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How to make a bed from pallets yourself: step-by-step instructions

Pallets have been used for many years, but relatively recently they began to be used for budget-friendly apartment renovations. 

In this article we will tell you how to construct a bed from pallets – photos of the process, as well as examples and explanations, read below. 

What do you need to know about building materials? 

Let’s start with the fact that pallets are durable. They are used for transporting goods, so they can become a good foundation and provide stability. And if you work on the appearance of the boards, they will look presentable. 

How to choose safe raw materials? 

You won’t be able to pick up any pallet and bring it home. At a minimum, you won’t get a quality product. At the most, you will harm your health, so it is important to know how to choose the right materials. 

  • When you have found the items you need, pay attention to cleanliness and markings. The letters MB on the surface mean that the item was treated with fumigators. It cannot be used at home. 
  • There are markings of heat-treated (HT), dried in special steam chambers (KD), and a designation when the tree was processed by removing the bark (DT). They can be used in a residential building.
  • The international IPCC marking is applied if the production process complies with the rules and regulations for working with wood. So the use is permitted. 
  • Those substrates on which the cargo was transported by internal transport can be taken. Compared to those used for industrial and commercial purposes. 
  • It is recommended to avoid any colored materials. There is no way to know the quality of the dye, so it is not recommended to use them in the bedroom. 
  • Wet pallets won’t work either. As well as those that show signs of wear. Wood should not bend under load. This is easy to check with the weight of an adult – stand on the surface 
  • Leave pallets in which the slats are located at a large “step” from each other, as well as with broken and cracked slats and boards. 
  • Pay attention to the type of wood. The most durable are pine or oak. Manufacturers save money and use cheap wood, so you have to choose carefully. Don’t rush to grab the first free materials you come across—visit several construction sites or stores. 

Now let’s move on to how to make a bed from pallets.

How to make a bed from pallets with your own hands? 

Required Tools

  • Minimum 4 identical pallets. 
  • Sanding tool and sanding paper.
  • Screwdriver and drill.
  • Bolts, nuts, washers.
  • Screws and corners.
  • Wood glue.
  • Varnish or paint with suitable brushes.
  • Don’t forget safety glasses and gloves.
  • A vacuum cleaner will also come in handy. 

We warn you that you cannot work in the living room. There will be a lot of dust from sanding work, and the smell of varnish and paint. If you can’t go outside, take what you can out of the room. Cover the floor with cardboard before work and open the windows for ventilation. 

The product must be assembled in the bedroom. Otherwise, you won’t be able to carry the finished item through a narrow doorway. 

DIY pallet bed: step-by-step instructions

  1. Sand the surface well using a sanding tool. Use gloves and safety glasses for this. Make sure all edges, corners, and surfaces are smooth and free of chips and splinters. 
  2. Wipe surfaces to remove construction dust and shavings. 
  3. Vacuum the floor – don’t neglect it. Especially if you have small children and pets.
  4. Decide what color you will paint the products. Or will you choose varnish? In the first case, you can adjust the finished product to the bedroom interior or make it an accent piece. The second will produce an authentic product that will fit into the loft style and into any modern room. 
  5. Allow the materials to dry in fresh air. Regardless of the coating chosen, it requires drying. 
  6. Then move the dried materials into the bedroom. 
  7. Fold 4 pallets into a square and secure them with glue. This will ensure a level of position and stability. But bonding with glue is not durable, so you will also have to work with a drill.
  8. Secure the pallets together with bolts and nuts on all sides. You can attach locking wheels – with the help of wheels it will be convenient to move the bed to any corner of the room, but the locking mode will not allow it to move arbitrarily during sleep. 

You can use as many tiers as you like to make a tall base. Or, for example, design a backlit product – wrap it around the perimeter with an LED garland or place it inside the structure. This will add a romantic atmosphere to the bedroom. 

