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You are currently viewing Build a Queen Size Bed Frame

It’s been about a year since I’ve built anything so I guess the time has finally come to break out the old Kreg Jig. I’ve been looking forward to building another bed frame for a while now. You would think after the dining and console table builds that this would be a walk in the park…but I don’t know. I’m kinda nervous.

color_clockTime Required:
Under $100
blue_toolsTools Required:
Kreg Right Angle Clamp
Kreg Jig & Accessories
Miter Saw
Table Saw/Circular Saw
Power Drill & Drill Bits
Wood Glue
Elmers Wood Filler
Power Sander or Sanding Block
Brad nailer
Sanding Paper
Foam Brush/Paint Brush
blue_cartPurchase List:
4 – 1 x 8 x 8′ Frame (Select Pine)
3 – 2 x 4 x 8′ Support (Pine Studs)
3 – 1 x 2 x 8′ Trim (Select Pine)
1- 4 x 4 x 8′ Legs (Douglas Fir or Pine)
19- 1 x 3 x 8′ Slats (Pine Furring strips)
1-1/4″ Kreg Screws
2″ Kreg Screws
2-1/2″ Kreg Screws
RustOleum Dark Walnut Stain
Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic

blue_scissorsMaterial Cut List:

2- 1×8’s @ 81″
2- 1×8’s @ 58.5″
Slat Supports
3- 2 x 4’s @ 79.5″
Standard Queen
2- 1 x 2’s @ 62″ (Front)
1- 1 x 2 @ 79-5/8″ (Sides)
Daybed Orientation (What I’ll be using)
2- 1 x 2’s @ 59-1/8″ (Sides)
1- 1 x 2 @ 82-1/2″ (Front)
6- 4×4’s @ 4-1/4″
19- 1 x 3’s @ 58-3/8″

Before building anything I always peruse the web to find out exactly what I want and more often than not, there’s nothing exactly how I want it to be. Ugh, why do I have to be so picky! So what I do is steal a little from this piece, a little from that piece, until I have a hybrid design of sorts. Every great designer is a greater thief. Take that one to the bank!

Before you purchase the material list and whatnot, I want you to measure your queen sized bed and make sure it’s close to mine: 79″ long X 58.5″ wide. Why does this matter? Well, the bed has to fit inside the bed frame, BRO! Also, determine your bed orientation: Standard or Daybed. This will come into play as we cut the trim. If your queen sized bed varies a bit from mine, make sure you account for that by adding or subtracting inches from the cut sizes.

Go out to your big box store or lumber yard (bring your tape measure) and load it into your vehicle!

If you’re shopping at a big box such as home depot, lowes or menards, you’ll notice that there’s different qualities of wood available. Usually two. Select (straighter, barely any knots, less sanding required) and Quality (Have to dig for straight pieces, more knots, more sanding). Pick whichever wood fits your budget. But know this! The rougher the wood, the more sanding you’re going to have to do. I chose to get select lumber for the main frame and trim, construction grade pine studs and the cheapest 1×3’s available-pine furring strips.

Proper Kreg Jig Setup: While the Kreg Jig system is fairly simple, it’s important to have the proper setup for a successful build.

The correct setting for the collar is to place the bit in the depth setting gauge with the step of the bit (the thicker part) at the marking that matches the depth of the material you are using.  If you ever get confused, there are pictures of this setup in the Kreg manual.

You choose your material thickness (in this case 3/4″) and adjust your set accordingly. Clamp adjustment for 3/4″.

OK! Let’s rock and rule, baby! Lay-out your material…

I clamp my 1×8 and put 3 holes on each end.

To give my edges a more finished look, I use my hand plane on an angle. You can use a sander instead if you don’t own a hand plane.

Lookin’ good!

I use my sander for the end grain.

Once everything is sanded down and pre-drilled, I apply some wood glue and…

Use 1-1/4″ Kreg screws to secure the frame.

Using a wet papertowl or rag, wipe away any excess glue before it dries.

Using a framers square, I check for…square.

We’re screwed!

Always measure to check and see if your measurements are correct. Looks good at 79-1/2″ (a little breathing room).

And 58-1/2″ is spot on!

