Our Unique Toddler-Sized Bunk Beds

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Hey friends!

Caveman has been up to some amazing projects lately (like these cool wall lamps), and I’m SO excited to shareย our toddler-size bunk beds with you.

These modern space-saving and cost effective bunk beds are unique because Dan dreamed them up from scratchโ€”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. ๐Ÿ™‚

[Dan here.] As you know, in a few months the Shoebox is about to become a little more crowded.ย  With #3 coming in February 2014, we have less than 10 weeks to prepare for her arrival.ย  This means rearranging the kids’ bedroom to fit three children.ย  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.ย  (They don’t really exist unless you want to pay a TON of money, which obviously we don’t.) Thatโ€™s when I heardย  the sound of opportunity knocking.

Now for those of you who donโ€™t know me, Iโ€™m big into the DIY (do-it-yourself) scene. My favorite saying according to my wife is โ€œI can build that.โ€ย  Usually my wife is the voice of reason with questions like, โ€œHow much will it cost? Whatโ€™s your time frame?ย  Can I see your plans?ย  Where are you going to build this?โ€ย  Sometimes I dislike her very much for destroying my brilliant schemes with common sense, but I wouldnโ€™t have it any other way.ย  She grounds me.ย  That being said, this time I had all my ducks in a row for toddler size bunk beds.ย  I designed plans (in 3D), the cutting layout (w/ dimensions), the cost estimate, and the time and place to build it.ย  And you know what? This amazing thing happenedโ€ฆ. she said โ€œOKโ€!

With the โ€œOKโ€ 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 rungsโ€”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 fourย  3″ screws.

 

Toddlerbunks2

 

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

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87 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’ll send you the dimensions and perhaps you can find a handy wood worker in your area! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ , 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Penny
    August 28, 2014

    Please send me the plans for these great bunk beds. I have five grand kids and they could really use these great little beds what a great idea.

  • Brent
    August 29, 2014

    The beds look great. My two grandchildren are moving into a small place with their parents and need some of these. They already have the mattresses. Please send me the plans.

    Thanks.

    • Evelyn
      September 1, 2014

      Hi Brent, check your email. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let us know how it goes!

  • James
    September 22, 2014

    Hi Evelyn,

    Please could I kindly have the dimensions for the fantastic bunk beds – my children will love them!

    Thank you very much,

    James

  • jenC
    October 11, 2014

    just about to build toddler bunks…and these are waaaaay cuter than what i was going to make. i’d very much appreciate the plans! my little boys (and i) thank you in advance for this much more fun option!!

    • Evelyn
      October 12, 2014

      Hi Jen,
      Check your email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fern
    November 15, 2014

    Would it be possible to get a copy of the plans, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for!

    • Evelyn
      November 17, 2014

      Hi Fern! Yes and check your email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dls
    November 21, 2014

    Are these made for crib mattresses? If so, I’d like the dimensions please. My son is 4.5 and average height. How long do you think he’ll sleep comfy in this bunker?

    • Evelyn
      November 21, 2014

      Hi,
      Yes, these are made for a crib-sized mattress. My son is 4 but VERY tall for his age. He still sleeps very comfortably in the top bunk.

  • clint
    December 15, 2014

    Great bunk bed for kids. Could I get a copy of the plans? I would try to do this by myself. thanks

  • Rhonda
    December 16, 2014

    This toddler bunk bed looks awesome. I have a 4yr old and a 2 yr old with little space. This would work wonders for us. Is it possible to get the plans? Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • Evelyn
      December 18, 2014

      Hi Rhonda, I just sent them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kurstie
    January 28, 2015

    im looking to buy one all ready made do u sell them or know anyone that sales allready made ones

    • Evelyn
      January 29, 2015

      Hi Kurstie! We’d love to get to that point but we don’t sell them ready made yet. I can get you the plans for a local handyman if you’d like or show you other options…

  • Jon
    February 15, 2015

    Very nice design! This is exactly what I have been looking for, can I please get a copy of the plans/ dimensions? I would like to modify to fit twin mattress
    Thanks, Jon

    • Evelyn
      February 15, 2015

      Hi Jon,
      Yes sir, I’ll email the drawings. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ariel
    February 16, 2015

    Hi can u email me a copy of the plan / dimension ….please

    • Evelyn
      February 17, 2015

      Hi Ariel. Were you able to open the second email?

  • Ajia
    February 26, 2015

    Hi can you email me a copy of the plan /dimension… please?

    • Evelyn
      March 1, 2015

      HI Ajia! I just sent them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jennette
    April 11, 2015

    Hi there, I just love the look of this bed over others I’ve seen and i find myself coming back to this page over and over. My husband and I would love the plans so we can make our own as our tiny rooms won’t fit twin size loft or bunk beds.

