DIY Farmhouse Bed – Queen Version

Rustic-BedOk, so it’s been a little while since I’ve done a major building project.  Laree and I have been looking for a queen sized bed for one of the children and haven’t found anything that we like or want to spend the money on.  So here’s my next project!

I’m doing a variation of a plan from Ana White’s website.  While the basic construction of the headboard and footboard are the same (except for the height of the headboard), I’ve modified the rail system and built it to accommodate a box spring.

As with the table, I built a SketchUp 3D model of the bed which you can download here so you can see the assembly as well as exact measurements.  If you don’t know how to use SketchUp but want to learn, I’m developing a series of videos on the basics!

Also, this plan is for a queen sized bed.  I’ve recently done an updated post for a king sized version and I’m currently working on a full size.

I’ll try and detail everything as well as some optional items and techniques.

Also, I’ve built a matching Rustic Farmhouse Night Stand and a Kendal Extra Wide Dresser which is a really nice match, so you may want to check those out too.

Materials List:

  • (4) 1” x 8” x 8’ Untreated* Pine Board (For Panels)
  • (8) 1” x 4” x 8’ Pine Board (Trim for Panels)
  • (2) 4” x 4” x 8’ Beam (Posts)
  • (4) 2” x 4” x 8’ Boards (Top of Panels and Siderail Boxspring Supports)
  • (6) 2″ x 4″ x 8′ (For Boxspring Supports)
  • (2) 2” x 6” x 8’ Boards (Top of Headboard & Footboard)
  • (2) 2″ x 8″ x 8″ Boards (For Siderails)
  • (16) 4 1/2″ or 5″ Screws**
  • Bed Rail Fasteners
  • (18) #8 1 3/4″ screws (for bed rail fasteners)
  • 1 1/4″ brad nails (for nail gun)

Tools

  • Chop/Miter Saw
  • Skil Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Drill with 3/8″ bit, 1/2″ bit & #8 counter sink bit (here are some options)
  • Nail gun
  • Wood glue
  • Sander & sandpaper
  • Chisels (for mortising the bed rail hardware)
  • Biscuit Joiner (this is optional and I’ll discuss it more below.  What’s a biscuit Joiner anyway, you ask?)

*Note that untreated 4″ x 4″ posts can be hard to find at Home Depot & Lowes.  I found a local lumber company that was able to get them for me.

**You can find these at Home Depot in the fastener section.  There are a couple options that I’ve found which you can link to here and here.  You can also use lag bolts as well.  I used the GRK Fasteners in this project.

Cut List

  • (8) 1” x 8” @ 25” Headboard Panel
  • (8) 1” x 8” @ 15” Footboard Panel
  • (8) 1” x 4” @ 58” Trim for Panels
  • (2) 4” x 4” @ 49” Headboard Post
  • (2) 4” x 4” @ 21” Footboard Post
  • (2) 2” x 4” @ 65” Top of Panels and Posts (recommend taking an exact measurement before cutting)
  • (2) 2” x 6” @ 67” Top of Headboard and Footboard (add 2″ to the measurement taken above)
  • (2) 2″ x 4″ @ 82″ Side Rail Box Spring Support
  • (2) 2″ x 8″ @ 82″ Side Rails
The soon-to-be rustic farmhouse bed

The soon-to-be rustic farmhouse bed

Farmhouse Bed Plans

Get the PDF version for only $5!

I’ve also created a printable PDF version of this plan that also includes the accompanying bench, which you can purchase for $5 (it’s about 22 pages in all).  It’s all the info from the blog posts, but I’ve compiled it for easy printing and included shopping lists, cut diagrams and helpful pictures.  Basically, if you want a handy printable version so you don’t have to get sawdust all over your computer, you might consider purchasing this download.  Note that this is for the queen version.  If you’re looking for a king version, you can get it here.

My first step was to create the panels for the headboard and footboard.  Since the panels were 8″ (actually the boards are 7 1/4″ in width – see this page for nominal lumber sizes) my miter saw wouldn’t cut them all the way through, so I had to use a skil saw.  It’s a bit of a challenge to get the panel boards cut exactly square, so use a guide, clamp everything down and take your time.

