This easy to build, Mid-Century Modern inspired daybed is the perfect DIY to create a cozy place to relax and welcome guests too! Find the free building plans, video tutorial and instructions below.
We had an unused corner in our basement that was ideal for this type of set up, and of course, you can build just one. But two fit our space absolutely perfectly.
UPDATE 10/2018 I continued to add to my basket collection so I thought I’d share a photos from a later photoshoot.Sources for items shown are at the bottom of the post.
Below are complete written instructions, but if you are more of a visual learner, I made a video tutorial of the complete building process.
How to Build a DIY Plywood Mid-Century Daybed
My favorite plywood is made by PureBond because it is constructed out of hardwoods and are formaldehyde-free. I used the Birch veneer finish, which fits the modern aesthetic of the bed. Here is a cut plan for building one bed from one sheet of plywood.
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Materials /Cut List
- 1 sheet of 4’x8′ PureBond plywood in Birch Cut to: 3.5″ x 75″, 38″ x 57″, 21″ x 38 3/4″
- (2)2×4’s cut to 38″ each
- Leg brackets
- 7″ Mid-Century Modern tapered legs
- Sandpaper, 150, 200, 400
- Tack cloth
- 4×4 wood, or two 2×4’s joined together and cut to exact height of applied leg, approximately 9″
- Kreg Jig Screws, 1 1/4″
- Wood Screws – we have managed to find a company selling these to make your life a little easier: Tradefix wood screws
- Right angle clamp (optional, but helpful)
- Birch wood veneer edgebanding 3/4 x 50
- Stain: Mix of English Walnut and Special Walnut
- Top coat Finish, flat or satin
- wood glue
(Items bolded in the list have links to sources.)
- Table Saw (Optional, you can have the plywood cut at Home Depot.)
- Miter Saw
- Nail Gun
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Screw Driver
Cost for materials is around $120 for each bed. That includes all of the necessary wood, legs, leg hardware and edge banding. It does not include finishes, basic woodworking supplies or tools.
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Sources for styling the beds are below.
Here is a basic placement guide as well.
How to Build a Mid-Century Daybed
- Begin by cutting your plywood as described above.
If you are having it cut at Home Depot, which we actually did because we can’t fit a whole sheet of plywood in our car, be sure to have them cut the side arm piece first, then the apron and lastly the bed. Otherwise, the apron piece will be too small for them to cut on the saw safely.
2. Trim the 2×4’s to 38″.
3. Add pocket holes the base of the bed.
Add two holes about every 8-10″ along the bottom. It is helpful to have a partner working on the other side to hold it up. Adding a small block of wood to the end helps the holes go into the plywood straight.
4. Attach the apron front to the base of the bed with 1 1/4″ Kreg screws.
5. Add pocket holes to one of the 2×4’s. (See photo in step 10)
6. Attach 2×4’s to the base of the bed. Two of them are used as support for the legs and the one close to the edge becomes a cleat for the arm or headrest.
Here is a detailed placement guide.
7. Wood glue and nail the boards into place. Be sure to apply pressure to the boards so that the glue makes contact.
8. Repeat this process for each 2×4.
This is how the base should look when you are finished.
9. Pre-drill holes for the legs.
10. Screw the mounting leg brackets into place using the guide above.
11. Attach the arm rest or headboard to the side of the bed.
A right angle clamp is helpful for holding the top flush and square.
We found it extremely helpful to mark a straight line to use as a guide for holding the arm rest in the proper place.
12. Screw on the legs and then stand up the bed.
13. Measure the exact height from the underside base of the bed to the floor. Cut 4×4 or (2) 2×4’s the same height, then nailed together to that exact measurement.
14. Countersink the screws from the top side of the base and attach the center support leg. Countersinking the screws ensures the mattress will not catch and rip on the screws.
15. Now your bed is built and you are ready for finishing!
16. Use an iron to apply birch wood veneer edgebanding. If you will be using the iron on clothes, wrap it in aluminum foil before you begin.
The banding I had on hand was larger than 3/4 so I had to trim it down.
17. Use sandpaper to remove any excess edge banding and create clean edge using 100 grit. Sand all exposed pieces with 250 grit, followed by 400 grit for a super smooth finish.
18. Wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth.
19. Apply stain with a brush and then wipe off with a cotton rag. I like to use an old t-shirt.
To achieve a finish that most closely matched the legs, I applied to coats of stain.
I used a custom mix that I tested on scraps of plywood. It was basically one part Special Walnut and one part English Chestnut.
20. Apply your favorite top coat to seal the wood. I used General Finishes High Performance water based topcoat in Flat.
Allow your top coat to dry and move in your twin mattress and loads and loads of pillows!
One bed looks great, but two is even better!
I love how the two of them completely fill out this once, unused space in our basement media room!
Here are a few more photos. Clearly, I enjoyed the styling of this area.
Sources for Pillows: Large Grey Knit Pillows | Grey Global Stripe | Lumbar Fringe Pillow | King Pillow Cases-Grey| Furry Pillow
Similar Sources for quilts: Twin Reversible Diamond Stitch Twin Reversible Circle Quilt
Shop the Post
High-quality plywood like the PureBond I used is perfect for creating tons of beautiful wood projects. I have teamed up with a fantastic group of bloggers to bring you “It’s Plywood but Pretty” round up.
