How To Build a Platform Bed with Storage Drawers

The platform bed with drawers consists of a framed base for the mattress and a void area below for the drawers to retreat into. For the purpose of this instruction we will select a medium density wood, #1 clear pine, 3/4" thick and the width will be sized per the assembly. In addition the material list will include 2 sheets of 5/8" shop plywood, 1 sheet of 1/4" shop plywood, wood glue, #4 finish nails and 1-1/2" wood screws.

Begin my measuring the mattress width and length. Cut (4) pieces of 12" wide pine to the width dimension of the mattress, plus 1". Next cut (4) pieces of 12" wide pine to the length of the mattress, plus 1".

Make rabbet cuts 3/8" x 3/8" at the ends of all pieces and lay a set of the pieces, (2 sides and 2 ends) with the rabbets up, in a flat square configuration for assembly.

Begin by assembling one complete box, (2 sides and 2 ends) using wood glue and "4 finish nails. Align the rabbet joints and nail all corners both ways, offsetting the nail pattern. Set this box aside and assemble the next box in the same manner. Chose one of the framed boxes for the base section that will contain the drawers and set the other box aside.

For the drawers,  cut (8) pieces of 6" wide #1 pine to 24" and set aside. Mark each with an "S" for drawer sides. Cut (8) pieces of #1 pine to 21-1/2", mark each with an "E" for end and set them aside.

On each of the side and end pieces, mark a line that runs along the bottom portion of the piece from one end to the other. The line should be 3/4" from the close edge. This will be the line for the drawer bottom channel.

Next, using a router and guide with 1/4" rabbet bit, rabbet the drawer channels on all pieces.

Rabbet the ends (corners) similar to the bed frame boxes, apply glue and assemble (3) sides of the drawer frames. Be sure the rabbet channels line up inside. Once the 3 sided frames are assembled, measure for the drawer bottoms. This should be the inside measurements of the drawer frame, plus 1/8" each way. Cut the drawer bottoms using the 1/4" shop plywood. Slide each of the bottoms into a frame and attach the remaining drawer frame piece to complete the drawer frame. Set the drawers aside.

Select one of the mattress frame boxes as a base. Measure the inside width and cut (4) pieces of 6" wide pine to this dimension. These will be the frames for the drawer guides and they will also serve to brace the base of the platform and support the plywood mattress base. Install these, flush with the top of the box, with the distance between a pair of these braces 1" wider than the outside dimension of the drawer width. This will allow for drawer guides to be installed. Cut small spacer blocks using 6" pine and install a continuous line of bracing from the foot of the frame to the head, perpendicular to the drawer frames. The drawer frames and bracing should be flush with the top of the base and extend down, into it. Use glue and wood screws to make all attachments.

Next, cut clean openings at the top face of the box frame to the dimension of the drawers, plus 1/8" each way. Now, install the drawer roller guides on the drawers and drawer frames. Ensure that the drawers operate smoothly. Remove the drawers and set them aside.

Cut 5/8" shop plywood to the inside dimension of the base and install it on top of the bracing using glue and wood screws. Next, lift the second section of the mattress box into place atop the base and secure it along the edges using wood glue and screw into the 5/8" plywood edges.

For the drawer faces, cut (4) pieces of pine, approximately 1" oversize each way of the drawer frames. Attach the faces using glue and wood screws that penetrate from the back, not through the drawer face. Attach drawer pulls if desired.

The frame can now be painted or stained to the desired finish, and the mattress installed atop the base.


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