Why should you build your own bed? You really don’t need to be an experienced woodworker or have a vast amount of DIY experience. It’ll all come together if you enjoy doing it…
Build your own bed.
Above all, it’s simply cool to make your own bed. Further, it’s not necessarily complicated to make a bed. Certainly if you like a contemporary style, you can get a long way with clear diagrams and detailed instructions.
− you can make a very nice bed, for relatively little money, from good, honest materials
− you can easily customize it
− you have the final finish and appearance completely in your own hands
Or perhaps you simply enjoy making your own furniture and the satisfaction that comes from building something yourself.
More and more people, especially with small children, choose for natural paint, oil or wax. You can now decide that for yourself.
What makes a good bed?
Firstly, a bed should be solid and stable. You don’t want a bed that moves too much, and a creaky bed is also not pleasant.
Other important requirements: it should look nice and match your interior. You can say that that is subjective, but almost everyone agrees on a clean design and good, attractive materials. Taste itself is of course debatable.
What are the possibilities?
Actually, you only have to build the casing and the support structure, and that is perfectly possible. Beautiful material is readily available and if you are prepared to go a step further to a wood merchant then even nicer hardwoods are available, such as oak, cherry and maple. And usually planed and cut to size.
You can also make the mattress slats yourself, but that makes less sense: you can’t really improve quality, they make no visual demands and you are unlikely to save any money. On the other hand, you can argue that there is satisfaction to be gained from making the whole bed yourself.
Design is everything
As already mentioned, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The fact that a bed has such a simple shape comes down to the design. Is the form balanced? Are the dimensions in proportion? Do the components form a logical whole with the overall picture?
It’s a pity to invest money and time in beautiful materials and careful work if these aspects haven’t been considered.
When you are happy with the design, then you’re ready for the next step: a list of everything you need, which tools are necessary and materials you’ll need for joining things (screws, dowels, glue, etc.) and finishing (sandpaper, paint, oil, varnish, soap or wax, brushes, rollers, etc.).
And of course the wood itself. When you go to buy it, you’ll need a cutting list in which the dimensions of all components and quantities are stated. Sometimes it’s useful to make a cutting plan or diagram on which you indicate the most economical way to cut the parts from the larger sheets of wood. In this way you have some check on the quote from your wood supplier. In all of our instruction manuals there is a cutting list and, where necessary, a cutting plan. There is also a computer program that allows you to make a cutting plan yourself.
Preparation of materials
When you have all your materials ready, you can prepare the component parts. Lay out all the parts and mark with a pencil where joints and connections need to be made (holes, notches, etc.).
Once you have done this, you can do a “dry-run” and fit everything together without glue. You’ll soon see if everything is in order.
Preparing the finish
All pieces can be taken apart again. Now is the time to at least sand any parts that will be visible.
It is almost always a good idea to sand or plane any visible sharp edges, so-called chamfering or bevelling.
Once all parts are prepared and “cleaned up” (sanded, chamfered), there are two ways to proceed with the following step. You can either first apply your chosen finish (paint, varnish, oil, wax, soap, stain, etc.) to all the parts, or you first put everything together and then apply the finish.
If you are going to spray your chosen finish then it is best to do the latter. Take care in this case that you reach all areas. If not spraying, it is generally easier to first apply finish to all the individual parts before assembly. Be careful not to apply any finish to surfaces that will be glued. Mark these with a pencil and/or mask the area with masking tape.
If all is well and all parts fit neatly together, you can proceed to join everything. Tighten up all the screws, allow the glue time to dry and then enjoy your very own self-made bed!
Our DIY furniture design plans for beds generally follow the above process, and then you have:
• a professional design (that you can of course alter, see what our customers made)
• help with choice of materials
• list of materials
• cutting list
• cutting plan (where necessary)
• detailed drawings for preparation of materials
• detailed explanation of various jointing methods (e.g. screws, dowels)
• some explanation about finishing
• step-by-step instructions with detailed diagrams and drawings
• appropriate tips and tricks where necessary