If you're looking to build your own platform bed with storage, you have to see this tutorial from Chris Heider that uses 7 Ikea kitchen cabinets to do just that.
Here is a diagram of the different cabinet sizes you'll need (notice that the height changes on the side with 4 cabinets, which allows them to function as steps).
As you'll see in the materials needed, 6 of the 7 cabinets are the same style. However, the one used for the smallest step is a different style Ikea cabinet that gets laid on its side to fit the dimensions above as close as possible.
What You'll Need
- 6 Ikea SEKTION Cabinets
- 1 Ikea TUTEMO cabinet (laid on it's side for smallest step)
- Miter saw to cut pine boards
- Double-sided carpet tape
- Rubber back rug
- Wood glue
- Decorative paneling
- Angle iron
- 1, 2x4 at least 75 inches long
- 16, 1x4 pine boards
- Knife/blade to cut rug
If you have questions about materials, Chris has also made a video to answer common questions.
1: Assemble The Cabinets
You'll first need to assemble all 7 cabinets according to Ikea's always helpful instructions. Since you won't be attaching them to the wall, you can skip that part of the process.
You will want to leave the back off of one of the big cabinets, which will allow you to have access under the bed.
2. Lay Cabinets Out And Connect Them
Once you've assembled all 7 cabinets, it's time to put them in place and form the outline of your bed.
After you've set them up, you'll ideally clamp them together to hold them still and then screw them together with 2 screws near the front, and 1 in the back.
For the 2 screws, it might be helpful to drill a pilot hole first.
3. Build The Bed Frame
You'll use 1x4 pine boards to build the outer part of the bed frame. You'll again use 1 inch boards as horizontal slats to support the bed later, so make sure when setting the height of your frame, leave room for adding a 1x4 slat and still making the mattress flush with the top of the cabinet.
See below how Chris left about a 1/2 inch gap between the top of his board and the top of the cabinet.
Screw your pine board into the Ikea cabinet, using 2 screws at every vertical board of the cabinet to get a secure grip.
After that, measure the height of your frame and mark the opposite wall at the same exact height, so you can attach the other board to the wall.
Use a stud finder to make sure you are screwing your board into the studs, and attached the board. (Using a level to make sure it's straight is also a good idea).
Next, attach a 1x4 support for both the bottom and the top of the bed. The top board will be screwed into the wall, and the bottom board will be screwed into the Ikea cabinets that are at the base of the bed.
Make sure to put these boards just beneath your side frame boards, as their primary function will be to support the 2x4 that goes down the middle of the bed - which bears most of the weight.
Attach your 2x4 to the pine supports by drilling screws diagonally through the 2x4 and into the 1x4 support.
Once you've set up the frame, finish it off by cutting a piece of the cabinet back you didn't use earlier for one of the big cabinets, and glue it to the small section of frame that is exposed on the end of the bed.
This will complete the look quite nicely.
As a final step, use a small angle iron at the base of your cabinets where they form a corner and screw it in. This will make sure the cabinets don't separate and they stay firmly together at the corner for years to come.
4. Assemble the Slats
Again using 1x4 pine, cut 12 slats to fit the width of your bed.
Since we're building a full size bed, the mattress is going to be 75 inches long. To save you the math, this means you'll want a 3 inch gap between all 12 of your boards in order for them to evenly extend the width of the bed.
Chris had a great idea of cutting a couple 3 inch spacers that you can use to make sure your gap is the same every time.
From there, start screwing in the slats by attaching them at each end of the frame, and into the middle 2x4.
If it's easier, you can drill pilot holes before actually screwing the boards in place.
5. Test Out With Mattress
Now you just want to make sure that you've assembled it correctly by throwing on the mattress and laying on the bed.
If you don't come crashing through to the floor, that's a good sign.
6. Finish Up Cabinetry
You should have one big cabinet that doesn't have a back on it, which allows you to have access under the bed for storage or whatever else you may need.
In this case, Chris hadn't installed the door on that cabinet yet, so now is time to do that.
For the rest of the cabinets where you plan to use shelving, now is a good time to go ahead and put in your shelves. Feel free to customize this however works best for you.
7. (Optional) Add Finishing Touches
At this point you have a functional bed that you can sleep on. However, you might want to add a couple other things as we'll show here to add a nice finishing touch to the bed.
Obviously the colors and materials used can be customized.
The first thing is to add a piece of decorative paneling, cut to fit, on top of the cabinet that runs the length of the bed. Notice how you can overlap this to partially lay under the mattress so it has full coverage.
You can attach it with double-sided carpet tape.
Next, take a standard rubber-backed rug - like you'd have in a bathroom, and cut it to fit on top of the steps. This will help you avoid slipping when you step on top of the cabinet's surface to climb into bed.
Finally, you can install a power strip with cords for phone chargers, etc. underneath the bed. You could also hang a light under here so you can see what you store under the bed, or just use a flashlight when you need it.
As a final touch, you might want to put some foam padding on the board right above the crawl space entry. This will soften the blow if you are crawling out and accidentally knock your head or back against it!
Now it's time to add your bedding and see the finished product!
To watch Chris' full tutorial on how to build this Ikea platform bed, check out the video below.