DIYdiy projects

DIY Faux Bed Frame

by Grace Bonney

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
-16 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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  • I really like how portable this solution is! Is your cat ever inclined to scratch on the boards, and have you yet stubbed any toes on edges or corners?

    • Hi Maeve

      Nope, not at all. He likes to scratch the sides of soft things, like our sofa (Grr….).

      I haven’t stubbed by toe…yet. But I used to stub it occasionally on our old captain’s bed frame.


  • Such a great DIY! Nothing better than the warmth wood brings into a space. I also love that you paired it with the metal chairs as nightstands – make for a nice contrast.

  • I was so excited to see your bed frame because I made a frame like it last summer when I couldn’t find an affordable platform bed frame. Synchronicity!

  • Am always so excited to read and see updates to your new/old home. Love the idea that you are doing a lot of the updates yourselves–have learned through out my almost 8 decades of making a home mine–be it through 30 years of my hubby’s military career or the moves my parents made as I was growing up–I learned Rome wasn’t built in a day and doing something yourself–oh the satisfaction. Thank you for sharing, Hugs and smiles, and I will continue to follow Design Sponge– I have learned so much from you. Reva

  • So glad you did a post on this! I’ve been wanting to learn how to tackle it before we move in a few months and was so excited to see on instagram that you and Julia built one. I’m not an accomplished DIYer but I’m hoping this project won’t be too difficult to manage. Thanks!

  • Perfection! I just donated my clunky/huge frame from my ex (needed to be gone much sooner !) I love love having my mattress low to the ground again, this is a perfect soultion for my budget & DIY is good for my esteem.

  • I LOVE THIS! On the footboard length, why didn’t you also add 2″ (per side) to tuck in bedding? Just curious… I really want to make this and that stuck out to me. By the graphic, it almost looks like there might be a 1″ gap between the side boards and the mattress… like this example:
    76″ (width of mattress) + 2″ (thickness of side boards) + 2″ (1″ gap per side to tuck in bedding) = 80″

  • Love seeing the progress of your new, gorgeous home!
    Would you mind sharing the paint color?

  • Looks really nice! I’ve had this planned on my to do list for a while now but upholstered with fabric. We’re installing some new floors so I’ll have to wait a bit longer. Great inspiration!

  • Such a great idea! I’m definitely doing this when we get a king size bed (dreaming out loud lol) And I love that it will go perfect with anything. You can even stain or paint it in some years if you want a different look; but the natural wood is so beautiful and refreshing.

  • Wow, beautiful! It looks like you stained the wood–could you please share the shade you used? Thanks!

  • Thanks for this, Grace! My baby sleeps on a Montessori-style “floor bed” and I just followed these instructions to make a faux frame for it. Now it doesn’t look like I just let my little one sleep on the floor :)

  • This is such a beautiful yet simple upgrade. Thanks for the tutorial.

    I really love the look of the rug under your bed. It appears to be a thin canvas or cotton. Can you tell me a little bit about it please, and where you got it? Thanks!

  • Great job and thanks for sharing. Hubs and I have had this in our heads for a while and thanks for laying instructions out for us. Did you add stain to your pine or seal it at all?

  • I don’t know how I didn’t see this when you posted in April, but this is GENIUS. My husband and I have had our king mattress on the floor for almost two years, and I’ve been considering trying to make a faux box spring cover out of some sale fabric. This is 1000 times better, cleaner and exactly what I’ve been looking for! I can’t wait to measure and get the supplies this weekend.

  • It is true before choose a bed, we should have exact idea about the size of mattress. The cheap bedroom furniture is affordable and good to buy or make. I like the diy faux bed frame. Thanks for sharing the excellent tips.

  • Thanks so much for this great idea! I shared this link and idea on my blog as the inspiration for the one I built. You can read about it over on Flipping the Flip. Thank you!

  • I love the idea, but I have a question. What keeps the pieces near the top of the bed near the headboard from moving/spreading out / flopping on the sides.

    D. Lewis White

    • There should have been a question mark at the end, not a period. My sincerest apologies to everyone.

  • THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have spent countless hours looking to buy (or make) something exactly like this to mask the area below the platform of my adjustable bed base. Some of them already come with a feature they refer to as “deck on deck”, meaning the platform the mattress rest on lowers down exactly to the height of a square base like yours that is attached and part of the unit itself, but mine was a less expensive model and came with the legs and motors exposed. There is no box spring. Since this is simply decorative in my case and does not need to bear any weight, it will work perfectly. I am bit concern about doing it myself because I am not handy, but I am going to go for it! Thank you again!!!

  • I love this idea. The only idea like it that I have been able to find!
    I prefer my bed a little higher so it is sitting on a short metal frame with the box spring and mattress on top. Do you think this would work to cover the metal frame only? I cant seem to find anything like that on the web.


  • I knew what I wanted but just couldn’t figure the mechanics until I found your blog. Thank You SOOO VERY much!!! I wanted to cover the frame with the same material I used for the headboard which is simply canvas drop cloth. So three 1X10 boards cut to size, a 4’ x 15” drop cloth, staples and L-brackets and my frame hides the ugly metal bed and matches my headboard giving my bed a custom look. Wish I could share the pictures. Thank you again