Our twin boys turned two a few weeks ago and were avidly climbing in and out of their cribs. The realization that we needed to move them into big boy beds had hit.

Since I had built our daughter a bed (you can see that here), I wanted to build the boys beds as well.

In my head, I envisioned using some pallet wood from the farm since it was free and would help keep the cost down. Unfortunately, after tearing several pallets apart, I worried about what the wood could have been treated with. Heat treated wood generally has a HT stamp on it, but none of our pallets were labeled. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk and decided to buy some lumber. Because I wanted a rustic, reclaimed look, I opted to use furring strips as part of the headboard.

Products needed to build the Platform Bed:

  • (3) 2x6x8 boards (two cut to 76″ and one cut to 43″)
  • (4) 2x4x8 boards (two 40″ and three 73″)
  • 3/4″ plywood (40″ x 76″)

Platform Bed Directions:

Our twin mattresses measured 75″L x 39″W. Since I wanted to have a little room to tuck comforters and sheets into, I opted to add an inch. So I cut two 2x6s to 76″L and another 2×6 down to 43″W (39″W mattress + 1″ for bedding + 3″ for the two 2×6 sides to attach to). After my boards were cut to length, painted black, and had two coats of polyurethane, I assembled them in a U shape.

The three 2x6s were painted black and formed into a U shape to form the sides and foot of the bed.

For the mattress to sit on, I created a platform. I achieved this by attaching 2x4s on the inside of the 2x6s and one support down the middle. At this point, you could use slats or plywood for the mattress to lay on.

Because the twins’ mattresses are just foam, I opted to use 3/4″ plywood for the mattress to rest on (with our daughter’s bed, we used 1×4 furring strips instead of plywood).

Once the platform was built, I could start on the headboard.

Products need to build the Headboard:

  • (1) 2x4x10 (cut to 36″ and two 42″ boards)
  • 1/2″ plywood (41″W x 36″ T)
  • (5) 1×4″ Furring Strips

Directions for building the Headboard:

Using my Kreg jig, I attached 2x4s in a U shape with the 36″W in the center and two 42″T boards on each side creating a 43″ wide frame.

I laid 1/2″ plywood over the U to form the back of my headboard. It is important to make sure that your U is square before attaching the plywood with wood glue and screws. I cut my plywood slightly narrower than the frame, so the plywood wouldn’t show from the side.

If you don’t have a Kreg jig, you can still build the headboard. Just lay your your 2x4s on top of the plywood and attach with glue and nails (making sure they are square), then you could flip it over and screw the plywood to the 2x4s for stability.

After the headboard frame was built, I gave it a few coats of black paint followed by a few coats of polyurethane. I did opt to lightly spray the plywood back black as well so that any gaps would be dark instead of seeing the color of the plywood.

While that was drying, I stained and applied polyurethane to the furring strips in 3 colors (dark walnut, briarsmoke, and a mix of weathered gray and briarsmoke).

Once all of the pieces were dry, I cut the pieces to fit and attached them with wood glue and my nail gun.

I attached the headboard to the frame with a few screws.

I couldn’t be happier with how the beds turned out! The whole room came together better than I had hoped!

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