Home DIY How to build a dresser platform bed from scratch

How to build a dresser platform bed from scratch

Dresser Platform Bed

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Dresser Platform Bed

Finding a storage unit that perfectly suits all our needs is one of the challenges we face when it comes to organizing our homes. This DIY dresser platform bed just might be an effective solution to your storage problem.

If you have various things that would need their own space, this dresser would help you organize them. It would also make it easy for you to find specific things instead of putting everything in one big storage bin.

Dresser Platform Bed

This is a DIY bed with a dresser platform built from scratch. It consists of two long, low dressers and two bookshelves at the end.

An open area in between the two dressers is provided for long-term and bulky items storage. And the bookshelves are custom built like the dressers, so that their dimensions perfectly match the items you plan to store in them.

With this DIY dresser platform bed, you’ve got yourself storage space for items that you don’t frequently use or would only need from time to time. You can store a wide variety of items, from travel bags, clean bed sheets to books or toys that are used everyday.

Aside from providing great storage for many items, it is also a space-saving piece of furniture. What more can you ask for?

Now while this step-by-step tutorial provides measurements, the dimensions of your DIY dresser platform bed would depend on the size of your mattress, the available space the you have and the materials you are using. Nevertheless, this complete tutorial serves as a great guide especially if this is your first time with woodworking!

Do you need this kind of bed in your room?

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  • 3 sheets ¾“ Plywood
  • 1 sheet ½“ Plywood
  • 2.5 sheets ¼“ Plywood
  • 1 2×4
  • Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Putty
  • Paint/Primer
  • Plastic Drawer Runner Replacement Kit


  • Kreg Jig
  • Table Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Router
  • Speed Square


Dresser Platform Bed

Dresser frame: Based on your desired bed size, you need to first calculate the dimensions of your dressers. We received a hand-me-down full sized mattress, so we decided to make a flexible design that would work with either a full or queen sized mattress. We settled on a 65”x20” dresser top, which we would set 18” apart. Then bookshelves on the end would make it long enough for a mattress.

Before cutting any wood, I used a free Google sketch up program to design a front and back panel to use for reference dimensions. On the back panel of the frame I had two 3” vertical boards for securing the runners, and I recessed the frame ¼” into the dresser so that ¼” backing would sit flush.

Dresser Platform Bed

Another important forethought on the back panel was 1-1/4” deep, ¾” wide grooves along the top edge. These grooves allow cross pieces to span the 18” gap between the dressers to hold slats which will support the mattress. I made three equally spaced grooves, but if I were doing it again, I would make four grooves and have the outside ones at each end of the dresser, for added mattress support.

Dresser Platform Bed I measured all of the pieces off the google sketch up model, planned the most efficient use of our ¾” plywood sheets, and cut out our pieces. While we were using the table saw and cutting ¾” pieces, we also cut out our two dresser tops and set them aside.

Dresser Platform Bed

After cutting out all of the frame/side pieces and laying them out, we marked where we would use the kreg jig at each joint including holes for attaching the dresser top. We used the kreg jig to drill pocket holes where we marked and glued/screwed the front frame and back frame. Getting the front panel to be square and in plane is very important. One thing that helped us was making a piece of ¾” plywood that was the exact height our drawer spaces would be, so when we were screwing them together we used the spacer to make them all the correct height.

Dresser Platform Bed

After giving the front/back frames time to dry, we assembled the basic rectangular shape of the dressers by drilling counter-sunk pilot holes and screwing them together with the addition of wood glue.

Dresser Platform Bed

For reference, the pieces between the drawers vertically are 1” wide, and piece between the two columns is 1-3/4”. We left a 2-1/2” border on the top and 3” on the bottom.

Drawers: Drawers were a little daunting at first, but after figuring out the design and style we wanted, I had a lot of fun making them. The face and sides of our drawer are cut out of ¾” plywood. The backs are ½” and the bottoms are ¼”. After determining the dimensions of all of our pieces, we cut them all to size using the table saw.

Faces: 28-3/8” by 7-3/8”

Sides: 6-5/8” by 15-3/4”

Back: 6-5/8” by 27-3/8”

We designed it so that there would be 1/8” gap on each side of the drawer when it goes into the drawer space. The face overhangs the drawer opening by ¼” on the top and the bottom and 3/8” on the sides.

Dresser Platform Bed

We used a dado blade on the table saw set to 1/4 “ width to cut a ¼ “ deep groove 11/16” above the bottom edge of our drawer sides and back.

Dresser Platform Bed

On the face piece, we cut the groove 1” from the bottom, so that the face would be centered over the frame opening when the drawers are closed. If you don’t have a dado blade, you can do the same thing with multiple cuts on the table saw blade.

Dresser Platform Bed

To accommodate the drawer slides that we will talk more about in the next step, we cut a 2“ gap centered on our back pieces that extended up to the cut groove. Next we used the router to round all the edges of our drawer faces.

Dresser Platform Bed

To assemble the drawers, we cut a spacer to the exact dimension of the inside of our drawers and cut 2 small ½” spacers, which is how much the face of our drawers overhang the drawer sides. We used a nail gun with 1.5” brad nails and wood glue at all the surfaces to hold the drawers together. To assemble each drawer, we laid the face of a drawer down on the table, put the sides into position, slid the bottom piece into the grooves, and put the long spacer between the sides and the short spacers on the outside of the sides.

Then we used a long clamp to hold the whole assembly onto the face of the drawer. This centered our side pieces in relation to the face and the groove for the bottom aligned the pieces vertically. Since the clamp held the pieces together, we laid the drawer backwards and used a nail gun to nail through the face of the drawer into the side pieces. Then we laid the drawer back on the face, removed the clamp and used glue and nails to attach the back piece in place.

Dresser Platform Bed

After constructing all of our drawers, we gave the glue time to set.

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