King-size beds are expensive, sometimes costing more than $1,000. You can spend thousands more on a bed frame, or you can build your own using inexpensive lumber and a weekend. Though there are many varieties of bed frame, a simple box platform provides clean lines and a modern look. From this basic frame, you can add extras like a bookcase headboard, or even posts to hold up a canopy.
Things You'll Need
- Wooden beams, 4 inches by 4 inches
- 2 plywood sheets, 1/2 inch by 76 inches
- 3 plywood sheets, 1/2 inch by 80 inches
- 2 plywood sheets, 1/2 inch by 80 inches by 38 inches
- Power saw
- Power drill
- Wood screws, 2 inches long
Cut the wooden beams into six lengths equal to the height you want for your bed frame. One foot to 18 inches is a good height for most people, but you can cut longer or shorter to suit your tastes.
Cut your 80-inch and 76-inch plywood sheets so the width matches the length of your cuts of wooden beam. For example, your 80-inch sheets would measure 1/2 inch by 80 inches by 12 inches if you cut your beams to 12 inches long.
Sand one face each of both 80-inch plywood sheets, two 76-inch plywood sheets and both 80-by-38 sheets. You can sand the rest if you like, but they won't be visible once the bed is finished.
Lay one cut beam at each end of the 76-inch plywood sheets, so that the ends and outer edge align with the edges of the sheet. Screw them in place with two wood screws at each end, driven through the plywood and into the beam. For the sanded sheets, set the beams on the unsanded side.
Build an L-shape by attaching one 80-inch plywood sheet to a sanded 76-inch sheet. Screw the 80-inch sheet into position with two wood screws, as you did with step four. Repeat to build a second L shape, with the remaining 80-inch sheet and sanded 76-inch sheet. The sanded faces of all lumber should face the outside of the L.
Arrange the two L shapes into a rectangular frame. Connect by driving wood screws through the face of the loose ends of the 80-inch sheets and into the beam.
Insert the unsanded plywood sheet into the frame along the center line. Screw it in position as you did the other sheets of plywood.
Lay the 80-by-38 plywood sheets on top of the frame, side by side. They will run parallel to the length of the bed frame. Attach them to the frame by driving screws through the sheets and into the ends of the six posts. The sheets should lie sanded side up.
Paint the visible surfaces of the bed frame. You can paint the top sheets if you like, but they won't be visible once you lay down your mattress.
Tips & Warnings
- Plywood is strong, inexpensive and forgiving of errors. However, you can replace the plywood with sheets of finer lumber if you prefer. If you choose to do this, you'll want to stain the wood instead of painting it.
- The lumber dimensions here are for a standard king mattress. A California king measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long. You'll need to adjust the lumber dimensions accordingly.