We Made a Bed

For some time, I have been looking to buy a toddler bed. I checked Ikea but, unfortunately, I didn’t like any of the beds. Then I found this one and I fell in love.

Being the minimalistic person I am, I loved the simplicity of the design. But, sadly, the price was out of my reach, and I also had to consider that it is a bed that my daughter will probably only use for 3 years at the most. I searched for cheaper options, but they weren’t as good looking and still the price tag wasn’t in my range. Then, I stumbled upon this DIY page and (even though I have never worked with wood before) I decided to give it a go: after all it looked so similar to what I wanted!

The materials:

  • The plywood (on sale right now for $38.29).

  • Some framing wood to lay our board where the mattress will rest on. (Two 2”x2” pine wood at $2.39 each). You can do this with any kind of wood you have around.

  • The board to rest the mattress on ($20). This was cut at the store to the same size as the mattress.

  • Wood finish ($23.97).

The total was $98. Pretty good, right?

The tools we used: jigsaw, screwdriver, drill and a mouse sander.

Now, as I said before, keep in mind that we haven’t worked with wood before and we counted on the advice of friends and family. We had a few of the tools we needed, but we had to borrow most of them. If you are used to DIY you might want to skip this guide, or better even, go ahead and at least you will have a few good laughs.

Firstly we got our plywood cut into four pieces at Home Depot. We wanted the bed to fit our Ikea mattress that is 52”x27 ½”. We cut two pieces at 52” for the sides (the length of the mattress) and another two at 29” (27 ½” plus 2 x ¾” (to account for the thickness of each board)). All the pieces were cut at 24” high, which was exactly half the height of the plywood sheet – so we only needed to purchase 1 sheet for the entire project.

We marked the wood to cut the legs first. On all 4 pieces, I measured 4” in, and then drew a right-angled triangle with 2 sides that measured 4”. It is better explained in the picture.

We used a jigsaw to cut along the ‘green’ line (the hypotenuse). My husband wasn’t too sure at the beginning but it worked quite well, especially when turning around the corners.

And we started cutting all our pieces following the same pattern - the two sides, headboard and footboard.

Next we did the same with the top opening of the bed (just the sides). This time, instead of 4”, we doubled the measurement. We drew our right-angled triangle again, using 8” for both of the sides.

After cutting both the top openings, we started to screw the mattress supports (the 2”x2” pine pieces) to the frame using 2” screws.

We wanted the top cut to be at the same level as the mattress, so we measured the thickness of the mattress (3”) plus the thickness of the board (3/4”), and screwed our mattress supports just underneath.

After attaching the mattress support to each piece, we screwed the four pieces together, and it started to look like an actual bed!

I sanded the corners very well to make them rounded (and safer), and gave it its first coat of the wood finish. It looked great.

I inserted the central mattress supporting piece on the 4 supporting rails, and drilled a hole into the support piece so we could easily remove it if needed (just as the DIY guide showed).

Then finally, we completed our toddler bed! I will combine it with the Ikea Flisat series to decorate her bedroom.