How To Make A Pallet Bed Step-By-Step

We’re all aware of the need to play our part in saving the environment and living a greener lifestyle at home. The smallest details are sometimes what makes the big difference. DIY projects made from recycled materials are both environmentally friendly and a lot of fun to do. Pallet furniture is one such project that is a cost-effective alternative to new or used furniture.

A beautiful bedroom with a new DIY pallet bed

If you already know how to make a pallet sofa or even a pallet bar, then it’s time to take it one step further! Making your own pallet bed provides you plenty of room to express yourself and you will end up with a piece that is functional, versatile, long-lasting and has that fantastic rustic look to it. Are you ready? Let’s take a look! Here is how to make your own pallet bed.

How to choose the right pallets for your bed

One of the most important things to remember when making a pallet bed is to choose your pallets carefully. You don’t have to buy them because you can get free pallets that have been recycled. However, the following are the most important considerations when selecting materials:

  • When you receive recycled pallets, inspect them to see if they are clean and free of markings. If you notice the initials MB on a pallet, for example, stay away from it because it has transported harmful chemicals and you don’t want that in your house. 
  • Look for the IPPC label on overseas pallets if you get your hands on them. This will mean that they are safe to use.
  • Use pallets that have been heat-treated, steam-treated, or kiln-dried as these are safe to use.
  • Pallets used for domestic transportation are safer than those used for industrial or commercial shipping, but you should be aware of their treatments, stamps, and safety assurances.
  • Coloured pallets should be avoided. While some paints are harmless, you should avoid bringing in bedroom pallets that have been exposed to hazardous fumigation or painting operations.
  • Avoid pallets with evidence of dampness or wear and tear. The wood should not flex when pressed, and the pallets should always have that dry and clean look.
  • Avoid pallets with slats that are too far apart, broken or cracked, and splinter-filled pallet boards.
  • You should also pay attention to the wood types on the pallets you’ll be bringing home. The most common pallets, according to experts, are composed of southern yellow pine or oak wood. They are both enticing options in terms of safety and sturdiness.

wooden pallets

Preparing your pallets

Before you start, sand your materials to remove any rough edges before putting them together. Make sure you have enough room and adequate ventilation, preferably outside. It’s also a good idea to spread some dust blankets on the floor. 

To sand wooden pallets, use medium grit (e.g. 80) sandpaper sheets or rolls to gently sand all parts, working in the direction of the wood grain. Sanding against the grain causes scratches that show up when you add a coat of paint, stain, or varnish on top.

Because wood shrinks over time, avoid cutting holes, splits, or fissures in the wood when cutting and shaping it, as this might cause it to split or break.

It’s important to consider how much money you’ll spend on your pallet bed. The cost and condition of the pallets will be determined by the materials you select to work with. Choose what is most convenient for you, but don’t skimp on quality or comfort. Expect to pay between £5 and £16 for high-quality pallets.

Hand of an older man sanding wood with dust in the foreground

Tools you will need

  1. Hammer: Without a hammer, there is no way to complete any woodworking project. Craw, mallet, club, and ball peen hammers are examples of different sorts of hammers you can use. You can look over the many varieties and determine which one will best suit your needs. They’re also available in a variety of weights, grip sizes, and lengths. Choose what works best for you.
  2. Saw: When you work with wood, you will spend most of your time cutting it. It will be necessary to choose a saw that is appropriate for the job. A jigsaw is particularly useful for precision wood cutting. A circular saw will be required if you need to cut large amounts of wood. Invest in a table saw if you need to chop long pallets into smaller sizes. You’ll need a scroll saw if you’re doing more advanced woodwork that involves ornate cutting.
  3. Tape measure: It is such an important tool, but you may not realise it until you desperately need one and can’t find it. You’ll need it to measure your wood pallets before cutting or repairing, and so the tape measure will be extremely useful.
  4. Screw and nails: Keep a stock of a variety of nails, as well as screwdrivers of various sizes and widths, on hand for woodworking. Some nails and screws are best used outside, while others are exclusively used indoors. Some don’t have a protective coating and can corrode if exposed to specific conditions, so check the head style as well if you’re using screws that are longer than 7 cm. The head style is important because it allows the bit to stay on the surface for longer without stripping the screw head.
  5. Drill: This is a very important tool to keep in mind when using dry and weathered pallet wood. It’s also useful for finishing touches and making pilot holes.
  6. Sander: It is useful for smoothing wood surfaces and removing splinters and rough edges. Before you can apply paint or varnish on the wood for a clean finish, you’ll need the sander.
  7. Safety goggles: Every step of your pallet endeavour will require the use of safety eyewear to protect your eyes. As you work, make sure you have a pair that fits well and is comfortable for you. Protect yourself from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet radiation. Examine the various types of goggles available and select the one that best suits your needs.
  8. Gloves: You’ll need safety gloves to protect your hands from any potential accidents that can occur when working with wood. Examine the various varieties of safety gloves and select the one that fits you best.

