Our Unique Toddler-Sized Bunk Beds

by Monday, December 9, 2013 31 Permalink

Hey friends! Caveman has been up to some amazing projects lately (like these cool DIY wall lamps), and I’m SO excited to share these toddler-size bunk beds with you. If you’ll allow me to brag on my oh-so-creative honey a little bit, you need to know a couple things. First, these modern space-saving and cost-effective bunk beds are unique because Caveman dreamed them up from scratch—like from his brain. Just like that. And then he designed them to scale and drew up a 3D sketch. Just like that. And then he made them. Just like that. As you can see, I’m pretty amazed at his handiwork. Our little critters are pretty thrilled with their new beds too. Secondly, you need to know that these plans are available for purchase. So if you like the idea of creating similar bunk beds, you can totally follow Caveman’s steps… which are what we’d like to share with you today. Click through to see Caveman walk through his basic method for building our unique toddler-size bunk beds (and more pictures!).

[Caveman here.] As you know, in a few months the Shoebox is about to become a little more crowded.  With #3 coming in February 2014, we have less than 10 weeks to prepare for her arrival.  This means rearranging the kids’ bedroom to fit three children.  Floor space is (very) limited, so the only way to accommodate two toddler beds (remember the one we refinished?) and a crib is to go vertical (i.e. bunk beds.) We searched online quite a bit looking for bunk beds that fit a toddler-size mattress, and you know what we found? Nothing.  (They don’t really exist unless you want to pay a TON of money, which obviously we don’t.) That’s when I heard  the sound of opportunity knocking.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, I’m big into the DIY (do-it-yourself) scene. My favorite saying according to my wife is “I can build that.”  Usually my wife is the voice of reason with questions like, “How much will it cost? What’s your time frame?  Can I see your plans?  Where are you going to build this?”  Sometimes I dislike her very much for destroying my brilliant schemes with common sense, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She grounds me.  That being said, this time I had all my ducks in a row for toddler size bunk beds.  I designed plans (in 3D), the cutting layout (w/ dimensions), the cost estimate, and the time and place to build it.  And you know what? This amazing thing happened…. she said “OK”!

I do have to give a shout-out though to a good friend Jeff, owner of Greys River Custom Construction, for the use of his personal shop.  Although I had planned to build this at the Shoebox with a circular saw and router (which is doable) and my other personal tools, it was much more efficient to have the use of a table saw and router table at my disposal also.  [Thanks Jeff!]

With the “OK” from the wife the work began. First, I purchased the materials. The final cost to make the bed was just above $300. Here is my supply list and prices:

  • 3- 3/4″ plywood sheets [$60/sheet] = $180
  • 4- 6 ft 1×2 boards= $13
  • 1 lb box of 1-1/4″ screws= $7
  • 3″ screws= $7
  • wood glue= $3
  • jig saw blades= $13
  • 3″ hole saw bit= $22
  • paint/ painting supplies (plus sample colors) = $60

TOTAL= $305 &18 hours of labor

 

cutting the plywood
Step 1:

Pencil the plan to create cut marks on 3/4″ plywood. Cut sheets of plywood into smaller, more workable pieces once you have the design drawn on the boards. (Some of this excess will be used later to cut the mattress slats.)

 

BunkWatermark2
Step 2:

Using a drill and a 3″ hole bit, cut the ends of the ladder rungs—this method enabled a near-perfect curve for each step. From there, it was easy to use a jig saw to complete each ladder step.

 

BunkWatermark3
Step 3:

After all the cuts were made on each piece, I used a router with a 1/4″ round-over bit to take off the majority of the sharp edges and splinters. Then I finished the edges off with sandpaper to achieve smooth, rounded fillets.

 

BunkWatermark4
Step 4:

Ledger boards on the four sides hold the mattress slats. I used 1-1/4″ screws and wood glue to attach the 1×2 pine boards to the insides of the bed.

 

BunkWatermark5
Step 5:

Nothing special here, if you’re used to woodworking. I cut pieces to length and width to create the mattress slats. I ran a router briefly over the edges to eliminate really rough sides.

 

the final product: toddler-sized bunk beds

Step 6:

After getting the bed clamped together, I drilled pilot holes and painted the bed. For final assembly, each edge received four  3″ screws.

 

Wolf Pup and Red sure love their new sleeping arrangements/ jungle gym!

 

What do you think? Fun, huh? Remember, if you’re interested in seeing more detailed plans, write me at evelyn{at}smallishblog.com. Thanks for joining us today!

