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How to Make a DIY Platform Bed

Cut from plywood and customizable to any size mattress, this platform bed plan eliminates the need for a box spring and adds lots of storage.

 Finished platform bed

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 -2 weeks

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw with straightedge
  • Straightedge
  • Random-orbit sander with 120-grit sanding discs
  • Framing square
  • Cordless drill with countersink and driver bits
  • 3/8-in drill bit
  • Allen wrenches
  • Iron
  • Clamps
  • Combination square
  • Wood glue
  • Tape Measure
  • Fine-grit sanding pads


  • See Project Diagram for lumber
  • 3/4-in x 25-ft red oak iron-on edging, #16545
  • 2-in x 8-ft red oak iron-on edging, #16547
  • #8 1-1/4-in flathead wood screws
  • #8 2-in flathead wood screws
  • 4-1/4-in antique bronze connector nut, #148248
  • 4-1/4-in x 50mm antique bronze connecting bolt, #148284
  • Minwax Dark Walnut stain, #86165
  • Minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane, #45862

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Project plans include dimensions for a twin-, full-, queen-, or king-size mattress (no need for box springs with this platform bed). Size your bed from one of two plan options. For the queen or king size, use Plan Set 1. For a twin or full size, use Plan Set 2. Queen-and king-size beds require a center divider in the end case and longer side cases to support the larger mattress. For a light wood option, substitute birch plywood and edge tape for all of the plywood parts, and replace oak with maple or poplar. Or paint it to coordinate with your bedroom colors. To add a modern twist, use MDF (medium density fiberboard) with no edge tape, and apply a clear polyurethane finish. You can also choose a variety of stain colors or apply a clear finish to the oak.

Build the Base

Step 1

Cut the 3/4-inch plywood into smaller sections to create the side-case bottoms/tops (A), dividers (B), side backs (C), end-case top/bottom (D), and the end-case back (E) (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List). If you are building the queen- or king-size bed, there is an extra divider, and it’s used in the end case.

Good to Know

Each size bed has a different Cutting List and Cutting Diagram. These photos and instructions are for a queen size; included in these instructions are the variations to build full and twin sizes.

Step 2

Lay out the divider on the top and bottom at one time.

Align the ends of the tops (A) and the bottom panels (A) of the side cases on sawhorses and lay out the divider locations. A framing square will help transfer the marks onto both plywood sheets to ensure proper alignment during assembly.

Step 3

Several plywood edges on the tops/bottoms (A) and dividers (B) will be exposed in the final project and need to be covered with a veneer edge tape (Project Diagram, Drawing 1) to create a finished look. After marking the edges that need to be covered, cut veneer tape pieces an inch longer than those edges.

Step 4

Painter’s tape holds the tape while heat activates the glue.

Use a household iron, on the cotton setting, to activate the glue, and press the veneer into position on the edges of the panels. A piece of painter’s tape can secure the veneer until you activate the adhesive.

Step 5

Sand the veneer edging to create the finished panels.

Allow the veneer tape to cool for a few minutes, trim the edges with a utility knife, and sand the panels and edging. A sanding sponge creates a softened edge on the veneer to reduce any sharp edges. A random-orbit sander with 180-grit sandpaper smooths the plywood panels.

Step 6

Add the dividers to the platform-bed bottoms.

Apply glue to a divider (B), position it against the bottom (A), and clamp in position (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Each divider will be secured with three screws and glue. To ensure a square assembly, drill a countersunk pilot hole and drive a screw 1 inch from the front edge of the panel, and then use a square to ensure the dividers are 90 degrees to the front edge of the bottom (A); secure with the remaining two screws. Repeat for the other dividers.

Step 7

Glue and screw the top (A) to the case (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Secure the side back (C) to the dividers and top/bottom (A) using screws but no glue (when finishing the case it will be easier to remove the back to access the inside of the case). The case back attaches flush to the headboard and one end of the case; the remaining opening near the foot of the bed is covered by the end case. When the first case is complete, assemble the second side case and then build the end case using these same steps.

Headboard and Mattress Support

Step 1

Add the wide veneer edging to the panels with an iron.

Cut the headboard panel (F), stiles (G), and rail (H) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List) and assemble using glue and screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Cut the 2-inch-wide veneer edging and iron in place on the headboard. Trim and sand away the excess.

Step 2

Trim the veneer with a utility knife after the glue cools and sand the assembled headboard smooth.

Step 3

Cut the side rails (I) and end rail (J) to length and sand smooth (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List).

Step 4

Cut the side supports (K) from 2 x 4s, the slats (L) from 1 x 4s, and the platform (M) from 3/4-inch-thick plywood (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List). The plywood needs no edging, and the parts do not require a finish.

Good to Know

For a twin-size bed, no slats are needed under the platform. For a king-size bed, you’ll need two platform pieces to cover the larger opening.

Finish the Bed

Step 1

Remove the case backs from the base cabinets and apply the stain of your choice to these parts, then stain the headboard assembly and the rails. After the stain dries, apply three coats of satin polyurethane. After each coat cures, sand the clear finish with a 320-grit sanding sponge, wipe with a tack cloth, and apply the next coat. When the final coat cures, reinstall the case backs.

Step 2

Add side supports to the side cases.

Apply the side supports (K) to the back of the side cases (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) -- the top edge of the 2 x 4s should be 1 1/2 inches below the top of the cases and flush with each end of the case side backs (C). For the twin-size bed, the slats will not be used; position the side supports 3/4 inch below the top edge of the case.

Step 3

Add the side rails to the completed side cases.

Add the side rails (I) to the side cases. The rails should be flush on the headboard end of the cases and overhang the side and footboard end of the cases by 1/2 inch.

Step 4

Secure the headboard to the platforms with connector bolts.

Move the components into the bedroom and position the cases at the bed location about a foot from the wall. Slip the headboard into position so it extends 1 inch beyond the side cases and 1/2 inch beyond the side rails (I) (Project Diagram, Drawing 4). Drill two 3/8-inch holes through the side case dividers (B) and the headboard assembly. Connect the headboard using 1/4-20 connector bolts and nuts tightened using two Allen wrenches. Tightening the connector bolts will square the bed assembly.

Step 5

Install the end rail across the foot of the bed between the side rails so it overhangs the end of the bed by 1/2 inch (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).

Step 6

Place the slats on the side supports.

Rest evenly spaced slats (L) on the side supports and place the platform (M) on the slats (Project Diagram, Drawing 4). Note that the twin bed does not require slats.

Step 7

How to Make a DIY Platform Bed -- Lowe's Creative Ideas

Slide the bed against the wall and add the mattress.