I moved to a smaller apartment and I needed more storage space. Bed takes a lot of space that is not too useful for much else than laying in a coma and hallucinating vividly. So, I decided to utilize this wasted space by designing and building a wooden storage bed frame with plenty of storage underneath.

This article is about the design and build of my IKEA Hack woodworking project: DIY storage bed frame with bookshelves on the sides, a 6-drawer dresser in the end and plenty of usable space underneath.

Storage bed frame design

Main storage of the bed consists of two KALLAX-book cases on the sides. In addition there is a MALM-dresser for clothes and a large open area in the middle for boxes. Top of the mattress is 110 cm from the floor.

Ikea Kallax book shelfs in a bed structure

Bookshelves on the sides with drawers and door-modules

diy storage bed frame parts

All parts of the first design

The first plan was to make the storage storage units underneath myself from Glued laminated timber but after making the technical drawings I came up with 85 parts.

In conclusion I decided to use whole storage units from IKEA. This would save me quite a bit on labor and materials. Using IKEA stuff like this makes kind of an IKEA Hack I guess, even when I did not chop anything up.

I measured and 3D-modeled all the furniture. The wooden storage bed frame was then designed around those models in Sketch Up.

CAD Drawing of the storage bed frame in SketchUp

CAD Drawing of the storage bed frame in SketchUp

Plans were printed out and materials purchased from a local hardware store. Everything was packed in a trailer and off to the summerhouse we go to manipulate some tree carcasses to sleep on!

Bed frame leg chisel

Slot being chiseled into the bed leg

You can download the dimension drawing in the bottom of this article.

Bill of materials

Item Price
Raw wood materials 188,88 €
Mounting hardware and drill-bits 53,51 €
Surface finishing 21,90 €
Matress 160×200 cm 179,00 €
Mattress topper 160×200 cm 100,00 €
KALLAX Shelf units with inserts 198,00 €
MALM 6-drawer dresser 119,00 €
Total 860,29 €

Building the storage bed frame

Making the parts

Unfortunately I do not yet own bigger woodworking tools like bandsaw or drill-press. Luckily I had the option to build the parts on my friend’s summerhouse over the weekend.

I had beer and proper drawings so the the process of making the parts was rather easy! Only real problem was because the ground I test-assembled the frame was uneven. Also the  occasional rain was a problem since I were working outdoors.

bed leg being cut on a band saw

Organic foam being manipulated with a band saw

You can find the dimension drawings in the bottom of this article.

storage bed frame test assembly

Support structure of the bed test assembled on the ground

I test assembled the bed frame to figure out that all the holes and joints were aligned properly. After the test assembly, I numbered the parts and took apart the frame and packaged everything in the car.

bed frame legs test fit

Joint of the taller legs being test fitted

Surface finish

Back at home, I sanded the parts with 80 grit and 240 grit sand paper.  Parts were cleaned and given two coats of hazel color stain varnish with a brush. This made the raw pine to look a bit more classy and to seal the surface to make it easier to clean.

bed frame leg with stain varnish

Bed leg with a coat of varnishing stain

Note: Do not paint the wooden parts that are against the mattress or the varnish will slowly rub off into it.

When parts had properly dried, it was time to assemble the frame for the first time properly. First part I assembled was the main supporting frame.

Assembling the support structure

I laid all the frame parts on the floor in the final arrangement. I aligned the parts by using the walls of the room as a square and mounted them together using angle-brackets and a bunch of screws.  After making the square I mounted the long middle support beam with larger angle-brackets.

diy storage bed frame support structure

Support structure of the storage bed assembled

The design of the bed frame is such, that no screw should carry the weight of the sleeper.  The self-supporting structure also makes the bed frame quite easy to assemble.

After I had assembled the rectangular bed frame, it was time to mount the legs. First I mounted the longer legs with the screw-in flat brackets to the frame. I supported the rest of the structure by cardboard moving boxes. With the long legs in place, I screwed in the short legs and the one in the middle.

I used three strong screws and anchors to mount the frame to a concrete wall through the horizontal beam making the bed immovable and really sturdy.

How to make bed frame silent

This is how you silence the bed: ropes and wall mounting.

Jig to mount the bottom slats

Jigs

To make even spacing between the slats that support the mattress I had made a small wooden jig. I used thin rope between the slats and the support beams.

This keeps the slats and the varnish from sticking and rubbing against the support frame, therefore making the bed frame completely silent while the sleeper tosses and turns during the night.

Screwing the bottom slats to the frame completes the support structure.

Assembling the bed

After I built and mounted the ladder to the frame, next I assembled all the storage units.  After hours of hard labor it is just a delight to see the storage units to just slide neatly in place under the bed frame.

Hard parts are over. I put the mattress in it’s own little dent on top turning the frame into an actual bed. Then I followed with mattress topper, bed-sheets, blankets and pillows in the bed.

Finished Storage Bed

Finished project, wooden storage bed

Conclusion

I’m quite happy how the bed turned out, it’s exactly what I expected! The frame is really sturdy with a clean and rather minimalistic design.

I received a lot of complaints about bed being difficult to access so I added the ladder as an after-thought.

  • If what you want is not available, DIY is an excellent option
  • DIY is not cheap but still probably cheaper than custom order
  • Paint indoors but make sure to protect the surroundings or re-paint the walls
  • Over 1 m height is uncomfortably tall bed for some when no railings
  • Disassembled bed frame goes to small space which is nice when moving

Downloads

  1. 3D drawing (SketchUp)
Verdict
Difficulty ★★★☆☆
Time ★★★★☆
Price ★★★☆☆

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