how to make a twin bed is to cut the side rails. Remember, a twin bed is 6.25 feet long.

For these side pieces, use the following:

  1. A 1 by 6
  2. A 1 by 3

Glue the 1 by 3 on the 1 by 6. This will form the support lip where your bed slats would rest on.

Don’t forget to clamp them together.

Wipe out excess glue leaking out of the surfaces. While you let it dry, begin cutting pieces for the headboard.

Step 3: Cut Headboard Pieces

What you want to do in this next step is exactly what you did in step 1. Cut four pieces of 1 by 3’s and glue them together. Regarding how tall they should be, you can set your desired headboard height.

Put them into clamps and let dry overnight.

Get the other pieces out of clump and sand them too.

Make a piece of template using cardboard to show where every piece of fastening bolt needs to go.

This will allow you to create holes like illustrated below. You can put the holes in any spot you like.

The cardboard template is quite important to ensure the uniform joining of all your pieces.

It’s okay to make the holes five inches from the top and 5 inches from the bottom.

Step 4: Mark where You will Drill the Holes

Lay out the cardboard and start marking where you will drill the holes.

You want to begin with the first two legs that will make up your headboard as pictured below.

Drill two holes on the top board holding the two legs together.

The top hole should be for the insert nut while the second hole will be for the dowel.

When drilling the holes, make sure you use the right-size bit to create the correct holes for the fasteners. You do not want a big hole and a small nut.

Proceed to drill the opposite board, that is, create those holes on the sides. These holes should be the same size. Do not go all the way through with the lower hole for the dowel.

For the second upper hole, drill it all the way through. It should protrude like the image below.

Proceed to fit it out.

Fasten it.

Repeat the same process for the opposite side until you are done with the headboard legs. You should end up with something like shown below.

Step 5: Lay all the Cross Braces Out

Measure equal distances between your pieces depending on the size of twin bed you have selected. Some of you may prefer taller headboards and that would require more crossing pieces.

Have the lower piece slightly thicker than the rest because that will provide support for your mattress.

Get your template prepared earlier and mark the holes for each of those crossing pieces. Begin drilling the holes.

For these holes, you will just need dowels.

Wrap a piece of tape a few inches from the tip of the drill bit to ensure that your holes do not go too deep into the wood.

Assemble the headboard. If the dowels don’t fit, use a quarter inch bit to widen the holes a little. If you have a perfect template, this shouldn’t even be a problem. But finally, you should have a headboard ready.

Step 6: Assemble the Leg Part

Do the same thing as you did for the headboard. Drill the holes and insert the nuts.

It’s not necessary to go through all that again.

Step 7: Attach the Headboard to the Sideboards

The next step in building your DIY twin bed frame is to attach the headboard to the sideboards. This step turns out to be the most challenging part for most people.

Mark and drill holes on both sides of the headboard.

Attaching these sides, you should consider using the cross dowel nuts rather than the insert nuts. Drill with a quarter inch bit on the end surface.

Go in with a half-inch bit on the side as illustrated below when drilling perpendicular to the quarter-inch hole.

Make sure everything lines up perfectly as this will make your assembling easier.

Step 9: Final Sanding

Put everything together and give your bed frame one final sanding on any surface that requires it.

Then it is time to add the finish.

It’s fine if you selected a polycrylic finish the way we did. It has many advantages: it is water-based and dries quite fast.

Step 10: Make the Bed Slats

The last step in making your twin bed frame is to add the bed slats. Depending on the size of your timber, you might need a couple of braces.

Just make sure that you do not leave the gaps between each slat too wide as it could sink the mattress.

You can hook the slats together at the bottom with one long bar from one side down toward the footboard.

That’s all about DIY twin bed frame.

Now it’s time to lay your mattress and let your child enjoy a comfy sleep.

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