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DIY Crate Bed Frame

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 3 Articles

Craft your own bed frame in one weekend using reclaimed wood, old crates or even strong bookcases. Each project only requires basic power tools — no woodshop needed. Measure your mattress before building the frame, allowing an extra inch or two around all sides for a more finished look. A plus: A box spring isn't necessary with a platform-style bed.

Rustic Door Revamp

Create a platform-style bed frame from old wooden barn doors or sliding doors salvaged from an old garage or warehouse. Pick a door – or two doors side by side – measuring slightly larger than your mattress. A queen mattress is 60" wide and 80" long, while a king measures 76" wide and 80" long.

  • Sand away loose or chipped paint while wearing eye protection + a dust mask. Wipe the dust off with a tack cloth, then seal the door with polyurethane or a clear wax.
  • Make legs for the bed from galvanized pipe cut to 7 or 10", or any height to your preference. Add pipe flanges at the top and bottom of each pipe piece. Secure the top flange on each pipe under the bed at the corners. The bottom flanges act as feet to stabilize the legs and protect the floor.
  • Pre-made furniture legs or bed legs can also be used if you don't want to make them yourself.
  • Make a matching headboard from reclaimed barn wood or yet another barn door. Secure the headboard to the wall by attaching two horizontal boards to wall studs or heavy-duty wall anchors. Angle screws through the headboard into both boards to hold the headboard on the wall.
  • For a more modern take on a barn door bed, opt for clean, smooth wooden boards of your choice glued to a plywood base in the desired bed platform size. Add trim strips around the perimeter of the bed to cover exposed plywood edges.

Simple Platform Bed

Set two or three matching bookcases face up and side by side, arranging them so they're collectively slightly wider and longer than your mattress. Attach the frames to one another with screws, and flip the entire unit over with the help of a friend.

Ultra-Sturdy Storage Platform

Build a basic platform bed using matching bookcases, and cover the entire open side with plywood using screws or construction adhesive. Attach furniture legs to the head and foot areas of the plywood, then flip the unit so the feet rest on the ground. Add a short bookcase to the foot of the bed and a taller one at the head of the bed for matching storage head and foot boards. Or, build out the perimeter of the bed with long, narrow bookcases positioned sideways around the bed base and attached to the bed frame with screws.

Crate Creation

Make a simple yet sturdy platform bed out of clean plastic milk crates, wine crates or vintage wood and metal beverage crates. All crates should be the same size; measure one to determine how many you'll need to create a platform-style frame large enough to hold the mattress. A full-size frame made from standard 13" wide milk crates requires thirty crates, or five rows of six crates each. If the crates are square, some of them can be turned so the opening faces out, creating space to stash a few books or your phone and tablet after you've finished your nighttime reading.

TIP: If using plastic crates, purchase them legally from a milk crate manufacturer. True milk crates are sturdier than plastic crates sold in department stores. No matter what type of crate you choose, the bottom must be sturdy enough withstand body weight.

How to Make a DIY Crate Bed Frame

STEP 1: Sand + Dust

Sand all edges of each wooden crate with a fine-grit sandpaper, then wipe the dust away with a rag.  If working with plastic crates, use a file to remove rough areas if the sandpaper isn't enough.

STEP 2: Arrange the Crates

Arrange some of the crates, bottom-side up, in one row slightly wider than the mattress. Secure the crates to one another using screws for wooden crates or zip ties for plastic crates.

STEP 3: Create the Rows

Create several more rows of crates matching the first, then attach the rows together in the same fashion to make one large platform for your mattress.


  • If the crates are square, some of them can be turned so the opening faces out, creating space to stash a few books or your phone and tablet after you've finished your nighttime reading.
  • Use a few extra wooden crates, attached to wall studs or anchors, to serve as complementary shelves near your bed.