Wood pallet bed

In all our married life, we’ve never had a bed.  Okay, so we’ve always had a bed, just not a headboard or foot board.  There’s just always been so many other places for money to go, and the bedroom always came last. For many years we couldn’t even make one, because we were living in apartments/townhomes while we were in school and then while were building our house, and didn’t have room for tools.  When we finally moved into our house, and had all the tools we needed, there were always a million other projects, and the bed kept going lower on the list.  When I found some wood pallets a couple months ago, I knew it was finally time! I love out wood pallet bed, and you can make one too!



{I actually forgot to take a before picture, so this is one that was taken awhile ago…)


You guys, this is an easy bed to make!  There aren’t too many steps, and you could substitute the pallets for shutters, cabinets, or wood planks. We are actually in the process of making beds for our girls out of shutters, but using this same technique. I didn’t do an in-depth tutorial for a couple of reasons.  First of all, there are a million bed tutorials out there, and I didn’t think the need was there for another one.  Secondly, my hubby made this one mostly himself as a gift to me, and he isn’t used to taking pictures of every single step like I am. :)  So, this is a very basic outline of the steps we took, to give you an idea of what we did.  If you have any further questions, or need clarification on anything, please post a comment or e-mail me.


You can see in the picture above that the pieces of wood we used on the front and back are different sizes.  The 1×4 needs to go on the front, but because the back isn’t going to show, it doesn’t matter as much.  We just used a scrap piece of wood that was a little smaller–about 3 inches.

Steps 3 & 4 are for the BACKS of the headboard and footboard only!

We didn’t get a picture of the last step, so I took a couple after it was done.

After all the pieces were made, we sanded them completely smooth, painted them black, then added a coat of poly. We attached the headboard and footboard together with 2×8’s, and placed wooden slats across the middle for the mattresses to sit on.

Measurements for the bed:

Top of headboard to floor:  56 inches
Top of footboard to floor:  20.5 inches
Length of headboard/footboard:  83.5 inches

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out!

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  1. What size bed does this fit and did you just put a mattress on top with no box spring? I love the finished product and it doesn’t seem too difficult.


    1. This is for a king bed, and there is a mattress and box spring both!! You could build it higher if you wanted to, and not use a box spring, but this is one is made for one. Hope that helps!!! xoxo

    1. It was around $50, plus the cost of paint. We used spray paint–about 10 cans–so another $30. You could easily use latex paint and roll it on, and it would cheaper. I would probably recommend it, but either way works!! Good luck! xo

  2. Sorry more questions. Is this a really difficult project to make? The pictures of the bed look amazing. In person how does it look? Thanks

    1. No worries!! I’m happy to help! I would rate it a 5 out of 10 for difficulty. It’s not really hard, but it is time consuming working with pallets. We used about 6 pallets to make the bed, and it took some time to remove nails, and separate out the pieces before starting to build.

      It is beautiful in person too, and I still LOVE it. Lmk if you have any other questions!!

  3. How many 2x8s did you use on each side to hold the head and foot board together. What size would did you use to put in middle to hold mattress up? Also do you have a picture of the side of the bed? Thanks

    1. Unfortunately, we just moved and all of our stuff is in storage while we’re building a house. :( I don’t remember off the top of my head, but let me ask my husband if he remembers, and I’ll get back to you.

    2. Just one 2×8 on each side to hold them together. We used about 8 1×2 slats across from side-to-side to hold up the mattress that hooked into braces that were attached into the insides of the 2×8’s, plus a brace that went from header to footer down the middle to secure the slats! It will still be in storage until this summer, but if you’re still interested then, let me know and I can take a picture of it for you!!

  4. Hi. I am VERY new to trying anything like this and have a few questions. How many pallets did you use? Are the dimensions you listed above the size you cut the pallets to or the total finished size? (I assume the latter but hey…I’m new lol). Finally, how long did it take for you to complete the bed.

    Also, this bed is BEAUTIFUL!!! If you don’t want to spend the time thinking of the answers you could just build it again and ship it to me ;D

    1. Of course! We used 8-9 pallets, but that’s because not all of the wood pieces were good enough to use. If you had good pallets, it wouldn’t take as many–maybe 5 or 6. The measurements are for the final product. You can cut the wood pallets to whatever size you like–shorter, taller, etc. As fa as hours go, for a beginner, I would estimate around 20 hours to make the bed. It does depend on the condition of your pallets, and how long it takes to break them down. You can totally do this! I think it’s a good beginning project. If you have any other questions, let me know!

  5. What size did you cut the pallet pieces to? I’ve been looking at this project for a while now and am finally ready to give it a try. Also what is a pocket jig? I don’t quite understand that step. I have a table saw though, would it work instead?

    1. Our bed is in storage right now, since we are in temporary housing while building our house, so I can’t go measure for you right now, I’m so sorry! I have the measurement in the post for the total height of the headboard, if that helps. I think we did the pieces for the headboard around 3 feet, and the footboard half of that–around 1.5 feet. You can really do what you want though–how tall you want it to be.

      A pocket jig is an amazing tool that makes building furniture so much easier. You can buy one at Home Depot for around $100, and it will save you a lot of time. If you’re looking at the post photos, and the photo where I talk about the pocket jig, the two side-by-side holes you can see were made with a pocket jig–the screws go inside those holes, and attach two pieces of wood together. https://www.kregtool.com/store/c48/saw-attachments/p323/diy-project-kit/

      Hope this helps! xoxo

    1. We used brackets we bought at Rockler: http://www.rockler.com/locking-safety-bed-rail-brackets

      Hope that helps! xoxo

  6. Hello. I am planning on making this with a friend. I have a need base that raises and lowers at the head and foot of the bed. How should I attach the side boards and foot of bed to the head board? Should any length be added? I have a queen size bed.

    1. Hi, Amy! Have you already made this bed? Let me know if you’re still needing this question answered!! P.S. I’m not sure what you’re asking–you say you have a need base that raises and lowers? Can you explain?

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