Super-Spacious Storage Bed
Turn that wasted space under your bed into easy-access storage.
My growing family is quickly outgrowing our small home. Toys are overtaking the living room, and closets are more than full. My wife and I needed a new place to put stuff without adding any more space.
Our bed was the answer. It was already sitting there taking up space — why not take advantage of it for storage? So I built a few simple boxes and drawers and assembled them to make a cool platform bed frame. Here’s how I did it.
- Basic hand tools
- table saw
- circular saw
- 18-gauge brad nailer
- 3/4" x 4' x 8' MDO
- 1/2" x 4' x 8' MDO
- 1-1/2" x 4' x 8' rigid foam
- 1-1/16" x 72" piano hinge
- 3/4" wood screws
- 1" wood screws
- 1-1/4" wood screws
- 2" wood screws
- 18-ga Brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood filler
It’s Like Adding More Closet Space!
A typical linen closet offers about 50 cu. ft. of storage. By enlarging the footprint of this queen-size bed by six inches on each side and 16 inches at the foot, I added the equivalent of almost half a linen closet in previously wasted space.
Project step-by-step (17)
Slice Up the Plywood
- Set the sheet of plywood on a piece of rigid foam and make the cuts on the floor.
- The foam won’t dull the blade, your parts won’t crash to the floor, and you won’t need sawhorses.
Assemble the Bench and Boxes
- Glue and nail the sides to the bottom.
- Then fasten the back to the sides and bottom with glue and brad nails.
- Attach the extra divider in the storage bench the same way to support the lid.
Pro tip: Keep the tops off until the insides are painted.
Painted Project? Use MDO
Medium-density overlay (MDO) is just like regular plywood, but has a smooth layer of resin on the faces that’s perfect for painting. Also called “sign board,” it’s available at home centers for about $60 for a 3/4-in., 4 x 8-ft. sheet.
Fasten the Hinge, Install the Lid
- Stack the lift lid (part B) and the fixed top (part C).
- Flush up one of the long edges and shim the edges apart about 1/8-in.
- Center the piano hinge between the two parts, then pre-drill and screw it to both edges.
Install the Lid Stay
The soft-close lid stays hold the lid up while you grab pillows and blankets from inside and keep it from slamming when you close it.
- Attach the pivot bracket to the side, then open the lid and extend the arm.
- Fasten the arm bracket where the arm lands on the lid.
- Repeat this on the opposite side.
- The toe-kicks raise the boxes off the floor and keep you from stubbing your toes as you get into bed. Simply glue and screw the ends to the sides.
- Attach three blocks flush to the top of the toe-kicks, one at each end and a third centered 17 inches from the front.
Build the Drawers
- Cut the bottoms of the drawers to size from 1/2-in. plywood
- Fasten the drawer backs through the bottoms with glue and brad nails.
- Then fasten the sides the same way.
Cut Drawer Pulls
Instead of using knobs, I cut out a handle for each drawer.
- Find the center of each drawer and measure a six-inch opening.
- I traced the shape and cut it out with a jigsaw.
- Then I attached the face to the drawer.
Fill the Edges
- To prep the plywood edges for paint, apply a sand-able filler with a putty knife.
- Let it dry, sand it down, then prime and paint all the parts.
Attach the runners
- Drill pilot holes in the aluminum angle every 12 inches.
- At each hole, bore a countersink so the screw heads won’t protrude.
- Screw the angle to the inside of the toe-kick.
Attach the Toe-Kicks
- Flip the drawer boxes upside down and center the toe-kicks, which should overhang the front by 17 inches.
- Screw the toe-kicks to the bottoms of the boxes with 2-in. screws through the blocks.
Assemble the Bed
- Flip the boxes upright and space them apart.
- Place the storage bench on top of the overhanging toe-kicks, then line up the sides of the bench with the drawer boxes.
- Screw them together from the inside with 1-in. screws and into the blocks in the toe-kicks with 2-in. screws.
- Then connect the back of the toe-kicks with the stretcher (part M).
- Position the cleats on the inside of the bed assembly 3/4-in. below the top of the boxes and use 1-1/4-in. screws to fasten them.
- Cut slats from standard 1x4 boards to fit between the side boxes and fasten them to the cleats with two screws on each side.
Pro tip: Use one of the slats as a spacer to position them evenly.
You could end the project here with just the platform bed. If you would like to add a matching headboard and nightstands, continue to the following steps.
Sleek & Simple Headboard
Screw Planks to the wall
- Fill the edges and paint three 8-ft. lengths of plywood cut at 8-1/2-in. wide.
- Center the first strip three inches above the bed and attach it to studs with trim screws.
- Use a few one-inch spacer blocks to evenly space the next two strips above the bed.