How to Make a Pallet Bed Frame in a Few Easy Steps

Photo credit: archideaphoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: archideaphoto - Getty Images

We all know that a bed frame will make an entire room look more polished, elevated, and grown-up (you've probably seen at least one meme teasing those bedframe-free, mattress-on-the-floor folks floating around social media over the years). They can even lead to a better night's sleep since you're not just straight up on the ground. But they can also be surprisingly pricey, especially if you're not sure what you want to invest in. Enter the affordable and stylish solution: the DIY pallet bed.

If you're reasonably handy with power tools and like the sometimes industrial, sometimes rustic look of pallet bed, then what are you waiting for? We asked Kate Espada, a production designer, scenic artist, and set decorator for films, to walk us through the DIY process. Ahead, learn how to make your own pallet bed frame with her step-by-guide, and then watch the video tutorial for a visual aid before you get started.

What You'll Need:

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful
  • Wood pallets (about 40-by-48 inches)

  • Sander

  • Sandpaper

  • Stain or paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • (Optional) lacquer

  • Flat brackets

  • Corner brackets

  • 1.5-inch screws

How to DIY a Pallet Bed:

  1. First, you'll need to measure your mattress so you know how many pallets to purchase.

  2. Once you figure out the appropriate length and width, you'll be able to shop for your pallets accordingly. But you need to make sure you buy double the amount so you can stack two on top of each other for extra height. Also, be sure to purchase enough for the headboard if you plan on making one.

  3. As soon as you've got your supplies, lay out your pallets and smooth down any rough edges with a sander and fine-grain sandpaper.

  4. Next, stain or paint all the pallets in your desired tone or color. Then let them dry completely.

    Photo credit: peshkov - Getty Images
    Photo credit: peshkov - Getty Images
  5. If you want a shiny effect, add a layer of lacquer. Glossy aesthetic aside, a lacquer coating can make your pallets more durable and fill any jagged edges. Let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.

  6. When your pallets are dry, line them up in place for the bed frame and make any necessary adjustments while you're mapping it out so you're nice and organized.

  7. Connect all the floor pallets to each other with flat brackets and 1.5-inch screws. If you're adding a headboard, join the two headboard pallets together with two flat brackets, and then connect the headboard to the floor piece with corner brackets.

  8. Voila, you're finished making your DIY pallet bed! Now just position your mattress on your new bed frame and make your bed. Pro tip: If you ever want to change up the style from minimalist to soft and buttoned-up, add a skirt and slipcover.

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