M-Series DIY Bed Frame

2018-05-22T21:19:33+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Beds, Furniture, Videos|1 Comment

My four year old is finally ready for her first “big girl” bed, so over the past few weeks I designed and built the m-series DIY bed frame just for her. It’s low to the ground so she can get in and out easily and if she were to fall out it wouldn’t be much of a drop. The bed frame also uses a slat system instead of a box spring to support the mattress. The slats sport a clever strap system for slat portability if you find yourself having to move the bed frame around regularly.

Since all of the required cuts can be made with a circular saw or hand saw, this is a great beginners build if you don’t have much DIY or woodworking experience under your belt. The modern frame design is also very versatile and open for customization. If you want longer legs, go for! Need to add some child safety rails? The design leaves ample room on each side of the mattress to secure rails. Interested in building a slide-out trundle for toys, clothes or storage? Plenty of room for that, too!

Keep in mind that the video and step by step guide below feature the twin size m-series bed frame, but the process is generally the same for the larger bed sizes. The full size frame and up have an extra middle slat support 2×3 with two extra middle legs. The one major difference in design occurs when you jump from a full size frame to a queen size frame and up. The queen and the king size frames sport 4×4 legs instead of 2×2’s to account for the extra weight. They also use 2×6 construction grade lumber as opposed to 1×6 pine boards for the main frame construction. The length of the legs is really up to you, but I would advise you to use your discretion as to what makes the most sense for you/your family.

Check out the video above on how I built the twin size m-series bed frame or follow the step by step guide after the material & purchase list below!


Difficulty:
Beginner


Time Required:
Weekend


Cost:
Under $150
(Varies depending on mattress size)

TwinFullQueenKingTools RequiredSafetyRelated Posts

Twin Size Mattress (39″ x 74″)
Purchase List:

Lumber:
3 – 1x6x8′ Pine (frame)
2 – 2x3x8′ Framing Lumber (slat supports)
14 – 1x4x8′ Pine (slats)
2 – 2x2x4  (legs)

Hardware:
1-1/4″ Pocket Screws (frame to legs)
1-1/2″ Pocket Screws (slat supports to frame)
Finish:
Chalk Paint -or-
Rustoleum Dark Walnut Wood Stain
Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic

Cut List:

Frame:
2 – 1×6 @ 38-1/2″ (front, back)
2 – 1×6 @ 76″ (left, right)

Slat Supports:
2 – 2×3 @ 77-1/2″ (notched out 1/2″ on each end to fit around legs)
Slats:
14 – 1×4 @ 39-1/2″
Legs:
4 – 2×2 @ 11-1/4″

Full Size Mattress (54″ x 74″)
Purchase List:

Lumber:
4 – 1x6x8′ Pine (frame)
3 – 2x3x8′ Framing Lumber (slat supports)
14 – 1x4x8′ Pine (slats)
2 – 2x2x4′  (legs)

Hardware:
1-1/4″ Pocket Screws (frame to legs)
1-1/2″ Pocket Screws (slat supports to frame)
Finish:
Chalk Paint -or-
Rustoleum Dark Walnut Wood Stain
Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic

Cut List:

Frame:
2 – 1×6 @ 53-1/2″ (front, back)
2 – 1×6 @ 76″ (left, right)
Slat Supports:
3 – 2×3 @ 77-1/2″ (notched out 1/2″ on each end to fit around legs)
Slats:
14 – 1×4 @ 54-1/2″
Legs:
4 – 2×2 @ 11-1/4″ (outside legs)
2- 2×2 @ 7-1/4″ (center legs)

Queen Size Mattress (60″ x 80″)
Purchase List:

Lumber:
4 – 2x6x8′ Framing Lumber (frame)
3 – 2x3x8′ Framing Lumber (slat supports, center support legs)
15 – 1x4x8′ Pine (slats)
1 – 4x4x8′ Doug Fir or Pine (legs) 

Hardware:
2-1/2″ Kreg Screws (frame to legs, slat supports to frame)
Finish:
Chalk Paint -or-
Rustoleum Dark Walnut Wood Stain
Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic

Cut List:

Frame:
2 – 2×6 @ 57″ (front, back)
2 – 2×6 @ 82″ (left, right)
Slat Supports:
2 – 2×3 @ 82″ (outside)
1 – 2×3 @ 86″ (center)
Slats:
15 – 1×4 @ 60-1/2″
Legs:
4 – 4×4 @ 11-1/4″ (outside legs)
2- 2×3 @ 7-1/4″ (center legs)

King Size Mattress (76″ x 80″)
Purchase List:

Lumber:
4 – 2x6x8′ Framing Lumber (frame)
3 – 2x3x8′ Framing Lumber (slat supports, center support legs)
15 – 1x4x8′ Pine (slats)
1 – 4x4x8′ Doug Fir or Pine (legs)
Hardware:
2-1/2″ Kreg Screws (frame to legs, slat supports to frame)
Finish:
Chalk Paint -or-
Rustoleum Dark Walnut Wood Stain
Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic

Cut List:

Frame:
2 – 2×6 @ 73″ (front, back)
2 – 2×6 @ 82″ (left, right)
Slat Supports:
2 – 2×3 @ 82″ (outside)
1 – 2×3 @ 86″ (center)
Slats:
15 – 1×4 @ 76-1/2″
Legs:
4 – 4×4 @ 11-1/4″ (outside legs)
2- 2×3 @ 7-1/4″ (center legs)

Clamps
Kreg right angle clamp
Speed Square
Power Drill
Wood Glue
Circular Saw
Miter Box
Miter Saw
Power Sander or Sanding Block
Sanding Paper
Foam Brush/Paint Brush

*Not sure of the best tools for the job? Check out my article on beginners tools: Tools for New DIYers


Using my miter saw I make all of the cuts required to build a twin size bed frame.


