How to Build a Versatile, Modern Daybed

Cozy yet modern, this quick change piece makes it easy to go from sofa to guest bed in a snap.

Build a Modern Day Bed

Build a Modern Day Bed

Make a Modern Day Bed

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed:

  • (2) 2"x12"x16' boards
  • (1) 2"x10"x8' boards
  • (2) 2"x2"x8' boards
  • stain and varnish
  • synthetic fiber brush
  • marker
  • measuring tape
  • (32) 2-1/2" wood screws
  • (4) 5" carriage bolts and wing nuts
  • 8-1/2 yards upholstery fabric
  • matching thread
  • pencil
  • sewing machine
  • scissors and/or rotary cutter
  • (5-6) 2 pound bags of fiber fill
  • hook and loop tape

Building the Platform

Cut the two 2”x12”x16’ boards to four 88” lengths. Cut the 2”x10”x8’ board to two 40” lengths. Cut the two 2”x2”x8’ boards to four 40” lengths. Tip: Save time and mess by having these cut at the home improvement store. Be sure to ask them to remove the factory edge and make them neat and square. Stain and varnish the boards as desired.

Adding the Legs

Lay the four 2”x12”x88” boards on a flat surface, flush on the ends and close together with the best looking sides facing down. Mark a line across all four boards 15 inches from the top and bottom of the boards. Stand one of the 2”x10”x40” boards upright on one of the long edges. Place one of the 2”x2”x40” boards on both sides of the 2”x10” board and clamp together. (Image 1) Drill a hole through all three boards 6 inches in from both ends with a 1/4” drill bit. (Image 2) Remove the clamp and line up one of the 2”x2” boards with one of the marked lines on the 2”x12” boards on the side that is away from the edge of the board ends. The board should be centered between the sides of the 2”x12” platform with about 2-1/2” free on both sides. Attach the board to the 2”x12” planks with 2-1/2” wood screws. (Image 3) Use two screws for each of the 2”x12” boards. Position one of the 2”x10”x40” boards against the 2”x2” board and then add another 2”x2” board to the opposite side. Attach the second 2”x2” with wood screws. Insert two 5” carriage bolts through all three boards at the predrilled holes on the ends. Secure the boards together with a wing nut. (Image 4) Repeat the process for the other leg. Turn the day bed over with the legs facing down.

Making the Cover

Spread upholstery fabric on a flat surface and place a twin mattress on the fabric. Trace an outline around the mattress with a pencil or marker 1/2” from the edge of the mattress. (Image 1) Cut the fabric from the rest of the yardage. Spread out more fabric, and place the cut piece on top of it. Pin the two pieces together and cut out the outline from both pieces with a rotary cutter and/or scissors. (Image 2) Set aside.
Cut two lengths of fabric that are 75 inches long and as tall as the side of your mattress plus 1 inch. Cut two lengths of fabric that are 40 inches long and as tall as the side of your mattress plus 1 inch.
Fold each of the top/bottom cuts in half lengthwise and width wise and make a small mark at the center points on all four edges. Fold all four strips in half lengthwise and make a small mark at the top and bottom of each fold. Lay one of the top/bottom pieces on a flat surface with the good side of the fabric facing up. Lay one of the long side pieces, good side down, at one of the long edges of the top/bottom piece, lining up the center marks. Pin the two pieces together, following the curved corners and stopping with about 1/2” unpinned at each end. Sew the two pieces together with 1/2” seam allowance. (Image 3) Repeat for the other side and for the short ends.
Lay the other top/bottom piece on the table, good side up, and turn the other top/bottom piece with the sewn sides upside down and lay it on top of the other top/bottom piece. Pin the pieces together, lining up the center marks on one long side and the two short sides. Sew two of the corners together on the long side that is attached to both of the top/bottom pieces. You should have one side sewn closed and one side open with a long flap. Sew hook and loop tape to the exposed edges on the open side. (Image 4) Turn the case right side out and slip over the mattress. Close it by pressing the hook and loop tape together.

Making the Pillows

Use a large bowl to cut out four 12”-13” circles from the upholstery fabric. (Image 1) Cut two pieces of upholstery fabric to 39-1/2” x 40”. Cut four pieces of upholstery fabric to 8”x21” plus the height of your mattress. Place one of the 8” wide pieces on a flat surface and fold it in half lengthwise. Iron a crease on the fold. Fold the two long edges into the center and then fold it over again making 2” wide strips. (Image 2) Iron it in place and then sew a seam along the open edge close to the edge. At one end turn the rough edge inside and sew the end shut. Repeat for the other three strips.
Lay one of the circles on a flat surface, good side up. Pin the 39-1/2” edge of one of the large rectangles to the circle, good side down, turning and gathering it around the circle. (Image 3) At the open end pin the unsewn end of one of the  2” strips between the two fabric layers with the strip going into the center of the fabric. Sew the pieces together with a 1/2” seam. Repeat for the other end and then for the other two circles and rectangle. Trim away any excess and sew a 1/2” seam along the long open edge leaving about 6 inches open at one end. (Image 4)
Turn the case right side out and stuff with fiber fill. Sew the remaining seam by hand.

Attaching the Pillows

Build a Modern Day Bed

Build a Modern Day Bed

Make a Modern Day Bed

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Attach hook and loop tape to the ends of the straps on the pillows, one side facing up and one side facing down. Place the mattress on the platform base. Place a pillow at each end with the straps under the mattress. Lift the mattress on one side and attach the straps with the hook and loop tape. 

Build a Modern Day Bed

Build a Modern Day Bed

Make a Modern Day Bed

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Build a Modern Day Bed

Build a Modern Day Bed

Make a Modern Day Bed

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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