Published on October 14th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Dresser to Bedframe? Yes.

Materials: 10-year old IKEA dresser, screwdriver, saw, screws and glue.

Description: In the spirit of repurposing an IKEA resource and not letting solid wood go to waste, I was determined to transform a 10-year old IKEA dresser into something extraordinary. The mother of invention, and of our 4-1/2-year-old, reminded me of the necessity of a bigger bed for our son, since he is extra tall and too big for his toddler bed. Shopping around for twin-sized bed frames was an education in how much people can charge for uninspiring crap, so I decided to build my son a bed frame. My goal was to build a twin-size bed frame using only the lumber from this IKEA dresser.

First, I completely disassembled the dresser. I took off all the hardware and fasteners, removed the drawer bottoms and stripped this thing down to wood pieces like a kit of parts. I would be using my own drywall screws and wood glue for the final assembly of my bed frame, so I “recycled” the hardware, fasteners and particleboard drawer bottoms.

Next, I laid out all the wood pieces from the dresser case, drawers and drawer-fronts to get a sense of what I really had to work with.

I spread my kit of parts around the mattress, and got out my sketchbook to start designing this masterpiece. Like I said before, I was determined to only use the wood from the dresser to make this happen, so as I sketched it became clear that an unconventional solution was needed. Rather than a traditional bed frame structure with forces from the mattress being transferred to horizontal wood slats, then to the sides and legs of the frame, I came up with what I call the “waffle-truss” – any force applied to the mattress go right onto the diagonal skeleton below that part of the mattress and directly to the ground. I arranged the pieces in a full-size rough mock-up of what I thought might work.

I decided to build the sides, footboard and headboard first, and then figure out the details of the waffle-truss later once I started screwing the support pieces together. The headboard was the only solid piece, cut from the dresser top. The 2 sides and footboard of the frame had to be made from multiple pieces, but I wanted the appearance of a single long piece of lumber. To solve this, I screwed and glued the drawer faces to the inside of the frame, so from the outside it looks like one long piece. These drawer faces (which I cut to the same height as drawer sides) served double-duty – 1. as the connector pieces for the sides and footboard of the exterior frame and 2. as edge support for the mattress as part of the waffle frame.

Once I squared-up and screwed together the exterior frame, I laid out the under-mattress waffle-truss at 45° to the frame so I could use a triangle and build it quicker without too much math. I ended up using every single remaining piece from the drawer sides, and used the shorter uncut lengths as my spacing guides (fig. 4).

All assembled, a quick sanding and the moment of glory was here. Mattress – on, 180-pound man – on – no cracking or splitting sounds … success. My son loves it, he loves that his Dad made it for him and, as it turns out a “no jumping on the bed” rule comes with it’s own built-in consequence.

~ Keith from California, Mountain View

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

3 Responses to Dresser to Bedframe? Yes.

  1. Tina says:

    I’m so impressed both with your engineering skills and your will to totally recycle. Kudos! :)
    tina in San Dieog

  2. Helene says:

    it`s a real brilliant idea;-)

  3. Cherry says:

    That’s great! You are so resourceful and thoughtful! Would never thought a dresser can turn into a bed. What a lucky boy to have a wonderful father!

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