Caveman has been up to some amazing projects lately (like these cool wall lamps), and I’m SO excited to share our toddler-size bunk beds with you.
These modern space-saving and cost effective bunk beds are unique because Dan 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.
I’ll let Dan go ahead and share his method with you.
[Dan 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”!
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
After getting the bed clamped together, I drilled pilot holes and painted the bed. For final assembly, each edge received four 3″ screws.
What do you think? He did a great job, didn’t he? Our children love these bunk beds, and they’ve been so useful over the years as space-saving furniture.
**Update** Dan is planning to offer these bunk beds for sale in 2017. Stay tuned for more information!