Futon Design: How to Build a Wood Futon

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Chalk box
Tape measure
Saw horses
Jar lid
Skill saw
Jig saw
Sanding block
Screw gun
2 sheets of 0.75-inch plywood
3 door hinges
0.75-inch wood screws
1.5-inch screws
8-feet of 2x2-inch, number 2 fir lumber

Futons are great because they can be a couch or a bed. Here is a simple futon design to make your own platform futon frame out of wood.

Step 1 - Layout

Begin with a full sheet of plywood. Lay it out on saw horses and snap a chalk line dividing out a 27x75-inch piece. With the other half, lay out a 21x63-inch piece. This should leave a 21x33-inch piece and a 21x27-inch piece.

Using the 21x27-inch piece, draw a center line creating two, 13.5x21-inch pieces. Begin at one end of your center line and lay out a groove, one inch wide and eleven inches long.

Using the 27x75-inch piece, draw rounded corners on the two corners on the same 75-inch side, using a pencil and a jar lid. Along the opposite 75-inch side, mark the center point, and the points 12-inches from each end.

Repeat this exact layout with the second sheet of plywood. Lay out 4 21-inch long pieces out of the 2x2-inch lumber.

Step 2 - Cut Out

Cut out all the straight cuts with a skill saw and round the corners with a jig saw. Tune up the edges with a file and sand paper. Make multiple passes with the skill saw to create the 1-inch groove.

Step 3 - Assemble the Base

Begin with the two 21x63-inch pieces, and the 21x33-inch pieces of plywood. Using corner butt joints, assemble a frame 21-inches tall, 33-inches wide, and 63-inches long. Secure the corners with the 2x2-inch blocks and screws.

Step 4 - Assemble an X

Use the 21x27-inch pieces. Insert a groove into the other, creating an X with the 2 pieces of plywood. Place the X, face up, in the center of the base. The X should be 21-inches tall.

Step 5 - Assemble the Platform

Create a 54x75-inch platform by screwing the two remaining pieces of plywood together with door hinges. Center the hinges over the center mark and the marks 12-inches in from the edge. Place the platform either flat over the base, or folded with the back leaning against a wall.

This platform futon frame is low cost, light weight and portable. It can be used as a bed or a couch.