How We Did It: DIY Box Springs Bed Frame

How I Did It: Box Springs Bed Frame for Under $100

To be honest, I didn't really want to get a new bed. I loved my super soft Ikea bed. It was pretty and girly and felt like I was sleeping in a hug. It was one of the first pieces of furniture I ever bought, and I didn't want to give it up! But it was not so great for my husband's back. (He has some back problems that are probably related to his bull riding past, but I'm sure being a fire fighter and working in a labor intensive job doesn't help either!).

So we started looking for a new bed.

There are tons of options out there. Unfortunately, most of them were out of our newlywed budget. Especially when you look into buying a bed frame as well! Since our biggest concern was the quality of the mattress, we decided to spend most of our money there. We did some price checking and went with a king size Lady Americana pillow top mattress. It's firmer than I would like and softer than he would like, so I guess it's a good compromise!

Once we'd bought the mattress and box springs, we had to figure out how to get a bed frame for under $100. There are some basic metal frames out there, but I wanted to try to make one ourselves. So here's how we did it.

You'll need:

  • Furniture legs. We bought 12 matching ones from Home Depot. Since this is a king size bed, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of support. If you do a smaller size, you could get away with less. You also could mix and match leg styles if you'd like, as long as they are the same height!
  • Metal Plates. You'll need these to attach the legs.
  • Paint. We bought a small can of white semi-gloss paint.
  • Fabric. We went with burlap, but you can use any fabric you want. To keep it simple, choose a solid color. Patterns are pretty, but they are also harder to match up. If you're up for the challenge though, go for it! I bought several yards and had way more than I needed.
  • Upholstery tacks. We used these to achieve the rustic look, but they are just for decorations. They aren't holding the fabric in place at all.
  • Staple gun and staples. This is what we used to attach the fabric to the box spring.
  • Power drill.
  • Wood.
  • Wood screws.

Before the mattress was delivered, we had to prep a few things. We painted the furniture legs white; a couple of coats and they were ready to go. The day the mattress and box springs were delivered, I took apart the old bed (yes, I did it myself while James was at work) and gave the floor a good cleaning. The mattress and box springs were delivered, and we were ready to go!

A quick note: I totally didn't think about the quality of these pictures as we worked, otherwise I would've worn something other than yoga pants and I would've opened the curtains to let some natural light in! You DIY and you learn, right?

We started by installing the metal plates around the base of the box springs. We put all the legs on one box spring and then flipped it over to get an idea of how things would look. It held up great, so James got to work on installing the rest of the metal plates.

Drilling plates.jpg

While he did that, I started playing around with the fabric. We knew we wanted to cover the box spring with burlap, but we weren't sure how to do it. I looked at several different DIY bed frame pins on Pinterest, but most of those were for smaller beds. So I decided to wing it!

We used a double layer of burlap (a single layer was too sheer) and measured it out to cover each side of the box spring. We had tons of fabric so we could have covered the entire box spring with one giant piece of burlap, but I felt that was a waste of material that I could use on other projects.

Checking out burlap.jpg

I've always been told measure twice, cut once. That's good advice that I should've listened to! I didn't officially measure anything, I just held the material up along the box spring and guesstimated. The material barely covered the box spring, so maybe measure better than I did, ok?

Once the burlap was cut, I started pinning it along the box spring. We figured out that while it was helpful to have the legs on the box spring to keep it off the ground while I worked on the fabric, we were going to have to remove the legs and metal plates we'd just installed to be able to make the burlap look right. For the time being, I just pinned around them.

Pinning burlap 2.jpg

Coco decided she needed to be involved in this process, but she wasn't very helpful ;)

Coco helping.jpg

I finished pinning one side around the time James finished installing the legs on the other box spring. You'll notice in the pictures that we put one on each corner of the individual box springs, as well as one in the middle of each side. That meant we were doubling up in the middle, but we wanted to make sure this thing wasn't going to collapse!

Attach box spings.jpg

Now that all the legs were on the box springs and we knew this thing was going to work, we flipped them both over so the legs were pointing up. Since king size beds come with two box springs, we needed to attach them together. We lined them up as best we could and J got to work attaching them with two pieces of we had on hand. You'll also notice we added little nonstick rubber dots to the ends of the furniture legs. We have wood floors so we wanted the extra protection between the legs and the floor.

Super Flattering.jpg
Stapling burlap.jpg

Remember when I said I just pinned around those metal plates? Well, I had to go back and remove them so we could get the burlap to lay properly. I used the drill (which I learned to use on this project!) to remove them so James could staple the burlap down. Once he did that, I reinstalled the metal plates and attached the legs again. Since we'd already drilled the holes for the plates, it was super easy to re-attach them.

Once the burlap was stapled to the frame, we had to figure out the corners. Because of my failure to properly measure, this was a bit tricky. We played with it for awhile and made it work, but it could've been much prettier. To help disguise the uneven seams, we hammered in some upholstery tacks.

So that's it! We wrestled the mattress in place and I threw on all our new sheets and pillows. 

The bed frame isn't perfect, but I'm going to quote The Nester yet again: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Perfectly imperfect bed frame
Finished DIY Bed Frame

In case you couldn't tell, the last pictures were taken after a couple of lessons in my photography class! Natural light makes such a huge difference, huh?