How to Build a Platform Bed From Ready-Made Bookshelves

Storage is at a premium if you live in a studio apartment, a loft or a small house. Every inch counts -- including the space under your bed. A homemade platform bed supported by a small bookcase at each end provides storage for books or shoes. Plastic bins slid under the bed platform provide additional storage and are easily hidden by an over-sized bedspread. Use ready-made bookshelves to make your new platform bed in one afternoon.

Bookcase and bouquets in sparse home office
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A simple, ready-made bookshelf has many possibilities.

Step 1

Assemble two cube-style, ready-made bookshelves according to the manufacturer's instructions. The shelves should be as close as possible to these dimensions: 17 3/8 inches tall, 72 7/8 inches wide and 15 3/8 inches deep.

Step 2

Lay the two sheets of plywood with the long sides butted together on a flat surface. Center a 74-inch 2-by-4 on edge under the plywood, spanning the two pieces. Place another 2-by-4 at each end, again spanning the plywood pieces, 15 1/2 inches from the top edge and 15 1/2 inches from the bottom edge.

Step 3

Draw a line on top of the plywood, from one side of the bed to the other, along the center and down the length of the middle 2-by-4. Draw a similar line on the plywood over the two other 2-by-4s.

Step 4

Predrill eight holes equidistant along each line, through the plywood and into each 2-by-4s. Attach the plywood to the 2-by-4s with 2-inch screws.

Step 5

Slide a bookshelf under each end of the plywood platform, with the shelves facing out. Adjust each bookshelf so that the front is flush with the edge of the platform.

Step 6

Predrill six holes along the width of the ends of the bed, through the plywood and into the top of each bookshelf. Screw the plywood to the bookshelves using 1 1/2-inch screws.

Step 7

Sand the plywood to a smooth finish, using a fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe with a tack cloth to remove sanding dust.

Step 8

Brush two coats of polyurethane, or a coat of primer and two coats of latex enamel paint, over the plywood. Allow to dry between coats, according to the manufacturer's directions.

Step 9

Place a queen- or California king-size mattress on the platform. A box spring is not necessary.