My daughter Alex is, like any other child out there, always on the move. She moves about so much that she also does it severely when asleep. She moved out of her Snüz Pod bed quite early because of this and when moved, repeatedly bumped her head against her cot.
When she was old enough to be moved to a toddler bed, she either repeatedly hit her head against the bed guards or had fallen off it when the guards were removed.
We knew that the solution was not only a new bed but a double bed with enough space to let her roam around without injuring herself. She was still quite young so most child beds were single and if a double, were designed for adults. I came upon Montessori beds whilst browsing through Pinterest and immediately fell in love with them. Having googled them, I found them to be quite expensive. Both Daddy and I love a bit of D.I.Y so set about building our bed.
We found a free furniture plan online on a blog called Design Confidential. They had designs for both single and double beds but it’s an American blog. Nothing wrong with American blogs but this meant that the measurements and wood recommended were off. We still followed the plan but adjusted the measurements for a double bed ourselves. A standard double in the UK is 135x190cm and will fit most mattresses including IKEA ones.
We also wanted to raise the bed off the floor by about 45 cm so that it would last her for a good few years as well as make it easy for us when reading bedtime stories.
The Tools And Materials
- Saw – We used an All- purpose saw but a table saw or Jig Saw would have been perfect.
- Electric Drill – Make sure the electric cord is long enough.
- Sander –
- Kreg Jig – For making ‘corner’ holes.
- Tape Measure
- Square – For straightedges.
- Brackets, nuts and bolts.
- Planed Timber wood – Thick edged kind. Needs to be the expensive kind because it’s sanded already and you need that for building furniture.
- Paint – Eggshell White colour.
We built a prototype so that we could see what the end goal was. It included a corner post, the slats and the extra wood to provide strength since the bed would be off the floor.
Kreg Jig Hole
The Kreg jig is a tool that allows you to drive your drill into the wood at very shallow angles, permitting you to join two pieces of wood together to make a ‘T’ shape. It allows you to hide the hole so it’s not seen from the other side. It made the joint quite sturdy.
We installed the screws a little differently. Alex is quite adventurous and we knew that her new favourite place would be under the bed. To minimise her getting hurt, we decided to create bigger holes where the screws would go so that they would be obscured.
We used the sander to make sure that the edges of the side bars were smooth. Any bit of wood that she would come into contact with, we sanded down.
Once we’d built the outside edges of the bed(left photo), we added the slats and the four bedposts just to see what it would look like. We then took the post to Alex’s bedroom and started putting everything together.
If you click on the bottom right photo, you can see that the bedposts have been reinforced with extra pieces of wood so that it withstands her weight as she gets older.
The second phase involved putting the wooden beams across the length of the bed to enable to slats to sit comfortably. Once they were in place, we began to add the slats and the brackets. The brackets would hold the roof of the house.
We eventually realised that the brackets would look unsightly if used and so decided to not use them. Check out the video above to see the gap that the bracket leaves once it’s bent. we instead drilled holed using the kreg jig and inserted the screws into the wood itself. this has a much better effect as you can see on the photo below!
The final result is a happy little girl! The bed came out perfectly. It’s been fun designing making and styling her bed so that it’s in keeping with the rest of her room. The whole process took a week, doing so in between our daily activities. It was certainly tiring but it was even more fun!
What do you think? Would you attempt to make a bed frame?