Last week, we were laying on our bed, and our 50lb dog jumped on, and our bed collapsed. We had really been waiting for the day because our bed was a pos, so it wasn't a surprise. I had my eye on a plan from ana-white.com for a farmhouse bed, and we decided to go for it. It was quite the leap from a bench to a bed, but it turned out to be easier than we expected in some ways, and harder in others.
We headed to Lowe's to get the wood, and headed home to build. We cut all the wood this time, with our circular saw, and got building. The headboard and footboard were very easy to build. Things got more complicated from there. We put on the side rails, and realized that the 2x4s we cut for slats were about 4 inches too short. To remedy this, we tried to attach 1x4s along the rails, and screwed the 2x4s into those. It looked supportive so we put the mattress back on and laid down slowly. It started to creak, then crack, and right as we were getting off the bed, it collapsed.
We decided the only thing we could do is buy new 2x4s and start again. We got home, cut them and attached them to the side boards with an L bracket and T bracket on each slat. Put the mattress back on, laid down and prayed. It was sturdy, but we were apprehensive. One week later, it is still strong and sturdy.
We had a lot of scraps so we decided to build a bedside table. It only took us 30 minutes to build and paint the table, which was a nice accomplishment.