Multi-Purpose Guest Room Office "Bed in a Box"

22 Materials
2 Days

After organizing Steph's photography equipment onto metal pegboard, we decided to create a guest space by making a "bed in a box." We made a platform to hold an air mattress that also stores all the bedding needed for a guest. It's a simple design which stands up out of the way when not needed.

Check out the short video for step-by-step instructions.

We are using two sheet of 1/2" plywood, some 2"x2" boards and some metal pipes to construct our platform/storage box.

The measurements for our platform are based on the size of the twin mattress we have. We wanted the platform 12" high to make it easy for a guest to get in and out of the bed easily. You can see the measurements in the video or on our blog post which also has the exact materials and tools we used.

We are using glue and brad nails to attach the sides of the box. Clamps are essential to keeping everything nice and square while the glue dries.

Part of the interior support of the box is fitting boards together using edge half-lap joints. Basically we cut small slots into the boards to fit together. This Dremel Saw-Max is like a tiny little circular saw and helps to make this small cut.

This is the inside of the box, which is the storage side. The support boards were glued and brad nailed into the interior of the box. Note the supports in the corners of the box. These are the 2"x2" support pieces that were glued and brad nailed into place. We will also glue and nail four more full length 2"x2" boards to provide support.

Here we are adding those additional 2"x2" support boards. Again, glue, clamps and brad nails are necessary!

Once all the construction was finished, we painted and then added handles to each side. We used metal pipe parts. Tip: Clean the metal pipe throughly with mineral spirits. They are very messy until cleaned.

The box simply stands in place where it doubles as a shelf. Tip: If you are concerned about tipping, this should be secured in place with a furniture strap when not in use as a bed.

From office to guest room!

All the bedding, including the air mattress is stored on the backside and is easily removed when you're ready to make up your new office guest room.

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Mother Daughter Projects
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Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Linda Hall Linda Hall on Mar 26, 2019

    How heavy is it? Looks like it may be a little hard to maneuver?

  • Deb Deb on Mar 26, 2019

    Would this work for a queen air mattress, or would it be to heavy?

    I have 2 grandchildren. Could this idea be made into a trundle or nesting twin bed?


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2 of 20 comments
  • Ci Mron Ci Mron on Apr 02, 2019

    We have this is our vacation house. I didnt like how looked when closed for friends an renter's. So one day idea came, big world map. So now a large painting of detail world . But cool part is we encourage to dot the spot of where from.

  • Cutthroat Charity Cutthroat Charity on Sep 08, 2019

    I always enjoy your posts & am especially inspired by this one! As I've gotten older it's gotten harder for me to go camping (knees) & I need something sturdier than just an air mattress to sleep on (ok, to get out of in the mornings). This gave my brain a jumping off point & I'm now working on a draft for something similar that's both Queen sized & portable(ish). Thank you, ladies, for being such positive inspirations!