I did the frame and the headboard. If you are interested in the headboard post click here.
If you want to learn how to build an upholstered bed frame stick around!
To start I purchased 4- 1 x 10’s at Lowe’s. They are only actually .75″x9.25” – stupid lumber sizing… I bought the fabric months ago, in anticipation of this project. It is velvet. So, when it came time to get to it. I was pretty much ready to go!
I have a king sized bed, which has a two-piece box spring set. The box spring is 5” high. I didn’t need to build a frame with supports, as the box spring is the support. But what I did need to do, is to raise it up. Otherwise, the mattress would be sunk into the bed frame, and it would make it very difficult to change the sheets. So, what I did is to build a box to go around the box springs and that is the bed frame.
And then I put some supports directly onto the floor, and put the box spring(s) on top. This way the 1×10’s are not supporting the weight of the bed.
We like having the bed lower on the floor, and didn’t really want a super high bed. I only raised it up so that the top of the box spring is flush with the top of the bedframe, which is an additional 4.25” (9.25” board – 5” box spring = 4.25”) We didn’t add any feet, as we like the edge resting directly on the floor. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Watership Down , I just don’t want a warren of dust bunnies colonizing under my bed!
- 1″x10″x8′ – 4
- 2″x4″x8′ – 2
- 1″x2″x 6″x 4 – scraps
- 2.5m(yards) of 145cm (60”) wide fabric
- 2.5m (yards) of 115cm (45”) batting
Building The Frame
Here’s where I’m gonna teach you how to build an upholstered bed! The box spring from side to side =75” and from end to end =79”. For construction I decided to leave myself 2″ total additional to allow for batting, fabric and “wiggle room”. I did not want to build this in my bedroom, so instead I built it in my garage. Because it would have been too large to get through doors when completed, I upholstered it in pieces and then put it together after it was covered in fabric.
Here are the wood cuts that I used for my mattress. You might need to adjust these if your mattress is not exactly the same size.
Box Spring/Mattress Size = 75″ x 79″
- 1″x10″ x 81” – 2
- 1″x10″ x 77” – 2
- 2″x4″ x 77” – 2
- 1″x2″ x 4” – 6
- 20”x 85” x 3 – Main fabric
- 16”x 85” x3 – Batting
If you used 60” (145cm) wide fabric, you can get 3 pieces out of that width at 20” each. You will not need to cover the back piece of wood, as it will be against the wall. I only covered the corners of the back piece.
Cut it Out!
First cut your boards and place around your box spring to see if they need to be cut down further. You will need to leave yourself some room for the batting and fabric. Only about 1/2″ – 1″ per side. My box spring will be entirely inside the frame, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a snug fit. If there is a bit of room, it makes it easier to tuck the sheets into the frame, instead of under the mattress – WIN!
Originally I wasn’t planning on using foam, just batting and fabric. But it wasn’t padded enough either visually, or when I considered what it might feel like if you accidentally kicked it with your bare foot. So, I decided to add foam. I used the Queen sized mattress topper from Walmart. Which cost $29. I priced out foam at the fabric store and it was going to be more expensive. Just flip the foam smooth side up and mark it with a sharpie and a straight edge or T-square. There is enough for all 3 sides.
Before I did any of the upholstering, I attached all of the pieces of the bed frame together using Corner brackets
You Know the Drill
I pre-drilled the boards as they are not that thick, and I didn’t want to risk splitting. I used 1″ screws. I marked the approx. center position on the boards and attached both corner brackets to the shorter (77″) boards, and then connected them to the longer side pieces. Note that despite my best efforts to buy straight wood, there was a bit of a warp to my longer boards. So, I needed to screw in one end of the board, and then pull it into square and screw in the other end. This required assistance. This way, everything is as squared up as possible and all pre-drilled, so it’s easier to put together once it’s all upholstered.
Padding It On
Start with one of your 77” pieces of 1″x10″, this will be the foot of the bed frame. Lay out your pre-cut foam. If you are using the convoluted foam, put the egg crate side against the board, so that you have the smooth side facing out.
This foam isn’t exactly the size that they advertise on the package, so you may find it necessary to stretch it out a bit. Staple one end then stretch it to fit, and staple the other end. Then just work your way around the board. Honestly, I thought I was going to blast this off by myself. But it’s much easier with 2 people. One person folds and holds the foam, while the other person does all the stapling. You could probably do this with a staple gun, but I think it would be very cumbersome. I used a compressor and pneumatic staple gun. I think it would probably be worth your while to rent one if you were planning on doing the bed frame and head board, or borrow one from a nice friend:) Trade for food if necessary 😉
Start stapling in the center, and work your way out. Next lay out the fabric flat wrong side up, and then lay the batting on top. Place the foam covered board on top and center. Staple as with the foam. Pulling it tight enough to avoid wrinkles, but not so tight that you get lumps in the edges. Repeat the process for the remaining TWO boards. No need to upholster the wall end board. For the ends just tuck and staple.
If you are using a fabric with nap, be sure to check that it is going in the same direction. Since you pre-drilled your holes, you can just re-assemble the pieces. If you are okay with the corners the way they are, then you are good. However, I was not.
So I whipped up some corner covers for them. Here’s how.
Cut 4 – 12”x 12” fabric squares. Fold over 1” on 2 opposite edges. You can use fusible Seam binding to help hold them closed, before stitching. Top stitch using a slightly contrasting colour. Use top-stitching thread and a long stitch. Do two rows of stitching.
Next fold them right sides together with the stitched edges together (as below) Draw a diagonal line at the 2” mark. This leaves 10″ of depth. Sew along these lines. Trim the seam, and clip the corners. Flip right side out.
Pad them with a piece of batting and foam if needed, so that you don’t see any lumps or bumps. Then just staple them into place, on the inside of the frame while pulling them tightly so that they are smooth with no creases.
If you end up needing to dismantle the bed, you can easily remove these to do so. It gives a much more finished look.
Raising the Bed
To get the correct height for the supports, I just calculated what height I needed to add under the box spring to make it even with the top of the bed frame. For me this was 4.25” so I used a 2″x4″ on it’s side edge (3.5”) and a leftover piece of the 1″x 10″ (.75″) to total 4.25” I just did up 2 of these to support the box springs, and of course us!! But since they are sitting directly on the floor, there is no stress on the bed frame itself.
Then just lay the box springs inside, and move that heavy mattress back on top and voila!!!! Done. And now you know how to build an upholstered bed frame. Easy Peasey huh?
Next step is to do your headboard. Click here to see how.
If you found this tutorial helpful, please share! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Happy Upholstering!!
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