diy project: upholstered toddler beds

toddlerfinal1
this clever diy project comes from gabrielle blair of design mom. gabrielle came up with a fantastic diy project that creates two beautifully upholstered toddler beds for only $75. for those of you with small children this would be a great way to update your little ones’ rooms without breaking the bank.

toddlerfinal2
gabrielle has written out detailed instructions below so i hope you’ll enjoy them! if you’re living sans little ones, this would be a fun project to adapt to larger beds- especially if you’re a fan of low-lying beds and don’t want to deal with heavy bed frames. thanks, gabrielle!

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

How To Build Two Toddler Beds for $75

by Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom

I’m so excited to tell you about this project. When we moved in, we decided to put two toddler-size beds in Oscar’s and Betty’s small bedroom, but every bed option that I loved was really expensive. Especially when you multiplied by two. So I decided to build my own.

Two super-simple, upholstered platform-ish beds. They are adorable. Especially side-by-side. They are low to the floor, so if Betty rolls off in her sleep, she won’t get hurt (this is Betty’s first bed since leaving her crib). They use crib-size mattresses, so they don’t have a big footprint. And they were a total bargain to build — $75 total for both. So I suppose that means you could build just one for about $37.

Here are the directions, in case you want to make your own. The instructions are for two beds, but if you only need one, just half everything. Or find a buddy who also wants to build a bed and work together.

——————-

Part one: Build the base.

Materials to Build Two Beds (about $25):
-4 pieces plywood, 3/8″ thick. 10″ x 51″
-4 pieces plywood, 3/8″ thick. 10″ x 25″
(I had these pieces cut from one 4’x8′ piece of 3/8″ plywood that cost $8.)
-4 pieces of 2″ x 2″ wood. 48″ long
(I bought one 2 x 2 board that was 8′ long and had it cut in half. They are about $3 each.)
-2 pieces plywood, 1/4″ thick. 24″ x 48″
(These are typically available in this exact size for about $3 at Home Depot.)
-Screws #6, 1 1/4 inch.
(A box of 100 sells for about $5.)
-drill.

Directions:
-Make a rectangular box with the 10″ pieces of wood. Two short pieces and two long pieces. Attach with 3 screws on each side. This is easier if you pre-drill.
-On the long sides, make a mark at 2.5 inches along the outside and at 2 inches along the inside.
-Align one piece of the 2 x 2 inch wood so that the top hits just under the inside marks. Use clamps to brace or have a helper hold in place.
-From the outside of the box drill in along the 2.5 mark at 5 places along the rail. Repeat on other side of box.

-Lay 24 x 48 plywood on rails. Attach with 2 screws on each side.
And that’s it. The mattress will rest inside the two inch lip. Don’t worry if the box is a bit rough — if the screws aren’t perfectly aligned, etc. The box will be completely covered by fabric.

Before you start cutting wood, please read these notes on mattress size:
I didn’t include the price of the mattress in the project because most people in need of a toddler bed will already have a crib size mattress from their crib. If you do plan to use a standard crib mattress, you’ll need to make adjustments to the size of the base. Standard crib mattresses are 52″ x 26″, which will be a bit too big for this base. But be sure to measure the mattress you own. They vary.

lumber12

——————-

Part two: The Upholstery.

Materials to Upholster (about $50):
-One full-size or queen-size package of hi-loft cotton batting
(This was $25 at JoAnns. Watch for sales or coupons and I’m sure you could get it cheaper.)
-About 4.5 yards of fabric. You could use much less if you don’t mind seaming it together. For each bed, you’ll need a strip of fabric 16 inches wide by 4.5 yards long.
(Fabric prices vary so much, that it’s hard to put this in a budget. In the $75 I mentioned in the title of this post, I’m allotting $25 for fabric. You could certainly spend more. And if you’re a bargain hunter, you could for sure spend less.)
-staple gun and staples

Directions:
-Roll out your cotton batting and fold over so you have a double thickness.
-Cut into 3 double-thick strips about 15 inches wide each. For each bed, you’ll use about 1 1/2 lengths of this double thick, 15 inch wide batting.
-Place the folded edge of the batting over the top edge of the bed frame. Attach it to the bed frame with a staple gun.

bedcotton12

-Trim the corners, so that you can attach them more securely.
-Keep wrapping the cotton around until your length runs out. Then add the next length.
-Turn the bed over and pull the batting tightly around the bottom edge. Staple away.

-Once the batting is secure, it’s time to add the fabric.
-Measure and cut the fabric so that you have a 16 inch wide piece that is approximately 4.5 yards long. You could also piece 16 inch lengths together to make one long strip.
-Starting on the bottom of the bed, staple the fabric over the cotton batting.
-At the corners, just fold and staple tightly.
-Once you’ve gone around the bottom, turn the bed over. Fold the fabric underneath itself so the edges don’t fray, and staple the fabric over the cotton on the top edge as well.
-Where the fabric joins, fold the edge underneath itself and staple tightly. I put my seam at the head of the bed — that way it’s hidden against the wall.

toddlerbedfabric2_1

And that’s it. You’re finished! It’s an easy project to do in an afternoon. And you can’t beat that price for two darling toddler beds.

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love this!!! Now I am definitely going to make my daughters bed. Once I find the right fabric.

  2. Annette says:

    Would love to know the measurements for a twin size bed, please n thank you

  3. Emily says:

    I just made this yesterday/today (got waylaid by developing pink eye and forgetting to change the measurement of the plywood platform, alas) — it’s great! A few notes: 1. I bought just 1 2/3 yard of the fabric, and stitched three strips together. Easy, not so visible, and less $. 2. Nothing was even close to the prices mentioned above — so this cost me about $70. for just one, but it’s still great. And now I own my own staple gun! For the first night in months, my daughter went to sleep in her bed instead of mine… :)

  4. Melissa says:

    Just made this for my son! I used 2x10s for the long side and scrap 1x10s for the short sides. It’s definitely sturdy enough for a two year old. I pre drilled to make it much simpler. All in all it only took a few hours. Thank you so much for sharing your plans!

  5. Momma says:

    Can’t wait to build this design…I’m thinking about adding some hinges and a fabric pull to the base piece of plywood for some additional, easy-to-access storage!

  6. Pınar says:

    Thanx for sharing.I was reaaly desperate for finding a way to change color of my daughter’s bed cover :)

  7. Diana says:

    How would I make this twin sized?

  8. Mary Harvell says:

    My husband and I just finished making the frames for this bed for our 2 grandsons who are 2 months apart in age. Followed directions to a T and they came out perfect. Can’t wait to get the final fabric on the batting. Can I ask where you found the comforter shown in the picture you posted? Having a hard time trying to find one ready made in the right size. This is going to be adorable in my nautical themed room with these beds side by side. Thanks for your ideas.

  9. Rita Miller says:

    What did u use for the mattress? It like memory foam.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.