Full Storage (Captains) Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 05/19/2019 - 20:54
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You can build a simple storage bed to elevate a mattress and provide extra storage with these simple plans. Featuring six large, wide cubbies, perfect for fabric bins, toys, or even books and games. This bed has a cubby depth of 12".

This plan is also the base plan for the twin sized modification. You can see all the project plans in this collection here. Special thanks to Amy and Steve for sharing their amazing photos with us.

storage bed headboard
storage bed full size woodworking plans
Fits standard full size mattress. Top platform height if 15".


Shopping List
  • 6 – 1×12 Boards, 8′ Long (Most economical for stain grade is pine (like the PBTEEN stained bed, and also would work great for painting. You could also use sheets of MDF cut into 1x12s, but you would need to purchase two whole sheets of plywood and only use up 1 1/2 sheets)
  • 1 – Sheet of 1/4″ Plywood cut into 15″ wide strips, 8′ long
  • 6 – 1×2 Boards, 8′ Long (For paint grade, 1×2 Pine Furring Strips would work for about $1.00 each)
  • 5 – 1×3 Boards, 8′ Long (1×3 Pine Furring Strips are about $1.50 Each and would work perfect)
  • 2″ Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Nails (optional if you have a nailer handy)
  • 2″ Nails (optional if you have a nailer handy)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List


  • 6 – 1×12 @ 15″ (Cubby Sides)
  • 3 – 1×12 @ 12 3/4″ (Cubby Dividers)
  • 2 – 1×12 @ 54″ (End Cubby Top and Bottoms)
  • 4 – 1×12 @ 62″ (Side Cubby Top and Bottoms)



  • 6 – 1×2 @ 12″ (Vertical Trim)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 55 1/2″ (End Top and Bottom Trim)
  • 4 – 1×2 @ 63 1/2″ (Side Top and Bottom Trim)



  • 2 – 1×3 @ 63 1/2″ (Cleats)
  • 11 – 1×3 @ 30 1/2″ (Slats)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

So if you read my blog long enough, you already know that to get a square project, you gotta work on a square surface with square boards. And you also need to check for square after each step. Predrill and countersink your screws. If you are working with MDF, use drywall screws and make sure you drill a pilot hole the entire length of your screw hole to keep your MDF from blowing apart. Be safe, have fun!


Step 1

You will need to build one end cubby.

Step 2

And two side cubbies.

Step 3

Put the back on the end cubby with nails and glue. Don't forget to nail into the center partition as well.

For both backs: You can have the lumber store “rip” your 1/4″ plywood into 15″ wide strips so they are easier to manage, can be hauled in a car, and all you have to do is make a single chop. Have the plywood ripped into 3 – 15″ wide x 8′ long strips. Then cut your plywood for the backs of the end and two for the side cubbies. Use 1 1/4″ nails and glue to fasten in place.

Step 4

Do the same for the side cubbies.

Step 5

Step 6

Trim for the side cubbies.

Step 7

Use the 2″ screws and glue to fasten cleats to the backs of the side cubbies only.

Step 8

Lay the slats on top of the cleats, as shown above. Screw in place. Don’t use glue so dissemblance will be a cinch. Also screw the end cubby to the side cubbies ( a couple of blots with washers and nuts would be your best option to keep everything together over time (and make dissemblance a cinch)

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill any holes with wood filler (overfill) and let dry. Start sanding with coarse sandpaper and work your way to fine. Vacuum with a soft bristled brush. For paint grade, prime and apply multiple coats of paint. I always paint the insides first, then the outsides and finally the trim. For stain grade, you may wish to apply a wood conditioner first, then stain, and finally finish with a varnish or polyurethane sealant.


Mommy Words (not verified)

Sun, 05/23/2010 - 06:29

Ana I built a version of the storage bed last year and I actually allowed the two sides to go all the way back and they fit full size bins for toy or other storage. They even fit my daughters huge Melissa and Doug Castle and her baby crib. They can also then be used as storage benches if the bed is taken apart. It was really simple. So anyway that is an aoption to just eliminate the empty space and get tons of storage! The bed is at http://www.mommywords.com/2009/10/diy-pretty-practical-platform-bed/

There are pics of it with ant without linens. Everyone who sees it loves it!

Dawn (not verified)

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 05:42

This is wonderful -- I've been looking for a plan with smaller benches for the sides and also with slats. However, I have a question -- is there any reason not to leave off the bench at the foot and just extend the sides to make up the difference? The reason I ask is that I don't want to completely block off the space under the bed (we store some items there plus the cats like to hide). So basically is there any reason not to build the two side benches (but longer because I actually have a king), add the slats and be done with it? Is there additional structural support provided by the third bench?

I love your website by the way even if I haven't gotten around to building anything yet (though perhaps a huge bed is not the place to start :)

Ana White (not verified)

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 12:56

As far as removing the bottom bench goes, you definitely could. This design was done to keep the cost down and make the build process more manageable. If you wanted to do just two extra deep benches and no middle platform, you would need at least six sheet fo 3/4" plywood, because the width of the bed is at 54". You basically would need to rip your plywood into 27" wide strips, and build the side benches using the 27" wide strips instead of the 12" wide strips. Can be done, but it is going to be pricy.

Megan (not verified)

Thu, 07/22/2010 - 01:33

These plans are beautiful! I would really love to try making them, but my dad is a little skeptical. How many manhours do you think this would take?

Kelli (not verified)

Thu, 07/22/2010 - 19:47

I've never built before, but you are giving me the confidence to give it a try! I LOVE your blog and I'm so excited to try my hand at these beds and corner hutch. It's just what I need for my twins in their tiny room.

WWolfe (not verified)

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 06:31

Sadly a lot of good plans from Ana's previous webs sites can't be found on this site now using search.

Here is the one you are looking for:
King Size Bed conversion: http://ana-white.com/2010/01/plan-how-to-modify-queen-sized-stratton.ht…

You will also need this one, which is equally hard to find: http://ana-white.com/2009/11/plan-knock-off-of-pottery-barn-stratton.ht…

We love you Ana and are amazed at all you do so quickly. Sorry to see so much good work being lost on the new site!

Ana White (not verified)

Tue, 09/28/2010 - 08:49

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