 

Oh and by the way…
**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. For private use only. Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Evelyn Rennich/Smallish Blog. While we do our best to provide clear plans, we cannot guarantee each plan or step for complete accuracy. If you choose to attempt a similar project, you are building at your own risk. Using plans or information found on Smallishblog.com indicates that you agree with the Terms of Use policy and will accept full responsibility for the process and outcome of any project you attempt. It is always a good idea to have a complete understanding of how the project works before beginning to build. Feel free to link to any projects from Smallish as long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post.

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31 Comments
  • Sara
    December 9, 2013

    Great work Caveman! I’ve seen them in person and I would never have guessed they weren’t store bought, so professionally done, and I’m sure much more durable.

  • Kim
    December 9, 2013

    That is so well done. Great job!

  • George
    December 9, 2013

    Yet another super job!

    • Caveman
      December 10, 2013

      Thanks Dad!

  • Christy King
    December 9, 2013

    These are adorable!

    • Evelyn
      December 10, 2013

      Thanks, Christy. I’m pretty impressed. :)

  • sustainablemum
    December 10, 2013

    Homemade beds are far better than shop bought ones. My husband built beds for both my children.

    • Evelyn
      December 10, 2013

      Sustainable Mum, that’s so special! My boys loved being part of the project and I think they understand that Caveman built them just.for.them. :) Plus, it’s a cheaper option!

  • Caveman
    December 10, 2013

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments! It was a fun project. If I had to do it again I would, BUT I probably would not do the ladder on the back side. It would save quite a few hours worth of work.

  • Anthony Kniszek
    January 16, 2014

    I would like to know how to get the plans for the bunk beds. You can email me at akniszek@comcast.net.

    • Evelyn
      January 17, 2014

      Great! We’ll be in touch soon, Anthony.

  • Aaieshah
    January 28, 2014

    I am very impresses with this bed,can u please send me the measurments

    • Evelyn
      January 31, 2014

      Hi, we’ve emailed them to you. Let us know if you have any questions.

  • timhoenig
    January 31, 2014

    sweet; please contact me; interested in purchasing plans.

    • Evelyn
      January 31, 2014

      Hi Tim,
      We emailed the dimensions to you. Let us know if you have any questions. :)

  • Patrick
    February 11, 2014

    Great bunk beds. Can you please send me the dimensions so I can make them for my little girls. Thank you very much.

    • Evelyn
      February 17, 2014

      Sent to your email, Patrick. :)

  • Pauline
    February 27, 2014

    Where can I purchase these crib size mattress toddler bunk beds? Already made. If anyone would know. Please.

    • Evelyn
      March 8, 2014

      Hi Pauline,
      Caveman isn’t ready to sell them ready-made yet. ;) But I’ll send you the dimensions and perhaps you can find a handy wood worker in your area! :)

  • Tara
    February 28, 2014

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Like you and your family, I live in a small footprint with my hubby and two toddlers. Periodically, Hubby and I discuss moving to a bigger place but we decide to stay because the location is perfect. I have been looking for a toddler bunk bed that I love for over a year now. I think this is the bed! Please email me with details on obtaining the plans. This bed is perfect!

    • Evelyn
      March 8, 2014

      Tara,
      Great! I’ll send you the dimensions in the next day or so… keep a look out in your inbox. :)

  • Russ
    March 1, 2014

    Wonderful, wonderful bunk beds. Can you please send me the dimensions so I can make this for my two boys. My son hates sleeping along and this would be the perfect bed to fit both of them in one room. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

    • Evelyn
      March 11, 2014

      Hi Russ, the plans were sent to your email. :) Thanks & see you around!

      • Sandivel monrroy
        July 30, 2014

        Hi im interessted in buying one i reallu need one foe mu two girls i have no space in my room to buy rhem each a bed this would be perfect pleaseee email me at monrroysandivel@yahoo.com

  • Aryka
    May 9, 2014

    Love love love these beds! Just a question though, did you end up anchoring them to the wall in any fashion? My kids will use them as a jungle gym for sure, just wanted to know if it teeters at all? Husband is a handyman so I’m going to show him a picture of these lovely beds! Are your boys still sleeping in and enjoying them?

    • Evelyn
      May 10, 2014

      Hey Aryka! No, they are not anchored at all. Sometimes I think they should be ;) , but so far they’ve held up very well to the heavy use given by a 3.5 and 2 year old! They do teeter a little bit when Red gets a little too wild however Caveman is certain they’ll hold. Yes, both boys sleep in and love them. I’ll send you the plans just in case your husband wants to take a stab at it…

  • Brandy
    August 20, 2014

    Please please send me the dimensions! As a recently became single mom of 2 in a 2 bedroom house, I need cheap and room saving. My kids have no floor because of their 2 beds. Thank you.

    • Evelyn
      August 20, 2014

      Hey Brandy, I’ll email them later today. :)

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