    • Evelyn
      April 12, 2015

      Hi Jennette! Yah, sure–check your email.

  • Berklee Miller
    April 18, 2015

    Very well done! These would be perfect for my twin boys, and especially useful when we have another child and need the extra space. Will you please email about how I can get the plans? Thanks.

  • Maria Pecherina
    May 10, 2015

    Well done. Love your design. Could you please mail me the plan so my husband can build the bunk bed for our two daughter!! Thank you so much!!!
    Maria

    • Evelyn
      May 16, 2015

      HI Maria! Yup, I just sent them….

  • Alex
    June 5, 2015

    Nice design! Could you please mail me the plan.

    • Evelyn
      June 8, 2015

      They’re in your email, Alex. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  • Jennifer
    July 16, 2015

    Has Caveman rethought building these for sale after all the requests? Yep. Still nothing out there for toddler mattresses. Not even toddler beds that *might* stack. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love the plans!

  • Tina
    August 27, 2015

    I love your bunk beds! These would be awesome for my twin grandsons! (when they’re a bit older, they’re 14mos.)

    • Evelyn
      August 31, 2015

      Hi Tina! We actually moved our second little guy over when he was only 19 months. Wow, looking back, I can’t believe that–but it did actually work out. He did really well with the bottom bunk. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would you like me to email you the drawings that Caveman made?

  • Amy
    September 16, 2015

    Want to try to convince hubby to build these for Christmas… will you please share your plans?

    • Amy
      September 16, 2015

      oh–and do you think I could lower the top bunk a little? How much clearance is currently there? Changing the bedding of a top bunk intimidates me. I think if it is a little lower I’d have an easier time doing it. Thoughts?

      • Evelyn
        September 17, 2015

        Hi Amy! There’s roughly 30″ between the bottom bunk and top. Lowering that top bunk might be a good idea if your family is on the shorter side. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Evelyn
      September 17, 2015

      HI Amy, I just emailed them to you. Happy Building! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pauleen
    October 26, 2015

    Hi. Do you consider selling one right now? I really like it..

    • Evelyn
      October 28, 2015

      Hi Pauleen, I don’t think my husband is ready to produce these to sell yet… but stay tuned! Hopefully someday… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Kim
    January 28, 2016

    I love the style of these bunk beds! I think they’re visually appealing and easier for a child to climb into then basic 2×4’s.
    I was wondering if you could please email me how to get the plans? My husband and I are interested in attempting to modify it to create a loft bed for our 4 yr old son’s crib size mattress. If you have any advice that would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    • Evelyn
      January 30, 2016

      HI Kim!
      Thanks for your interest in the bunk beds. I’ll email you the plans…

  • julie
    February 9, 2016

    Would love to have the plans, looking to make this bed for my two little ones.

    Was thinking of shortening it a bit, any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • Evelyn
      February 18, 2016

      Hi Julie by shortening, do you mean height or length? It could definitely be shorter– my husband is average height and I’m pretty tall but even then the top bunk is barely at my head level.

  • Haley
    February 11, 2016

    Hello, just like you guys I’ve been searching for a toddler size bunk bed. I love this design your husband came up with! As I’ve read the comments I see he is not selling them, so I’m hoping I can get an email of the plans as well. Thanks! Haley
    Haleyostler@gmail.com

    • Evelyn
      February 14, 2016

      Hi Hayley,
      I just sent the plans!

  • Masa Yuasa
    February 25, 2016

    Hello my wife was looking for a bed for our two little kids. And she found your great bed. We both just love the design. Could you send us the plan so we could build it? We are from Berlin
    Germany.
    With best regards Masa and Janine

    • Evelyn
      February 25, 2016

      Hello Masa in Germany– They are sent! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Morgan
    March 9, 2016

    I’d love to receive the design plans as well. These are awesome!

  • Bianca
    April 5, 2016

    Hello I love them. I see that you don’t sell them made alerady. But I have a local handy man and hope he can build this for me. Can u send me the information I would need to give it to him. Please and thank you.

  • Laurie Bouwman
    April 10, 2016

    Hi Evelyn, I would love your plans for your bunk beds for our little grandson.

    Thanks so much, Laure

  • Jessica
    May 12, 2016

    I love these!! I’m going to talk my dad into building one for our girls, ages 2 & 3. It would give them so much space.

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2016

      Haha. Hope that works out, Jessica!

  • Sarina
    May 29, 2016

    These would be great for my growing boys. Could I get the dimensions/ plans please?

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2016

      Sure! Check your email. ๐Ÿ™‚

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