I was at Lowes the other day, loading up lumber (the usual), when a gentleman came up and asked very slowly, “Ma’am, did you mean to get the pre-cuts or did you want the 8-footers?”. I told him that I wanted the pre-cuts and thanked him. Clearly, he didn’t think I knew the difference. It had me wondering if my husband had been in that situation, if the employee would’ve said anything to him. Ironically, I’m pretty sure my husband doesn’t even know that 2x4s come in a slightly shorter, “pre-cut” 92 5/8″ length.
That brief interaction took me back to almost 6 years ago, when I told some of my friends that I wanted to buy a miter saw and try my hand at building furniture. Pretty much everyone thought that I had lost my mind. There was so much doubt, and I couldn’t figure out if it was because: 1. I’m a woman, 2. they simply didn’t think I was capable, or both.
Fast forward to today – I’ve built more coffee tables, dining tables, and desks than I care to share, custom cabinetry, built-ins…you name it. But over the years, I’ve learned that no matter what venture you embark on, there will always be naysayers. Don’t even get me started on the comments that came when we took the leap to become real estate investors. As with most things in life, you need to educate yourself and take the time to learn if you want to be good at something new. If you want to try something – do it! Ignore the haters. For those of you on the outside, try to be supportive…you never know when you’ll need a piece of custom furniture. 😉
We recently got a bigger mattress, and I reallyyyyy didn’t want to pay $800 for another huge tufted headboard (though I loved our old one). All the plans I looked at were pretty ‘meh’, so I set out to find some inspiration.
I came across this bed on Joss & Main and loved the lines. But for over $1,000…I don’t think so, sister. I figured it would be easy enough to make a my own headboard with this profile, but I didn’t want a footboard. I definitely did not want to use chunky 2×4 legs on the front of the bed.
That led me to this super cute boho platform bed from Urban Outfitters…for $800. I honestly cannot believe people pay that much money put for a few pieces of wood screwed together – FYI guys, you can totally make this base for less than $100, turned legs and all.
With both pieces of the puzzle, I got to sketching. If you can even call it that. I apologize in advance for anyone trying to follow my crude, not-to-scale plans.
I rarely use online plans these days, and usually cut everything to fit as I go along. There’s just something about having a one-of-a-kind piece in your house!
For the base, I wanted to make sure there was enough space for the mattress to fit inside the frame, and our mattress to be sitting a smidge under the top lip of the frame, instead of flush on top. A king mattress is 76″ wide x 80″ long. You’ll see there’s an extra 3″ added to both the TOTAL length and the width to allow for the 1.5″ depth of the 2x4s (there will still be room to spare). So you should cut the lengthwise (up/down) support beams to 80″. Use pocket holes to screw it all together. The legs can be found at Home Depot for $10/piece. One thing to note with turned legs is that they tend to be a lot drier than the lumber available at hardware stores – if you’re neurotic about the color matching throughout a piece, you’ll probably want to use some pre-stain on the legs.
I used 2 – 1x4s stacked on top of each other as a spacer for attaching the support beams. Originally, I had planned to add legs to the headboard and secure them to the back of the frame, but ultimately decided to mount the headboard on the wall and added scrap 2x4s as legs to the back and center of the bed.
Because we have a mattress made completely of memory foam, we could not have traditionally spaced slats. Normally, you would want to use a solid base, but furring strips were on sale and ended up being much cheaper to use than 3/4″ plywood. You’ll need 22 – 1x4x8 furring strips for the horizontal slats – there is room for one more slat (1×3), but we opted to leave it out since the there’s really never any weight bearing down on the end of the bed.
The headboard is fairly straightforward – cut 1×8’s to 80.5″, and glue/Kreg Jig them all together. I used a big mixing bowl to trace a semi-circle cutout on the top corners of the headboard and cut them with my handy jigsaw. I then used scrap 1×8 to trace curves for the face frame – this part did take a little finagling. Because the 1x4s that are used to frame the straight edges are actually 3.5″ wide, you’ll want your curved design to also be 3.5″ wide.
You can glue and screw the face frame on, but I used wood glue and an air nailer with finishing nails. Fill all the holes, and sand it down.
Here’s my little helper watching the stain dry. I used Minwax Early American (my fav), and had intentions of white washing the whole thing, but after a coat of lime wash using watered down Maison Blanche White Pepper Lime Paint, I was happy with the weathered wood look.
We hung the headboard using a heavy duty French cleat with the top at 62.5″ – high enough to make a statement on 9ft tall walls, but low enough for the bottom of the headboard to be flush with the top of our mattress.
Since our new bed is quite a bit lower without a box spring, I also wanted some shorter nightstands. Scored these two beauties from Facebook Marketplace for only $20 for the pair!
A few coats of homemade chalk paint using Valspar Ultra White and calcium carbonate powder and they were ready for a new start. I replaced the old faux stained glass with DIY “mercury glass” (Google it!) using glass from 4×6 picture frames and Krylon Looking Glass spray paint. The uber cute brass pulls are from Hobby Lobby.
That’s all for now! Hopefully it won’t take me over a year to put up my next post.