I decided to paint the frame. SO I think I’ll do that now. Because I’m an adult.

Today I’ll be making some homemade chalk paint using calcium carbonate powder. Go here for the recipe. I’m using Valspar Whitewood Oak, which is an off-white color.

Something looks off…WHITE! C’mon, I had to.

Rather than watch the paint dry, I went out front and got the 2×4 supports pre-drilled. I’m adjusting my Kreg Jig to accommodate the thicker 2×4 (1-1/2 thickness in actuality).

A simple adjustment with an allen key.

I mark 2″ from the ends and then every 10″.

Then I get to work!


Once the paint is dry, I flip the frame on its side and prepare to attach the support!

Using this adjustable square, I mark 2″ from the BOTTOM of the frame. I repeat…2″ from the BOTTOM of the frame.

Then I slide the square down the frame while lightly resting the pencil on the end of the square. The result is a straight line exactly 2″ from the bottom.

Generously apply wood glue to the end and sides. Don’t be stingy!

I get the support in place and screw the ends and center with 2″. Next I stand the frame back up on its side and apply clamps. I want the support straight(level) with no gaps between it and the frame. Once the clamps are secured I finish screwing into the rest of the pre-drilled holes with 2″ screws.

Mark out the center of the 58-1/2″ sides. That comes to 29-1/4″.

Here you see the center 2×4 support. A nice guy, that center 2×4 supporter. So nice he’s holy, in fact! 2 holes on one side 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the end. And one centered hole on other side.

Prop up the center support so it’s level with your 2″ mark (and the other 2 supports). Apply glue and screw.

Rinse and repeat for the other side!

Flip the frame on its side and screw into the remaining hole.

You’re getting a behind the scenes VIP all access pass to the bottom of the bed frame. You’re really lucky.

Next up I fill in the holes with wood filler.

Like so! Once that dries, sand it down with a fine grit sandpaper and wipe off/vacuum off any dust.

This is a 4×4 block that was cut to 4-1/4″. Please cut (6) of these.

Yes sir!

I measure in 1-1/2″ (my camera guy took this picture before the tape measure was lined up). Don’t worry, he’s SO fired.

I set my miter saw to 45° and line up the blade with my mark.

This is the first time I tapered the legs. I think they look nice. On the left is a fresh cut leg. The right leg has already been sanded smooth. You can skip tapering the legs completely. This is your adventure, after all!

Here’s how the tapered legs look under the frame.

Anddd a close-up.

The benefit of using 2×4’s as supports is the 4×4 legs sit perfectly underneath.

The two center legs will not be tapered, however.

I measure 19-7/8″ off of each end (1/4 of the full length).

And mark out where the center lines and perimeter of the legs are.

By doing this I can pre-drill without having to worry if I’m off the mark.

Jumping on over to the trim, now. Since my bed is going to rock the daybed orientation (long ways on the wall), the longer piece of trim will be in the front. If you’re building a standard queen, refer to the cut sizes for at the beginning of the post.

I give my trim the same sanding treatment as the main frame and legs…looks nice!

Now that we’re sanded and clean, let’s stain!

RustOleum Dark walnut.

After allowing ample time to dry, I apply the Minwax Semi-Gloss Polycrylic.

Use a sanding block (or a scrap piece of wood) with fine grit paper…

And lightly sand after the first coat. We want to get out any bubbles and inconsistencies. Notice the white film on the wood. No, don’t freak out! This is completely normal!

Wipe off the dust from sanding, and apply your second and final coat. Now set those aside because…


Today we’ll be cutting out slats down to 58-3/8″!!!

Here’s a short cut: Cut the first slat, line up the ends…

And transfer the line.

Repeat that this many times(19)!

Then get to sanding!

Vacuum and wipe off any excess dust with a wet rag…and set those slats aside.

We’ll be using 2-1/2″ Kreg screws for the legs. Two in each leg.

Before we screw we’re going to pre-drill with a 3/32″ bit.

Pre-drilling reduces the risk of the wood cracking. It also makes screwing a whole lot easier since there’s a pilot hole already.

And there we go!

Same deal for the center legs.

Those are some nice legs.