Marking the headboard & footboard panels to cut

Marking the headboard & footboard panels to cut

Once the panels are cut, then I cut the trim.  I found its a good idea to measure the panels before you cut the trim.  Turned out that not all my panels were exactly 7 1/4″.  A couple of them measured slightly wider (I used cheap lumber from Home Depot) so I needed to trim about 1/4″ of one of the panels using my table saw to get the panels exactly 58″.

Lining up the panels for the footboard

Lining up the panels for the footboard

Keeping the panels in order

Keeping the panels in order

Cutting the panel trim

Cutting the panel trim

Also, before assembling the panels, I sanded the edges to get a slightly beveled edge.

Sanding the panel edges for the beveled look

Sanding the panel edges for the beveled look

Panels & trim

Panels & trim

The original plans didn’t call for biscuits between the panels, but I wanted to give the headboard and footboard both a bit of additional stability.  I used #10 biscuits and glued the panels together.  You could also use pocket holes to attach the panels firmly, but I chose biscuits because I didn’t want the holes in the back of the panels.  Either way will work, particularly if you’re going to paint the bed.  A biscuit joiner is kind of expensive at around $160 (here’s the DeWalt one that I bought), but it’s turned out to be a great investment that I use on almost every project that I do.

Biscuit joint for extra stability in the panels

Biscuit joint for extra stability in the panels

Next step is assembling the panels.  Glue and nail the trim to the panels.  Then its time to cut the 4×4 posts for the headboard and footboard.

Jonathan nails some of the trim

Jonathan nails some of the trim for his bed

Headboard panels and trim

Headboard panels and trim

I could not find untreated 4×4 posts at Home Depot or Lowes, so I went to a local lumber shop (it was a little hard to find) where I was able to order them.  I read several posts on the internet about not using treated lumber for the bed, which makes sense to me since I don’t want me or my family sleeping that close to all those chemicals!

4x4 posts for headboard and footboard

4×4 posts for headboard and footboard

Untreated 4x4 posts for headboard and footboard

Untreated 4×4 posts for headboard and footboard

Be sure to pre-drill holes into the 4×4 posts.  If you’ve got access to a drill press, that will help you keep the holes for the lag bolts at exactly 90°.  A drill guide is a cheaper alternative and the next best thing.  If you don’t have either, make sure you use a drill that has a level in the handle and take it slow so you can make sure to get a straight 90° hole.  I countersunk the lag bolt holes so I can fill in with wood filler so they won’t be visible.

Drilling the posts for attaching the headboard and footboard

Drilling the posts for attaching the headboard and footboard

Countersinking the 5" screws to the headboard and footboard

Countersinking the 5″ screws to the headboard and footboard

Now its time to attach the 4×4 posts.  This is another part that can be pretty tricky.  Unless you have a clamp that’s large enough to clamp the full 65″ (I don’t have one) you will find that when you try and screw the lag bolts into the headboard, you get some unsightly gaps between the posts and panels.  It’s not possible, unless you’ve got superhuman strength, to hold the posts tight enough against the panels to get a tight fit.  Remember to also use glue.  I used four 5″ lag bolts for each post.

Once the posts are tightly attached to the panels, then measure, cut, sand and attach the top 2x4s and 2x6s for the top of the headboard and footboard.  When looking at plans on the internet, I ran across some considerable discussion about what type of bolts to use and where to get them.  I used four 5″ GRK fasteners for each post.  You can find these at Home Depot in the fastener section (here and here are a couple options).  You can also use lag bolts as well.  I countersunk the screws and will fill them in with wood filler so the holes aren’t visible.

Counter sinking the screws when assembling headboard & footboard

Counter sinking the screws when assembling headboard & footboard

Headboard corner assembly

Headboard corner assembly

Headboard assembled

Headboard assembled

Once the headboard and footboard are assembled, it’s time to start working on the bed rails.

Cutting the bed rails

Cutting the bed rails

I measured and measured and measured, then cut!  Fortunately, we have a couple other queen sized beds so I had some actual box springs to measure to make sure I got the correct length with a little wiggle room (remember the 2×6 on top of the footboard will extend an inch or more to the inside so you’ll want to compensate for the box spring and mattress length.

