Day beds are versatile pieces of furniture that don’t have to be confined to a bedroom.

Place a twin-sized one in a den for both comfy lounge seating and a spare bed for guests.

Here’s how to build one yourself. 

Why is it called a day bed? Because it can be made in a day! (3 Echoes Content Studio)


Cut List

These are the cuts you’ll need for a twin day bed. You can alter the dimensions depending on the size of your mattress.

  • (4) 2×3 at 34-1/2 inches (legs)
  • (4) 2×3 at 40 inches (side rails)
  • (2) 3/4-inch plywood at 40 inches by 26-1/2 inches (side panels)
  • (1) 3/4-inch plywood at 77 inches by 26-1/2 inches (back panel)
  • (2) 1×4 at 34-3/4 inches (side rails)
  • (1) 1×3 at 77 inches (back rail)
  • (1) 1×6 at 77 inches (front rail)
  • (3) 1×3 at 77 inches (mattress slat supports)
  • (2) 1×3 at 40 inches (mattress slat supports)
  • (17) 1×3 at 41-1/2 inches (mattress slats)

Build Side Frames

Drilling in wood screws into a bed frame
(3 Echoes Content Studio)

Begin by cutting the 2-by-3’s for the two side frames. Layout these parts on a table and attach the horizontal rails between the vertical supports. 

Drilling a countersink bit
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Pre-drill with a countersink bit so you can putty over the screw holes later. 

Ridgid circular saw cutting plywood
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When both sides are assembled, cut two pieces of plywood to the inside dimensions of the frames.

Hammering plywood into the frame of a daybed
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The plywood panels fit inside the frames, centered on the 2-by-3. 

Drilling wood screws into a bed frame
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Fasten the plywood using the same technique used on the frame. 

Assembling a bed frame
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Connect Sides to Back Panel

To construct the back of the day bed, join the two sides with 2-by-3’s at the top and bottom that are the same length as the mattress.

Cut another plywood panel to fit into this opening and attach it just like the side panels.  

Add Support and Front Skirt

Nail a wood frame on a day bed
(3 Echoes Content Studio)

Next, attach 1-by-3s to the inside of the bottom rails using finish nails.

Nailing a wood frame on a bed
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Cap the top of the frame on both sides and the back with more 1-by-3’s. 

Nailing a front skirt to a day bed
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Across the front of the bed, nail a 1-by-6 skirt board between the sides, flush with the inside edge of the frame.

Nail gun nailing a front skirt to a bed
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Screw in a 2-by-3 behind the front skirt to support it.

Drilling a support beam for a bed
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Next, add another 2-by-3 support midway between the front and back of the bed. 

Bed slats on a frame
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Add support slats

Attach the 1-by-3 slats that will support the mattress from front to back. Space them at about three-inch intervals. 

Man applying caulk to day bed
(3 Echoes Content Studio)

Paint and Add Caning

Next, prime the frame. Caulk all the seams for a seamless finish.

Then, apply two coats of paint. 

Staple gun and caning on the back of a day bed
(3 Echoes Content Studio)

The final touch is the addition of caning panels on the sides and back of the bed.

Roll the caning out and cut it to size. Then, staple it in place.

Attach a piece of narrow molding to conceal the ragged edges and give the bed a finished look.

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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