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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

DIY storage bed: how to make a cube storage bed base

DIY storage bed - a simple tutorial with affordable cube storage

DIY storage bed using storage cubes

I built a DIY storage bed using cube storage to solve the issue of too many toys and not enough space in our small box bedroom. Although you can buy storage beds, they are usually quite expensive and can be large. We had limited room to fit the bed, so I wanted to get a bed that was exactly the right size.

Lots of storage space isn't the only advantage of a DIY storage bed; choosing colourful sequin-covered storage containers is a great way to add character and personality to the space. 

This DIY storage bed build was one of the easiest DIYs ever. Due to its simple design, it required very little in the way of tools or materials, making it ideal for those who aren't the biggest fans of DIYs involving complex steps or lots of custom woodwork.

As part of this project, I built a simple upholstered headboard for which I've written a separate tutorial. Depending on where you locate your storage bed, you might not need a separate headboard, or you might have one already, but if not, check out my step-by-step tutorial. 

How to build a DIY storage bed

Here's how I built the DIY storage bed in a few easy steps...

1. Measure the space

hand stretching out a tape measure

First, you need to determine how much room you have to work with by measuring the width and depth of the space for the DIY storage bed. In our box room, we had to work around the bulkhead from the stairs at one end and a small radiator, which I needed to leave enough room for at the foot of the bed.

I shopped around researching different cube storage options, comparing the price, size, sturdiness and variety in each range (As I needed to use a combination of cubes because none were long enough to support the whole bed in a single run. In the end, I plumped on cube storage from Homebase because they had a really good deal on and their cubes were solid and sturdy. It also transpired that they were amazingly easy to build so that was a win too!

2. Source the materials

Homebase storage cube flatpack boxes for DIY storage bed

Remember when I built a DIY home office in my IKEA wall of built in shelves? Well, I used the headboard pieces and footboard panels from an old single bed. For the DIY storage bed project, I used the slats and supporting frame because I love upcycling and repurposing not just to save money but also to reduce waste and make more sustainable choices which are better for the environment - important when you complete as many DIY and craft projects as I do! 

If you aren't replacing a bed that's currently in the space and therefore don't have any slats handy, you could pick some up for next to nothing from Facebook Marketplace (there are always bed frames going for cheap) or you could buy a sheet of mdf from your local hardware store and use that as a flat base. Another option would be to buy a sheet of plywood and cut the slats to size from plywood pieces. 

If you are a fan of IKEA hacks, you could easily complete this project using Kallax storage cubes. 

You will need

2 - 4 x 1 cube storage

1 - 2 x 1 cube storage

Wooden slats 

Storage compartments - 6 standard plain ones & 4 sequinned colourful ones. 




Wood screws

3. Build the flatpacks

Building a DIY storage bed with flat pack storage cubes from Homebase

I used cube storage from Homebase which was surprisingly easy to build (don't tell them, but much easier than some of the IKEA flatpacks!) Then, I laid them out in position to check the bed base would fit the space - happily, it did.

Building a DIY storage bed with flatpack storage cubes from Homebase

4. Attach the slats

Pilot holes drilled for screws to attach the slats to DIY Storage bed frame

As mentioned, I had a single bed frame that I had basically cut the legs, footboard and headboard off. I could, therefore, easily sit this on top of the constructed cubes and screw it into place. I pushed the cube storage slightly in, so the wood the slats were connected to formed a slight overhang, and the storage cubes sat inside the frame, this was because I didn't want to add any extra height to the storage cubes or by the time you'd put the mattress on top it'd be quite high and would need side rails. 

a hand holding the screws for attaching a bed base to storage cubes for DIY storage bed

I wanted to make sure the base was really sturdy, so I screwed each slat into the storage cube base in three or four places. I did this by drilling pilot holes into the slat and screwing through it so the screw sat a good 1-2cm into the frame of the storage cubes. I didn't use any wood glue or brad nails as I was keen to be able to take the bed apart easily if required and the screws would be easy to take out. 

If you are making your own slats, measure to make sure you cut them to fit your mattress size. You don't want the bed frame sticking out under the mattress, but equally, you don't want the mattress under-supported. It's worth constructing a frame to attach the slats to as this makes for a better finished look that seeing the ends of the slats, also plywood edges might be rough so could be uncomfortable if brushed against. 

If you are making a larger bed than a single, you might decide to make the slats half-width so they go to the centre and screw them into a centre divider. This plan will definitely be best for a king-size or queen-size DIY bed frame. 

A note about the end storage cube

Homebase storage cubes forming the base of a DIY storage bed

The width of the end 2 x 1 storage cube wasn't quite wide enough for the end of the bed, but I knew it would provide enough support, so I wasn't worried. As this bed is located against a wall (so only one side is visible), I pulled the end storage cube to be in line with the visible side cube, meaning there was a small gap under the corner of the bed frame on the wall side. This wouldn't be an issue functionality-wise, and as it was hidden on the wall side, there were no issues aesthetically either.  If the bed were going to be visible from both sides, I would've made a corner section to fill the gap under the slat frame on the end section. This would be purely for aesthetics rather than a support piece, but would look better, especially once you'd filled the gaps with wood filler then painted with white paint to match the storage cube.  


5. Insert the storage containers.

Sequinned storage container under DIY storage bed

I love the colour-changing sequins on the storage containers that my little one chose, they are a fun addition to a kids room and you can 'write' their name into the boxes that way too. To keep costs as low as possible, you could opt for all plain containers (they are £4 vs £7 for the sequinned ones) but for the four containers along the front I felt it was worth the extra investment. 

Toy storage

DIY storage bed with storage containers

Of the ten storage containers, we used the four along the inside as clothes storage, making the clothes easily accessible for a little one each day (I also added a hanging rail to the wall next to the bed to hang the next day's outfit from), the storage containers are easier to pull out than storage drawers and are super lightweight too, ideal for little hands. 

The remaining storage boxes (6) were used for toys that aren't needed every day.   

6. Simple DIY headboard

DIY headboard

I made a simple headboard for the DIY storage bed frame (read the tutorial here) and attached to the base. I'm going to make some custom shelves to fill the space behind the headboard and the bulkhead, because we need all the extra storage we can get in this tiny room and I hate wasted space. I'm also going to add some floating shelves and wall hooks to mount some storage baskets for toys on. 

DIY storage bed and diy headboard

To continue the theme, you could make nightstands with matching storage cubes. These would make a great addition and provide even more storage. My little one loves his new storage bed, and it's made a real difference to the room. I highly recommend this project if you have a small space, a tight budget, or enjoy a simple DIY. 

I created this Instagram reel of the process in case it's helpful to see some videos rather than stills. 

Where next?

Another project where I transformed a small space with the help of storage cubes was my utility room in a cupboard project.

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