7 examples of inspiration

1. High mattress

An idea for those who have not found enough materials is to compensate for the height with a mattress. Then you will get a stylish “backing” made of wood in the loft style, and the main load will fall on the mattress. Please note that in this case, the mattress must be of super high quality and not soft. And high mattresses are often more expensive than regular ones, so we’re not talking about a budget solution here. 

2. Storage design

Some craftsmen create structures that also contain storage space. The simplest idea is to put together a long frame. And then the place that remains at the foot will be quite suitable: to throw a bag there, put a basket with things or textiles. 

Another option is when the length of the base is exactly equal to the mattress. However several levels were made from pallets. In such cases, “internals” can be used instead of shelves – look in the photo gallery to see how books and other useful little things can fit there. 

Another idea is to “attach” it to the base of the nightstand. For example, from wooden boxes. Quite budget-friendly and right on topic. 

By the way, with the same success you can make a wide headboard, which will also serve as a shelf – for posters, small light accessories, and other important little things. 

3. Creating additional lighting

We have already written about lighting inside the bed. But it carries little functional load – it looks aesthetically pleasing, but it definitely won’t increase the insolation of the room. The same cannot be said about sconces and lanterns that are installed at the headboard. For example, a sconce can be embedded into a tree. Then you will need to additionally consider the output of the electrical cord and the presence of an outlet. 

But you can go the easy way – take a lamp that is attached to the tabletop or any base. Such lamps are designed for the workplace. But they will also serve for the bedroom. It can be attached to the headboard – the main thing is that there is an outlet nearby. 

4. No headboard

This solution adds a relaxed atmosphere, reminiscent of oriental beds rather than the usual furniture for sleeping. But they are used even in brutal lofts.

If no headboard seems like a cute idea, consider protecting the wall in advance. For example, if it is painted, there will be no big problems. The erased areas can be touched up. It is easier with brick and wood panels – it is a sustainable material. But with wallpaper, it’s more difficult. They are prone to abrasion. If you have just such a covering on the walls in your bedroom, we recommend that you consider the headboard.

5. Bed

This solution cannot be called a full-fledged sleeping place, but it is quite suitable for organizing a guest space, a room in the country, or, for example, a lounge area. 

6. Furniture for the nursery

Who said that a child’s room can’t be completed with a homemade sleeping area? In addition, he can also be involved in the creation process. And at a certain age, a child wants to stand out among his peers – so why not through an unusual hand-made item in the room? 

7. Suspended structure

A great idea for the upcoming summer season is to make such a hanging structure. Both adults and children will like it. What is the key to success? Firstly, take no more than two products for the frame, so as not to “overdo it” with the weight. Secondly, find a super strong rope and secure it on several sides. And thirdly, find a thick and stable base. It will make an excellent substitute for a hammock, but you can also hang it in the house.

In what styles can the idea be used?

In fact, in any modern room. And even in interiors close to the rustic country. Fans of classics and similar movements are unlikely to like this option. But connoisseurs of hand-made ideas and those who want to discover new things will want to try them. 

Scandinavian, loft, modern, boho, wabi-sabi – all these trends will “support” authentic hand-made furniture. 

It’s worth trying your hand at creating furniture from pallets if you:

  • You are looking for affordable options for furnishing your apartment and cannot yet afford a frame for 500 dollars or more;
  • You are furnishing a rented living space and don’t see the point in buying furniture there. After all, it’s not so easy to take the bed with you later – it is large and difficult to transport;
  • You are the owner of an apartment and want to prepare it for renting without large investments – today the popularity of homemade apartments that are not similar to others is growing. Many people will want to rent a clean and bright space, even with furniture made from pallets;
  • Just love authenticity, interiors close to the boho and scandi-boho style. 
  • You are looking for ideas for a budget-friendly arrangement of a country house – for example, you are going to the countryside for only one season. You don’t want to transport furniture from a city apartment, but it’s important to spend the summer months in comfort. 

As you can see, there are more than one or two reasons to put such furniture in the bedroom. The growing demand has already influenced the emergence of several companies that make models from pallets to order. 

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