Ahhhhh....the quest for a comfortable bed. We've all had that at one time or another. I have some special needs in a bed that other folks might not. Due to my back issues I need a firm mattress and support surface. Honestly, if I could sleep on the ground on a sleeping bad pad with some covers, I would.
I had a regular, slated bed frame for a bit. It was one of those "you don't even need box-springs" deals and got decent reviews on Amazon and it was cheap so at the time it fit the bill. But, it did not agree with my back. I had been waiting for the weather to break to try my hand at something I had been wanting to do for years - make a pallet bed frame!
Now, one thing I have learned is that "as seen on Pinterest" is not always as easy as it looks. So, I don't expect the miracle of "oh, wow that was a breeze" with anything I do. This was definitely not an "as advertised" project that would take an afternoon. It was more like a week-long, do something each day project. It could actually be a day project IF it was all you did, but I got other sh8t to take care of so I spread it out over about four days, a few hours each.
Materials List: Pallets (obviously), Stain (or paint depending on what you are wanting it to look like), Plywood, Brackets or Hinges, Rubber Floor Protectors (or I have seen folks use lockable wheels, which is a neat idea for moving to clean, etc.).
Pricing: I got pallets at Southern States - they sell them for $2 per pallet and I needed three. My plywood was a $15 sheet that I had Lowes cut into two equal sized rectangular pieces totaling just a hair bigger than my mattress. You'll use these for a smooth surface in between mattress and the pallets. Stain was around $10, plus another $10 for the poly topcoat. Also, I got a spray can of light green (ended up needing two) for the plywood so another $7. The hardware was around $5. So, in total, this bedframe cost $53.
Below is the story in pictures from start to finish (click on the pic for explanation of each step).
So, on the scale of super easy to total PITA this project was on the "not too bad" side, although I bitched about it plenty while doing it.
Stuff that occurred to me that people may not think about: Pallets are heavy LOL (No shit, right?) so be prepared for that when you are working with them. The project is best done outside so you'll need some nice days if you don't have a garage or somewhere to work (which I don't). Also, no matter what you read, this is NOT a one-day project! Well, I guess it could be if you started at 6:00AM, had everything you needed and finished at bedtime. In between sanding, staining and poly alone you have to give stuff time to dry, etc. I'm pretty limited on work time between my job and Takoda so mostly, evenings were out for me. Luckily I had a weekend of good weather and was able to get it done over a couple of days. Be aware of nails! They don't make pallets specifically for us to make cheap furniture so when you pick your pallets, look for protruding nails and broken slats, etc. The ole' guy at Southern States is great because he makes stuff with pallets too so he actually sifted through the stacks with me. I still had to remove some nails though. Lastly, measure your space in the room you intend to use them. Pallets will normally be bigger than the actual bed, which is nice because it makes for an inviting appearance, but if you have a small room, think about how the frame will impact it.
Other quick thoughts - pallet beds are toe stubbers! Be careful - ouch. And, you'll have to still periodically clean under the pallets. At least I do. That is why in the end I chose NOT to attached them together with hardware even though many of the DIY sites say to. I want to be able to move them to clean. Believe me, for the most part they are heavy enough and with the rubber bottoms they stay put well.