If you are looking for a DIY project, or want to help the environment with a spot of recycling, how about instead of going to the local store and buying a trundle bed, you make one!
Recently, I decided to make a trundle bed out of pallets. The project was successful and the final product is beautiful! It feels so good to use something that’s been repurposed with love. The entire project will only cost about $30, but can be much less depending on the condition of your pallets. You’ll need a few materials such as screws and boards to build it. And that’s all there is to it!
The first step in making this bed is what kind of wood you want for your frame. You’ll need at least two pieces about six or eight feet long per side. I used some pine boards from my dad’s shop bench because they were just laying there getting dusty anyways. I would recommend using reclaimed wood if you can find it since then not only will you be re-purposing old wooden scraps but also recycling them into new objects too which has a lower environmental impact than buying new lumber off the shelf (or in this case, off the floor).
The next step is to cut your wood into pieces that are two feet wide and three inches thick. I used my table saw for this but you could also do it with a hand saw or really any other way you want to do it as long as they’re all the same height.
Finally, make a big X in each of those boards by laying them on their side and then using nails about an inch apart to form grid-like shapes across them. You’ll need at least six nails per board before attaching the boards together so put some thought into how many times you can fit ‘x’s’ before running out of space between one set of boards and another (you don’t want too many ‘x’s’ or it will be too difficult to attach the boards together).
Assembling Your Handmade Trundle Bed
Now you’re ready for assembling your frame! First, lay one of the shorter pieces down on its side with nails facing upwards and then place another piece that is two feet wide by three inches thick in front of it. Lay this board down so that the nail holes line up with those from their counterpart (aka making sure both sets of nails are going into each other) and screw them together using a ratchet set at about sixteenths inch increments.
Repeat these steps until all four sides have been attached to form a rectangle shape out of wood bars. I found it helpful to wrestle the mattress onto this bed once finished but if you want an easier way to do it, then attach a long piece of wood horizontally in the middle about three feet from one end. This will give you something to hold onto when lifting and attaching the mattress or futon frame on top of your pallet bed.
I recommend using reclaimed lumber for this project because buying new boards off-the-shelf has an environmental impact, and because it is cheaper to buy reclaimed lumber.
Finishing your new bed
Now you have assembled your trundle bed, the next step is to decide how to finish it. The choice of whether to go for varnish or paint is up to the individual, but I would recommend using varnish to protect the wood from water or moisture damage. I did this with my pallet trundle bed and I loved it.
The first part is to sand down the wood using 80 grit sandpaper so that you can get some of the rough edges off it. You’ll want to check if your piece has any bumps or splinters before finishing as well, but just beware! This step will take a while– be patient; there’s no rush because at least now you have learned how to make a trundle bed out of pallets! Next, wipe all the dust away from the frame and then apply two layers of varnish on top – one thin layer followed by another thicker coat for maximum protection against water damage (you could use paint too). The next day you should put your mattress (or futon) on top of your new pallet bed!
It’s so satisfying and rewarding to repurpose old, unused pieces of furniture into something that can be used again with love by someone else who will cherish the memories attached to its history as much as we do.