If there’s anything you should put a little more money towards, that’s a new mattress.  These things should made for life and think about it, the most important thing ever is a good night’s sleep isn’t it?  So when you’re shopping around for the best possible night’s sleep, there is one thing you CAN save on, and that’s your bed base, because you can always build your own cool up-cycled one from used pallets!

Pallet timber is super durable, usually hardwood, and made to withstand a lot of weight; much more than you that’s for sure.  Another great thing about pallets is that they are built with horizontal slats, just like a bed base is – the perfect lego-like structure to build your bed.  So round up a power drill, some sand paper, screws, brackets, a bit of elbow grease and you’re pretty much on your way.  Behold our blueprint for sweet dreams on a tiny budget.


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First thing’s first, when you build anything yourself you’ll need to gather all of your tools and materials together neatly, and create a safe, clear workspace.  It’s just as though you’re following a recipe.  You’ll need a fully charged battery powered screw gun, box of screws, safety shoes with closed toes, a measuring tape, gloves if you need them for heavy lifting, and sand paper to remove any dangerous or rough edges on the pallets.

Start with a rough sand on all of the pallets to make sure they’re smooth enough to be safe for indoor use.  You don’t have to go overboard because this bed frame is naturally industrial looking.  Brush them clean of any dirt, webs, or dust and if you have new floor boards, you’ll want to stick some adhesive felt onto each base leg of 4 pallets.

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Arrange the first 2 pallets, side by side on the floor.  A queen sized mattress fits perfectly for our recipe here.  You want the long sides touching each other as shown below.  Measure equal distances 1/4 of the way down and 3/4 of the way down the paring sides and place a flat bracket on each.  Screw in 6 screws per bracket as indicated in the diagram, then repeat with 2 more pallets.   Join the two pairs together at their short sides with another bracket in the middle. Now you should have a complete first level.  If you want a lower bed you can finish here !

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Next, build your second level by placing 2 more palettes above the first pair (indicated as numbers 4 and 5 below).  This time you want to use the right angled bracket to fasten the top pallet to the bottom level at each outside corner.  Refer to the diagram above with the brackets marked red.  Top pallets are connected together and again to the bottom level with a flat bracket on the outside length of the bed.  Once all brackets are screwed into place, do a final sand of any rough edges before placing your mattress onto your newly assembled bed frame !

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/ Words and photos Lauren Yates /