It’s trim time! Grab your clamps and wood clue, then follow me upstairs…

Apply glue to the top of the frame, similar to how we did with the 2×4 supports. All SQUIGGLY!

Don’t forget the end…

Then clamp, clamp, clamp.

I use scrap wood to give me a better hold on the total length of the frame. It also reduces the risk of leaving a clamp mark on the trim.

Next up we’ll be securing the slats. I’ll be using a pneumatic nail gun with 1-1/4″ nails. Don’t freak out! You have options! You can use 1-1/4″ brad nails and hammer them in manually. You can pre-drill and use brads manually. You can wood screws and a drill. You could probably even glue the slats if you had to (ain’t nobody got time for that).

Ok, everyone plug your compressor into your pineapple outlet!

Notice the location of the leg screws. DON’T HIT THOSE!

I’m using a piece of scrap 2×4 as a spacer.
Pew pew pew! (nail gun sounds)

I put two nails on each side and two nails into the middle support.

I was concerned the slats wouldn’t be evenly spaced throughout, but they were! Totally planned it that way.

Sweet slats, bro! Thanks bro!

Clamping the final piece of trim.

It fits! I’m losing daylight here, so I’ll have to take a really super nice picture when the sun visits again!

And here we are with the blankets and pillows…

And here’s the new headboard! Stay tuned for that upcoming project guide.

What do you think?

Not too shabby.


One stay at home dad (to be) conquers DIY and Diapers

This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. Nate

    So, the frame is only deep enough to support a top mattress, and forgoes a box spring? I’m assuming that’s all good considering the amount of slats underneath giving abundant support.

    1. Rick

      Hey Nate- That’s correct! There’s only enough room for the mattress and the slats provide plenty of support.

    2. Ally

      I really, really wanted to follow along with you and I tried really hard, but I’m a complete novice and this was not detailed enough for me. Nice job though!!

  2. Nate

    Cool deal man. I’ve been eyeballing these plans for a while now, and finally got around to ordering a Kreg jig for the pocket holes. Soon enough I hope to start building.

    1. Rick

      Awesome man! Once you get the hang of the Kreg Jig you’ll start building EVERYTHING! It’s great. Good luck and keep me posted on your build!

  3. Phillip baxman

    Hello Rick, great play by play!
    I was curious though… I wanted to build a bed entirely out of pallets… would it be structurally sound if I “built” the 1X8 by joining a bunch of boards together? and If so, what do you feel the best option would be? biscuit joint, glue and clamps seem to be the popular opinion…thanks

    1. Rick

      Hey Phillip! Thanks! First and foremost, make sure your pallet stock has the HT stamp or says “Heat Treated” somewhere. You don’t want to use the ones that are treated with chemicals. Arsenic is a terrible cuddle buddy. Secondly, I probably wouldn’t recommend building THIS bed entirely out of pallets. But I’ve seen plenty of beds from pallet wood. I wouldn’t trust the joined boards over the long term. My suggestion would be to hit up Pinterest or do a Google image search for some pallet bed builds.

      Alternatively, you could purchase the wood for the bed frame and save your pallet wood for a kick ass headboard. You can get some really cool designs from reclaimed pallets. Best of luck!

  4. lucas

    Was there ever a project guide for the headboard?

    1. Rick

      Hi Lucas! I have the images and measurements and such, but haven’t had the time to make a post. Hopefully I’ll have it up sometime soon, but with my infant now crawling around that could a tall order!

  5. Gloria

    Hi, I want to know if instead of slats may I use a piece of wood as a platform.
    I’m sorry English is my second language.

    1. Rick

      Hi Gloria! Glad you saw my response to this question on the king sized bed post. For those who may be wondering…I WOULD NOT recommend using one piece of wood vs a slat system. Moisture would get trapped under the mattress and ruin it! Best of luck Gloria!

  6. Gloria

    Hi, is me again. I just read the answer to this question for your king size platform bed plans. I understand, but I’m planning to use an air bed.

  7. Ben Clark

    Great design! Do you recall a roundabout cost for the project

    1. Rick

      Hey Ben- I can’t remember off the top of my head. Using “select” pine made it more expensive. I believe the frame was around $75 or a little less.

