DIY Farmhouse Bed – King Version

King-Bed-GraphicI’ve had a number of questions about converting my Farmhouse Bed post plan to a king sized version (the original plan is a queen).  While the construction techniques are the same, the king version changes quite a few of the measurements to stretch the headboard and footer.  This post is a detailed plan for the king version.  To give full credit, the original version of this plan is from Ana White’s website (the queen version) which you an see here and I’m also working on a full version.  I think Ana has done a king version as well, but this plan is a little bit different.  

You can refer to back to the queen bed plan for a detailed description of the techniques and steps for building the bed.  Since this is the king version, I’m just going to show the design and describe the differences between this and the queen version.  You can click on the picture below to download a 3D SketchUp model of this bed (If you don’t know how to use SketchUp but want to learn, I’m developing a series of videos on the basics!).

King sized version of the farmhouse bed plan

Download a SketchUp 3D Model of this King sized version of the farmhouse bed plan

King Size Measurements

A standard king sized mattress is 76″ wide by 80″ long, but it’s always a good idea when starting a project to measure your mattress since they can vary a bit.  Also, there’s a California king mattress that measures 72″ by 84″ so make sure that if your mattress measures different from the standard size, that you compensate for that with your measurements.

This overall bed dimensions are approximately 83″ wide by 91″ long (including the overlapping  boards on top of the headboard and footer.

Materials List:

  • (4) 1” x 10” 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 10” @ 25” Headboard Panel
  • (8) 1” x 10” @ 15” Footboard Panel
  • (8) 1” x 4” @ 74” Trim for Panels
  • (2) 4” x 4” @ 49” Headboard Post
  • (2) 4” x 4” @ 21” Footboard Post
  • (2) 2” x 4” @ 81” Top of Panels and Posts (recommend taking an exact measurement before cutting)
  • (2) 2” x 6” @ 83” 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
  • (6) 2x4s @ 77″ Mattress Support Beams
  • (8) 2x4s @ 9″ Mattress Support Beam Legs

Farmhouse-Bed-Plans-thumbnailI’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.

Making the Headboard (and Footer)

King size farmhouse bed headboard

King size farmhouse bed headboard

The first step was to create the panels for the headboard and footboard.  The king version of this plan uses 8 1x10s instead of 1x8s.  The 1x10s, with their actual size of 9 1/4″ fit the 74″ panel width perfectly so no trimming is necessary.  Don’t forget about nominal lumber sizes when working through your plan.  Nominal sizes are what’s on the sign on the lumber bins (i.e. 2×4, 1×6, etc.).  Actual sizes are the real dimensions of the wood (less than the nominal size).

If you want to use 1x8s, you will need to either trim 11 of them all to a width of 6.73″ with a table saw or (which is easier in my opinion) use 9 of them as-is and then trim the 2 end ones to 4 3/8” and that way it would look balanced.

Since the 1x10s are bigger than most miter saw blade diameters, you’ll need 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.

Also, I used a hand sander to bevel the edges of the panels before joining them together.  This adds a little definition to the individual panels and gives the bed a more “rustic” look.

King bed headboard panel construction

King bed headboard panel construction

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 theDeWalt 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

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

I mentioned in the queen version plan about the 4×4 posts.  You will probably not find untreated 4×4 posts at Home Depot or Lowes, so you’ll need to call a local lumber shop and order them.  There will be several grades of lumber to choose from and since the 4×4 posts will be prominent and visible on the bed, I suggest getting the highest grade available.

Depending on your lumber yard you may hear terms like grades 1 through 4 (1 being the best) or B through D (B being the best). You may also hear the term S4S which means “surfaced four sides” and generally this is what you want. This means that each face of your board has been surfaced or planed and that the boards will have sharp, well defined corners instead of the rounded edges you find on lumber from the big box retailers. Either will work; it depends on your style and the look you’re going for.

Untreated 4x4 posts for headboard and footboard

Use untreated 4×4 posts for headboard and footboard

Attaching the Headboard (and Footer) Posts

I described this in detail in the queen post, but it’s worth mentioning again here.  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 (be sure to clamp it down!).  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

Countersinking the 5" screws to the headboard and footboard

Ideally you’d pre-drill all the way through the panels to get a tight fit between them and the panels, but because you’re going through a 4×4, you would need an extra long drill bit.  If you don’t have one, I have a workaround to keep the posts tight against the panels using cleats and clamps:

Assembling the Footer

The footer is assembled the same way as the headboard. I recommend assembling the panels of both together and then attaching the posts of both. This saves time since you can cut and drill everything at the same time.