One of the big differences between my plan and the Ana White plan is how I attach the bed rails.  I wanted a bed that we can disassemble with relative ease (any way you cut it, this is a heavy piece of furniture!), so instead of bolting the rails to the posts I am using bed rail fasteners.  You can also find these at a Woodcraft or Rockler store if there’s one near you. This also means that I was meticulous about the width of the headboard.  I bring this up because if you read the comments on the original Ana White plan, there’s some discussion about the precise width of the 1x8s used to make the panel.  Using my plan where I attach bedrails, the actual 7 1/4″ width (not 7 1/2″ as stated in the plan) works out perfectly.  That’s because we’re putting the hardware in the middle of the posts, not bolting the rails to the inside of the posts.

Here's the bed rail hardware I used

Here’s the bed rail hardware I used

The complicated part of using the bed rail hardware is that I need to create a mortise for the hardware.

Bed rail hardware

Bed rail hardware

Mortising the footboard post

Mortising the footboard post

Using a chisel to mortise the footboard post

Using a chisel to mortise the footboard post

Footboard rail hardware mortise

Footboard rail hardware mortise

My next steps are in a new post that you can find here.  And here’s the rest of the story:

  • Part 1 – Making the Headboard & Cutting the Bed Rails
  • Part 2 – Bed Rails and Supports
  • Part 3 – Finishing the Bed

If you’ve found this post helpful of if you’re making a bed of your own, I’d love to hear your comments.  Thanks!
Ed

If you like this plan, you can either print out this entire blog post or purchase my PDF print version for $5.

The print version includes a handy shopping list, cut list and lots of diagrams of the project (it’s about 22 pages in all).  You certainly don’t need it to build the bed, but if you want a nicely formatted printout to use in your workshop/basement/garage and to take to Home Depot or Lowes when shopping for supplies, you might consider it.  Note that this is for the queen version.  If you’re looking for a king version, you can get it here.

Check out my readers’ projects here!

You might also like this matching nightstand.

Build-Your-Own-Night-Stand

26 thoughts on “DIY Farmhouse Bed – Queen Version

  1. Pingback: DIY Farmhouse Bed – Full Version | A Lesson Learned

    1. Ed Post author

      Thanks for the note & that’s not good! Have him check his spam or junk folder to see if the download email is there. If not, email me (ed@edhart.me) the email he used to purchase & I can check on the order. Sorry about that!! The system usually works pretty smoothly. There’s a good chance it’s stuck in his junk mail.

      Reply
  2. Jake

    Hi, awesome blog! I’ll be starting this project tomorrow as part of a birthday gift for my girlfriend, it’s a little last minute so hopefully I can get it all done in time! One area I’m slightly confused is if I’ll be able to hide the box spring behind the siderails and how it’ll look.

    The dimensions of the mattress/box spring are:
    Mattress: 60 x 11 x 80
    Box Spring: 60 x 9 x 80

    With the box spring being 9″ high is where I’m a little concerned. Taking into account the 2/4 and 2/8 it looks like there is about 3.75″ (7 1/4″ – 3 1/2″) of room that the side boards would cover. So sticking up above the side boards would be around 5.25″ of the box spring. Just curious, is this how yours is or is the box spring completely hidden? I would love to hear any info on how yours looks, I’ve been searching around for photos all day but most finished ones all seem to have bedding so it’s hard to tell. Since it’s last minute I just want to make sure I plan everything correctly 🙂

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Hi Jake, thanks for the note & glad you like the plan! Yes, the box spring will be thicker than the bed rails, but that’s pretty normal. What most folks do is get a box spring cover or bed skirt that will cover the box spring and coordinate with the bedding. I’ve had some people tell me that they’ve done the bed ‘platform style’ and used a sheet of plywood instead of a box spring, setting the mattress directly on top, but personally, I don’t think this style of bed lends itself to that. It’s totally normal to have your box spring and mattress dimensions with this bed plan.
      Thanks,
      Ed

      Reply
    2. Ed Post author

      Also, you can check out some other reader’s projects on my EdHart.me Facebook page. There’s not much there now, but I’d love to have your pictures when you get your project done (or even along the way!).

      Reply
  3. maria

    HI, going to attempt to make this bed. I also want to use a box spring and mattress and for that reason I came onto your site. For the box spring supports (you used 2x4s) I accidentally got 2x6s. Do you think I will still be able to use those for the slats or should I exchange them for 2x4s?

