Building a loft bed is a great way to make use of a small space. Loft beds are also great for small children because you can add stairs instead of a ladder.
We are currently in a season of life where it is important to have all of our small children somewhat near us. You know that season where each toddler and baby is up multiple times and you are sleep deprived? Yes, that is our current season we are in. How I found that time and energy to build this loft bed is only by the grace of God, I can say that for certain! Let’s just say I’m also a slightly ambitious person who gets things done when I have a vision in my mind to pursue.
With this season in mind, my husband and I decided that the only current option would be to put all of our children in the same room. The way our house is set up, there is a small room right next to ours to use for this very purpose.
In order to fit all 3 toddlers in the same room we needed some sort of bunk-bed solution. Being that two of the toddlers are still in cribs, it wasn’t going to work to try to fit everyone in there with their current beds.
Where I Found The Plans For This Bed
I came across Ana White projects from a fellow blogger when I was wanting to build my own kitchen table. I had great success building my rustic farmhouse table and bench with the plans from her site that I knew I had to revisit to find a plan for some sort of bunk bed.
Why Build A Loft Bed vs. Bunk Beds
These loft bed plans were the perfect solution for our family for a couple of reasons. First of all, the loft bed includes stairs which are much safer than a ladder for my young children to be using. Secondly, I loved that I could modify the plan just slightly and fit several things underneath the loft bed so that no space was lost.
We were able to fit my daughters crib, dresser, and a chair underneath the loft bed with room to spare under the stair platform. The unique style of this loft bed also is eye catching and looks great with any decor.
Is This A Beginner Wood working Project?
Building this bed seems difficult looking at it from a whole, but if you break it down step by step it is very simple. I love how easy Ana White’s plans are to understand. Each plan includes written instructions, step-by-step guides, and a video for preparation and assembly.
As someone who only has one other wood project under their belt, I can definitely say this loft bed project is beginner friendly. All of the cuts are simple and the plans are very clear.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Miter Saw
- Measuring Tape
- Safety Glasses
- Square Wood Protractor
- Palm Sander
- Sand Paper (for sander)
- Kreg Jig (for pocket holes)
- 2 1/2 inch #3 Pocket hole screws
- Metal brackets, optional
- Wood (specified in Ana White loft bed plan)
- Stain, optional
- Sealer, optional
How To Prepare Wood For The Loft Bed
Begin by gathering all supplies specified in plans from hardware store. Cut all pieces of wood to specified lengths.
*Note: I did extend each leg piece by 6 inches in order to fit my daughter’s dresser underneath the loft bed. If you plan to fit a twin bed underneath the loft bed, I also recommend doing this.
Consider adding an additional 2×4 to make it easier to climb up to the bed if you do extend the legs. I did not yet do that and my son gets up and down fine, it’s just something to consider.
Drill pocket holes using a pocket hole jig with your drill to 1 1/2 inches deep. You’ll need clamps for this step.
Sand all pieces of wood with palm sander and medium grit sand paper to remove rough surfaces.
*Note: One thing I would do to save time with this step if I completed this project again would be to spend less time sanding surfaces that will not be seen or touched. Consider which way each piece of wood will be facing during assembly to save yourself some precious time.
If you plan to finish the wood do that step next by staining or painting each piece and finishing with a sealer.
Once you have all the wood pieces completely finished it is time to put all of your hard work to the test! To assemble the loft bed follow the instructions in the Ana White plan.
Begin by putting together each side of the actual bed itself.
Add the rest of the bed rails to connect the sides of the bed. Be sure to measure 39 inches wide when screwing in the side rails. Doing so will ensure that your twin bed will fit nicely on the 2×2 braces.
Use an extra 2×4 to further secure the backside of the loft bed just off of the ground.
Once the bed portion is all secured it is time to start putting together the stair platform and then the stairs themselves. I will mention that by this point in the project I no longer was worried about aesthetics. If you want to maintain uniformity, connect the stairs and the platform pieces by way of pocket hole screws. Otherwise, any screw that is the proper length will work.
You’ve done it!
Now the last optional step would be to further secure the bed by placing metal brackets underneath the 2×2. I chose to add the brackets because I have rambunctious toddlers, but I honestly would add them for extra precaution even if I didn’t.
I am confident that this bed will serve you well for years to come. My kids are loving it and so am I!
If you complete this loft bed project, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
For more DIY encouragement from My Abiding Home: