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How to Build a Hanging Bed

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I originally posted this over at Our Paleo Life – I recently moved it here!

Nowadays, you can find a whole world of design ideas on the internet, from a outdoor hanging bed for some relaxing time, to a rustic deck for your outdoor space. Maybe you’ve been looking for inspiration for floating bed designs and you’ve come to realize that for a kid’s bed, the hanging bed (suspended bed) is a better bet (save on space). And finding hanging beds for sale is crazy, they’re expensive. A hanging bed is easy to build, theres many bed designs, and can save loads of space in a small room in a affordable way. All you’ll need are a few tools and a trip to the home improvement store. And the best part is: this DIY hanging bed “plan” is really simple and takes just a few hours. This is a Twin XL (mattress) sized bed.This floating bed looks awesome with the right bedding. Some pillows or cushions with patterns can give a great look to small spaces. There is million design ideas! 

DIY Suspended Loft Bed

How to Build a Hanging Bed

Materials Needed for Creating a Hanging Bed

Materials for the bed can all be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Links for materials for the floating bed in this post are for Home Depot. Cost of materials for the bed (not the stain or guardrail) should total less than $100.

1x4in x 8ft Premium Kiln Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
1x4in x 8ft Premium Kiln Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
2x4in x 104-5/8in Prime Kiln Dried Whitewood Stud
2x4in x 104-5/8in Prime Kiln Dried Whitewood Stud
2x6in x 104 5/8in Prime Kiln Dried SPF Stud
2x6in x 104 5/in Prime Kiln Dried SPF Stud
7/16x4-3/4in Zinc Plated Spring Link
7/16×4-3/4in Zinc Plated Spring Link
2 3/4in 18 Gauge Gusset Angle
2 3/4in 18 Gauge Gusset Angle
3/8 x 4-7/8in Stainless Steel Screw Eye
3/8 x 4-7/8in Stainless Steel Screw Eye
5/16in x 1ft Zinc Plated High Test Chain
5/16in Zinc Plated High Test Chain
1/4in x 4 in Zinc Plated Hex Lag Screw
1/4in x 4 in Zinc Plated Hex Lag Screw
10 3-1/2in Star Flat Head-Wood Screws 1lb Pack
10 3-1/2in Star Flat Head-Wood Screws 1lb Pack
8 2-1/2in Phillips Bugle Head Coarse Thread Gold Screws 1lb Pack
8 2-1/2in Phillips Bugle Head Coarse Thread Gold Screws 1lb Pack

Cost of Hanging Bed Materials (in 2018) = $95.29

Stain and Varnish

Pick a stain that makes sense for the style of the room or the design ideas you have (rustic, for example). We went with Jacobean (dark) the color also accentuates the textures in the wood and gives a nice touch to the swing bed.

Twin XL – DIY Hanging Bed for Kids (Build Steps)

You’re only going to need a few hours to get this relaxing floating bed project completed. Here’s the thing… the staining process takes longer than the actual build. Take your time and space with it, it’s worth it to get the finish just right.

Cut Wood to Size

You’ll need to cut the side guard rails, end rails, bed slat supports, bed slats.

  • Side Guard Rails 2×6 – Need (2) – 82 1/2 inches (table saw or skill saw)
  • End Rails 2X6 – Need (2) 39 1/2 inches (table saw or skill saw)
  • Bed Slat Supports Take a 2×4 and cut it length wise in 2 pieces. Length must be 79 1/2 inches. You’ll need a table saw for best results. (table saw)
  • Bed Slats 1X4 Whitewood common board. You’ll want 15 slats at 39 1/4 inches. You’ll get (2) slats for each 8ft board you purchase. (table saw or skill saw)

Assemble & Hang Bed Frame

Note: the end rails go inside the side rails. Use the 3 1/2 inch screws (2 in each corner on the guard rail sides).

Right Angle Clamp
Right Angle Clamp

The top of the guard rails will be exactly 33 inches from the ceiling. Mark the stud locations on the wall.

Find Studs Level Bed Frame
Finding the Studs & Level the Bed Frame

Level and mount the constructed frame with the top of the frame 33 inches from the ceiling. Use a drill bit smaller than the lag screw (bolt) for your pilot hole. Then secure the frame (using one lag screw) to the wall. We didn’t use washers but in retrospect, I would have.

Wall Mount for Hanging Bed
Securing Wall Mount for Bed

While having someone hold the one end of the frame use a 2X4 (the one you purchased if you’d like / before the cut) to level the bed and to prepare to attach the chain to the ceiling. At this point (now that the bed is level) use the other lag screws to attach the frame to the wall. Attach a lag screw to each stud the frame touches. Add the larger lag screws (double up) to the ends (touching the wall) of the frame. Adding the extra (and larger) lag screw to the ends is just a little extra precaution.

Process of Hanging Bed Brace
Use a 2×4 to keep perfectly level during construction.

Drill a pilot hole in to the joist (this is a basement room) as close to directly over the corner of the frame. Screw in the the screw eye using a screwdriver (horizontally for leverage).

Steel Screw Eye Install
Steel Screw Eye Install

Install the other screw eye in to the side guard rail, close to the edge so the screw enters the end rail as well. We placed the screw eye down 2 1/2 inches from the top of the rail. Connect the spring links to the chain and attach both spring links respectively to the screw eyes.

Hanging Bed Preparation
Securing the Chain

Remove the 2×4 brace you were using to level the bed, cut it (as explained previously) and attach it using the 2 1/2 inch screws. Add one screw every foot.

Bed Bracket
Securing the Bed Bracket

Mount the gusset angle using the 1 inch screws. This is to add a bit more stability to the frame.

Mounting Gusset Angle
Mounting Gusset Angle

Then hang on the bed frame like a monkey.

Hanging Bed Weight Strength

Staining and Prepping the Hanging Bed

Depending on your situation, you can stain the pieces of the swing bed frame before assembling, before attaching to the wall or after you’ve attached it to the wall. The after you’ve attached it to the wall is a little more difficult so we went with that. ?

Finish Preperation

  • Sand with an orbital sander.
  • Application of paint thiner to clean up and prep for stain with cloth.
  • Application of stain using a cloth.
  • Application of polyurethane using a foam brush.
  • Very fine steel wool to work out any imperfections and prepare for second coat of polyurethane.
  • Application of the second coat of polyurethane.
  • Very fine steel wool application to finalize the look and feel of the bed frame.

Buy rubber gloves (that stain sticks around if you don’t).

Staining the Wood for a Hanging Bed
Staining the Wood

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How to build a hanging bed for under $100

Mary Finnegan

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Wonderful project! One picture is worth a thousand words. Great photos, showed exactly how. Hardware list was very helpful too! Thank you for a great DIY demo!