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How to Make a Platform Bed with Nightstands

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 04/02/20


The bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in any home.

It is the focal point of the bedroom, and obviously it is where you want to feel comfortable and rest every night.

Therefore your bed needs to be both practical as well as aesthetically pleasing.

At times ready made furniture does not always suit your needs and preferences.

You end up going from one furniture store to another, but you are still not convinced with what you find.

It could be due to the design, or the hefty prices often charged.

So why not consider making the bed of your dreams yourself?

By following the steps and guidelines below you can make your own platform bed with floating nightstands.

This is a popular idea lately since the nightstands are basically incorporated with the bed itself, thus making it look more contemporary while saving space.

Read on to find out more, or use a jump link below to skip to a desired chapter:


Table of Contents

  1. Tools & Materials
  2. Initial Cutting & Sanding
  3. Painting & Varnishing
  4. Assembling the Headboard
  5. Making the Night Stands
  6. Building the Bed Base
  7. Finishing Up
  8. Conclusion
  9. See It Built!

Tools & Materials

You will need the following tools:
  • Workbench
  • Clamps
  • Dowel Jig
  • Pocket Hole jig
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Mallet
  • Wood Glue
  • Mitre Saw
  • Orbital Sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Framing Square
  • Combination Square
  • Screwdriver
  • High Density Foam Roller

And the following materials and supplies:

  • Lumber
  • 3 Sheets of Plywood
  • Screws
  • Inserts to Mount the Nightstands
  • Corner Braces
  • L-Brackets
  • Danish Oil
  • Paint

Initial Cutting & Sanding

One of the most demanding tasks of building a DIY bed is cutting the lumber in the required pieces.

You will obviously need several parts which will then be attached to each other until the bed frame is formed.

For this reason it is recommended that you have a miter saw, as it will make the cutting job considerably easier and quicker.

If you do not own one you might check if you can borrow or hire one from the hardware store.

You will need 16 lumber pieces which will be used for the bed frame, the headboard and the bed trim.

Next, cut another piece measuring which will be used for the top and bottom nightstands.

Once all the cutting is completed, you should sand each piece so as to make it smoother and neater.

Since there are several pieces an orbital sander will make it easier and quicker.

Painting & Varnishing

Once all the pieces have been cut, it is best to paint them and varnish them at this point.

This will ensure that you paint them properly and neatly, instead of trying to move around edges when they have already been mounted and attached in a frame.

For the paint it is best to apply it with a high density foam roller as it will give you a neat result.


Assembling the Headboard

The headboard is one of the most important parts of the bed, and one’s eyes are drawn to it more than anything else.

It is best to have someone help you to hold the headboard while you assemble it and attach it to the bed base.

The design of the headboard can be as simple or as intricate as you wish.

For a platform bed it is best to stick to a linear look to complement the more modern look of this kind of bed.

You could opt to carry the wood slightly outward across the entire length, or else leave it smooth and linear throughout.

As a safety precaution, since you will be working close to the edges of the wood, pre-drill the holes for the screws to avoid splitting problems.

Add screws at least every 24 inches or so for more sturdiness.

Making the Night Stands

The nightstands are the smallest parts of the platform bed, and yet they are focal points.

Apart from offering a good place where you can store items neatly in their inner space, and even have the electrical outlets hidden away in that area too.

So the nightstands will be a really practical addition, while also make your platform bed more aesthetically pleasing.

To build the nightstands it is not that difficult.

You will already have cut the pieces of lumber for them earlier.

Now all you need to do is attach them to each other with wood glue and screws so as to form a box, which will have the inner part open.

This is basically going to be like a shelf but since it is tucked away within the outer parts of the nightstand whatever you place in it will be quite inconspicuous.

It is best to sand lightly and then apply some Danish oil for a nicer finish at the end.

Finally simply attach each floating nightstand to the bed’s headboard using wood glue and screws.


Building the Bed Base

The bed base is made from plywood sheets.

It is best to go for relatively thick plywood for more sturdiness.

Carefully attach the plywood pieces together to form the base for the bed.

Make sure they are aligned well and apply the wood glue.

Then fasten together with screws.

All the pieces are now ready and all you have to do is to attach the bed frame with brackets and some support pieces for more sturdiness.

Attach the centre beam, as this is important for such a substantially big piece of furniture, and one which will need to withstand weight.

Then simply add support pieces horizontally all along, attaching to the bed’s frame and to the centre beam. Screw them from the inside too.

Finally you can mount the plywood sheet on top of everything.

Finishing Up

Last steps to finish this project!

Apply some Danish oil, and optionally, a layer of polyurethane to give a nice finish to your bed’s lumber.

Always give a quick sanding in between, and repeat the process a couple of times.

And you are all set to place a mattress on top and enjoy a good night’s sleep in your DIY platform bed!


Conclusion

This is not an easy project, especially considering that a bed is obviously so large.

You will need certain tools which are not that basic or cheap, but other than that if you follow the steps above you can manage to do this really amazing DIY project which will surely give you a great sense of achievement.

The fact that you can customise the bed as you like in terms of finishing, colour and design is just great!

And you can build it much more affordably than when you buy a readymade bed for sure!

See it Built!

This article is based on and inspired by the awesome platform bed designed and constructed by DIY Creators.

Check out the video on their YouTube channel here and see how this beautiful platform bed comes to life.