I was thrifting when I found the sweetest twin headboard and footboard! Don was there and loved them for his room. Sadly, there were no side rails or bed slats. The good news is that building them is pretty easy and it can be done with a few tools! Attaching the bed rails is the most important part, but it’s simple to do. Here’s how to make diy side rails for twin bed.
This is the vintage headboard and footboard I found thrifting for $20- such a steal! But, with the missing pieces, I knew it’d need work. See the slits on the legs? Those are where the metal bed claws (or hook plates) go in. Here’s the supplies needed for this project-
- 2- 2×3-8′ lumber This is the board on the inside of the side rail that supports the bed slats. $4.50
- 2- 1×8-8′ common board This is the main board for the side rail. $23.50
- Bed Rail Hook Plates– set of 4. These connect the the side rail to the headboard and footboard. $10
- 13- 1×3-8′ Strip– These are for bed slats (the support under the mattress). $22
- Small screws
The side rails cost $40 in building supplies. The bed slats cost $22. If you find an antique bed, keep these prices in mind as it’ll affect the total needed to get the bed working.
Start by measuring the mattress length. A twin mattress is usually 39″ wide by 75″ long. The side rails (which some people refer to as bed rails) should be 2-3 inches longer than the mattress. This gives some extra space when making the bed, but not too much space for things to fall through. We cut our side rails and the 2×3 support board to 76.5″ long.
If you don’t have a saw to cut boards, have them cut at Home Depot or wherever you buy your lumber. This should be free and will save a step.
Attach the bed claws to the side rails with screws. Each side rail needs two bed claws attached to each end for a total of 4. Make sure they’re both pointed the same way.
Next, use screws to attach the 2×3 support board onto the inside. Here’s where you decide what height the mattress will sit at. The support holds up the bed slats so make sure to measure the mattress depth (usually 8-10″ wide) before determining where to mount the support board.
And now, if you’re going to paint your bed, this is when to do it! I went with Dixie Bell Paint in Farmhouse Green. Since my son’s favorite color is green and it matches the wallpaper nicely, I thought this color was perfect! I did a few coats and opted to leave the original seashell painting in the middle. It’s sweet, but if I tire of it, I can always paint over it.
Paint or stain the side rails to match the bed. That way they’ll look like they’ve always been there!
To put together the bed, simply line up the bed slat with the headboard. It works best to do this with two people- one person holds up the side rail and the other puts the bed claw in the headboard. Push it back straight and then pull it down until it’s full inserted and sturdy.
Finally, it’s time to assemble the bed slats. I didn’t want to use a box spring and my son likes to jump on his bed, so I went for a maximum amount of slats. Each slat was cut to 39 3/4″ wide and then screwed in. It is very sturdy and has already withstood some jumping.
Since we’ve been in this house only a month, this room didn’t have any personality. For me, the best way to add some fun is wallpaper! I choose this Wall Sauce Dinosaur Wallpaper. My son is a color lover so this is perfect for him and it flows nicely with the rest of our house!
Side note, I need to paint the rest of the room. I wanted the wallpaper up first, so I painted just the corner before wallpapering to avoid getting paint on the paper later. That white strip of paint looks crazy, but it’ll save me some hard work later down the road.
The second I was done wallpapering, I had to take a picture of the vintage bed on the new dinosaur wallpaper! Don LOVES it! And so do I! The pattern is beyond fun and I love the large scale- it’s so good! The colors are beautiful and pull in nicely with what I’m doing through the house.
There’s lots that needs to be done still- I’d like to find a table for playing on for the right corner. The wallpaper still needs to be trimmed- lol. On the right wall I have plans for shelves to display my son’s dinosaur figures. Also I need to paint the thrifted nightstand. What color would you go? I’m thinking white, but a matching green could be fun too!
So there we have it! A DIY for Side Rails for Twin Bed and the cutest Dino wallpaper! Kids rooms are so fun to decorate because it’s more about embracing childhood and you don’t have to be serious. I just want a beautiful backdrop for him to make memories in. 💗
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