King bed footer with measurements

King bed footer with measurements

 

Making the Bed Rails

Once the headboard and footer are assembled, it’s time to start working on the bed rails. Keep in mind that the 2×6 on top of the footer will extend an inch or more to the inside. I’ve made the bed rails 82” long to accommodate standard king sized mattresses and box springs, however I would recommend measuring yours (if you have them already) to make sure that they will fit. This is the same with the 77” support beams. I’ve created this plan based on standard box spring sizes, but it never hurts to double check your specific mattress and box spring!

Bed rails and supports

Bed rails and supports

The other difference between this and the queen version is that I’ve added additional 9″ supports for the middle of the rail slats.  You can make these using 2 2x4s attached together or you may have enough wood from your 4×4 posts to use for this purpose.

Again, one of the big differences between my plan and the Ana White plan is how I attach the bed rails. In her original plan, the bed rails are permanently fixed to the headboard and footer, but I wanted a bed that can be disassembled with relative ease. Besides, this is a heavy piece of Closeup of measurements for the bed rail supports.furniture! So instead of bolting the rails to the posts I am using bed rail fasteners. There are a variety of bed rail fasteners available, but I’ve found these heavy duty fasteners (shown in the illustration) work great and enable the bed rails to be attached and disassembled with east. You can find these at a Woodcraft or Rockler store if there’s one near you or you can order them online from Amazon. This does require that you are careful to follow this plan as it relate to the width of the headboard and footer. This goes back to the comments about the 1×8 panels and their actual width of 7 1/4”.

Here's the bed rail hardware I used

See the queen version post for a detail walkthrough of creating the mortises for these fasteners.  If you don’t want to mess with the mortises for the bed rail fasteners, some other options are these 5″ surface mount fasteners by Rockler or these “no mortise” bed rail fittings.  Both have good reviews on Amazon at the time of this post.  Note that both of these surface mount fasteners have to be mounted on the inside of the bed rails and the 2×4 “shelf” that supports the mattress supports will get in the way.  You can compensate for this by trimming the shelf back from the edges of the 2×8 bed rail boards creating enough space to mount the brackets on the bed rail.

The other technique that might be unfamiliar is cutting notches in the 2×4 for the bed rail supports.  Here’s a brief video demonstration on how to do this.  Don’t forget to use eye protection!

Here’s a closeup of the measurements of the support housing joints.  For this plan there are 6 support slats measures with 11″ spaces between them and 3″ spaces on the ends.

Closeup of measurements for the bed rail supports.

Final Assembly

Here’s another picture of the final plan.  For ideas on finishing, refer back to the last part of the queen bed post series.

King sized version of the farmhouse bed plan

King sized version of the farmhouse bed plan

Thanks and if you’ve found this plan helpful or have some additional tips, please leave a comment!

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.

Thanks!
Ed

Check out my readers’ projects here!

You might also like this matching nightstand.

Build-Your-Own-Night-Stand

 

13 thoughts on “DIY Farmhouse Bed – King Version

  1. Paul

    Ed,
    I just downloaded your plans and am getting all my supplies together. I plan to build the bed frame within the next 2 weeks for our newly bought king size foam mattress. As I’ve learned, foam mattresses don’t require a boxspring. Our mattress is 10″ tall and when fitting a mock mattress into your Sketchup model, I noticed it sits quite low. Most farmhouse bed pictures I’ve seen have the mattress sitting higher (an inch or so above top of footboard). I believe I need about 5 inches of additional height. Aside from spending $100+ on a king box spring…any suggestions on modifications to your plan that could solve my problem?

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      You’ve got a few options there. You can place the supports that are mounted inside the bedrails (with the 2×4 slats) 3/4″ or slightly more beneath the top of the bedrails themselves and then use a sheet of plywood to make a platform. That way your mattress would rest right at the top of the bedrail. Another possibility would be to raise the bedrails a little higher which would also give you some more room under the bed.

