Back in February, I mentioned here that we were planning to build a twin bed for Cricket when my in-laws came to visit. (I use the term "we" loosely; Jeff and my civil engineer father-in-law actually built the bed and headboard. I forced them into it, chose the fabric and helped upholster both pieces.) Voila the finished project! (You can now view the toddler bedroom tour here.)
The bed concept was based on Design Mom's DIY toddler bed, though "we" adjusted the dimensions to fit a twin mattress, added additional supports to ensure the structure could hold the weight of an adult and built and installed a matching headboard. (Note: Measure your mattress before adjusting the dimensions of the bed. Our mattress was a slightly different size than a standard twin and even than the dimensions listed online for that specific mattress.)
I'll spare you the full details, because you can follow Design Mom's tutorial. Just shoot me a note if you'd like more information on our adjustments and I'll direct your inquiry to my personal builders. In the meantime, here's how it all came together:
First there were a few trips to Lowe's, JoAnn Fabrics and Mattress Firm. Then there was a lot of measuring, sawing, hammering and drilling in the garage:
Once "we" finished the frame, it was upholstery time. Now I can actually say "we" and mean it. We stapled the batting around the bed and headboard, and then went back around once again to staple on the fabric.
We made the headboard out of a piece of plywood. Jeff probably spent more time designing and executing a way to securely mount the headboard directly to the wall so Cricket couldn't hurt herself by pulling it down than he did on the actual bed. This resulting method employs four anchors bolted into the studs.
The bed and headboard sat in Cricket's room for about six weeks before we got around to ordering the mattress and bedding. During that time, she learned to scramble up onto the frame, where she'd play for hours. (See evidence below.) She also developed a love for snuggling her headboard, which made me appreciate Jeff's extensive headboard-securing efforts even more.
I'm not sure how Design Mom built two toddler beds for just $75. I lost track of the expenses along the way—I know, I know, I'm terrible at documenting DIY projects and vow to improve on this skill—but am fairly certain we spent between $100-200 on the bed, headboard and upholstery, excluding the mattress. I wouldn't recommend taking on this bed project if your goal is to save money.
We're always trying to create thoughtful, calming spaces for our little one(s) and look forward to adding this unique bed to Cricket's new room. Now it's just going to take some time before I'm actually ready to let her transition from crib to bed...
As long as the new baby stays put for a few more weeks, I'm planning to post tours soon of the completed big-girl room as well as the nursery, so please keep checking back.
Signing off for the night at 35 long weeks pregnant.
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.