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.



Sun, 08/21/2011 - 18:28

Ok so in the cut list is says you need two 2X2's cut to 75in for the back top and cleats. The question is aren't there three 75in pieces needed since there are two cleats and one back top? Am I missing something somewhere?


Fri, 08/26/2011 - 11:47

Ana, we love the look of this for our guest bedroom / office / play / all around put it in there room. Because we occasionally have family staying with us, we need a bed big enough for 2 adults and a blow up mattress isn't cutting it for the older generation that loves to visit the kids. Therefore, I was wondering what your thoughts were on converting this to some sort of slide out / trundle bed kind of situation. My daughter has a bed from IKEA that converts from a twin to a queen size bed by sliding out the bottom half (there's a photo here to see what I mean:
Would that be feasible to add to this? Basically an addition that would have alternating slats, so when slid out would still have support, but when put together as a sofa / day bed, would be solid enough to handle kids jumping and what not.
Would love to hear your thoughts before I attempt to tackle this idea.

Jaguwar (not verified)

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 13:05

I'm loving that Ikea bed, actually, that's pretty brilliant! I know it's several months since you posted this, but I think you probably have the right idea. However, I'm thinking because this bed has a support bracket in the middle, I'd think the trundle would not have storage under it? Or if it did, the drawers would be narrower than they look from the front in order to leave room for said bracket which, incidentally, should be doubled (one for the daybed portion, and one for when the trundle bed is exended)?

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 12:47

What type of wood is used for this daybed to cost $20-$50? We just built this with paint-grade poplar and spent over $200. Everything at Home Depot was "stud" quality, dinged up and not straight. We had to go to a lumber yard.

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 13:39

I used standard white wood....aka 2x4 stud. Just have to go through alot of the wood to find the straight ones. they are there. After that alot of sanding. Belt sander to get rid of all of the rough edges, smooth our the rough edges. Then primer it with white paint before, or you can use a dark colored stain to give it a natural board look. I spent less then 50 dollars for bed and slats. Just have to give alot of elbow work in the end to smooth up the wood.


Fri, 09/02/2011 - 14:59

Hi Ana,

I can't say enough about this site. This is such a life saver!!! You really are making a difference. Being a laid off mom i've been doing everything diy from drapes to furniture to repurposing items just to be able to manage after we downsized from a 4 bedroom house to a 2bedrrom apt. All of this is really to say that your work is incredibly meaningful and is truly changing lives!!!

ok.. so i really like this unit for my boys. I now have to squeeze 3 into one small bedroom. Being young teens makes it that much more difficult.

How can i turn this into a corner unit with trundles so that it sleeps 4 beds, but doubles as 'sofa' during the day? i looked at several plans and tried mesh them but i dont think its going to work :( need expert advice desperately!!

thanks for your help!

kenm09 (not verified)

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 16:05

Hi Ana,

I have all of my pieces cut and am starting to assemble the bed. However, I did a few test pieces to start putting the "H"'s together and the 2 1/2" screws seem to be too long.

I did a little research and found this chart:…

2 1/2" screws are only recommended for screwing 1 1/2" into 1 1/2" pieces of wood. Since we are technically screwing 1 1/2" wood into 3/4" wood for the majority of the rectangles, should we use 2" screws at a 3/4" jig setting or 1 1/2" screws at an 1 1/4" jig setting.

I hope this isn't too confusing. I'm just trying to get this figured out before I buy anymore screws. I appreciate your help.



Fri, 09/09/2011 - 06:47


Set the depth gauge on the jig and the depth collar for the thickness of the wood you're drilling into. Buy the screws for the thickness of the wood you're screwing that to.

You can also pick up pocket hole screws pretty inexpensively from Rockler via mail order, or you can buy smaller quantities from Lowes. You don't need to buy the Kreg-specific screws, any pocket hole screws will work.

To complicate the matter, there's also this pocket hole system:,180,42311

It's chief advantage is that it is designed to work with regular wood screws, which are widely available and very inexpensive. I don't think that it's as convenient as the Kreg system.

Mary Middleton (not verified)

Sun, 09/11/2011 - 10:34

I have been perusing your site for hours! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of your plans with us (for FREE!). I would love, love, love to see plans for the Ikea Hemnes Daybed. It is a twin daybed that can be pulled out to turn into a full-size. I really want this bed but I really don't want to pay that much. Isn't that how it usually is? :)

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