Industrial Wood and Pipe Hanging Beds

Last week I showed you my planked and 2×4 shelved wall.  Well this week I added some hanging beds into the mix for my 30 day challenge to makeover Isaac’s room.  And we love them.  Bonus: No more hiding clothes under the bed when moms says it is time to clean your room.  They are actually easier than they look to make.  I promise.  The hardest part is hanging the blocking in the attic.


This summer I was at a yard sale in Michigan at my dad’s lake house and found a bunch of decor magazines in a bin for $.25 a piece.  I scooped a bunch up for some lakeside reading.  One of them was the June 2012 Country Living.  In it they featured Pioneer Woman’s hanging beds in her daughters’ room.  I immediately fell in love with them and wanted to recreate the look but didn’t want them to actually swing.  7 year old boy + swinging bed = trip to ER.  So I set out to create hanging beds without the swing and opted for using threaded pipes for more stability.


All these supplies were purchased at Lowes.  Another neat service that Lowes offers that I did not know about was pipe threading.  They cut and threaded ALL the pipe for me FOR FREE! Since I have 8 foot ceilings and wanted them to hang about 2’ from the ground we had Lowes cut the pipes down to 6’ 6” and thread both ends for me.  Thanks to Jan from my local Lowes who rocked the pipe cutter/threader for me!


Supplies to make 2 Beds:

2” x 12” x 8’ (8 of them)

1” x 4” (10) for blocking in ceiling

lag bolts: a box of 2 1/2” (to attach flanges to ceilings), 1 1/2” (to attach flanges to bed) and 3” (to attach the bed together)

laq bolt drill bit


chop saw

washers to fit on lag bolts

1” x 2” x 8’ (4 of them) for bed supports

1” x 4” x 8’ for bed slat supports

1” galvanized metal pipe in 8 foot lengths (8 of them)

1 1/2” wood screws

1” elbows (8 of them)

1” flanges (16 of them)

plumb bob

tape measure

metal angel braces for blocking in the ceiling

Optional: router

1.  For each bed cut 2 pieces of 2” x 12” to 78 1/2” and 2 pieces to 38”. Save the scraps for the blocking in the ceiling. Optional:  You can route the edges to give it a little more depth like I did.

2.  Pre-drill your holes and then screw in 3” lag bolts with washers from the side into the end pieces of the other 2” x 12” piece. 


3.  Do that at the top as well and also on the right side of the bed top and bottom.  It is easier if you stand it on its side to drill them.  You can see by the picture that I inset the foot boards and head boards in 1/2”.


4.  Note:  You could do this step now but I waited until the beds were hung to do it.  Next add 1” x 2”s the length of the bed – lining up the bottom edges and screwing them in the sides with 1 1/2” wood screws.  Then cut your 1” x 4”s to fit the width of the bed to create slats for the bed to rest on.  I used 8 per bed.



5.  Attach the flanges and elbows to the head and foot of the bed.  You will need to unscrew these in order to attach the piping to the bed in step 11.

To hang the beds:

6. Place your beds where you want them to hang on the floor.  Then using a plumb bob figure out where on the ceiling you need to hang the flanges.  Pre-drill holes where the flanges will go. Stick a wire up into the ceiling so you can see where the beds will hang.

7.  Have someone braver than me Go up into the attic to add blocking for the beds to hang from.  You can use the leftover 2” x 12” for this as well as some corner braces, 1” x4”s and 2 1/2” wood screws to attach the blocking between the cross beams. This will give you the needed support for the beds to hang from.  Here are some pictures of what the blocking looks like with some Iphone pics.


Optional: While Rex braved the monsters in the attic I sanded all of the metal pipe with my electric sander and 100 grit sandpaper.  This brought out a shinier finish on the pipes and got rid of all the markings on the metal.

8. Next screw the flanges to the ceiling with 2 1/2” lag bolts. 


9. Then screw your threaded pipes into the flanges on the ceilings. Tighten them really well with channel lock pliers but put a cloth over them so you don’t dent them.



10. Next screw the elbows onto the bottom of the threaded pipes followed by the flanges. 


11.  Rex built some risers with the extra 2”x 12”s to hold the beds in place so we could attach the flanges to the beds without having to hold the entire bed in place while we did it.


12.  I decided to stain the beds after they were hung.  There are pros and cons to doing it after.  The biggest con after is having to wipe off the stain from the flanges but the pro is we didn’t scuff the stain when trying to hang the beds.  Use pre-wood conditioner to even out the tones of the wood.  I then used Minwax Special Walnut to stain the beds.  After 24 hours I followed it up with 2 coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly.



{Squuueeeeall} I love them.  Isaac loves them.  And all the boys in our neighborhood think they are the coolest thing eva.  #momwin



Questions I foresee you are going to ask:

Do they move or swing?  The answer is yes they have a little give and can wiggle.  But no they can not crash into one another.  The most you can move them left to right is about 3” and top to bottom about 1”


Can Isaac fall out of it?  No since we have about 8” of mattress and about 2 1/4” of supports underneath the bed sits about an inch lower then the edges so if he happens to roll he will hit the edge of the bed.



How far apart are the beds from one another?  We have a space of 24” between the beds perfect for a nightstand between the two of them.


Why did you make two beds instead of one – two seems more dangerous.  Isaac has buddies over a lot and we have tons of houseguests and wanted the extra bed. Also, Kayla and Isaac LOVE having sleepovers on the weekends as well.  Since we moved the bunkbeds out of the room Isaac didn’t want to lose the other bed as an option so we built two.


Are you afraid of him jumping from bed to bed?  No I threatened him with death if he did. 🙂  Just kidding…more like grounding from the Wii or no desserts for a month.  My kids are usually pretty good when the lay down the law so I am not concerned with him jumping on them.  We have a trampoline in our backyard and he knows he can jump there if need be.


Are they hard to crawl into?  Nope since they are only two feet of the ground even Kayla can hop on them with no problem.


Click here to read more about the final reveal of this boy’s room.