Rectangles Day Bed

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 08/11/2011 - 09:23
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A modern style daybed, featuring a modern pattern on back and arms. Free easy step by step plans to save you money off West Elm furniture.

Here's a shout out to everyone who doesn't have preschoolers. I know we do way too many kid projects, and I sure appreciate you hanging in there!

By popular reader request, inspired by West Elm Window Daybed, make your own!

Fits twin sized mattress. Measure your doorways - if you can't fit 30" through it, you will need to do some assembly in the room.


Shopping List

3 - 2x3 @ 8 feet long
7 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
6 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
Use either pocket hole screw or regular screws

Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
3 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

24 - 1x2 @ 12" (Sides of Rectangles)
9 - 1x2 @ 5 1/2" (Rectangle to Rectangle Joiners)
6 - 1x2 @ 4 1/4" (End Joiners)
24 - 1x2 @ 6 1/2" (Tops and Bottoms)
3 - 2x2 @ 75" (Back Top and Cleats)
2 - 2x3 @ 75" (Aprons)
4 - 2x2 @ 30" (Legs)
2 - 2x2 @ 39" (Arm Top)
2 - 2x3 @ 39" (Arm Aprons)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

You are probably wondering why in the H are we starting by building an H? Why not start by building the rectangles? Well, there's good reason (unless you own a Kreg Jig, and then you can do whatever the H you want - or rectangle for the matter). 

See what happens is you won't have room to fit your drill in to screw additional pieces on.  Then you are just stuck.
So build 9 Hs.  Just like this one.
If you have a Kreg Jig, go ahead and drill all pocket holes set for 1 1/2" stock and fasten with 2 1/2" screws and glue.

Step 2

Now we are going to build some sideways Ts. Six of them.

Step 3

Now add the tops and bottoms as shown in diagram above. See what I mean about being able to get your drill in there to predrill holes and drive screws? Make sure you are working on a flat, level surface, and DEFINITELY check for square (or rectangle) in this case.

Step 4

Now add the Ts to the ends.

Step 5

Step 6

Now the legs.

Step 7

By now, you are a pro, rock star builder, whippin' this thing out! One thing to consider, especially if you are using pocket holes, is to mirror the two ends so your pocket holes are on the outsides for both arms.

Step 8

Front apron should be an easy step.

Step 9

Use 2 1/2" screws and wood glue to attach cleats to aprons, flush to the bottoms.

Step 10

You can either use a bunkie board, metal bed spring, or a box spring, or slats as shown above. Always refer to the recommendation of your mattress for slat spacings.

Step 11

And if you expect a heavier load, this is how you would "beef up" the bed.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:37

I love this~

I'm in the process of finishing a twin-sized headboard modeled after the community contributor (who are you?) who made an over-lapping squared daybed.

I beefed up one side panel and made it taller. I assume the same could be done with this!

If I may make a suggestion, paint the inside pieces first! Then assemble. It has cut down my finishing time tremendously~

(I plan on posting my plans as soon as I can access my sketch-up files again. Oh laptop, why hast thou died on me?)

April McCoid (not verified)

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:21


You mentioned the fact that it will be difficult to get this thing through a doorway... and I wondered if maybe it could be assembled in such a way that it can be taken apart and put back together. Could you glue/screw each of the 3 sides without gluing them together at the corners so that the back and 2 sides are separate pieces without it being unstable? I would love to make this but it's scary to think that once it's in the room I'd have to demo the thing to get it back.

Also, do the pocket holes fill easily? Or is it really noticeable?


In reply to by April McCoid (not verified)

Ana White

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:53

April, thank YOU for mentioning this. There's two ways you could do this.

1) If you have a little space around your doorways, you will be able to stand the daybed on it's arm (so it's tall) and rotate the bed to get two legs through the doorway. Once you get two legs through, rotate the daybed until the entire daybed is in the room.

2) You guessed it, build back and arms separately, then assemble in the room.

Teresa A (not verified)

Sun, 08/14/2011 - 18:12

Thank you so much for this instruction guide - I'm in the middle of this project and notice there is no information for the spacers that connect the rectangles with the aprons -shown in step 4... well at least the information is missing from the cut list -just confirming they are 2 1/4" spacers? I guess I will just count how many are needed.....

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 10:06

I love that you made plans for the new style west elm daybed, it's what I was planning on purchasing for one of my daughters. Now I can save a ton and learn something too. I have one question- where do you buy the sizes of wood for this project- I went to HD and they didn't have all the sizes. I live in Texas- the DFW area. Any suggestions? Do I need to go to a lumber type store? One more thing, may I ask how much this project cost you? I'm new to this but love your site! Thanks!

In reply to by Guest (not verified)

Ana White

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 17:49

Hi - it's the 2x3's right? If you can't find them, go with a 2x4 :) Costs can vary depending on where you live and what type of wood you use, so can't give you exacts there. Good luck and welcome!

In reply to by Guest (not verified)

Ana White

Sat, 08/20/2011 - 12:26

You might have to do a little math to figure out the arms, but yes, a twin is 39" wide and a full is 54" wide - so a 15" difference. Same lengths. I would use the same size rectangles (probably add one more to each arm) and just alter the rectangle/leg connector length to fit the new dimensions.

The most important part is to add the center legs - a full size bed needs extra support because your slats can't span 54" without support. I would just do a third "apron" running parallel to the front of the daybed, centered, from a 2x2, and attach legs from it. That way your slats are getting fully supported.

Good luck, would love to see a full daybed completed!

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