  8. Kyle

    How tight was the fit for the mattress? The standard queen is 80×60, just wondering how it fits and if there is room to tuck in a comforter around the edges.

    1. Paul

      I’m curious about the fit too. I modified the measurements to 59.5″x79.5″ to accommodate the standard queen, but I’m not sure if that’s too tight of a fit or not.

      1. Rick

        Hey Paul, As I mentioned to Kyle, the fit is pretty spot on. I would leave yourself a quarter to half inch of room if you have a thick comforter you plan on tucking in. Hope this helps!

    2. Rick

      Hi Kyle, The mattress fits in the frame perfectly with very little room for a thick comforter. I have a thin quilt on this bed currently so it’s not a problem. But if you have a thick comforter you may one to consider leaving yourself a little room. A quarter to half inch wouldn’t hurt. Hope that helps!

  9. Kyle

    I just finished this bed build (still need to stain it and finish the trim though). Thank you for the plans! It turned out great. I did change a few things. I meshed this plan with your king size plan. I used 1x10s for the sides and extended the legs by 2 inches to raise the bed slightly. The headboard is more sturdy with plywood on the back. I didn’t cut any of the boards on it either so no exposed edges. Here is a rough sketch of how I built it and a few pictures. Everything is in mm since I’m living in Japan and I wanted the local store to cut the boards for me.

    Drawing & Cut Sizes
    Back of headboard
    Back, bottom of headboard
    Front of headboard

    I also made the bed half an inch bigger on each side, and with my pillow top mattress I could have gone an inch wider for more tuck in room. The pocket hole joints with glue are extremely sturdy. First time I’ve ever used a Kreg Jig, very easy to learn and great joints! To finish out the room we are going to get the Ikea Hemnes dresser and mirror and finish both it and the bed similar to your king bed. Please ignore off center picture above bed, the whole room is being redone and we haven’t gotten to the walls 🙂

    Bed & Headboard Final

    1. Rick

      Millimeters?! YOU MONSTER! The last time I used millimeters was when I was converting them into centimeters…in third grade! Oh I see, well that makes sense!

      WOW. I didn’t even notice the off centered picture because the bed and headboard look SO AMAZING.

      I put some names to your linked images to help commenters see what they’re clicking into, hope you don’t mind. Also since I’m doing things without your permission, do you mind if I post this to the HNYDT fb page? It’s mostly just my mom and a few great aunts browsing around there, but they love seeing beautiful things.

      I like what you did with the headboard. Maybe you can go into a little more detail on that process? Great work!

      1. Kyle

        I know, you should have seen me converting everything from inches to mm in the store. I guess my math teacher was wrong when she said we wouldn’t have a calculator with us wherever we go, let alone one that can do instant conversions on the fly?! Feel free to share or post. I’ll post more details as time permits, our computer is down from a lightning strike nearby so everything is from my phone for the time being. Thanks for the compliments, but I couldn’t have done it without your plans to start with!

      2. Jackie

        Hi Rick & Kyle! If I build the frame with the 1×10 sides, do I need to make any other adjustments in measuring/cuts? Thanks!

        1. Rick

          Hi Jackie!

          No, you should be good to go with the current measurements. Just make sure your mattress height isn’t below the wood frame, I think that would be pretty uncomfortable. Like sleeping in a sardine can! You can always raise up the 2×4 supports so your mattress is above the frame a bit.

          1. Jackie

            Thank You!! Can’t wait to get this project started!

            1. Rick

              No problem! Best of luck with the build!

  10. Kyle

    One more thing to note. The headboard is as wide as the bed including trim. i.e. The outside of edge of the headboard lines up with the outside edges of the trim on top of the bed rails.

  11. Mike

    Thanks for the post. Really like the design. What are your thoughts on making the legs 12-18″? Thanks!

    1. Rick

      Hey Mike I think 12-18″ would be just fine. Maybe cut them to 18″ and see how they look and then decide if they’re too high? I don’t see why it would be a problem though!

  12. oltexasboy

    I noticed that you swapped out the 2x6s for a 1×8 for the side rail of the box. I am curious as to whether or not that was just for looks or do you think that it will adversely affect the side rails ability to carry the weight of a king vs. queen size?

