How to Build a Day Bed

Step-by-step instructions for a couch/bed that will come in handy when guests are in town
Similar Topics:

If you don’t have the space for another guest bed, add a day bed. Here’s how to make one:

Materials and Tools:

table saw
miter saw
MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
4 bun feet
4 metal brackets
drywall screws
twin mattress
paint or batting and fabric


1. To build the outer frame, cut two side rails (10 by 76 inches) and two end rails (10 by 37 inches). Cut two larger pieces of MDF to fit inside the frame to create the platform that the mattress will rest on.

2. Cut 1-by-1-inch cleats to support the platform and install them 1½ inches down from the top along the side and end rails. Leave a gap along the side rails that’s about 24 inches from each end to allow two cross pieces to be installed to support the center of the platform boards.



3. To hold the cross supports, attach more 1-by-1 cleats 1½ inches up from the bottom around the perimeter. Cut the two cross supports.

4. Flip the day bed over and attach a metal bracket to each corner on the outer edge of the frame. Screw the feet into position. Turn the day bed back over. Slide the cross supports into position and slide the platform pieces into position to check the fit.

5. Paint or upholster the day-bed frame (staple batting over the frame, and then cover it with fabric) as desired.

Next Up

How to Build a Raised-Panel Headboard

Add layers of lumber and decorative trim to a plywood base to create the illusion of one solid headboard. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

How to Transform Your Bedroom With a Floating Headboard

Steve Watson shows how to install a fabric headboard as part of a bedroom makeover.

How to Build an Art Table

Create your own workstation complete with storage drawers for a place to express your artistic side.

Update a Bunk Bed With Paint and Drapery Panels

Add designer flair to a kids' room by transforming a basic bunk bed with ceiling-mounted hardware, floor-to-ceiling drapery panels and a fresh coat of paint.

How to Build a Loft Bed

Follow these step-by-step instructions and create more floor space.

How-to: From Crib to Headboard

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine went digging in the attic for treasures that deserve a second chance.

How to Make a Vintage Suitcase Pet Bed

Give your four-footed friend a custom, one-of-a-kind pet bed by repurposing a vintage suitcase in just a few simple steps.

How-to: Picture Frame Headboard

Create this fun DIY from the pages of HGTV Magazine .

Bunk Bed Upgrade: Add a Canopy & Fabric Panels

Give a basic bunk bed a custom look with do-it-yourself fabric panels and a ready-made fabric awning.

How to Revitalize a Wooden Headboard

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine recreated this flea market find. Here’s how you can, too.


Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.