How to Build a Sleigh Bed

What You'll Need
Maple wood
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
Band saw
Sleigh bed template
Drill bits
Wood glue
Wood screws
Tack cloth

Owning a sleigh bed can create a look in your bedroom that is classic, stylish and incredibly modern. The sleigh bed gets its name from its appearance, as the head- and footboards are curved much like the front and back of a horse-drawn sleigh. A sleigh bed is also often intricately carved. All of these elements make a sleigh bed beautiful and also very expensive. If you have the tools and are daring enough to try it, you can make your own sleigh bed, and this article will show you how to do it.

Step 1–Sizing the Wood

You can make a sleigh bed any size that you want. The measurements vary for a queen, king, full, single and double, but those measurements are easy to come by, as they are standardized. You can also take a tape measure and head down to a furniture store and measure the bed frame. The base of the sleigh bed is the basic shape of the mattress. The intricacies are found at the ends of the bed. A template is perfect for this work, and one can be found on the Internet or at most home improvement centers. Have the maple cut into planks for the sides, top and bottom dimensions, and the MDF should also be cut to the size to fit to the specifications.

Step 2–Head- and Footboards

These are by far what makes the sleigh bed stand out among other beds. These are also the most difficult parts to create due to their intricate designs. The template you have will help tremendously with making these. Decide how tall you want the sleigh bed to be and transfer that measurement to the large pieces of maple. Make the legs about 6-inches thick to provide a strong base. The space can either be straight across or curved. You can draw the area to cut away on both pieces. Once these pieces are trimmed to form the legs, you will be left with a chunk of wood that will become the design aspects of the sleigh bed. Use the template along with your router to carve out the designs and form the wood.

Step 3–Bed Assembly

Nail the frame together around the MDF so that there is a lip of about an inch at the top. This is where the mattress will be placed. On the underside of this base, at each corner, place a brace. Nail the headboard to the one end, attaching the legs to the frame. Repeat with the footboard and then add braces on the inside so they are not visible.

 Step 4–Finishing

Wipe down the wood with a tack cloth and apply wood glue to the heads of the nails. When it is dry, sand it down flush with the wood. Apply a coat of polyurethane to protect the beauty and richness of the maple. You can, if you like, stain the wood before adding the polyurethane.