Building a Queen Size Bed Frame Part 1

Ashley Constellations Poster BedI’ve finally convinced my husband to let me get a guest bed! Gone are the days of having guests sleep on yoga mats, swimming pool floaties, and that heavy sofa mattress that is such a pain to pull out of the couch and lay on the floor. So I was shopping around on the internet and found this gorgeous bed that I love (pictured right).

The cheapest place I could find it was at that link. After shipping, it comes to $315. BUT! I’ve got an awesome mom that is in to wood-working. She agreed to help me BUILD the bed! By which I mean, she does all the hard work and I run around and sweep up saw dust and hand her wood. :)

Stain Color

Stain Color

So she specced out all the wood pieces we would need (with some help from the Ana White website) and we headed off to Home Depot. Actually, first we went to Hobby Lobby to make sure we could find an iron piece that I liked that could go in the headboard. In the original bed, it’s probably not iron, but I think it will look even prettier with the iron piece I found. This bed, for instance, looks really pretty. It’s got black accents that tie in the iron. I’m thinking my bed will probably look best if the stain is a dark brown (not as dark as the original) with black accents to tie in the iron. Pictured right is what we’re thinking the stain will look like. That is before the lacquer goes on though. I’m learning all kinds of things about wood now. :) The lacquer is the coat that goes on top and makes the wood look really shiny.

Wrought Iron Decorative Piece

Wrought Iron Headboard Piece


Anyway, here is the iron piece I found at Hobby Lobby. We’ll probably knock off that top spade piece to allow the headboard arch to be a little more shallow. After using the 40% off smart phone coupon that Hobby Lobby seems to always have, the piece came to about $20. Not bad at all for such a big piece! (It’s 3.5 ft long.)

The next stop was Home Depot. First we priced out everything before putting it in a cart to make sure it would be worth it to build it and not just buy it. We tried to go with the cheapest pine wood available. After everything was all said and done, it came out to $230. My mom said the rest of the supplies (stain, sandpaper, etc.) would add on an additional $40. Hm… so either buy the bed for $315, or build the bed at $20 iron + $230 wood + $40 stain = $290. That was a little discouraging. However, the bed would be higher quality because it would be solid pine wood instead of particle board and laminate. Also, my mom was planning on building the bed frame with supports so that there would be no need for a box spring. That means more storage space. Ok, so you can get a box spring if you buy a mattress with it for $10. That means that the home-made bed would save me $35 total and be better quality. I still wasn’t quite convinced it would be worth it.

Knotty Alder Plywood

Knotty Alder Headboard

So I did some research on nearby lumber yards. Lumber yards sell wood by the board foot. A board foot is 12” wide, 12” long, and 1” thick. So, if you need to calculate how many board feet is in a piece of wood, you take the length x width x thickness (all in inches) divided by 144 inches. We set out for lumber yard that seemed like it would be the best option for our small project. Their website said they catered to larger corporations as well as small DIY-ers. We looked around at the options and found that knotty alder was actually a lot cheaper than pine, a lot prettier, and even a bit of a harder wood. The guy helping us showed us a huge knotty alder plywood sheet that was just gorgeous. He picked it up and we both oo-ed and ah-ed as it caught the light. Since trying to lift it myself, I am now properly amazed at how easily he hauled that thing around! I ended up getting almost all the wood I needed there for $130 – a really good deal. They didn’t have the 4×4’s that we needed for the bed posts or the 2×4’s we needed for the mattress support, so we picked those up at Home Depot and Lowe’s. There were cedar posts marked down to 70% off so we sorted through them all and picked out the 2 straightest, nicest ones. That came out to $8. All the 2×4’s came out to $18. The only remaining wood we need is the arch at the top of the headboard and the thin piece of trim at the top of the headboard. We may be able to get the arch out of the plywood I already bought and the trim will only be about $4. So, the total cost should come to $130 knotty alder + $8 cedar posts + $12 2×4’s + $4 trim + $20 iron + $40 stain, etc. = $214. Pay $100 less for a bed that will last forever and have more storage space? Yes, please!!

Yesterday, I helped my mom run the cedar posts through the planer. She pushed them through one end and I pulled them from the other end and handed them back to her. It was amazing what a difference it made. Those posts were so rough and full of splinters before, but afterwards they were so smooth and soft and shiny! My mom did also sand them down with sandpaper after the planer.

So here’s what we’ve got for the foot board so far:


Pretty Footboard Coming Along


I’m so excited!!


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