Tag Archives: building

Drum roll please…the bed is finished.  It actually has been finished since I posted about the headboard but I wanted to write about it in two parts.  (which I might add caused a very interesting conversation between Mr. Fancy Pants and I as he wanted me to write the process all in one post-it’s conversations like those that remind me how differently our minds work).

I am happy to report 1 thing.  It is still all in one piece.  Not that I ever doubted our abilities, but let’s call a spade a spade.  We had no idea what we were doing. Don’t get me wrong, we did a lot of research but I can affirmably say neither of us brought into this marriage “bed building skills” on our resume.

So, without further ado, I give you our bed. (silent applause)

Completed headboard, lighting and bedframe for our room in Portland!

Suffice it to say, I have been to the Home Depot in Portland more times than I ever wanted to/thought I would need to.  Our design was pretty basic.

Rough sketch we worked off of (emphasis on the word rough). We were winging it.

Here’s the step by step process:

First we laid out the exterior and interior boards. We staggered the vertical boards between the horizontal ones for maximum sturdiness. When all of those lined up to our liking, we started with the wood screws!

Working hard into the wee hours of the morning.

Some of the screws were a little difficult to get in…and William’s drill was dying so we stood it up on its side to give him some additional leverage.  Didn’t really work…

Drill starting to die on us…

We tried to mimic the design of our living room shelves (post to come) and used the same piping for the legs of the bed.  We decided 9 legs were plenty.  MORE than plenty probably.  We screwed the base flanges into the frame before we carried it inside.  Also note, this is outfit #2 for William (same night).

9 legs = 18 base flanges

After carrying it inside, we stood it up on its side and screwed all of the legs in to the base flanges.  We pulled out the gloves for this part.  This far in to the home projects process, we both had blisters on our hands.

Legs in place!

Momentary pause for small victories…it seems sturdy.  Success.

Mr. Fancy Pants: Artist by day, Bed frame maker by night

To make sure it was extra sturdy and the mattress was fully supported (we do not have box springs) we placed 6 horizontal slats across the frame to give the mattress a level surface.  Side note, I never knew the purpose of box springs until we started this process.  We always had them growing up and when we considered just a mattress I thought “surely we have to have box springs…because you have to have box springs??”  Turns out they aren’t as useful as I thought.  Made for interesting reading though.  Wikipedia it.  You’ll see.

6 slats will finish it off!
Yup. Not going anywhere.
Curiosity hasn’t killed Miss Loretta…but she did almost get squished by the mattress because we couldn’t get her off the bed frame.
View from below


And we’re done!  William also installed those amazing lights.  They are custom fixtures he wired himself.  And yes, I will admit to all of the internet that I did almost electrocute him.  I’m not so good with electricity.  We’re about 2.5 weeks in to the bed and we haven’t woken up in the middle of the night on the floor yet so I think we did a pretty good job!

Side note, isn’t this picture great of Miss Loretta looking up at the lights?  She is still pretty fascinated by them!  And one more shout out to dirtsa on Etsy–our pillows look amazing!  In case anyone was wondering:

  • Bedding: Restoration Hardware- Belgian Linen Provence Stripe (Prairie & Fog)
  • Pillows: Etsy- dirtsa studio Letter Pillows
  • Lighting: Hippo Hardware (PDX) Marconi Perma-Glow Signature 60 Watts
  • Cat: Oregon Humane Society
The finished product!

I had posted a while ago about our headboard inspiration for our new house here in Portland.  Click here to catch up.  There are times in life when you see something you love, try to recreate it, and it turns out horribly.  Your expectations were so high, the original too good…you know how the story goes. I am happy to say this was NOT the case with our headboard.

Mr. Fancy Pants never ceases to amaze me.  We joke with him all the time that he should be able to do everything, a Jack of all Trades if you will, because he is an Eagle Scout.  In all seriousness though, the man can do everything.  I had no idea he knew how to use power tools or BUILD something for that matter!  Only one thing to say about that.  I was wrong.

If you didn’t see my previous post, here was our inspiration for our bed in our new house.

Reclaimed wood headboard from the Ace Hotel

We discussed wood first.  Considering the wood would pretty much make or break the piece, we wanted to make sure that we had lumber with character.  A friend in Austin suggested going to The ReBuilding Center–the area’s largest collection of building and remodeling materials.  That was our plan until my mother called and offered to bring up the wood that used to make up the fence from my childhood home in Texarkana, TX.  Free lumber that has already been aged for 10+ years?  YES please!

Mom graciously (though there is not really a word that will touch the surface of what all she did for us) offered to come help us pack in Austin and unpack in Portland.  She brought about 20 panels from the old fence with her up to Austin and we loaded them into the moving truck along with everything else.  For those of you who care about the construction, I am going to go through our process as best I can, for those who don’t, enjoy the pictures!


  • 10 recycled fence boards (6′ x 8″)
  • 3 extra stained boards (6′ x 4″)  — We threw these in for some variation
  • 4 pieces of wood to act as braces (88.5″ x 3.5″)
  • Table saw (thank you ADX!!)
  • 2 x 100 count boxes of black wood screws

We wanted our headboard to be 92″ tall which is how we determined how many boards to use.  We had extra stained wood from our shelving project (more on that later) and we decided to mix it in to break up the board sizes.  We also decided that we wanted to have more of a “laid brick” look to it.  Rather than keeping all of the boards the full 6′ long we cut them in varying lengths to mix and match.  You’ll see from the pictures, all of the boards were different colors so this added a lot to the overall look.  The boards were 6′ long.  We arranged the rows the boards into three variations: 

  • Full length (6′)
  • 1/3 + 2/3 (24″ board + 48″ board)
  • 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 (3 x 24″ boards)

Mr. Fancy Pants cutting down our fence posts to the lengths we need!

You can't see it but I have some SWEET protective eyewear on (and by sweet I mean not cool at all).

We laid out the brace boards equal distance apart and began piecing together the fence wood on top.

Making progress! Since all of our lumber was a little different color, we tried to mix and match between the boards we had cut to put together good color variation.

Still working! I would like to on record of saying that I was helping, I am just helper & photographer. Please don't think I made William build this by himself. I'm a good helper!

In go the screws. We put a screw into the brace along each cut in the wood. The larger boards had two screws on top of each other (vertically) and the smaller screws just one.

It is now about 10:30 at night (on a week night) after a run to Wal-Mart for more wood screws. We get it into the house and this is the look on his face. I think it says, "How do I let you talk me into this stuff??"

















To which I say, "Isn't it worth it?!?!!?" Here's the finished product minus the skinny top board that went on after the bed frame was built. The headboard would have been too tall to stand up had we put it on with the others.

We set out next to buy a mattress, find bedding and a bed frame.  The mattress part was easy.  We snagged amazing bedding from Restoration Hardware on sale and then were just waiting to find a bed frame.  After about 2 weeks of searching, we decided, what the heck!  We can build that too!  And so we did.  Stay tuned for the finished product!