How to build a queen size bed frame

Jack Sander 6

This step by step project is about how to build a queen size bed frame. A bed frame with a traditional and rustic appearance will change the look of your bedroom. If you want to add character to your home, but you either haven’t found the right design for your needs or it exceeds you budget, you could try to get the job done by yourself. If you have basic woodworking skills, you can build the bed frame in just a weekend.

We strongly recommend you to buy quality lumber, as the investment will pay off on the long run. Choose something like pine boards, as they have a beautiful finish and are resistant to decay. In addition, the wooden components should be perfectly straight and in a very good condition (no chips, dents, cracks or dents). Design the size of the bed frame, after deciding what mattress you are going to buy.

There are a couple of woodworking techniques you need to know, before starting the project. Therefore, drill pilot hols trough the wooden components before driving in the screws. In addition, add glue to the joints and align the components at both ends before driving in the screws. Use a spirit level to plumb the headboard and the footboard, as well as to make sure the cleats are horizontal.


Made from this plan



In order to build a queen size bed frame, you need the following:

  • A – 2 pieces of 4×4 – 52”, 1 piece of 2×4 – 67 1/2”, 1 piece of 2×6 – 69 1/2”  HEADBOARD LEGS & TRIMS
  • A – 11 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 29”, 4 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 60 1/2” HEADBOARD PANEL 
  • B – 2 pieces of 4×4 – 25”, 1 piece of 2×4 – 67 1/2”, 1 piece of 2×6 – 69 1/2” FOOTBOARD LEGS & TRIMS
  • B – 11 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 19”, 4 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 60 1/2” FOOTBOARD PANEL
  • C – 2 pieces of 1×10 lumber – 80 1/2” SIDE TRIMS
  • D – 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 80 1/2” long, 1 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 60 1/2” long CLEATS
  • – 17 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 60 1/2” long SLATS
  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits
  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Apply several coats of wood stain to the wooden components
  • Adjust the size of the headboard, according to your needs and tastes
  • One Day



Building a bed frame for a queen mattress

Building a queen size bed

Building a queen size bed


Building a queen size bed frame is a great opportunity to change the look of your bedroom dramatically. If you follow the instructions and adjust the design of bed to your tastes, you can add character to your home.

Smart Tip: These plans are developed as to minimize the number of cuts required for the project, as well as the amount of work needed.



How to build a queen size bed

Building the headboard

Building the headboard


First of all, you need to build the headboard of the bed. Although this step is not compulsory, as you could just use 4×4 wooden legs, we can assure it will enhance the look of any bedroom and add value to your property.

Start with building the panel, using 2×6 and 1×6 slats. Align the slats properly, making sure there are no gaps between them, before securing the trims with glue and 1 1/2” finishing nails.





Continue the woodworking project by attaching the 4×4 posts to the panel, as in the image. Drill pilot holes trough the posts and drive in 4 1/2” wood nails. In addition, don’t forget to add glue to the joints, to make them more rigid.

Smart Tip: After checking if the corners are right-angled, you should attach the top trims to the headboard and lock them into place with screws. Add glue to the joints to enhance the bond.


Building the footboard

Building the footboard


Building the footboard is similar to the previous steps, but you should cut the components at other dimensions. As you can see in the plans, basically, the foorboard should be a miniaturized version of the headboard.

Clap the trims to the 2×6 slats for several hours, if you really want to secure the components tightly. In order to get a professional result, make sure there are no gaps between the slats.


Footboard for queen bed

Footboard for queen bed


Attach the posts to the panel, as well as the trims. Drill pilot holes trough the components before inserting the wood screws into place, making sure you countersink the head of the screws.

We strongly recommend you to buy the mattress before starting the project, as its thickness differs extensively according to manufacturers. Once you have the mattress, you could adjust the size of the bed frame to your needs.


Installing the side trims

Installing the side trims


Next, you have to add the sides of the bed frame. As you probably know these components are actually trims, as the mattress will be supported by the cleats and the slats. In order to secure these components into place properly, we recommend you to drill pilot holes and to drive in the appropriate wood screws.

Smart Tip: Use a spirit level to make sure the trims are level, before inserting the screws. Add glue to enhance the bond of the joints.


Fitting the cleats

Fitting the cleats


Continue the woodworking project by installing the cleats. In order to build these components, you could use 2×4 or 2×2 lumber. Attach the cleats to the interior of the bed frame, drill pilot holes and drive in the 2” screws.

Place a spirit level on the cleats, to make sure they are perfectly level. Use a spirit level to check if the corners are right-angled, before driving in the screws.


Installing the support slats

Installing the support slats


Attach the slats on top of the cleats, every 1 1/2”. Place a wooden block between the wooden slats, if you want to get consistent gaps between the slats. Drill pilot holes at both ends and secure the slats to the cleats with 1 1/2” screws.

Smart Tip: Work with great attention and good judgement, if you want to get a professional result. The support slats will distribute the weight of the mattress properly.


How to build a queen size bed frame

How to build a queen size bed frame


Last but not least, you have to take care of the final touches. Therefore, you should fill the holes with wood filler and to let the compound dry out for several hours. Smooth the surface with 120-grit sandpaper along the wood grain and vacuum the residues thoroughly.

Smart Tip: Cover the wooden surface with several coats of stain or paint, to protect the components from decay.



Thank you for reading our article about how to build a king size bed frame and we recommend you to check out the rest of the projects. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets.



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  1. Marie at 8:28 pm -

    This is the first piece of furniture I have ever built. The plans were super easy to follow. The staining was the hard part, because it smelled so horrific.

    • Jack Sander at 8:37 pm -

      I am really glad to hear that your work paid off and you now have a new bed. It would be great if you could send a few images with your project, as we are all curious how it turned out!

  2. AJ at 3:41 am -

    This is a stupid question but is the top cleat optional? I’m using this plan on existing headboard and footboard and the top cleat did not fit.

    So far the bed holds up and looks great thanks for the instructions.

    • Jack Sander at 7:33 am -

      Do you mean the top trims that are installed horizontally on top of the headboard and footboard? Or the cleats that hold the panel boards together? I would appreciate if you send me a few images with the project.

  3. AJ at 9:10 pm -

    Forgive me, I used “Surface Mount Bed Rail Brackets” (from Rockler) to attach the side cleats (80 1/2 ” cleats, 2×4 pine) to the headboard and footboard.

    I was inexperienced and thought that screws alone would not be enough since I am not a professional carpenter, therefore I used the brackets.

    But once the brackets were attached, the top cleat (60 1/2″ cleat) would not fit very snugly. I’ll try to send photos.

    • Jack Sander at 4:56 pm -

      I understand now. I hope it turned out good for you, as the cleat will add more support to the bed frame. Im looking forward to seeing your project.