      Reply
      1. Bjorgen Eatinger

        I have the same question. That is, the plans should include a side-note on how to build it so that the box spring is NOT required. Your explanation above is actually difficult to understand, and I for one, would require a diagram so as to be able to see what you mean visually. Would not wish to make any mistakes and have to purchase more wood, and start over again. I did purchase the plans, and there is not currently a provision included for building it for a situation where the box springs are NOT required, which is actually more the case than not.

        Reply
        1. Ed Post author

          Hi Paul, sorry for the late reply! Sent you an email, but also posting here for others. Here’s an image of what I'm describing in the other reply of moving the inside supports up, creating a platform with 3/4″ plywood on which to rest the mattress. The king plan also has a couple bottom supports under the 2×4 rails that are 9”. They would need to be a little longer since the bed rail support system is being moved up slightly. You may also want to increase the height of the bedrails on the bed posts to get the right height for the top of the mattress since there’s no box spring (which would represent 5 to 9 inches generally) , but that’s really a matter of personal preference.

          Reply
  2. Ray Brown

    So a similar question to one asked about the table, wood expansion. I made a plan in sketchup using your design and Ana White’s design for ideas. I ended up with 9 1×8’s and a 2″ piece on each end for the panels. If I understand correctly, expansion should be sideways on the panel. Did you have any issues with that? I’m debating leaving a little space between the ends of the panel and the posts, or maybe a small gap between each board in the panel. I don’t think either will look bad. I’m going to be beveling the edges a bit and painting the whole thing white.

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      I haven’t had any issues with gaps in the headboard or footer on this project. If you’re worried about it or experience meaningful swings in the humidity levels where you’re going to have the bed, one solution to leaving gaps would be to create some kerfs in the paneling on the backside, especially if you use a very thin sawblade. There’s a good example in this article (scroll down to close to the bottom of the article): http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2010/09/03/moisture-content-wood-movement/. Another – and probably easier – strategy would be to run a thin strip of moulding down the vertical sides allowing you to have a small gap and keep it covered. I do live in the humidity prone southeast and haven’t had any problems so far (going on 4 years for one that I built).

      Reply
  3. DanM

    I noticed in the material list you have 1×8’s and in the cut list and diagrams you use 1×10’s for the head and baseboards. Is this a typo?

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Yes! Thanks for catching that. The king plan modified the queen plan which uses the 1x8s. For the king, yes, use the 1x10s.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Rustic Farmhouse Bed – Reader Projects! | A Lesson Learned

  5. Rachel Hayes

    I did a blog post on my website at http://www.rachelmhayes.com. Feel free to check it out. My website is new so there are a few hiccups. Click on ‘Blog’ at the bottom and it will take you to the post. I gave you credit for the adaptive design, and I did a little of my own adaptations. I’d be curious to know what you think about it. This was my FIRST woodworking project. Thank you so very much for your incredible drawings and cut list that made the difference in my comprehension of the plan.

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Thanks so much! I checked out your blog… great job! Your quilts are really nice. Also, the bed turned out great. I also loved seeing a copy of my cut list in your binder… that was a great picture! I hope you really enjoy your bed.
      Ed

      Reply
  6. Rachel Hayes

    Thanks so much for this plan. It was my first woodworking project and turned out beautifully. I changed it up somewhat using Kreg pocket holes to attach the headboard and footboard to the posts. I also use non-mortise bed rail fasteners. However, I do have one question. How do you recommend attaching the 9″ support posts to the 2×4 slats? Three of mine seem to be maybe 1/16th of an inch shy of meeting the slat. I was going to use my leftover 2 1/2″ wood screws but wondered if that would be appropriate, especially since they are just a tiny bit short. It appears any weight on them causes the support posts to meet the slat.

    Reply
    1. Ed Post author

      Hi Rachel, I’m glad to hear that the project turned out well! I’d love to see & post some pictures of it if you’d be willing to send some. As for the supports, the easiest thing would be to use the wood screws like you suggested. I always recommend pre-drilling the holes and also using wood glue for the bonds. You could also use some “L” brackets that you could pick up at Lowes or Home Depot. As far as the 1/16th gap, that shouldn’t be an issue at all, especially since the 2x4s have natural flexibility to them. Depending on whether you are putting the bed on hardwoods or carpeting, you can put some pads under the supports (& posts) and that will absorb any gaps. But even if not, the gaps aren’t a big deal at all. Congrats to you on a successful first project!

      Reply

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