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How to Build a Bunk Bed

Bunk beds are a practical solution when space is at a premium. Here's how to put one together on your own.


  • Step 1: Determine the size Use the tape measure to measure the size of your mattress. Twin mattresses are typically 6 1/2 feet long and 3 1/2 feet wide, but it's best to get an exact measurement to determine the size you'll need.
  • Step 2: Cut the wood Use a miter saw to cut the wood, using the mattress measurements as a guide. Build two rectangular boxes, joined together with screws. Screw 2-by-6 inch plywood at the ends to make disassembling easier.
  • TIP: Measure carefully and always double-check your work.
  • Step 3: Build support Assemble mattress supports inside the box using four plywood bits. Place one support 3 inches from the foot and one 3 inches from the head of the frame and fasten with screws. Install additional supports to the sides and in the middle.
  • Step 4: Attach the frames Measure and mark where you want each corner to join the posts. The lower bunk should be at least one foot above floor level and the upper one should be four feet above floor level. Position the posts at each corner and attach the frames to the posts with no. 10 finishing nails to attach frames to posts. Then check to be sure it's square before attaching with carriage bolts.
  • Step 5: Install mattress supports Use the thick pieces of plywood for mattress supports. Measure and cut each piece to fit into the bed frame, sanding the sides to eliminate sharp edges.
  • Step 6: Join the beds Refer to your plans for hole placement. Measure the spots on each post and use the drill to bore holes. Insert a bolt into each of the four holes and carefully join the top bunk to the bottom one.
  • Step 7: Build railings and ladder Use the remaining piece of wood to construct a safety rail and secure it to the upper bunk. Follow your blueprint to build a ladder, screwing together all joints. Attach it to the frame per the instructions.
  • FACT: Egyptian King Tutankhamen's funeral bed was made of ebony and gold.

You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • 4 4 X 4 in. posts
  • 6 ft. long
  • 2 2 X 6 in. boards
  • 7 ft. long
  • 2 2 X 6 in. boards
  • 4 ft. long
  • 2 X 4 in. plywood bits
  • 2 X 6 in. plywood bits
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • No. 10 finishing nails
  • Carriage bolts
  • Drill
  • 4 bolts
  • 2 1/2-inch plywood pieces
  • 39 X 75 in.
  • Sandpaper

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