Making a Bed

Poplar & beadboard bed

Poplar & beadboard bed

Five and a half years ago, with, as usual, an overabundance of confidence in my own abilities, I set out on the quest of making a bed.  Not “make a bed” as in the chore I avoided completing 75% of my time growing up.  No, I mean “make a bed” as in buy a whole bunch of boards, take a community woodworking class (where most of the people are aspiring to make a shelf or picture frame), and then cut, screw, hammer, glue, plane, etc. to make a queen sized bed complete with headboard, footboard, and rails.

I bought a plan online from Wood Magazine that was a simple “country” style bed with some detail but nothing an amateur carpenter like myself couldn’t handle. I bought all the necessary materials for the bed per my freshly printed instructions, and enrolled with two of my cousins in the community woodworking class. I went to work on my bed and we all had a blast.

Bed making plan

During the eight week class I nearly finished the bed.  I put in extra time outside of class and worked hard in class so that at the end I was almost finished, but not quite.  It’s the “not quite” that has lasted now for five and a half years.  The  decision to paint, or stain, or a combination of the two has actually been the biggest hangup of the whole thing.  I’m a little indecisive and have been trying to figure out what color to make it before putting it all together.  Is that crazy or what?  All because I can’t decide on a little thing like the color it has sat in pieces spread between my garage and bedroom.

Unfinished Project Corner

The footboard and rails sat in my unfinished project corner for a while.

But that’s not hanging me up anymore.  Today I am proud to announce that it is finished…well still not quite, I still need to paint it, or maybe stain it, or maybe do a combination of the two, but I’m not letting that stop me from putting it all together.

The thing that finally broke my indecision happened about three weeks ago.  It was then that I decided I didn’t care any more.  I decided I would just put it together and make these life changing color decisions later.  So this week, with the help of my children since the Sports Addict is currently camped out on the couch following ACL surgery, I ended up putting the bed all together.

Dave after ACL surgery

You would think I would choose a better time, like a time when my husband could help hold things or carry the boards up the stairs, but no.  When the bug to do something strikes I just have to do it no matter the inopportune circumstances because that’s just how I am. A little spontaneous. A little random. A little crazy. You take a pick.

Luckily for me my ten year old Buddy is turning into a really useful and strong young fellow.

Buddy in safety glasses

He helped haul the plywood for the base from the garage, up the stairs, down the hall, and finally to the master bedroom.  Then the two of us wrestled the box spring and mattress onto the new bed and shoved it into place against the wall.  Believe me, this is one heavy wood bed and I couldn’t have done it without him.  It’s such a “sweet mother of pearl” moment for me to see him actually becoming useful.

Buddy useful in making a bed

And Total Sweetness is always ready to help.  He was really good at rubbing the screws in soap so I could attach the cleats to the rails. (This is a little trick I learned from HGTV.  It really works.  The screws drive in so much smoother.)

TS soaping screwsSo from start to finish this project only took me 5 1/2 years.  What’s a little more than half my oldest child’s life?  Ultimately the important thing is that it is finished.  Ultimately I finally have a wonderful new bed.  Ultimately I have a first step in the overhauling of my master bedroom. Next on the docket is paint on the walls, possibly new bedding, makeovers for the night stands, window treatments (since there currently aren’t any), and if I’m really dreaming, new flooring.

K asleep on bed copy

Oh wait…

I still need to figure out what color my bed should be.  (Black, brown, cream, white, partially stained / partially painted?)  Any ideas out there?

This might be a really long process.


Seen on

My Romantic Home

The Shabby Nest


  • I am amazed, you did a great job! And that pic of Buddy standing on the bed looks exactly like a mini Sports Addict!

  • Way to go Apey! It looks marvelous. I can’t believe it is finally together. Maybe you should just seal the wood the colors that it is. It looks quite nice au natural.

  • The opening picture looks like something out of a magazine (except for the night stand on the edge). I didn’t even recognize that it was your bed. It is a great picture. Now we must do something with those nightstands.

  • Wow! Nice completed project. What happened to the curves of the original design? You went for a more arts and crafts look. I like it. Great to have all the helping hands. I like the natural wood/white combo like Robear, you can just seal the natural wood.

  • Thank you……

    Your blog is definitely full of fantastic advice and also is actually quite pleasing to scan through.Well done:)…

  • […] in head first.  (Another great example of this was the woodworking class I took where I undertook making a queen sized bed.) I don’t really recommend this approach for everyone.  It has its fair share of stress, […]