How to Build a DIY Daybed That Looks Like a Couch

Hey there, DIY enthusiasts! If you’ve ever dreamt of having a cozy spot in your home to kick back, relax, and maybe even take a nap, building your own daybed is the way to go. In this post, we’re going to keep it simple and guide you through some easy DIY daybed frame plans. So, grab a cup of coffee, put on your favorite playlist, and let’s get ready to build the comfiest corner in your house! We’ll walk you through everything, from materials to the final touches – no fancy woodworking skills required.

Daybed Design

DIY Daybed frame couch build plans

This beautiful twin size daybed is modern and sleek and can be built for less than a store bought daybed. I designed it for my sunroom as a bed for my dog (I know, she’s spoiled). Since it’s in a main living space I wanted it to look less like a bed and more like a couch. This was easily achieved by having the mattress sit lower and adding a bunch of throw pillows and arm pillows.

DIY daybed dimensions

How to build a daybed

This build is super easy and a great beginner woodworking project. If you have a miter saw, pocket hole jig and a drill that’s all that’s necessary to make this DIY daybed frame! If you have more advanced tools like a table saw and planer you can make several boards out of 2×10 lumber like I did and save some money. Don’t worry though, the plans use standard boards that you can purchase from your local home improvement store.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Thanks for the support!

Materials needed

  • (4) 2×6 x 8′ boards
  • (5) 2×2 x 8′ boards
  • (5) 1×3 x 8′ boards
  • (16) Pocket screws
  • (18) 2.5″ screws
  • (18) washers
  • Wood Glue
  • Sand paper
  • Paint or stain for the finish
  • Twin mattress

Tools needed

How to make a daybed look like a couch

  • Mattress location – Lowering the mattress below the frame a bit can give more of a high end look since you won’t see the bottom of the sheets.
  • Backrest – Create a backrest using multiple throw pillows
  • Fabric Choices – Choose similar colored fabric for the sheets and pillows. Have you seen many couches with different colored bottom and top cushions?
  • Arm Pillows – Adding side bolster (arm pillows) can totally complete the sofa look.

Cut List

For the detailed cut list, refer to the free pdf build plans. There are a few 45 degree angles required so as long as you have a miter saw that can handle 45’s you’ll be good to go.

Cut lumber

DIY Daybed Frame Free PDF Woodworking Build Plans

The tutorial below shows photos of the build process but if you’re going to tackle this easy build you’ll definitely want to download the free daybed build plans. The pdf plans will provide a detailed cut list along with step by step instructions to ensure a successful build.

To access the plans just enter your name and email in the form below and we’ll send them directly to your inbox!

DIY Daybed Frame Directions

Step 1 – Drill pocket holes into side supports

Use a pocket hole jig to drill 2 pocket holes into each side of the two 2×6 side support boards. Be sure to position the pocket holes as close to the top and bottom of the board as possible.

DIY daybed frame plans pocket holes

Step 2 – Drill pocket holes into front and back supports

Next, drill pocket holes into the longer 2×6 boards that will end up being the front and back support boards for the bed. Follow the build plan directions for location as you’ll want to be sure to place the pocket holes in locations that don’t interfere with other pocket holes and mitered joints.

Below is an example of why placement is important. The pdf plans provide detailed directions on exactly where to place the pocket holes.

DIY daybed frame plans 6

Step 3 – Attach legs to side supports

Use wood glue and pocket screws to attach the shorter 2×6 side support boards to the 2×2 daybed legs.

DIY daybed frame plans wood glue

If you have a long clamp you’ll be able to align the legs perfectly. I used a 50″ clamp.

DIY daybed frame plans 1

Once it is clamped in place you can drill in the pocket screws.

DIY daybed frame plans 2

Step 4 – Attach top to side supports

Similar to step 3, use glue and a clamp to attach the top 2×2 board to each of the two sides. Note that this step does not use pocket screws. Glue is strong enough to hold the top in place. You’ll need to let the glue dry for a few hours before removing the clamp.

If the boards are a little wonky you can use a weight or other heavy item to hold the joint down as the glue sets.

