Monday, December 21, 2020

Loft Bed Part 1 - Platform Bed Structure

Here is a tutorial for a bed that fits into the (very tiny) loft space in the tiny house.  The loft floor was only 8 inches by 4 inches.  I needed to fit a bed and some display shelving into that small space.  I made this in three pieces – two end shelf units and the platform (mattress support).  The shelf units and bed platform were built from scrap basswood and foam core.  The “mattress” was carved from a piece of ceiling tile – a technique I learned from Judee Williamson – from her “Judee’s Beds” book.

Supplies for the bed and shelves:
Scrap wood (basswood strips) - mine were 3/4" wide x 1/16th inch thick
Foam core scraps
Acoustic Ceiling tile scrap (the kind used in basement ceilings)
White felt (enough to cover mattress)
Fabric to cover mattress
Paper Punch, if desired, to add some dimension and interest to the shelves.  I used Martha Stewart “Caning” all around punch (see photo below)
Gesso (paint primer)
Acrylic paint
Sandpaper (320 and 400 grit)
Wood Glue and Crafter's Pick Ultimate (for everything non-wood)

Bed Platform – 
Here are the finished measurements:
End shelf units - 3 inches high x 3-5/8" deep (projecting from back wall) by 3/4" wide
Bed platform section - 3-5/8" deep (projecting from back wall) x ~3/4" high x 6-1/2" long

I won’t give exact dimensions for cutting wood pieces since I kind of just figured it out as I went, starting with the size I wanted the mattress.   The wood used was 1/16th inch thick.  The entire loft floor was 4 inches by 8 inches.  But basically, here is how I made it: I cut a couple thicknesses of foam core as the platform base.  The mattress would lay on the foam core.  I framed the foam core in bass wood strips a little wider than the foam core so it extended above the base a little to contain the mattress.  I intended to paint the wood so I didn’t worry much about nice finished joints.  I just painted with Gesso sandable primer and sanded (400 grit) so all the front facing corners would be smooth. Then I painted with white acrylic paint.

I glued the bed frame and shelves (below) with wood glue because I had intended to sand them and you can’t sand if using the “Ultimate” glue – it just balls up and pulls out of the glued seams.


Side Shelf Units – I built these from scrap basswood – see the photo and finished sizes above.  There are two open squares, one for the headboard and one for the foot board, each with a shelf across the middle that matched the height of the bed platform.  I used just a piece of foam core to fill in the side next to the mattress and another smaller piece to square it up in the middle back– this would be hidden by the bed and walls in my loft. The idea was that when the bed was in place, items could be displayed on the lower shelf and they would not be obstructed by the mattress and bolsters.

I finished the same way as for the platform (Gesso...sand...paint).  To add some interest to the front of the shelves I applied some pieces of punched out paper using the Martha Stewart “caning” punch.  This is sort of a fretwork pattern.

Martha Stewart Punch for fretwork design

Close up of applied paper punch details

Mattress and cover
I cut the mattress from the acoustic ceiling tile to fit inside the frame of the platform (see photo a few paragraphs above).  I sanded all the edges to a rounded shape with 320 grit sandpaper so it would look like a mattress (lots of dust – use a mask if you are sensitive to it).  I covered it in white felt since the ceiling tile was sort of dark and I didn’t want it to show through the light fabric I used for a covering. I used the Crafter's Pick Ultimate glue - works great for fabric!

To cover the mattress with fabric, I just cut the fabric large enough to wrap around all sides and glue to the bottom of the mattress.  I just made sure to make very neatly glued corners.

Another view of the finished loft:

That's it for today.  Next time I will tell how to make the bedding and bolsters!


  1. Buen tutorial,muchísimas gracias!!

  2. Ha quedado preciosa y es una idea muy original,
    Un saludo

  3. Bonito trabajo. Gracias por las instrucciones.

  4. That looks so cozy...want to curl up in that loft and read one of those books!