Monday, August 27, 2012

Doll Loft Bed

A Great Mother/ Daughter Project!

After pricing doll beds, trundles, lofts and bunk beds for my daughter's American Girl doll "Jenny", paying $225 for a similar piece of doll furniture was not an option for us. When I saw each bed I thought, "I can build that for Jenny". My goal was to build the entire piece out of scraps....which I did...if you don't count a full 8 foot long piece of 2x2 I had not yet used. The only thing I bought for this bed was the spray paint, and if my daughter had decided to have a hot pink loft bed, I would not have had to buy purple spray paint, I decided not to argue about it, and splurge on the purple paint.

I am including plans for this bed, this is my first time creating plans on Google Layout. So forgive my plans if they are not drawn exactly to scale etc. Hope you all enjoy this piece of doll furniture as much as my daughter, "Jenny", and I do. 

Cut List:

4 2x2's at 22 inches long (legs)
2 2x2's at 6 inches (legs of table)
1 1x8 at 21 inches long (back of loft where steps go)
1 piece of plywood or similar wood at 20.5 x 8.5 (for mattress support)
2 1x3's at 22 inches (sides of bed frame)
2 1x3's at 9 3/4 inches (top and bottom of bed frame)
1 1x3 at 7 inches (back of desk)
1 1x4 or similar at 8 inches long (with 2 notches to fit between legs)
1 headboard custom cut appx 8 inches long and 5 inches high (top of arc)
1 footboard custom cut 8 inches long and 2.5 inches high (top of arc)
scraps for steps (steps appx 2.5 inches long by 3/4 inch wide)
scraps for plywood supports (appx 6 inches long by 3/4 inch wide) 
2 pieces of trim at appx 22.5 long, either 2 inch baseboard or similar (to fit around bed for trim) 
2 pieces of trim at appx 10.5 long, either 2 inch baseboard or similar (to fit around bed for trim)

wood scraps (very thin) for chalkboard
tiny wood scraps for frame around chalkboard

wood scraps cut at 2 inch by 2 inch and a small 1.5 inch hinge for laptop

Fabric for mattress and pillow, and some type of filler, 2 small buttons. 

Daughters can help with lots of parts of this project!

Here goes the plan for the loft bed:

Step 1: 
Using wood glue and countersunk 2 inch screws, attach back panel legs, 3 per side.

Step 2
Add plywood supports to bedframe. I just picked up some scrap pieces of wood to use for the supports. Take your long 1x3's and attach two supports to each side with brad nailer and wood glue.

Step 2 

Step 3 
Arrange and attach rails with countersunk screws and wood glue, fit plywood into frame, but no need to attach it permanently. 

Photo for step 3
Step 4 
Cut trim at 45 degree mitered angles and attach to bed frame with wood glue and brad nails. 

Bottom of base trim is flush with bottom of frame. 

Step 5
Cut headboard and footboard.

For Head and Footboard, this can really be any size you like. It must fit into both the headboard and footboard space on your frame. I came in about an inch then, laid a paint can on the board and traced it to create my arc. You could make this headboard rectangular too. 

The height of my headboard at its highest it 5 inches appx. I cut out a star and taped it to my wood piece, I traced it then cut it out with my hand held jigsaw. 

Cut 1 inch straight cut with bandsaw, then cut out the arc.
I traced a paint can to give me the arc shape. 

I used a circle wood bit to cut out middle then cut with handheld jigsaw.

Step 6
Add legs to frame using 2.5 inch wood screws countersunk from 1x3 corners through to the legs and  use wood glue. 

Step 7 
Attach Head and Footboard. Fasten through sides of 1x2's with wood glue and countersunk 11/4 inch screws.
Footboard not attached here yet, but you get the idea!

Step 8
Make and add table and legs

Top view: See desk at bottom 

Table before back piece to desk was added. 

Step 9 
Cut and add footers. 

Each leg gets a footer except for the table legs. I cut outside and inside pieces for the legs out of free wood pieces I received. I think they were once used to make model cars with. They are appx 1/4 inch thick. There outside pieces, o, and inside pieces i, which fit in-between the outside pieces. I added these to make the legs look more anchored. I attached them with wood glue and brad nails. Note that I did have to cut the "outside" pieces (2) short because of the back ladder panel. 

Inside pieces were appx 1 1/4 inch wide and ouside pieces were 1 3/4 inch wide. 

Step 10 
Add steps

I attached 2.5 inch long steps at 2 inches spaced apart up the back of the ladder piece. I attached with wood glue and a brad nailer. 

Step 11 

Fill in all holes with wood filler and sand, sand, sand. I added caulk around trim and footers. Then spray primed. 

Then spray paint the color you want, but cover up footers with painters tape. I used purple gloss, two cans.  The chair I found, my daughters dad found years ago and I decided to finally just prime it then spray paint it with my accent color "ballet slipper" gloss. It worked great. Maybe is a tad too big, but hey... this is doll furniture. 

Color finally!

Step 12 
Add blackboard.

I had free little scrap wood pieces I glued to the inside of the ladder piece. I stacked them 4 high then used chalkboard paint to paint them and fill in the tiny gaps. You could also just paint the inside "wall" itself with chalkboard paint and not have to add the tiny boards...but that was an after thought for me. Then, I found 4 tiny pieces of trash scrap wood that I added to the perimeter of the chalk board with wood glue and used 4 tiny finishing nails in the corners to hold them together. 

Please do not mind my freehand star!

Final Product:

Ta da!

My big helper and Jenny with our creation. 

Hope you like this loft bed project plan. I will include tutorials on the laptop and mattress and pillow later!

Drop me a line or send me a brag photo if you use this project plan!

Thanks, Kristen


  1. Kristen, you did a great job on the bed and the tutorial!

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