A loft bed is a great use of space in a child’s room. Here are some tips for making your own…
1) I spent $110 in supplies for this bed, not including the slide (it was stolen from our swingset!)
2) Draw your bed to scale on graph paper. Make a list of all the supplies you anticipate needing before you go shopping. You don’t want to make a dozen trips to the hardware store!
3) I checked prices on every item at both Lowe’s and Home Depot. They were very comparable, except Lowe’s had REAL wood shelving, primed, complete with bull-nosed edging, for LESS than the compressed laminate shelving. They came in 6 and 8 foot lengths and were surprisingly inexpensive.
4) The slats on the railing are made of furring strips cut in half lengthwise. The strips come in 8 foot segments and are only a couple bucks a piece.
This bed is extremely custom because we had to make some adaptations for some built-in features that the room had. But I can give you some tips that will help with your planning process:
It’s helpful to paint all the wood before you start cutting. Yes, there will be small portions that you won’t end up using, and you’ll need to make some touch-ups over the nails. But it’s easier than trying to paint between the railings, and painting the “ceiling” on your knees.
Consider adding a length of baseboard moulding as trim. It gives the bed a polished look.
Don’t even attempt this project unless you have the proper power tools. You do NOT want to try this with only a handsaw!
You don’t have to make the platform the same dimensions as the bed. Mine is actually wider and longer, because I wanted a bigger space underneath.
I kept in mind that we will want to update the carpet in this room within a couple of years– I did not want to take the entire bed apart to do it! So the bed is actually self-supporting on the walls; the bookshelves have one screw each for stability, but remove that and they can be tipped and slid out.
A desk is easy to throw in if you add furring strips to the wall and the back of a bookshelf. It’s just a board that slides in and out.
The chalkboard beneath the slide is actually Chalkboard Contact Paper, I bought it from a shop on Amazon for about $10 including shipping. It works great and is perfect for outfitting a custom space. Just be sure to “prime” the paper first by rubbing chalk ALL over it, then erasing. I am really pleased with this product.
Don’t forget to add a curtain. Hang it on a tension rod and it will fit any space.
Finally, if you’re planning on building a loft bed, I would definitely recommend checking out the site AnaWhite.com (formerly Knockoff Wood. There are so many great ideas there! Good luck and have fun!
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