Don't want to break the bank paying for a pallet bed bought off the internet? Yes these things can be well over a $1000 dollars. Build it yourself for a few hundred and get the same results.
DIY Pallet Bed
A fun build that is all simple measurements and cuts.
When my friend from work asked if I could build her daughter a pallet bed, I said show me a picture. I did not even know these things existed. But when I looked at the price I thought, I could save them a ton. So I started with 30 pieces of Knotty White Pine.
I knew the dimensions of the mattress before I began so I just needed to add enough room on the side for the nightstand. So based on my knowledge of board sizes I figured 8ft boards would give me enough room for the nightstand and I made the nightstand sized to fit the remaining space.
Knowing my width was 80 inches I needed to add a little wiggle room for the foot and head board. So I make my length 88 inches. This I create by simply making a large picture frame. You can just square this up and overlap the boards, but if you do, you will need to add an extra piece to lower the 2 cross boards so all your lower blocks will be the same distance to the ground. Because of this, I recommend cutting your corners at 45 degrees like a large picture frame.
Add you cross pieces by laying them down marking them and then notching out a section of your sides pieces this will allow them to share the blocks below.
Now cut all your blocks the same size and fit to the bottom of the boards. One on each corner and one evenly spaced between each corner.
With your blocks nailed and glued down you can put down your first 5 layer of boards over the blocks in the direction of foot of bed to the headboard. So the 88 inch direction.
Once the 88 inch boards are down. you can lay out your 80 inch boards a cross those. The picture show above is me laying out all the boards to see how many I would need to cut. I did not want to over cut unneeded pieces. I used a board on its side to evenly space all the pieces to get the exact amount. Don't nail anything down yet unless you are building this in the room it is going to stay in.
The next step was to start working on the night stand. This step is optional but I think in the end it really makes the bed. (no pun intended) I cut 4ft 1x12 piece in half and used one piece of the 1x6 and joined them together. Then I marked out small carry holes and cut them out with a jig saw. The size of the nightstand should be based on the left over width of your bed after the mattress size is subtracted.
Cutting up another 1x6, I made multiple small 2inch pieces and then evenly spaced them together to create the box. I will leave the bottom open so this can actually be used as a box for carrying stuff if needed.
The next step was to create the headboard. I did this using the same concept of a pallet. With blocks in between and then evenly spaced boards.
I capped the top and bottom of the headboard so items can be placed on it. You can tie this headboard into the base with additional steps shown in video or your can have it independent of the base and secured to the wall.
I think my favorite part of this project is the nightstand. It was the only item that I sanded and in the "end" it was the star of the bed. If I had to do it over again I would put the carry holes on the bottom side of the box so if it were to be flipped over and used as a box the handle holes would actually be useful.
This picture shows all pieces cut but nothing nailed down. This was for transport purposes. With all the boards a certain size, taking apart and putting back together is a breeze.
And that's it. A custom pallet bed built at a fraction of the cost for store bought one.
Resources for this project:See all materials
Maura on May 18, 2021
Jon how nice of you. What a wonderful thing to do for someone! I think it is the coolest and I am in my 50s. My son needs a box spring and I was thinking of pallets as a frame. Such inspiration. Thank you for sharing your time and talent. It will come back to you many times again. YOU ROCK
Lori Thornton on May 18, 2021
beautiful, but those are not pallets. you are just talented!!!