Woodworking tools

Step-by-step guide: How to make a pallet bed

So, if you’ve gathered everything you need, it’s time to see the steps that you need to follow:

1. Cut 4 pallets from 120 cm to 80 cm long

The two pallets at the foot of the bed only need to be 80 cm long because they’ll be coupled with two full-size 120 cm pallets to give the mattress a total length of 200 cm.

If you take the base slats off and add a plank for a shelf, the leftover 40 cm pieces can be used to build wall shelves.

Middle aged woman cuts the wood with a circular saw

2. Prepare the headboards

Remove the block spacers so that only the top face of the pallet remains. Try to keep them intact as much as possible and then sand the front face of the pallet headboard.

Remove the slats from the pallet’s bottom and then paint them. Screw them to the back of the headboard, covering the spaces between the pallet’s top and bottom.

3. Sand the edges of the bed frame

Pallets have a tendency to splinter. Use the belt sander at a 45-degree angle to sand the top layer of the bed pallets and soften the edges. Make sure to sand the outside edges of the pallets well, since these will be the sections that you will come into contact with when they are at the bottom of your bed.

4. Place rubber or felt pads on the bed pallets’ bottoms

You can also put them on the back of the headboard in case it touches the wall against which it is resting. This is done to simply avoid any potential scratches.

5. Assemble the bed 

Orient your DIY pallet bed frame so that the entire piece is at the top of the bed and the 80 cm frame is at the bottom, with the cut end facing the centre of the bed. 

Now, screw the headboard into the bed frame from the top by using 2 or 3 screws for each panel. Before screwing the headboard in, make sure it’s square to the wooden pallet bed frame, and add shims if required.

Industrial style bedroom with recycled pallet bed frame designs

6. Put your mattress in place

To properly prepare your mattress for sleeping on, place it on the frame and test to see if everything is okay.

Pallet bed ideas to freshen your home decor

Here are a few pallet bed designs for you to consider:

1. Toddler pallet bed

Moving your toddler from the cradle to their own room does not have to be a difficult process. You can make the procedure enjoyable and engaging for both you and your child. A charming, but safe, minimalist toddler pallet bed would do it all. You can also add caster wheels to the bottom of the bed so it can be more flexible and mobile.

2. Pallet platform bed

The pallet platform bed features a robust base, built-in storage, and other unique features that make for a relaxing night’s sleep.

It’s made up of two single-layered pallets to which you may add a couple more layers to give the bed some height. You can also fill the inside of the bed with some LED lights.

3. Pallet swing bed

Ropes attached to a tree will be used to raise this style of pallet bed. The end result is a pallet swing bed that can be used both inside and outside. This is a really straightforward pallet project that will be completed quickly.

Interior of a bedroom in industrial style with a pallet-made bed

Ta-dah! Your bed is now ready to use. Pallets are a very versatile material that continues to be useful even after a lot of use.  With this tutorial, you can now build your own bed whether you happen to be an experienced DIYer or someone who just wishes to start their first project! In case you want to learn how to paint an old iron bed you can check our complete step-by-step guide!

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend