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This past spring, during quarantine, my husband proposed that we build a DIY farmhouse bed. I was shocked and flat out angry he would propose something when we had absolutely no experience with woodworking whatsoever!
But then I started to think about it. I realized that if we built a DIY farmhouse bed, that meant we would have more projects. I LOVE projects!
DIY Farmhouse Bed
Here’s the thing with my husband’s proposal of building a farmhouse bed. Neither of us knew HOW to do it. We didn’t even own a saw. The tools we had were limited to an old DeWalt screwdriver and an old Ryobi drill.
So let me explain the back story to you. Since my husband and I have experienced a financial crisis, we don’t like to spend a lot of money on stuff. Especially furniture because it is SO EXPENSIVE!
You can read our story in these posts:
This is what happened when my husband lost his job
How bankruptcy changed our life for the better
We prefer to save our money and pay cash for higher-priced items. But our bedroom was not a priority for us. We were busy upgrading the rest of our home.
Our bedroom “set” was over 25 years old and was a hand-me-down from my sister. AND we only had the dresser and a nightstand in our room. The bedframe and other nightstand are in another room because it is for a queen-size bed and we had a king bed.
All that to say we NEEDED a bedroom makeover badly. I really wanted a bedroom set but I struggled to spend the thousands of dollars on the set.
After thinking over the project for a few weeks, I said yes to making the bed with a caveat that we would have to finish the room. That we couldn’t just make the bedframe and be done. He agreed!
Ana White Farmhouse Bed
The first thing we did was decide which bedframe we were going to build. Since it was our first project we decided to go with Ana White’s Farmhouse Bed Frame Plans. On Ana’s website, she has all kinds of woodworking plans for many many different projects. I highly recommend you take a look.
A little background on Ana White, she lives in Alaska and she builds furniture. Their goal is to help people improve their home with limited tools and limited budgets. She has been building furniture for over 10 years. On her site, you can find plans for things like bedroom furniture, patio furniture, flower planters and so much more. The best part is she will tell you if it’s a beginner or more advanced build. Her Farmhouse Bed is what started her w
For easy reference, these are the plans for the King and Queen beds.
I’m sure as we start building more and more items I will be visiting her site more. Her YouTube channel is very helpful too when we don’t understand something. We watched her video of the farmhouse bed several times. Check it out:
Once we had chosen the bed and reviewed the plans, we had to figure out what tools we needed. Ana White does an excellent job telling you what tools you will need.
We had to buy a miter saw, a drill, a work table, and basically everything that is mentioned in the plans. These below are my favorites that were purchased. I’m torn between the saw and the nail gun as to which is my favorite.
And right before the tools, she tells you the lumber you need to purchase and the cuts for each piece. A word to the wise, cut as you go since sometimes the manufacturer will cut the wood wrong.
Please please, please! When you see brags on Pinterest or YouTube that someone spent $300 on a Farmhouse bed, you have to remember that they most likely have all the tools AND they may have extra wood that they didn’t have to buy. That was something we learned during this process.
The total for this project was just under $1100 on tools and wood, screws and glue, when we went to start the project. We did have to go back to Home Depot and get a few more things as we learned (and messed up). After the bed was done we decided to paint it so that was another cost to factor in.
Our hope was to be able to build the whole thing on a weekend. We bought the lumber and tools on a Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday we cut and built it. Ana’s plans are very concise and they help to make it so the build goes smoothly.
We learned the hard way that we needed to watch and help our kids when they helped us. Thank goodness for wood putty! That stuff filled in a little gap from when the sander was left on too long.
On Sunday we built the foot board and the rails for the slats underneath.
We decided to paint our bed instead of stain it. We had thought about painting it gray, like in Ana’s post, but went with white. The ultimate decision was to go with Benjamin Moore White Dove paint. It is a soft white and I love it!
It took us a week to paint it. We had help from our kids. This project brought our family together. Our kids learned how to use power tools, how to measure exactly and watched us finish this beautiful bed.
I am certain there are more family projects in our future.
After the slats went on, we had to call it a night. We threw our mattress on and slept. We added the side rails the following day and also added our box spring. The storage in our home is limited and until we decide what we are doing with them we have them on the bed.
The DIY Farmhouse Bed
If you ask me I think it looks just like the Pottery Barn farmhouse bed that costs around $1600. What do you think?
We followed Ana’s plans almost exactly. But we added an extra inch between the footboard and the mattress. That meant That way we could easily tuck sheets.
In the picture of the finished bed, we have our box spring on the bed. We are planning on getting rid of the boxsprings but we haven’t yet. Because the box spring is on the bed, I have to use a stool to get in the bed because it’s so high!
We absolutly LOVE the finished product. I can’t help but brag on my husband because of it and honestly it was probably one of the best things we have done together.
As a beginner to woodworking and building a bed as a first time project Ana White’s plans were excellent to follow. The errors we had were because I didn’t read the plans well enough.
Ana has also created plans with pocket holes. At the time we didn’t know what pocket holes were and we didn’t know if we wanted to learn something new in addition to learning to use the other tools. But honestly, it is really easy to make pocket holes. I highly recommend doing the pocket holes, now that I know how they look.
If you are considering building a DIY Farmhouse bed and have never done any woodworking, I would recommend you have one person who knows a little bit about woodworking around. We had a friend who knew woodworking and we called him several times while we were building and had questions. Also, we had a neighbor who helped us learn how to use the tools too. He was very helpful, especially the very first day when we were learning how to use the tools.
I am so glad I changed my mind about building the DIY farmhouse bed. It was fun to learn something new with my husband and I love the conversations we have now. We no longer talk about work or the kids, we talk about the next thing we want to build. And that makes me smile.
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 8 years. Before starting her blog, she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.