    1. Rick

      Hey oltexasboy, This was strictly a design decision! You can use a 1×8 for a king or queen and I wouldn’t worry about the difference in load since the supports are made out of 2×4’s with 4×4 legs.

  13. Kevin

    I was just wondering what the difference between your “day bed orientation” and “standard queen” were. My understand of a day bed is that it primarily used when the bed is going to double as a couch or some such thing. So, just a little confused as to the 3ish” difference in your cuts? My bed is 59 1/2″ x 78 1/2″.

    1. Kevin

      Nevermind, I had looked over the plans but hadn’t paid enough attention to the final pictures to see that you had your bed long ways. Sorry about that. I did have a second question though, why did you pick 2″ between each slat? Just for good measure or is there an exact reason? I was looking at putting 4″ between each, but wanted to get your thoughts on the matter. Thanks again

      1. Rick

        Hey Kevin,

        Sorry I didn’t get to respond sooner, but glad you figured it out! So yeah, due to the way my bedrooms are (long and narrow) I decided to do more of a “daybed” queen. It’s pretty weird and I don’t love it, but the good thing is if you flip things around and adjust the trim (which is the 3ish” difference in the cuts), you have a standard queen!

        As for the slat distance, I don’t have a scientific reason. I figured 2″ gives me proper support and breath-ability for the mattress. You’ll have to use your discretion if you think 4″ will provide enough support for your type of mattress. For instance if you have a memory foam mattress, I would say to add slats. Hope that helps!

  14. Mike

    I made one using western hemlock for the 2×8 and trim. I did not want to spend the money for the full kreg system so I bought the mini jig. I made the adjustments for the 2″ screws and something went wrong. I ended up having to use 1 3/4″ screws for the 2×4 supports. I will need more practice with the mini jig. The lumber yard near me does not keep a stock of 1×3 boards so I used 1×4 for the slates. These are 3 1/2″ wide. I used one for the spacer between each slate which seems to give enough support. Hopefully my second bed that I build will turn out without so meany flaws. The second one that I build will be for a kymdan
    (100% rubber no foam fillers) king size. Which in an international king size at 72×80 inches. Hopefully I find some nicer wood to use.

    1. Rick

      I ran into very similar problems on my first few projects with the Kreg Jig. Stick with it! I don’t have any experience with the Kreg mini, but I would double check the depth of the Kreg drill bit. Make sure the step of the bit (thicker part) matches the depth marking for the material you’re using. Again I don’t know how the mini handles making this adjustment, but I often find if there’s an issue with screw length, there’s a good chance the depth collar wasn’t set right.

      In any case, enjoy your new bed and good luck with the next build! I have a new king bed frame plan coming out soon so keep an eye out! There’s a preview of it on my fb page.

  15. Andrea

    Hey Rick!
    Just found your blog the other day and I love it! We just ordered the tools needed to make this bed but I just had one question!

    So, we are making this bed for our almost two year old. I am planning on having it in. Corner with upholstered head boards mounted to the wall on the sides that are against the walls.
    Should I just put the trim on two sides so that it can slide really close to the wall? Or because the headboards are going to be there, just do the trim on all four sides?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Rick

      Hi Andrea! I would only do the trim on the sides of the frame that aren’t touching the wall. This way you can get the frame nice and tight to the headboard. I would also probably bring the trim up to the room pre-finished (stain/clearcoat it in the garage/outside) and install the trim last to make sure it looks good. Super cool idea with the upholstered headboards, let me know how it goes!

  16. phillip

    Hey rick! I finally got around to building this bed… thanks for the guide it came out perfect.
    I did however build a fence out of pallets. It took 65, I broke down each pallet, 90’d each slat, planed, pre-stained then put up. Also came out great. Anyways thanks again

  17. Rocky Briskey

    This is awesome , thanks for making this I have learned a few things . I own a furniture store and I want to make some extra money since times are hard and I will be doing things like this. Especially on the stain part I never thought of one layer then sanding with fine sand paper then doing a second layer.. Awesome stuff I wish there was more of this kinda stuff on internet.

