Build a King Sleigh Bed

A king sleigh bed.
  • 3-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-300
What You'll Need
Wood (in desired species and quantity dictated by patter plus a little extra for mishaps)
Woodworking tools
Measuring tape
Stain, varnish, or lacquer
Bed pattern
Hand sander
Assorted sand paper
Fasteners and hardware
Wood glue

Purchasing a new, solid-wood king sleigh bed can cost a good deal of money. Building a king sleigh bed yourself will save a significant amount of money, and become a treasured heirloom that will be cherished for years. Another benefit of building your own sleigh bed is that you can make it as elaborate and detailed, or as classic and simple as you would like.

Building a sleigh bed takes the same basic principles that any other wood working project does, in addition to a good amount of patience and attention to detail. The key to building a great-looking bed is to start with a pattern for a sleigh bed, and there are several available online. While not all will be specifically for a king size bed, simply adjusting measurements will give you what you need. A king-sized mattress is 76 x 80 inches.

Step 1 - Select Wood

When selecting wood, you want to ensure that you are purchasing high quality, furniture-grade wood for the project. Inspect each piece of wood for any flaws, cracks, or warping. Take the time to dig through the wood pile to find the best pieces, as this will give the best possible materials to work with.

Step 2 - Make Cuts

Measure all cuts twice or even three times before actually cutting the wood. Take into account any edges that will need to be routered or otherwise altered. Mark your measurements on the wood in pencil. Pencil will easily sand off, and ensure that you make accurate cuts.

Step 3 - Customize Pieces

Router any pieces, such as head and footboard supports, that is needed, and pre-drilled holes that are called for. Do not attach any pieces together at this point though. Router any customized trim pieces or other embellishments that you desire now.

Step 4 - Sand

Sand all pieces with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any blemishes, nicks, or dings. Use the hand sander to make the process go more quickly, and always work in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Take care not to over sand custom cuts, such as routered areas as this can happen quickly using a hand sander. Resand all pieces with a fine-grit sandpaper so that all pieces are smooth. This will buff the wood to bring out the grain.

Step 5 - Stain

Stain or lacquer all pieces prior to assembly. Take the time that is indicated on the directions for the products that you are using, as this will give the best possible finish to the wood. If necessary, apply two coats.

Step 6 - Assemble

Assemble the bed according to the directions. Using a little bit of wood glue on screws, dowels, or routered pieces will ensure a strong and lasting hold.