In this guest post, my husband is going to share with you how he came up with the DIY Modern Rustic Bed Frame Build Plans based on the West Elm Alexa Bed Set. Our hope is you can build your own gorgeous and sturdy bed frame!
If you've suffered sticker shock at the price of modern rustic bed frames - you are not alone! Not to mention their overall construction and quality can be questionable at best. My husband and I found ourselves in quite the conundrum when we wanted to level up to a king sized mattress. Read on my fellow DIYers...
Hello! My name is Paul Olesen and I'm the husband and engineer behind many a project at Green Willow Homestead.
You probably are familiar with my design and engineering skills from our A-Frame Mobile Chicken Tractors, but the truth is I DIY quite a bit around our farm and home. From rebuilding dirt bike engines to restoring vintage motorcycles - I always seem to have a project going in my workshop. That's why I created my blogs, The Workshop Chronicles and DIY Moto Fix, to document and share my various DIY exploits.
As I’ve grown my skill set, I’ve found that there’s no shame in the old adage of being a “jack of all trades.” Actually, I believe that increasing your skillset paves the way for you to become a better problem solver and innovative thinker in your everyday life. It’s my hope that by following along with any of the DIY projects or plans that I share - you’ll proudly become a jack or jill of all trades too.
Alright - onto the bed frame build plans! I don’t think I’m the only husband whose wife likes to take up 90% of the bed. Add in three cats who insist on spending the night with both of us and take the liberty of hogging that last 10%. I had to throw in the towel and realize it was finally time for us to upgrade to a king-size bed so we (mostly me) could sleep much more comfortably.
And you know what? Finding the mattress was the easy part.
On the other hand, finding a bed frame was anything but easy.
We were interested in a modern rustic style bed frame but my jaw hit the floor when “nice” ones were selling for over $3000. Not only did the cost take me by surprise, but as I started researching different options I quickly became discouraged and unimpressed with the lack of quality.
As an engineer and woodworker, I began to wonder:
have the people designing these bed frames actually built anything before?
Then of course the algorithm kicked in.
My social media feeds started to get bombarded with ads from “hip companies” showing off their bed frames that would solve my problem, however, I grew more and more concerned that the ease of assembly they assured would result in a bed frame that creeks and groans once you climb into it.
To say it plainly, the value and quality I’d get by spending a huge chunk of change
was not there.
Frustrated, I decided that there was no way I was going to throw money at an inferior product and became determined to design and build my own modern rustic bed frame.
When DIY is more affordable *and* higher quality than what you can buy.
After solidifying my own design based on the West Elm Alexa Bed Set- including a sturdy base the chevron style headboard - I bought the materials and started the build process.
My build was extremely comprehensive because I wanted to verify every aspect of my design. I experimented with different assembly techniques until I arrived at a process that was straightforward and efficient. I also tested different screws to see which ones worked best in various locations.
By the end of my build, I had dialed everything in and arrived with a bed frame that would stand the test of time and trends.
Most importantly though, it was a bed frame that my wife fully approved of.
After a night of perfect sleep, with plenty of room, on a solid bed frame that didn’t creak - I figured other people might be in the same boat as me. This bed frame is a fraction of the cost and has a better build quality than all of the commercial options I found.
Why not create a set of build plans so others could benefit from this beautiful, timeless, and functional design?
Q: What tools do I need?
First and foremost, I designed the bed frame so that it could be built with minimal tools. The main ones you’ll need are a miter saw, table saw, jig-saw, drill, and C-clamps. No planers, jointers, or other fancy tools are required.
To make matters simple here’s a complete list of the tools you'll need with clickable links to shop so that you can plan accordingly:
DISCLAIMER: Some links below may be affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you; if you purchase products from these links, we will earn a small commission.
The bed frame is constructed primarily from solid lumber giving it a timeless appearance and the strength and durability only solid lumber can provide.
Standard-size hardwood lumber is used so you can go to just about any big-box store or lumber supplier and get what you need. Other materials such as hardwood panels, plywood, and all of the hardware can be purchased at your local big-box store too, so you won’t have to scour the fringes of the internet to complete your project.
The bed frame is broken down into a handful of main components which are all assembled together using real screws, brackets, and fasteners.
You won’t find cheap screws, wing nuts, or other gimmicky parts on this bed frame - that crap belongs at Ikea!
The net result is a bed frame that you can jump on, have fun on ;) , and move around without fear of it loosening, falling apart, or becoming forever squeaky.
Q: What do the build plans include?
The build plans are instantly downloadable, interactive, and printable right from your computer or device. The plans include pages of step-by-step instructions, extensive example photos, and all the detailed drawings you need to make construction as streamlined as possible. The build plans themselves are laid out in a way that maximizes efficiency, reduces saw setups, and values your time. Detailed cut lists and layout diagrams are provided so that you’re not left wondering what board to cut or if you’re wasting material.
Within the plans you'll also find:
Q: How much building experience do I need to build the bed frame?
People with moderate experience operating power tools and following directions. If you love these plans and don't have building experience, ask a skilled friend or family member to help! The most important aspects of the build is your ability to follow directions, make accurate measurements and cuts, as well as pay attention to detail.
Q: How much does it cost though to build this bed frame?
So let’s talk overall price. Compared to those “nice” expensive bed frames, the total amount you’ll spend building your own bed frame will be a fraction of the cost.
The bed frame I built was constructed from solid hickory and I spent right around $750 for everything (and this was in early 2021 when material prices were crazy!).
The total you’ll invest will depend largely on the hardwood you select for your build. Need to build uber-cheap? Consider pine. If money is no object, pick an exotic hardwood and you’ll have a showstopper under your mattress.
Here's a Wood Species Cost Comparison to make things easy on you:
Pine: $500 - $550
Poplar: $575 - $625
Aspen: $600 - $650
Oak: $615 - $665
Hickory: $725 - $775
Maple: $765 - $815
Mahogany: $850 - $900
Cherry: $1125 - $1175
Walnut: $1600 - $1650
Q: Where should I buy materials?
Most home improvement stores such as Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes will have everything you need. Certain species of hardwood plywood will need to be sourced from a local lumber supplier depending on your area's local availability.
Q: How long does the bed frame take to build?
Build time varies entirely based on your building experience. However, a good amount of time to budget for is 40hrs.
Q: What should I do if I don’t understand part of the instructions?
Please reread and review all instructions and drawings. The last thing I want is for you to be completely stuck and not know how to proceed, so if you still need help please send an email to: Paul.Olesen@workshopchronicles.com and I'll get back to you within three business days.
Have more questions before you purchase the build plans?
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we turn the 80 acres we call home into a farm that serves its community and a homestead that nourishes us throughout the seasons.
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