    Thanks in Advance,
    Maria

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Hi Maria,
      If it were me, I would exchange them for the 2x4s. If you did choose to keep them, you’d use the same method, but cut the grooves in the bed rail shelf wider to fit. The 2x4s will be a little lighter, less tendency to sag (without some kind of support) and they’re less expensive than the 2x6s.
      Good luck on your project and I’d love to see some pictures when you’re done!
      Ed

      Reply
      1. maria

        Hi Ed,

        Thank you so much for the quick reply and all your help. I’ll definitely post pictures once we are done.

        Thank You,
        Maria

        Reply
  4. Keri

    Hi someone is wanting my husband to make this for them and I was wondering if you knew how much time it took you to put it all together. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Assembling the bed is a 1-2 weekend project (assuming you have all supplies and can devote most of the weekend!). Getting a good finish – priming & painting a couple coats and maybe adding a couple coats of polycrylic will be another weekend or could be done on successive evenings during the week if you stay focused on it. It took me 4 solid weekends, but I was also taking pictures & writing a plan while I did it.

      Reply
  5. Steve

    I wish it was free like on Ana-white, but I’ll gladly give you the $5 for making the EXACT changes I was going to spend a couple days doing. Ha. Thank you so much.

    I was looking at the bed on Ana-White.com and was thinking of adjusting this accordingly. I’m glad I ran into this website before I sat down and starting sketching everything.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      As I’m studying your plan I see you have a sketch-up picture of the cut list but I can’t find that download. I’m wondering if I can save money by buying boards in 12′ or more lengths. Can you provide the link for your cut list in sketch-up on this project? Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Ed Post author

        Hi Steve, thanks for downloading! I just emailed you a link to the SketchUp cut list, so let me know if you have any trouble with it. Thanks for catching that too… I thought I had the link to the cut list in the plan, so I’ll double check and update it. Let me know if you have any more questions!
        Ed

        Reply
        1. Steve

          One thing your print out is missing (just got to this step) is the measurements for how far apart you placed the bed rail supports. Just some advice to make it a little better.

          Reply
          1. Ed Post author

            Thanks, I’ll check into that right away. I appreciate the feedback. The queen size rails should measure 61″ from the inside of the rails (not the inside of the supporting 2x4s). Standard queen box springs are 60″, but I always recommend measuring your actual box spring as I’ve seen them vary. The king plan is a minimum of 77″ to accommodate the standard king box spring of 76″. You want to make sure you have a little “wiggle room” for the mattress to fit but still rest weight on the 2×4 supports on the inside of the rails. Thanks again for giving me that feedback; I appreciate it.

  6. Ronnie

    So, I just realized I need to pay more attention to details. I purchased your plans because I was excited that I finally found plans for a bed that I liked. The problem? I just bought a king size mattress. Can you provide any pointers for altering the plans/cuts for a king size bed? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      I can do that. I’ve been thinking of doing a king size version anyway. The difference will really be widening it to accommodate the mattress. Give me a couple day to get you some specs and tips on it. If you’d like me to refund you, I’ll be glad to, but a lot of the plan will be the same. Also, reply back with your mattress/box spring measurements (length & width) so I can compare actual vs. standard sizes.
      Ed

      Reply
  7. Mike

    Is the plan for this still available? I wasn’t able to access it via Google Apps. Would very much appreciate a copy.

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Try now… not sure what was wrong with the link, but you should be able to get to it now. Or you can click the SketchUp logo on the image.
      Ed

      Reply
  8. Seattle2k

    I’m building one as well, and planning to use bed rail fasteners – albeit a different style – in order to be able to break down the bed, should we ever need to move it.

    I like your use of the biscuits to keep the individual boards from flexing or warping I don’t have a biscuit joiner, but I built the headboard panel using a manufactured doug fir decking product that’s a tad thicker than a standard 1×6 – and since they’re manufactured, they should be fairly stable.

    I’ve made a few other modifications to avoid the bed looking like a fence. I ripped the 4x4s down to 3×3, and capped the headboard and footboard panels first with a 2×3 (instead of the 2×4) and then a 5/4″ x 6″, rather than the 2″ x 6″.

    Also, when attaching the legs to the panels, rather than attaching a temporary cleat and clamping, I drilled my holes through the legs, such that the screw threads don’t bite into the legs. This ensures the screws will pull the legs tight to the panels.

    Reply
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