Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trundle Bed for American Girl or 18 inch Doll

Doll Trundle Bed

Its that time of year again. Time to look forward to my daughter's Spring Gala and Auctions. If you'll remember last year I built an Upholstered Toy Box that was auctioned off at the live auction. This year, I am donating an AG knockoff trundle bed for auction. I know the girls will love it! My daughter already wants to bid on it.

I am inspired by this AG day bed.

American Girl Dreamy Day Bed 

AG's version is 95 dollars, for the bed and 35 for the bedding. For once, I don't feel that this item is too overpriced, for to build it took a lot of detail work especially with the sewing. Ex. Doll pillows!

In all honesty I just looked at the bed online and built it using ALL scraps. Even the paint was leftover from another project and the fabric was scrap too. Even the knob was an up cycle. This is a very "green" project!


The bed (using 1/2 inch birch plywood)  measures:

Overall- 24 inches long x 10 1/2 inches wide x 8 3/4 inches tall

The trundle frame- 23 inches long x 9 1/2 inches wide x 2 1/4 inches tall

Here is how I made it:

First, I traced a piece of furniture with a wavy design for the back panel. I don't have a pic of me doing this but all it is, is finding a piece of furniture with a curved edge and tracing it.

My back panel measures- 24 inches long x 8 1/2 inches tall. The very top of middle curve is 8 3/4 inches tall.

This is a piece of birch plywood scrap. 
Next I cut out the design with my jigsaw. 

I clamped down the plywood and cut with my jigsaw. 

Next for the sides, I traced the same curved pattern and cut with my jigsaw. Leaving me with two panels sizes are 9 1/2 inches long x 8 1/4 inches tall like this: 

The pieces really need to be sanded!
I clamped both pieces together and then got out my orbital sander and sanded them down to where they matched perfectly. 

I started w/ 80 grit sandpaper to really cut the edges down. 
I sanded w/ 80 grit then 120 grit sandpaper, then decamped and attached the sides to the back panel. I attached using wood glue and my brad nailer. 

Back and sides of bed. 

Next, I built the bottom trundle. 

I used a piece of plywood for the bottom mattress base, I cut it 21 3/4 inches long x 8 3/4 inches wide and added two side pieces that measure 8 3/4 inches long and 2 1/4 inches deep (allowing for the mattress to sit inside). The front and back panels measure 23 1/8 inches longx 21/4 inches tall. I attached all of these with super strong wood glue and brad nails. 

Lookin good. 

Now testing with McKenna. Note: she is not dead- just sleeping...with a broken leg. 

Perfect fit! She has plenty of room. 
Next, I fit the bottom frame into the bed frame to ensure it was a perfect fit. Then I cut a panel for the top mattress to sit on 22 7/8 x 8 7/8 inches wide . 

Fits nicely. 

Then I added two side supports that are attaches under the plywood top that measure 9 inches long, and a front rail measuring 22 7/8 inches long x 2 inches tall, all for the top mattress to fit inside of. 

Top front rail. 

Just to make the bed fancier- I added a scrap piece of trim to the top rail, its 24 inches long. 

Top mattress panel added and front fancy rail. 

Testing the top, again. This girl really needs a mattress!

Great fit!

Next,  I sanded everything- with 120 grit sandpaper and then 220 grit. I even used my new Christmas present my dremel all in one tool- (thanks Dad!) to get in the little corners etc.

Love this tool! Plus its the "quick lock" version so you don't have to
take off the screw to change attachments. (!)
Next, I primed everything w/ my spray primer. 


Then, I caulked all of the seams with DAP Alex caulk. Then wiped all the excess caulk with a wet sponge. 

Next, I picked out the linens for the mattresses and quilts. I decided on this color for the bed its Duron- Smooth Sailing, thinking it would really pop against the linens. 

After the paint dried completely,   I added a knob on the bottom trundle frame so that little hands could pull out the trundle easily. That was a scrap knob I took off of another project. 

Also, I decided it would be easier for the bottom frame to be slid in and out if I used some paste wax on the sides, I rubbed the sides down and it worked like a charm!

SC Johnson Paste wax

I just used a paper towel on the two sides of the bottom frame. 
Next, I sprayed the entire bed with Minwax Poly- acrylic and then started working on the mattresses and quilts and pillows. Find the tutorial on those here. 

Here are a few beauty shots. 

Trundle bed closed. 

Trundle bed open.

Sooo Cute! Can't wait to see which little girl takes this fun bed home on auction night!

My daughter and all of the "girlz". She only gets to play with it until auction night. 

Hope you love this project. 

Drop me a line.

Happy Building!



  1. Super cute! I've made a couple AG doll beds for my girls. One is a canopy, and while it's beautiful, it takes up SO much space. I love that this one seems compact but still gorgeous and fun!


  2. this is awesome. thanks for the tutorial. I will be making one for my daughter.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! This is awesome! So glad I found your site. I am making one today :)

  4. Great job, i really enjoy the tutorial! thanks for informative information.Top quality furniture company

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  6. So cool! Thank you!

  7. love your site the pictures really help... im making a canopy bed its done but my granddaughter wants a big drawer under the bed . how much room did you leave for the drawer to slide? did you just let it pull out on the floor?

  8. love your site the pictures really help... im making a canopy bed its done but my granddaughter wants a big drawer under the bed . how much room did you leave for the drawer to slide? did you just let it pull out on the floor?

  9. love your site the pictures really help... im making a canopy bed its done but my granddaughter wants a big drawer under the bed . how much room did you leave for the drawer to slide? did you just let it pull out on the floor?

    1. It fit a little tiny bit loosely I am not even sure you could measure the room I left - you could always sand it down some, plus I used wax paste all over sides of the bottom bed so it would slide easier. Yes, it pulls all the way out.

  10. Amazing job and I give you lots of credit for your hand at this type of handmade furniture. Your imagination and design is endless with you skills. Blessings

  11. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
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  12. Thanks for helping now I can help my sister for her doll bed

  13. Such a good way to make it. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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  14. thanks i will make one for me! :)

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