Build a Simple Bed with Arch

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Build a Simple Bed with Arch

Adding an arch can be simple to do an add that extra touch of fancy to the simple bed. This is a modification of the simple bed plans. Special thanks to one of our readers for sharing their photo.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Shopping List: 

4 - 1x6 Boards, 8' Length
4 - 1x4 Boards, 8' Length
2 - 4x4 Posts, 8' Length
1 - 2x4 Board, 8' Length
3 - 2x2 Boards, 8' Length
3 - 2x6 Boards, 8' Length

wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
circular saw
Fits twin sized mattress
Cut List: 

8 - 1x6 cut at 38 1/2" (these are the headers)
B) 6 - 1x4 cut at 31 1/2" long for the headboard (these are the rails) 6 - 1x4 cut at 21 1/2" long for the footboard (these are the rails)
C) 28 - 1x6 cut at 2 1/2" long (if these boards are splitting on you - depending on your type of wood - use 28 1x3s cut at 5 1/2" long) (these are the spacers)
D) 2 - 4x4 Posts cut at 41" 2 - 4x4 Posts cut at 31"
E) 1 - 2x4 cut at 45 1/2" (Top of the Headboard)
F) 1 - 2x6 cut at 47 1/2"
G) 1 - 2x4 cut at 46 1/2" (Top of the Footboard) FOR THE FRAME (Where the Mattress Goes)
H) 2 - 2x2 cut at 73 1/4" (Siderail boxspring holder)
I) 2 - 2x2 cut at 35 1/2" (Siderail boxspring holder)
J) 2 - 2x6 cut at 72" Siderail

Step 1: 

Take four of boards A and mark out the exact same arch in the panels. In the bed shown, the arch starts 6" in on either end and is 3" tall at the center point. Carefully cut out these arches using a jigsaw. Layout the headboard and footboard panels, as shown below. The below diagram does not show the arches cut out. This diagram shows how the spacers (C) are to be placed between each of the rails (B). Start with only 1 of the arched header boards and a straight header board on the bottom. NAIL ONLY THE SPACERS AND THE OUTERMOST RAILS - DO NOT NAIL THE MIDDLE 4 RAILS. Use 1 1/4" nails.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Remove the middle four rails that were not nailed in the above step. Use a jigsaw to follow the line of the arch and trim off the ends of the red highlighted boards, as shown.

Sand the arched edge with a sander if necessary. Now replace the middle four rails. Nail with 1 1/4" nails.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Now sandwich the remaning header boards as shown below, concealing the spacers. Use glue, and this time 2" nails. The diagram below illustrates these instructions. (This diagram does not show the arch cutout).

Step 4 Instructions: 

Your completed center panel for the headboard should look like this diagram. Do the same for the footboard.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Now let's add the posts. Predrill 1/2 way through the posts on the outside. Then use long screws (at least 4") to screw into the center panel where it is sandwiched between the header boards. Use two screws for the top header and two screws for the bottom header, for a total of 4 screws per post. Center the post on the panel. There should be a 5/8" space between the outside edge of the post and the header board on both sides.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Add the 2x4 (Board E)to the top of the headboard as shown below. THE ARCHED HEADER 2X4 WILL FIT FLUSH WITH THE TOP OF THE BED. THIS IS NOT SHOWN BELOW. Add the 2x4 (Board G) to the top of the footboard. Board G will overhang the posts by 1/2" on both ends. On the headboard, add Board F to the top of Board E, allowing a 1" overhang on all

Step 7 Instructions: 

Set the headboard and footboard aside. Build the following box out of the 2x2s. Notice how the shorter (I) 2x2s sit inside the longer (H) 2x2s. Use screws to screw through the outside of H into the end edge of (I). Use two screws per end.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Add the siderails as shown below, leaving a 5/8" gap on either end. Screw through boards (H) into board (J). Doing this will hide your screw holes. Use 2 1/2" screws, screwing every foot all the way down the siderail.

Step 9 Instructions: 

Notice how the boxspring frame will attach to the headboard and footboard. Screw into the headboard, and screw at an angle into the four posts. You want to be prepared for little monkeys

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


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Be sure to measure your mattress/box-spring BEFORE building your frame! Our box was nearly an inch bigger and didn't fit, so we'll have to rebuild the frame.

Other than that, our daugter LOVES the bed! We'll be sending a photo soon!

This was our first wood project. My daughter is transitioning from her toddler bed and moving into a ‘big girl’ bed.

Ana, your measurements were perfect! Thank you for this FREE bed plan!

Price: The overall quality of this bed was sturdy and felt and looked like it cost a lot more. I am very impressed with the results.


Use corner braces so bed frames won’t be so flimsy.

Arches – (most difficult part) You need to have the proper tools for that. To do the arch, you need a big enough compass or something to make the arch. We did not have that. We used a semi circle cut glass top from our table in the living room as a template.

The small pieces for the arch were difficult to cut. The arch was supposed to be 3” high from the bottom but 6” in from the inside. Fine but what do you use to make the arch?

My little “jumping monkeys” made us a little uncomfortable with no extra support inside so we used 2x4’s as extra support for the frames.

We added corner brackets and L brackets. And our box spring did not fit the frame so we had to make adjustments.

All in all, my daughter lurvs her new bed!

Please view photos at:

Thanks again, Ana!