Caitlin Kelch

DIY Faux Bed Frame

When Julia and I moved into our new (but very old) home, we knew that a good deal of our decorating projects would be DIY-based. With a mortgage and plenty of repairs on our hands, buying a ton of brand new furniture just wasn’t going to happen. So over the past four months we’ve ripped out old tiles, created benches from old countertops, floating bedside tables from leftover scrap wood and headboards from inexpensive plywood. And, in a stroke of DIY genius, Julia came up with a cheap-and-easy DIY bed frame idea that not only looks great, but is infinitely customizable (and easy on your wallet). So today I’m sharing the how-to for anyone who wants to neaten up their low-lying mattress without spending a fortune. xo, grace

DIY Faux Bed Frame

This project is designed to hide either a boxspring or mattress that’s resting directly on the floor. We prefer to keep our bed low to the ground, but didn’t want to have the mattress sides exposed. The wood gives the bed a nice clean look without a lot of work. This frame is 3-sided, allowing you to push it flush with the wall (or up against molding) without creating a gap between the mattress and the head of the bed.

-3 pieces of wood cut to size (you’ll choose the sizes based on the equation below). We used regular pre-cut pine lumber from Lowes.
-4 L brackets
-8 wood screws
-Screwdriver (an electric screwdriver makes this much faster)
-Pen or pencil


1. In order to choose the right size wood, you’ll need to measure your mattress and/or boxspring.

-HEIGHT: Determine how much of the boxspring and/or mattress you’d like to cover. This will be how tall each of your 3 pieces of wood needs to be. We chose to cover just the boxspring on the ground, which perfectly fit a 9″ piece of pine.

-SIDE LENGTHS: Determine the length of your 2 side pieces by measuring the distance from the wall behind your bed to the end of the mattress (by your feet) PLUS 2 inches. These two inches will give you a little bit of wiggle room in case you need to tuck in bedding. (If you do not plan on tucking in any bedding, add only 1 inch to the length). Example: We have a king-sized bed that measures 80 inches long. We added 2 inches to allow the wood to be flush with the wall and have room for the bedding to tuck in slightly. So our 2 side pieces measured 82″ long by 9″ tall.

-FOOT LENGTH: Determine the length of the piece of wood that will form the front/foot of your frame, measure the width of the mattress, PLUS the thickness of your two side lengths of wood. For example, our mattress was 76 inches wide and our boards were 1 inch thick. So the foot board needed to be 78″ long by 9″ tall.

2. OPTIONAL: If you want to paint, stain or customize your wood, do that now before you construct the bed frame. It will be much easier.

3. Once your wood is ready to use, lay the 2 long side pieces in place on either side of the bed and lay the foot piece in place at the foot of the bed. The goal is to construct it roughly in-place and slide it into place.

3. Using your L brackets on the INSIDE corners of where the side pieces meet the foot piece, mark the screw holes with a pen or pencil. If you have an electric drill you can pre-drill these holes to make them easier to screw in. Or you can just start by screwing them in, leaning into the drill to secure them.

4. Attach 2 L brackets for both front corners of the bed. Because there is no back/head piece for the frame, it will still move around a bit — don’t be alarmed. That flexibility will allow you to move the frame easily to clean around the bed, but it won’t snap or break.

5. Once you’ve attached the L brackets, slide the frame into place!

*I pulled our covers to the right here so you can see how the board goes all the way back to the wall.

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