Materials: 3 Expedit Units, two sheets of plywood, five 4 x 4’s, 5 metal ties, 10 metal brackets, king-sized sheet, staple gun.
Description: We had a really hard time trying to find a platform for our Cal-King mattress that would afford us the kind of storage we needed for our small two-bedroom condo in Southern California. Most of the platform storage beds for sale were prohibitively expensive. We had seen a few people make smaller beds on this site using the Expedit bookshelves, so we decided to give it a go ourselves.
Step One: Spend several weeks researching and arguing about how to design your bed. Or use our guidelines and skip to step two.
Step Two: Purchase and build your Expedit shelves. You will need three. (You can also purchase any storage bins you will need to fill the shelves under your bed.
Step Three (The night before): PLUG IN THE CORDLESS DRILL. This small step will help make this a one day project, instead of a two day project. Don’t ask me how we know know this. It is too painful to talk about.
Step Four: Make sure you have a plan for where to sleep if this project does not get finished in one day.
Step Five: You will need two sheets of 3/4″ hardwood plywood. We used Alderwood because Lowe’s was out of the Maple we wanted. Maple is less expensive at about $45 per sheet. Each sheet needs to be about 72″ x 42″. You should measure your mattress to be sure. We have a Tempurpedic mattress.
Step Six: There are a couple of options for how to attach the two sheets of plywood together. We considered using hinges, so that we could open the end half of the bed if we wanted to. Unfortunately, the Tempurpedic is not suited to this. So we bought steel ties and screwed them on to connect the two pieces of plywood together. You will want to reinforce on both sides if you use the steel ties. The ties were about $1 a piece.
Step Seven: You will need five 4x4s. Lowe’s will not cut them for you, so your choice is to cut them yourself, or to make them from 2x4s. Have them cut to 17.5″ each. You may need to cut them to a more specific height if you are on hard surface instead of carpet. We chose to have the legs a little taller than the shelves, so the platform would support most of the weight of the mattress. The extra height allowed for the platform to sink in a little to the carpet, meeting the top of the shelves, without putting too much weight on them. We screwed ours together with 2.5″ wood screws.
Step Eight: Attach brackets to the 4x4s and then screw the 4x4s onto the underside of the plywood. Brackets were about $1 a piece. The 2×4 we bought was about $8, and then cut into the 10 pieces we needed, and we had a piece leftover.
Step Nine: I used a king-sized sheet and staple gun to wrap the plywood. This isn’t necessary, it is cosmetic and it will protect the mattress and the tops of the shelves.
Once we were done building, we flipped the platform, and slid the shelves into place, put the dog kennels and storage bins in.
Step Ten: Enjoy your new bed!
We added a bench at the end, because I am too short to sit on the bed to put on my shoes and we have no other furniture in our bedroom. (Dog not included, you will need your own dog)
~ Andee Steinman, Southern California