Today I’m sharing the second of two tutorials to make an upholstered DIY bed. My last tutorial was for the wingback headboard and this one is all about the DIY upholstered bed frame. I wanted an upholstered bed frame that matched my headboard, looked professional and could be assembled and disassembled easily. I couldn’t find a tutorial online so I designed my own and it turned out perfect!
How to Make a DIY Upholstered Bed Frame
Before we get into the step by step instructions, here is a list of what you will need to complete this build. The total material cost for the bed frame alone is right at about $240. I had some supplies left over from the headboard build so that kept the cost down for me. Materials for the entire bed build (headboard and bed frame) were $410 for me.
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(1) 3/4″ Sheet of plywood (48″x96″)
(3) 2×4 x 96″ boards
(7) 1×4 x 96″ boards
Batting: I purchased a 90″x9 yard roll from Walmart but this Batting would work too
Fabric: I used one 60″x120″ tablecloth that I purchased from At Home. I saw them at Home goods as well. Here is a similar one from Amazon.
1- 1/4″Brad nails (to attach spacers for cross braces)
Wood stain (optional for decorative feet)
This tutorial is for a KING SIZE bed frame but you could easily modify it to fit a different bed size. This bed frame was designed to fit my 9″ height box spring/foundation. If your box spring/foundation is not 9″ you will need to adjust the width of the plywood boards. The 11-1/4″ dimension below is what you will want to adjust for the box spring height. At 11-1/4″ it is perfect for a 9″ thick box spring.
The overall dimensions of the bed frame are 81″ x 78″. The overall height will vary based on the feet that you use. Mine were 6″ in height so the overall height was 17-1/4″.
Step 1 – Cut the Wood
For a king size bed frame you’ll only need a single 3/4″ sheet of plywood that is 48″x96″. I used the same hardwood plywood as my headboard which was $50 for the sheet. Cut the plywood as shown below. The two green boards are for the sides of the bed frame and the purple board is the board at the foot of the bed.
You’ll need (3) 2×4’s for this build. Two of them can be cut at 80 – 1/4″ each. The third 2×4 will be used to make the support legs that attach to the 1×4 support bars. I would recommend waiting to cut those until the bed is assembled. See step 6 for more detail.
For the cross supports I used 1×4 boards. While it would be nice to just use the leftover plywood from the sheet that I purchased, it’s too flexible for this application. Therefore, a 1×4 board is a better solution. Each of the (5) cross supports are 76″ in length. I made them a little shorter than the width of the bedframe to allow some wiggle room.
I also used 1×4’s to create channels on the side supports that the cross supports could rest in. It’s best to wait until after the bed is assembled to cut these. See step 6 for more detail.
Step 2. Assemble the Sides
Each of the two sides has (4) components. The plywood board is screwed into the 2×4 and then two legs are attached to the bottom of the 2×4 at each end. Here are two different views showing what each of the two bed frame sides should look like.
And a few progress shots from when I made mine.
Below is a picture after I had attached the 2×4’s to the plywood boards. I just screwed from the plywood into the side of the 2×4.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but I attached the four decorative legs by screwing through the top of the 2×4 into the legs. Be sure to use wood glue as well. You can see the feet attached in the first photo under step 3.
Step 3 – Upholster the sides and foot board.
I used a single layer of batting and secured it with staples and my staple gun. Then, I wrapped the boards with the same fabric that I used for my headboard. I made the mistake of installing the hardware before I upholstered the bed frame. Don’t do this! The little bit of added thickness from the batting and fabric was enough to not make my hardware line up properly so it’s best to wait and install the hardware after the boards are upholstered. That said, make note of where the hardware will go so that you are careful not to cover that part with batting or fabric.
This is what the three pieces looked like after I had attached the batting only. Make sure to cut around the legs and where the hardware will be installed.
After the batting was attached, cut and stapled fabric to each of the three boards.
Step 4 – Attach the hardware
I bought a Bed rail bracket kit from Rockler and it worked perfectly for this project. When attaching the hardware make sure that it is oriented properly. The two side boards will drop down into the headboard so the teeth of the hardware should be installed in the downward angle. For the footboard, it’s the opposite. The footboard will hang on the two side boards so on that end you’ll want to install the hardware with the teeth in the upward angle. See photos below for more clarity.
As you can see in the photos below, the brackets are installed in opposite directions on each end of the side pieces. In the first photo below, the one on the top is where the footboard will drop onto the sides. The bracket on the side shown in the bottom of this first photo is where the side will drop into the headboard bracket (teeth angled downward).
Here is the other end of the two sides.
This photo shows the bracket angle and also gives you a good view of how I attached the fabric.
Step 5 – Assemble the Bed Frame
First, attach the left and right sides into the headboard.
Next, attach the footboard to the sides by sliding it down onto the brackets.
This is what it looks like from inside the bed.
I was worried that the seams were going to look terrible but they turned out great.
Step 6 – Assemble Cross Braces
Since the foundation needs support, the next step is to install cross braces. I made them so that they just rest in place and can be easily removed. Each of the 5 cross braces are made of a 76″ 1×4 board with two 2×4 feet as shown below.
Position each of the 5 cross braces and then measure from the floor to the bottom of the cross brace to determine the height of the legs. Since the boards may be warped a bit it’s best to measure each of the braces and adjust the foot height as needed. I also needed to make the feet on the brace that wasn’t above carpet a little higher to compensate for the difference in height. Below is a photo of all of the braces next to each other. You can see how the height of the legs needed to be adjusted to make the bed level. I would recommend labeling your braces so that you know what sequence to set them in should you need to disassemble your bed.
The 2×4 feet were attached using wood screws.
1×4 spacers were used to prevent the cross braces from shifting after they were set in place. Each spacer board was slightly smaller than the actual spacing between the cross braces to allow for some wiggle room. First, I cut 1×4 boards to be used as spacers and tacked them in place using my nail gun
That’s it! Next, you can drop the foundation in place.
And then place your mattress on top.
DIY Upholstered Bed Frame
Here are some finished shots to show a few angles.
You can’t see the supports on the cross braces unless you lay on the floor and look under the bed. I was very intentional with how I spaced them.
The feet that I bought look so good with this bed. They are way nicer than the ones you typically see on upholstered beds from stores.
How to Disassemble the DIY Upholstered Bed Frame
Taking the bed frame apart is just as easy as assembling it.
- Remove 5 the cross supports by lifting them out of place.
- Lift the footboard off of the side boards
- Lift each of the two side boards off of the headboard
Other Master Bedroom Projects
For more woodworking tutorials check out my woodworking project list.
This was a fun project and I’m very happy with the finished product. My husband and I feel like real adults now that we have a proper bed in our master bedroom. It was time consuming to build but totally worth it since the entire bed only cost me about $400 in materials. Not to mention, it’s better quality than most of the upholstered beds that you can buy at stores.
Let me know if you make this bed frame and if you share it on social media be sure to tag me!