The thing about beds is that they are quite large and therefore quite expensive, which is what makes the idea of a DIY platform bed so appealing—especially for those who thrive off of the “hey, I built that” feeling. But, and this is a big but, 10 trips to the hardware store and many drills and saws later, the dream is often crushed. So, this left us thinking, is there any way to DIY a bed frame that doesn’t cost a bonkers amount of money and take special woodworking skills to execute? Short answer: yes, and yes. Meet the Box Spring Bed Frame. It’s essentially a simple upholstery job, using fabric and a staple gun. And, yes, a box spring. A few painless steps later and voila, you've got the perfect platform bed.
If you ask us, the best part about this project (other than bragging rights, of course) is getting to customize each detail to build out the type of bed that best suits your needs. Need extra storage? There’s a platform bed for that. Want to elevate your space with an unexpected pop of colour? Pick a fabric that will speak to your personality and design aesthetic. Whatever you’re looking for, the possibilities are endless. That’s the real beauty of designing something yourself—Clever’s version of DIY. Convinced yet? Read on to see how to turn your mattress into the upholstered bed of your dreams.
Enough fabric to cover all four short sides of the box spring
Staple gun (heavy duty!)
Soft measuring tape (or string and a ruler)
Optional, if adding legs:
4 furniture leg plates with screws
Let’s Do This
1. Measure and cut your fabric.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to do this (which you should consider when you shop for the fabric) is to cut one long strip of fabric that can wrap all the way around the sides of the box spring. That way, there’s only one tiny seam when you finish. You’re welcome. Yes, it will mean you need to get a very long piece of fabric, but the headache you’ll save is worth the extra few yards. Measure this length using a piece of string if you don’t have a soft, long measuring tape and trim the fabric to be about six inches longer than that.
Now, trim this piece of fabric to be skinnier: Add 12 inches to the height of your box spring to figure out this dimension. Cut the fabric right down the middle with sharp scissors. You should now have a long, skinny piece of fabric the length of all the sides combined and a foot wider than the sides are tall.
2. Upholster it.
Congrats, team! We’ve made it to the fun part! Trust us, it’s easiest to upholster a whole side at a time, so prop the mattress up on one of its long ends to begin. Lay the fabric flat on this side so that there’s equal overhang on the top and bottom; now’s the time to get the pattern right where you want it. Using the staple gun, secure the excess fabric directly to top and bottom of the box spring, pulling the material (gently) taut in between staples. Don’t worry too much about how the top and bottom look—once the mattress is on it, you won’t see either side!
Repeat this on every side of the box spring until you come back around to where you started. Fold over the end of the fabric, layer it over your start point, and staple like the dickens. One seam!
If you’re going for a traditional platform bed, you’re…DONE. Lay this pup on your floor, top it with a mattress, and make the bed.
3. Add legs.
If you want your bed to double as storage space, add legs to your new bed frame to elevate the box spring and give you hidden storage that’s perfect for those out-of-season clothes. In order to add legs, start by flipping the box spring over so the underside is facing up. Then, go ahead and secure a leg plate to each corner. Do this by cutting tiny screw holes through the fabric, drilling pilot holes, and then screwing the plates onto the corners. Twist the legs into the leg plates, flip it over, and boom. Legs! Yes, that really is it, but if you’re feeling like you didn’t get enough DIY time, feel free to make a headboard from something you already own.
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