DIY daybed frame plans 4

Step 5 – Assemble & attach decorative components to sides

First construct the 2×2 decorative side component with wood glue and clamps. To ensure that the construction is square you can use a speed square like the one shown below.

DIY daybed frame plans 3

To attach the decorative 2×2 component to the daybed arm you can simply use wood glue and clamps. I decided to add 1 pocket hole into each of the bottom legs but that’s because my dog can by a little wild and likes to kick things. If you’re not worried about anyone kicking it glue should work just fine.

DIY daybed frame plans 10

Step 6 – Attach rail supports

You’ll need to add supports for the rails that will hold up the mattress. Attach the 2×2 supports to the bottom of the 2×6 front and back boards using wood glue, screws and washers.

DIY daybed frame plans 11

The placement of the rails will dictate where the mattress sits. I purchased a 6″ thick twin mattress and wanted it to sit down into the frame a bit. With the rail supports aligned with the bottom of the 2×6 boards the mattress height was perfect. If you want the mattress to sit higher either purchase a thicker mattress or raise the rail supports.

DIY daybed frame plans 12

Step 7 – Apply finish

I lightly sanded the daybed and then brushed on a white semi-gloss paint. It would look fantastic stained as well but since I was working indoors I didn’t want to deal with the odor. I also thought it would match my bar cart in the room better if I painted it white.

DIY daybed frame plans 13

Step 8 – Attach front & back supports to sides

Once the two sides are constructed you can attach the front and back support boards.

DIY daybed frame plans 7

Be sure to align the rail supports with the bottom of the daybed for the front and back bottom boards.

DIY daybed build plans

If you’re having a hard time getting your drill situated to get the lower pocket screws in, a screwdriver may be an easier solution.

DIY daybed tutorial

Step 9 – Add rails

Now that the front and back boards are attached to the sides it’s time to add the rails!

Free DIY daybed frame plans

Since the rail supports don’t extend to the edges of the bed you’ll want to secure at least the two outer rails in place. You can either place a nail on the outer edges to stop them from moving or use velcro like I did.

Velcro to keep bed rails in place

I cut a thin strip of velcro for each side of every rail so that they wouldn’t shift as my dog was getting on and off the bed.

Velcro to keep bed rails in place 1

Congratulations, you’ve successfully built your very own DIY daybed frame! With these simple and cost-effective plans, you can enjoy a cozy and stylish daybed in any room of your home. Feel free to customize the design to match your taste, and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a functional piece of furniture with your own hands. Happy building!

Finished Daybed

I couldn’t be happier with how this daybed turned out. It matches my DIY bar cart design and completes the room.

DIY daybed couch

Keeping the sheets and pillow in the same color scheme really makes it look more like a DIY daybed couch than a bed. I bought the sheet from Walmart. The back throw pillows are from IKEA and I found the side pillows at Home Goods.

DIY Daybed frame free pdf build plans

My dog loves it! She spends most of her time sleeping on the daybed and that makes me happy.

DIY daybed for dog

7 Comments

  1. Hi Hannah,

    Love the daybed. I’m going to make this here in the next week or so. May make some adjustments as this is going to double as a bunny hideout underneath so I’m going to be raising the bottom side of the side rails from 7-1/4″ to 10″. Which leads to my question, how thick was the mattress you have on this one? I don’t suppose 3″ will make a major difference but I don’t want the height to be absurdly tall.

    Thank you

  2. This daybed looks great. I’m wondering what thickness your mattress is? I ask because this is going to be a dual purpose day bed for us. It’ll be a daybed and then underneath it’ll be a little hideout for our 2 bunnies! So I’d like to mount the bottom of the side rails at 10″ instead of 7-1/4″ but wondering if I should change the thickness of the mattress or if the added 3″ won’t make a big difference.

    1. Thank you! I used a 6″ mattress. Adding 3″ to the height should still look and function well. I intentionally made mine lower to the ground because my dog is old and can’t climb up onto tall furniture. The mattress sits at 15.5″ off the ground and a typical sofa is around 18.5″ (at least mine is).

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