a simple pallet bed

This is my boy.   

 It hasn't been easy to convince him I could pull off a masculine, teenage bedroom.  In his defense, there are a lot of naked cherubs, velvets, and decorative trims in our home, but I was up for the task and I think somewhere in his cute, narrow mind, he knew it. 

I set out to the fabric store and brought back a few swatches for him to choose from. He liked this fabric for the window treatments and my friend Cindy helped me sew them in her work room.  I knew I'd win him over with the extra thick black out lining on these shades.  This boy likes his sleep. 

We picked out a steel blue paint color and I started bookmarking other ideas for beds, rugs, and artwork. 

I snagged this old telescope at a flea market in Long Beach for $30.  I found a big, framed map junkin' in Phoenix and texted Brody in the middle of class to see if he liked it as much as I did.  He gave me the thumbs up so I bought it for $50.  In an attempt to find a unique storage solution, we bought these lockers for $90 from the old GM proving ground offices. 

Last week {Blake} came over to help me make this pallet bed for Brody's room.

Brody has a full sized bed and we used three, 75 inch 1.5 x 3.5's boards and twenty, 54 inch .5 x 2.5" boards.
Blake laid them out on the driveway, cut them to length, and screwed the top boards into place.

When the top was secure, he turned it over and did the same thing on the bottom. 

We used two boards at both ends to allow reinforcements for the heavy casters. 

The casters came from {Material Flow}.  The price of steel has gone up a little since I bought them, but I still think they're worth the money. 

My friend Melanie ran across someone in blog land who created a weathered, barn wood look on raw wood with apple cider vinegar and steel wool, so we decided to give it a try.  We rubbed on two coats and waited for it to dry. 

The instructions said to wait a few hours and the finish would show up.  So we waited all day with no results.  I got side tract for the next three days so I left it out on my driveway until I could decide how to finish it. On my way to church Sunday morning, I noticed the wood had a darker and more weathered look.  Awesome!  I have no idea if the sun had anything to do with it or if it just had to dry really well, but I don't care, it looked good!

Here's a before and after on a scrap of wood to give you an idea of the contrast. 

I gave it one more coat of "stain" and let it dry for another day.  It turned out perfect.

Brody and I dismantled his old his bed and did a thorough dusting and vacuum.  He gained a two pairs of jeans, some church socks and a toothbrush. I reclaimed 4 cereal bowls.

I found sheets at Target and Jilly helped me sew the duvet for his new bed.  I found the fabric at SAS in Tempe for $4 a yard and the trim tape for 25 cents.  Oh how I LOVE that place. 

Remember this small chest we refinished for the {Nate Berkus Show}?  It sits proudly in the corner as a night stand/anything a teenager can shove in the drawers and still close.  I hung these two pictures we bought on a family trip to NYC for his 12th birthday.

Brody and I both love this black cow hide, so we put it on the existing dark wood floor to add texture and softness.  

We still have a few finishing touches, like figuring out how to accessorize this built in bookcase,

and clean this closet.

but we're getting there!  I did the math and so far we've spent under $350.00

On my way out of his room I couldn't resist this note the Nino taped on Brody's door for helping him with after school homework.  I'm in love with these two crazy, adorable boys!


  1. very cool! GM proving grounds...does that mean you live in the Detroit area?? i'm a michigan girl, so i get excited about stuff like that. but i think i remember from another post you are from somewhere else:).

    love the way this is turning out!

  2. The bedroom looks great. I would be my dream room if I were a teenage boy. Did you think about making the bed out of already existing pallets joined together? Just wondering is you already thought it out and could share the down sides of using pre-made pallets. Thanks and the bed would be amazing in an industrial loft too.

    1. Hi Emily, I thought about making the bed out of pre-fabricated pallets but I measured them and they weren't the right size. It was so easy to make it this way.


  3. Love it! It's really hard to find cool boys room. They're all sports themed or hiddeous colors. This is just right and very masculine/chic. What paint color did you use for the walls?

    1. Crystal, The paint color is by Valspar from Lowe's. It's called Hazy Stratus.
      It definitely has a blue undertone but I really love it.

      Thanks for the compliment,

  4. what pattern or tutorial did you use to make the curtains? love it!!

    1. Katie,
      I wish I had a pattern or site I could direct you to. My friend Cindy has been a professional seamstress for years and helped me make them. They are called hobbled roman shades if that helps!

      Thanks! Mia

  5. Mia,

    Great bed! I want to do the same thing for my teen's room, but couldn't figure out how to get the pallets to work. Your idea is much simpler! What diameter casters did you use?


    1. Thanks Meredith,
      I used the 8" casters. Good luck with your teen and his/her bed!


  6. You did such a great job!! It is a beautiful boy's room!
    My son is 17 so I know what you mean! It is hard to get them to agree to do something... so wonderful to get his approval, lol!
    I also did a makeover in my son's room a few months ago.

  7. Mia

    What a great room! What a lucky son to have a Mom that was willing to collaborate with him.

    When I age wood I use a somewhat different technique but the same ingredients.

    This calls for planning because you have to let the vinegar dissolve the steel wool and then paint the wood with the mixture. How much steel wool you dissolve depends on how much vinegar you use, but one or two pads would not have been out of line for your project.

  8. Your son's room looks fantastic.

    I have been aging wood too. I just did a ceiling medallion and a mirror for my son's room.


  9. You most certainly did pull it off! It's awesome! I love every choice, every detail. Great job! I'm going to include a link back in this week's highlights (on Sunday). Thank you so much for sharing your hard work and creativity!

  10. Hello... hello!! This was stinkin awesome girls!! I had to pin it to 2 boards it was so stinkin cool! Great- no awesome job!!
    xo Becca

  11. Hi! I love this bed idea so much I'm planning on doing it for myself! Could you tell me what kind of wood to get? I have no idea about these things and basically need to know what to tell the people at home depot! Also, what kind of screws and all the materials needed for the job. I would really really appreciate it! :)

    1. hi! I used pine (dimensions are in the post) and 2" wood screws for the job.
      I'd love to see pictures of your project when it's done!

    2. Thanks SO much for getting back to me! I can't wait to get started on this project. The only thing is my mattress is a queen and yours looks like it's a full. How many extra pieces do you reckon I'll need?

  12. Hello! It was so fantastic to visit this personal blog and in particularly to read this blog entry. Will you be so nice and answer my question. Do you practice guest blogging?

  13. Do you have trouble with the bed constantly moving? I'm debating whether or not if I should buy the casters with brakes or without.

  14. Where can I find pallets in Cambridge? This stuff looks way cool, and a lot of fun to do.

  15. That's Sweet
    Re: Palletes in Cambridge:

    Lumber Yards. Nurseries. Home Depot. Lowes etc... or build your own

    Boston Pallet & Sawdust Co

    515 E 2nd St
    South Boston
    (617) 268-3675

    Saw Mill Wood Products
    210 N Main St
    (781) 784-9717

    American Industrial Wood Products
    250 Beach St
    (508) 384-4428

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  17. This is so cool!! I thinl this would look great in my sons room. I'll have to see if grandpa is up for a woodworking project. :)

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  18. Brody has a full sized bed and we used three, 75 inch 1.5 x 3.5's boards and ... daybedsfullsize.blogspot.com

  19. Wow! Great ideas for interior designing Mia. Loved the way you have the bed set up and your walls are adorable. Asian Paints Nepal is one of the best paints that offers a wide range of colours to play with for creative people like yourself. We have some playful ideas for paints and painting ideas Check out here Thanks :)

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Mia & Jilly

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