  18. Warren

    I was wondering if it would be possible to use longer leg supports and not compromise the frame stability. The bed I have now is tall w/ mattress & bx springs. I like the height, just not the bed frame any more. what are your thoughts?? BTW this is my first project….

  19. Patrick W. Kellner

    Do you have the plans for the headboard yet?? I’m about to start this bed frame and want to do the head board as well.

  20. Elena

    Hello Rick. I really liked your diy. I am planning on making a bed as well but here the measurements are in meters, centimeters and milimeters. Do you think you can help me out with the conversions for the necessary suplies? The matress is 140 cm x 190 cm. Thank you in advance.

  21. Mark Sanders

    I’m also a stay at home dad and I want to build something like this for my wife. This is incredible! Have you put up, or plan to put up, the plans for the headboard?

  22. JC

    Built this bed this weekend and am very impressed with how strong it turned out. I made a few changes. I used 1x10s for the outer frame as my foam mattress is quite deep at 14″. I also used twice as many pocket screws to secure the side slat support 2x4s as my clamps wouldnt reach deep enough into the 1×10.

    I also did not use the center slat support legs. Using 1x10s allowed me to install the center slat support vertically, adding alot of rigidity. I used 3 pocket screws on each end and generous amounts of Titebond II. I stood the frame up vertically and put a bunch of heavy stuff in the middle to “clamp” the center support in. Once it was all dry, I stood in the middle of the center support and bounced, I didnt fall on my ass, no cracking, nothing! (240 lbs). I also made the legs longer, putting the frame 7″ off the floor to allow underbed storage containers to slide underneath. This thing is ROCK SOLID.

    I do not see it specifically called out in your plans, but use woodglue on the legs. I put wood glue on the two sides of the legs which contact the frame and the top which contacts the side slat support. I then clamped the legs in loosely, ran in 3 screws from the top through the slat support, and clamped the legs to each side of the outer frame it contacts. I think this really increases the strength of this frame, especially using longer legs.

    PS….I ran into the same problem as some other people here. When installing the 2×4 side slat supports to the 1×10, the 2″ screws were WAY too long and poked out. This resulted in another trip to HD to pick up 1.5″ Kreg screws which worked well. I was using the KREG R3 JIG.

  23. Rosa Rojas

    First time going to try this and having a difficult time with my own measurements.

    My bed is at 79inch length by 59 1/2″ width

    Trying to understand the measurements to the slates and the supports

  24. Scott Smith

    Hi Rick, Great plans! Would there be a problem with switching the way the boards make the corner of the bed box? By this I mea make the short board on the outside and the long boards on the inside? I know the Kreg holes would have to be on the short boards, but this would allow the 2X4 supports to be the exact length of the long boards and might. Make alignment easier.



  25. Lauren L

    Love all the pictures and the captions I’m dying lol.

  26. Cody Ryan Moeller

    Is there a way around doing this without the kreg drill tool?

    1. Rick

      Sure you could just use washers, nuts and bolts.

  27. Wanda

    Thanks so much for sharing your witty insights into the world of woodworking. I’m somewhat of a newbie & finished my first bed (queen sized) about a month ago. I made it taller, which was based on a previous bed that I had. I trimmed the legs similar to yours, which added a bit of flair to the design. Well, since I made the bed so tall, I had to make a tall nightstand. I love them and plan to make another nightstand, possibly tweaking the design.

  28. Melina Thomas

    Hey Rick,
    I don’t have a Kreg Jig, can I use my electric drill and a screw hole maker….lol, I obviously am not that well versed in the world of tools or building furniture for that matter! What I am trying to do is figure out which tools are a must and which I can make do with with what I have. Also, I purchased some nice pre-made feet for my bed, but only have 4. Do you think I need to add some 4×4 feet to the center of the frame as well?
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Rick

      Hi Melina! I would grab the $20 Kreg Jig Mini and a clamp (any clamp will work). It will take a little longer than using the full jig but it’s super easy to use and gives nice clean holes for pocket screws. I would add two center support legs. They don’t have to be 4×4’s. If you have some scrap 2×4’s laying around you can join those together with glues and screw and cut them to height. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck with your build!

  29. Amy M

    Rick what are the actual measurements build a standard queen frame and all? Amazing job

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