Lock and load your Kreg drill bit set to accommodate 3/4″ material.


Drill (3) holes on each of the short boards for the twin size bed frame.


Like so!


Load up the pocket screw drill bit (found in the Kreg K4 Master set)…


And screw! If you use a hard wood like oak, use 1-1/4″ fine pocket screws. If you use soft wood such as pine, use coarse pocket screws. By using the correct screws for the type of wood you have, you can avoid the possibility of the wood cracking and ruining your previously bright future. You had so much potential.


Joined…forever!


After struggling, I found this to be the optimal way of joining the 2×2 legs to short ends of the bed frame. Clamp your 2×2 to your workbench, use the Kreg right angle clamp to hold your pre-drilled short bed frame piece to your leg. Screw using 1-1/4″ Pocket Screws.


Once you join the two short ends (front and back) of the bed frame to the legs, use the drill bit to pre-drill the long rails of the DIY bed frame.


Lay the long rail on the floor and attach to one of your previously joined front or back pieces.


Finally standing on it’s own two legs!


Attach the other long rail to the previously joined pieces. Use the second short piece that hasn’t been joined yet (front or back of bed frame) to prop up the long board (check out this step in the video you’ll see what I mean).


Use a pressure clamp to provide a place for the long rail to rest while you line up the Kreg right angle clamp.


Secure using 1-1/4″ Pocket Screws.


And that’s a bed frame, BABE!


Grab your wood glue


Pocket hole plugs


They look like this, by the way.


Liberally apply glue on the plug.


Insert them into the pocket holes.


Once dry, saw away the leftovers using a hand saw and use wood filler because like me, you’re TERRIBLE at using hand saws.

By the way, this plug step is completely optional. I think it looks nice but you do you!


Since our legs stick out a bit, we’re going to cut away a 1/2″ by 1/2″ square of our 2×3 slat support pieces.


Here’s a close-up so you can see what I mean.


Grab a speed square and mark out your 1/2″ by 1/2″ square.


Clamp your support piece to your workbench and use a handsaw to cut away the material.


Dry fit it into your frame…


And that looks pretty good. I’m going to chisel away some material on the left side to close the gap a bit, but remember Voltaire….perfect is the enemy of the good…bed frame. Yeah.


Set your Kreg jig to accommodate 1-1/4″ material. And grab some 1-1/2″ Pocket Screws. It’s about to get REAL!


Predrill into your (2) 2×3 slat support pieces. 2″ from each end and about 8″ thereafter.


Liberally apply glue to the inside of your support piece.


Line it up to the bottom of the bed frame…


And attach using 1-1/2″ Coarse Pocket Screws.


Plug the holes we created to attach the slat support to the frame and cut off any excess using a hand saw.


And we’re ready to PAINT!


Today I’m using a white chalk paint. Feel free to do your own thing though. Perhaps a dark walnut wood stain with a semi-gloss clearcoat? Or not. How am I supposed to know what you like!


Grab a ratchet strap…scissors…tape measure…stapler…screwdriver and a beautifully drawn rainbow spacer block…


Which is roughly 2-1/8″ thick, by the way.


And then grab your 14 slats. We’re about to create a really fun and clever slat system so you can fold, store and setup your slats with ease if you have to move the DIY bed frame a bunch. This is key for me since we relocate every few years.


Measure 4″ off of each end and carry that line across the width of the board using your speed square.


Cut two strips of your ratchet strap to about 77″.


These may or may not be my wife’s special food safe kitchen scissors…


Line the outside of your strap to your 4″ line and secure two staples into the strap per slat.


I suggest using 1/2 staples and a pneumatic or battery powered stapler to really drive them into the wood. Let’s just say things didn’t go so great for the the first time around…


But this looks good!


Using your beautifully drawn rainbow spacer block, make your way down the bed frame, securing the strap to each of the slats.


Pretty nice, RIGHT?! No? Whatever I’m proud of it.


Slat storage mode ENGAGED!!


Lay them down, then pull them out. Simple!


And that’s how you build the m-series DIY bed frame for a twin mattress.


If you like this, consider following the blog and subscribing to my YouTube channel. I appreciate you taking the time to hang out today! And don’t tell rachel about the kitchen scissors, nobody likes a SNITCH!

Stay tuned for the m-series headboard and footboard that go GREAT with this bed frame. I mean I think they do, anyway. It’s tough designing in a bubble. Since you’re so awesome, you can be the judge and let me know once I post them!

One Comment

  1. Gary Summerland April 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    i am a beginner do you have paper plans i can buy

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