Today marks the beginning of a whole week of challenges and plywood goodness hosted by Remodelaholic!
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Michelle JamesApril 3, 2017 at 9:52 am
This daybed is beautiful!! Love how you can move it apart as well. Your tutorial is such a help too! #plywoodpretty
Kara HarveyApril 4, 2017 at 8:16 pm
Brilliant and gorgeous! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial!!
AnnaApril 4, 2017 at 9:56 pm
I can’t get over how gorgeous this turned out!
CurtJune 6, 2017 at 4:59 am
Thank you for this!!!! It’s perfect for my guest room
LeslieJune 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm
Awesome! We love them for our guest area!
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[…] This easy to build, Mid-Century inspired daybed is the perfect way to create a cozy place to relax and welcome guests too! Find the free building plans, video tutorial and instructions at Paper Daisy Design […]
RachelNovember 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm
Hey! How thick is the mattress you used for this project?
Divya RDecember 21, 2020 at 9:28 am
Hi! Loved the look of the room and recreating the same look fory basement, so thank you so much! I could not get thro the link for mattress and the area rug. Do you please mind posting info for those too. Thanks again and super excited to get started on it !
WhitneyJanuary 7, 2018 at 10:15 pm
This is beautiful! Where did you get your pillows, rug, and navy sheets/ comforter? Thanks!
LeslieFebruary 19, 2018 at 9:36 am
Thanks Whitney! I added resources and links into the post. Thanks for reminding me to do so. 😉
[email protected] Home ImprovementJanuary 8, 2018 at 5:17 am
This is such a great idea! I have a bunch of these lying around my house. I am so doing this.
Julie @ HouzzmagJanuary 8, 2018 at 11:53 pm
It’s so cute!!!! I want to build a daybed with storage to make maximum use of loft space. Want some idea regarding this.
LeslieFebruary 19, 2018 at 9:35 am
You could easily add basically rolling boxes underneath built out of the same plywood and finish to match.
Jenelia @ TophomezonesFebruary 7, 2018 at 10:17 am
The Daybed is gorgeous and you presented in a skilled way. Thanks for such a great idea and it will help to all your readers.
LeslieFebruary 19, 2018 at 9:31 am
Thank you! It is one of our favorite projects!! It’s so rewarding to have other people appreciate it too!!
JessicaMarch 21, 2018 at 12:01 pm
Just curious what was the grand total for goods?
Jodi CoxApril 18, 2018 at 1:13 pm
How much did this cost to make? I would like to make it but I don’t know if its affordable. Also you might want to show people cost break outs on your posts.
LeslieApril 23, 2018 at 9:18 am
Thank you for your feedback. I would say materials needed not including finishes and screws which I had on hand was around $120. This estimate includes all of the wood, wooden legs, leg hardware and edge banding.
WiktorJune 26, 2018 at 10:09 pm
What type of matress did you use? Was it a regular spring or a memory foam
DivyaJanuary 17, 2021 at 11:50 pm
I am trying to recreate this exact look for my basement too, thank you so much for this great look! I am also waiting to see what kind of mattress you used. A couple of the links are not working from ‘Shop this post’ so maybe 1 of them was the mattress.
Thank you so much !
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Sapna yadavMay 25, 2020 at 2:41 am
Thank you for this amazing post. It helps me alot.
LeslieMay 28, 2020 at 8:09 am
Great! We loved the way they functioned!!
Lauren ReechJune 6, 2020 at 1:57 pm
I’m starting this today, but had a question…How do you keep the quilt looking so nice and tight on the bed if people sit or sleep on it?
JustineJuly 19, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Hi There. I’m in the middle of making this. What settings did you use for the jig to screw the 2×4 screws into the pocket wholes and plywood. The 3/4 setting does not work. Did you use longer screws?
LeslieJuly 24, 2020 at 1:53 pm
My best guess is you are not adjusting the Kreg drill bit. Hope you figure it out. Let me know!
KatyOctober 28, 2020 at 12:56 pm
I can’t get over how gorgeous this turned out! Its perfect for my guest room.
AlexOctober 29, 2020 at 11:24 am
Great article. Just curious what was the grand total for goods?
PennyJanuary 3, 2021 at 1:54 pm
Can you please provide a link to the right angle clamp in the photo? The link in the post goes to a very different looking clamp.
Deborah TownsendJanuary 14, 2021 at 1:16 am
I’m taking when you had to trim your edging because you didn’t have 3/4″ on hand that means your plywood is 3/4″ thick? Am I correct in assuming that? I want to build one of these but instead of just a headboard I want 3 others sides to have plywood with equal heights. So I would need 2 pieces of plywood & would have a little left over. Thanks for the free plan & vedeo. Your sofa’s look awesome!
dodieMarch 6, 2021 at 7:43 pm
This should be called “How to Make a Frame for a Daybed” since you did not include any information AT ALL about the mattresses, which I kind of think you need if you’re planning to sit down. You don’t even tell us what size it holds. Very disappointed.
TolaMay 12, 2022 at 10:06 pm
Thank you for this lovely design. I recently built this daybed but I’m having difficulty with the arm rest/ headboard not being stiff enough but bending at the joint when it’s leaned on. Any suggestions to resolve this?