How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night, displaced from your comfortable bed “zone” by your significant other and your dog (or kids, for all the moms out there!)? Chances are, probably a lot. And, chances are, you’ve probably come to this conclusion one time or another – WE’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BED.
That decision was made in our house in early March, when Mike and I started shopping for mattresses (aka polling all of our friends, family, coworkers, waiters, etc). We finally decided to buy our brand new (King!) mattress from Nectar, which came highly recommended from a former coworker of mine and comes with a ONE YEAR Warranty, which seems like a totally reasonable amount of time to evaluate how much we liked the mattress.
With a new king mattress and a full/queen frame, it was clear we also needed to invest in a new bed. I browsed online for hours and found a million links to beds that I liked a little bit, but nothing truly caught my eye that would match our wall-to-wall carpet and go well with this dresser I upcycled last summer.
That’s when Mike suggested we BUILD our new bed – a more cost-effective option that gave us the flexibility to decide on features and colors, and also gave us a project that we could work on together.
First things first – it should be noted that building a DIY bed is not that much cheaper than buying a bed, particularly if you don’t have all of the necessary tools. That said, this bed has all of the features we want (read: storage) that we may not have found in the same price range from a furniture store.
Mike found this great pattern on the Lowes blog in his great internet sweep for DIY beds.
We bought all of the lumber (mostly oak and oak plywood) at Lowes and had them make the major cuts for us. Mike then spent the better part of two full afternoons cutting and sanding the lumber to perfection, which steps 1-3 make seem like a much quicker job (particularly the sanding part). Takeaways: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD SANDER!
As for iron-on veneers, the pattern makes it seem like you’ll only need one of each type. We used close to 3 full rolls of veneer for this project (not including the 2″ veneer for the headboard), which slowed the process a bit as we had to go back to the store. Make sure you mark each surface you’re meant to veneer first!
I thought this iron-on veneer was SO COOL. It was so easy to use and made such a huge difference in the appearance of the lumber once it was finished and edged.
I edged all of the storage dividers with just a set of scissors and a blade, which significantly increased my time when cutting the veneer down to size and sanding to finish. I’d highly recommend investing in an edge trimmer, which made the finishing portion of this job infinitely easier once we bought it (and less dangerous because, let’s face it, I’m not to be trusted with sharps.)
I was so excited for this part. As you can probably tell from last summer’s upcycle projects, and my half-finished deck project, I LOVE to paint furniture.
Staining is so satisfying – I love how methodical it is. I went through all three steps:
– Conditioning (Miniwax Pre-Stain)
– Stain (Miniwax Penetrating Stain in Dark Walnut)
– Finishing (Miniwax Gloss Polyurethane)
I loved the color that Mike chose for the stain. The pre-stain step was definitely worth it as well, and likely saved me a while bunch of time because I didn’t have to add a second coat of stain for color. I only added one layer of finish, but I think two could have also been appropriate if I had gone a bit thinner.
About halfway through this project, Mike reminded me that assembling this bed wasn’t like a simple IKEA allen wrench job that I was used to from my many “furniture building” experiences in New York apartments. He wasn’t wrong. He spent the better part of a Saturday fitting the pieces together one by one.
This is what the base of the bed looks like once it’s all assembled. It’s super sturdy and with the headboard at the top it looks just like we bought it!
This was our first really big house project together, and I think it came out so great. Happy to answer any questions you might have about making this bed pattern!