How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

Our boys are growing up so fast!  A few months ago we decided to move them from their Superhero Bedroom back into their old Pirate Ship Bedroom.  The “pirate ship” room has a few features that make it perfect for kids their age.  What seven year old wouldn’t love to have an entire bulletin board wall?!  and a cool hide out built into the wall?!?  The move was really a no brainer.  The problem was that this room is quite small, tiny really and not meant to house two kids let alone two beds!  To tackle this problem we converted our old bunk beds into a do-it-yourself trundle bed.  Let me show you how we did it…

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

We had contemplated buying a trundle bed for a long time.  They were all a bit too big for our space and we had a perfectly good bunk bed that we had purchased just a year before.  The bunk bed would not work in this room because it would either block the window or the giant bulletin board.  It wasn’t until I found Landee’s DIY Trundle Bed post that I had an “ah-ha!” moment.  We could totally create a trundle bed using the supplies from our old bunk beds.  Be sure to check out her post at LandeeLu for how to create a trundle bed with a bunky board and caster wheels.

Many bunk beds come with a “bunky board” which is a board with slats that supports the mattress.  Our bunk beds did not. The only thing supporting the mattresses were slats of wood (no board).  So I called a number of mattress stores and was totally laughed at (truly) when I asked if I could order a bunky board.  You CAN find (affiliate link) bunky boards on Amazon if you want to have one shipped to you.  Many of the retailers had no idea what I was talking about.  I quickly realized that we would need to create our own board.  In addition, we did not have enough clearance under our bed to use caster wheels so we used furniture sliders instead (as Landee suggested)!

Here is how to create your own bunky board with furniture sliders…


1 3/4″ plywood cut to the size of your mattress | ours measured 73 x 39.5″

quilt batting| add 6″ to length and width of the plywood for measurement

fabric | add 6″ to length and width of plywood

staple gun

4 slats measuring 5″ x 32″

24 screws

screw driver

8 large furniture sliders | look for them at your local dollar store

no more nails adhesive

2 large drawer pulls




How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

1. Cover one side of the plywood with cotton batting and fabric.  Begin with the batting and lay it evenly over the plywood.  Use the staple gun to affix the batting to the underside of the wood.  The best way to do this is to start by wrapping one end of the batting  around to the back of the plywood, fastening it with one staple, then moving to the other end of the plywood, wrapping and pulling the batting taught and stapling once in that end.  Do the same on the sides.  Now that the batting is smooth and in place, continue to staple around the entire board, affixing the batting to the underside of the plywood using the staple gun.

2. Repeat this process with the cotton material.

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

3. Now create slats that will allow the board to be easily pulled out from under the bed.  Using the screws and screw driver, attach the four, 5 x 32″ slats to the underside of the plywood.  Evenly space the slats, making sure that there are two on the ends and two in the middle to provide extra support for the mattress.  We used six screws to affix each slat to the plywood.  Two screws at each end and two screws in the center of each slat.

4. Next affix the furniture sliders to the slats.  If you have a carpeted space be sure to purchase sliders with a smooth surface, if you have wood or laminate choose sliders with a felt or fabric surface.  Use the no nails adhesive to glue the sliders to the slats.  Allow the glue to completely dry for at least 24 hours.

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

5. Attach drawer pulls to the plywood to make for easier moving of the bunky board.  Measure a distance that feels comfortable for grasping both handles and pulling.  Our handles are about 30″ apart.  Drill holes into the wood and fasten the handles to the right side of the board.

Now you have a completed bunky board that is perfect for storing an additional bed on under an existing bed!  It is also totally sturdy enough to hold a mattress and sleeping (or jumping, bouncing, tumbling) child.

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

This is how it looks under our bed.  Just enough room for clearance!  This slides really well in and out from under the bed.  Our boys can easily manuever it themselves and pull it out each night and push it in each morning.

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

Brilliant right?!  This has been the perfect solution for our small space and having boys who share the same room!  Now to find them a desk for Lego building and storage…. wish us luck!

How to Build a DIY Trundle Bed

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  1. Sarah says

    I’m planning to make a trundle when my toddler moves out of his crib, but wonder what you do with the extra pillows, etc.? Is it just my kids that keep half of their possessions on their bed at night (and thus throughout the day too!)? Not sure what we’ll do with that issue. Kind of a silly question but I think it will be a legitimate issue for us :/ And I should clarify, the toddler currently sleeps with minimal “stuff,” most of the time nothing, in bed with him, but I foresee that changing as he ages and becomes more like his big sibs.

  2. Samantha Patrick says

    do you think you could glue the sliders straight to the board instead of adding the wood strips? Just trying to be as frugal as possible but I don’t want to ruin it. 🙂

  3. julia mckernan says

    I made this trundle bed today and you gave excellent instructions!
    I added shelf liner to the plywood so that it would not slip with the mattress .
    I used A staple gun as I had chose to paint my plywood and use a piece of decorative wood trim on the front ( same thickness as the plywood so it was perfect and I used finishing nails to attach it ).
    I am waiting for a 4 inch memory foam mattress to arrive from Amazon.

    I did use casters since my mattress is not the standard size I was able to get away with that. It pulls out perfectly. I chose the casters that only roll one way (making easier to pull straight in and straight out ).
    Thank you for posting such good instructions with a lot of pictures I looked up many before I chose yours !

  4. Happy Chick says

    Do you think this would work for a full size mattress? Or would it possibly be to heavy and awkward? I want to build a false floor with the bed tucked underneath. Height is a concern because my son is pushing 6 foot already, so we need to keep things low. Thank you!

    • says

      It would definitely be more heavy and awkward. My son sometimes struggles to push and pull the mattress from under his bed as it is. He’s almost 11 and his trundle is a single size. However it could be doable with a few modifications for extra support and maybe guiderails for under the bed? Good luck!


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