There are many reasons why pallets have become popular, and over the years, both new and the recycled pallets have become what people opt for to build their furniture.
Pallets are useful for storage purposes, carrying stuff and packing.
Making your own pallet bed gives you all the room you need to exercise creativity. The outcome is a pallet that is both functional and versatile. The pallets are robust, sustainable, and they have an amazing rusty look.
There are so many ways of making the bed pallets, and a wide range of available DIY resources on how you can make your pallet bed frame from scratch.
Choosing the best pallets to make your bed frame
Table of Contents
- 1 Choosing the best pallets to make your bed frame
You do not necessarily need newly bought pallets. You can look around and recycle what is available.
- When you go for recycled pallets, only choose the ones that are completely clean without any markings on them. For example, a pallet labelled MB has a high content of chemicals, and that is not what you want for your home.
- If you come across international pallets, and you see the IPPC logo on them, gladly carry them for use, the logo means they are safe. Some safe pallets do not have the IPPC logo, but the challenge is that you do not have the assurance of that safety. Many pallets that are used for local transportation of stuff like motorcycles, are completely safe but may not have the IPPC label. What you need is to establish the source of the pallet. Determine if the pallet is safe or not.
- The safest pallets to use are those that have been steam, heat, or kiln treated. They have codes that will tell you the treatment used.
HT stands for Heat Treatment, MB is from the term Methyl Bromide, while Debarked is abbreviated by DB. If you see a KD code, note that it stands for Kiln Dried pallet.
Study the impact of each pallet treatment, then you will make an informed decision.
Generally speaking, the pallets used for domestic transport are way safer compared to those used for commercial transport. However, you would still need to check the other factors that determine how safe a pallet is for use.
- As much as you can, keep away from colored pallets. Usually, a pallet that is painted has undergone through fumigation process that may be unsafe. Your bedroom safety is priority.
- Go for the pallets that are clean and dry-you can establish that by physically feeling the pallets. Only pick what does not have signs of wear and tear, and does not have signs of humidity on them. Press the wood to test it. If it bends, it is not good for your use. If the spaces between the slats of the pallets are too far apart, or there are breakages or cracks on them, do not carry them with you.
- Experts recommend that you choose the best type of pallet for your home, and in the list of safe pallets, the experts advise that the oak wood and the southern pine yellow wood are the safest, appealing and sturdy.
But if you are one of the people who love living large you may use six pallets for an emperor size bed, the choice is yours.
9 Essential tools you need to build a pallet bed
Before you can start off your pallet bed making project, you will need to be ready with all the essential tools that we will guide you through:
There is no way to go around any woodworking project without a hammer. It is not the most expensive tool in the list of the essential tools, yet it is one of the most critical tools.
Hammers come in different types such as the craw, mallet, club, or ball peen hammers. You can check through the different types and decide on which one will best serve your needs.
They also come in different weights, grip sizes and lengths. Go for what works for you.
2. Saw/ Jigsaw
Working with wood means you will not avoid cutting wood most of your working time. A saw will come in handy. Choose the type of saw that will suit your work.
A jigsaw is very helpful in precise cutting of the wood. If your need is to cut significant amounts of wood, you will need a circular saw.
If you need to cut long pallets to narrow sizes, invest in a table saw. In case you are involved in more advance woodwork that includes decorative cutting, you will need a scroll saw.
You will find saws designed to work with your body needs. A good example is the pull saw that cuts when you pull it towards you. It helps when you have less upper body strength. The pull saw becomes easier to work with.
3. Tape measure
The tape measure is such an essential tool, but you might realize that when you badly need one and you cannot trace where you placed it!
You will need it when measuring your wood before you can cut or fix it, and the tape measure will come in handy.
4. Screw and nails
To be best prepared for woodwork, keep a stock of a variety of nails and different sizes and dimensions of screwdrivers.
There are nails and screws that are best for outdoors, while others only serve indoor purposes.
The ones for indoors do not have a protective coat and they can rust when exposed to certain conditions.
If you are using screws longer than 3”, check the head style as well, for example, the Torx or the square ones.
The head style is crucial because it keeps the bit to hold longer on the surface without stripping the screw’s head.
The drill comes in handy when you want to make holes on your wood pallets. It is a very useful tool for crafting work and creating pilot holes. Using a drill will help the screw not to split the wood apart.
This is especially something you need to look out for when using dry and aged pallet wood. It also helps in decorative touches.
The sander is helpful in smoothening wood surfaces to remove rough edges and splinters. You will need the sander before you can use paint or varnish on the wood for a clean finish. Choose the type of sander you need, based on your task needs.
7. Safety goggles
Every step of your pallet project needs you to protect your precious eyes, and that is why you need the safety goggles. Make sure you get a pair that fits well and is comfortable on you as you work.
Protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Check out the type of goggles available and choose what serves you best.
8. Safety gloves
You need to keep your hands safe from the injuries that can come with woodwork, you will need the safety gloves with you.
The wood piles could also be a home for spiders and bugs, making the gloves more important. Check through the different types of safety gloves and get the one that will serve you best.
9. Elbow grease
Yes, we classify this as a tool as well!
You cannot handle any woodwork without physical energy and a healthy body. Take a healthy heavy breakfast or lunch before starting out your woodwork project.
Remember to take lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. You do not want injuries that come with fatigue!
How to build the pallet bed frame
Materials and tools you’ll need to construct a double queen size bed pallet:
- Four pallets that are similar, measuring 40x48x6.
- Sanding paper and tag along the sanding tool as well.
- The screwdriver or the drill.
- Enough bolts with nuts and washers.
- Sufficient screws and angle irons.
- Glue for the wood.
- Protective gear for your safety, gloves for your hands and googles for your face.
- Vacuum cleaner.
Get a space that can handle the mess that will come with the bed construction. Ensure it is well aerated, and therefore, your garage or backyard might come in handy.
If you prefer using a room, spread recycled plastic sheets or card boards on the floor. It will help handle the mess.
Step by step guidelines:
- Ensure that all the edges and the surfaces of the pallets are smooth and without splinters. You will need the sanding gear for that.
- Wipe the pallets clean and dustless.
- Vacuum the floor to ensure nothing can hurt you or your pets or even your children.
- Make a decision on how you want the bed to look like. Do you want a natural rustic look or do you want to paint the pallets to match the room color theme? If you decide to paint, you will need to let the pallets dry for a night and ensure enough supply of fresh air, so that the tint, furnish or paint you use on them clears completely.
- You are now done with preparing the pallets. Take them to the room you want to set up your bed, and protect the floor from any scratches by first covering it with plastic sheets that you can easily pull away when you are done with your project.
- Setup the pallets in a square layout, and use strong wood glue to fix them together. Check that they are well aligned and steady, then fix them together.
- Next, fasten the pallets together. Start by drilling pilot holes with your drill on the sides, and use the angle irons, nuts, bolts and washers to ensure all the pallets fit in tightly. In case you decide to use hinges, you will need at least eight of them for the double queen size bed. The four pallets will take two hinges each.
- Do you need more comfort for your bed? You can consider caster wheels at each corner of the bed, and at the centers of both long sides of the bed.
- Turn the bed upside down, set it up in your desired location, and remove the plastic sheet you had put on the floor. Congratulations, you just made your new pallet bed!
Need to add a touch of romance in your bedroom?
You can place LED lights under the bed to give you exactly that. If you need drawers under the bed, you can use small baskets or crates.
Be as creative you can ever be and enjoy your space. Let us take a walk through creating the pallet with your underneath LED lights!
Pallet bed with LED under lighting:
- Get sturdy pallets, and if possible, use heat treated ones for your safety.
- Trim the pallets to fit your room and mattress size. Deck boards will come in handy to fill up any extra spaces between the pallets. You need to ensure your pallets provide even support.
- Secure the pallets together with your screws or straps, and hold them vertically to create a headboard.
- Get some simple holiday LED lights and fix them to give under-lighting and add ambiance to the room.
Making a pallet bed with storage plan:
Beds are no longer for cozy sleep only- but that is the primary role of the bed all the same!
However, it becomes added advantage to have a bed that can offer you both cozy sleeping space, and extra storage space to enhance a neatly kept room.
You can use the storage drawers for your books, gadgets such as laptop, or even your neatly folded clothes. Once your pallet bed is ready, the next step is to create drawers to give the bed a beautiful finish.
How to make the storage drawers beneath your pallet bed?
- Arrange your pallet wood in square shape based on the size of your bed. Attach the sides of the drawers to have them ready to hold stuff for storage.
- Sand the surfaces of the drawer to make sure every area is as smooth as need be. It will be helpful when sliding the drawers in and back.
- Fix suitable handles on the drawers to enable you to draw them out and back in.
- Incase you need to paint your shelves, sand them again and ensure the entire surface is completely smooth. Choose your paint to match the room, paint and leave it to dry.
How much will the pallet bed cost you?
The question on how much you will spend to make your pallet bed is worth answering. To make your pallet bed, you will mainly have to choose the oak wood or the southern yellow pine.
What you choose to work with will determine the cost, as well as the condition of the pallets. Choose what will work best for you but do not compromise quality or comfort.
Otherwise you might end up spending much more repairing the bed when it breaks. For pallets that are good quality, expect to pay a fee ranging between $10 and $20.
Considering that you will only use a few for your bed, in the long run a pallet bed is a cheap option, that gives you quality product for your home.
Good night all.