What Goes Under the Loft Bed? How About a BIG Bookcase?
A large bookshelf that fits under the loft bed. Adds open storage in a pass through top design. Closed bottom design. Features four shelves.
Last weekend, Tabitha shared this photo on our Facebook Fan Page
"Just finished the low loft bed! I took your plans and lowered it a bit for my son. I still have to build the ladder, but the rest came out wonderfully. Thank you so much for the great plan."
And I was so excited because I had put much effort to developing this plan
For a simple loft bed. I was in love with the design, but there didn't seem to be much buzz about it on the blog. So I was hesitant to post more plans in the collection. But after seeing Tabitha's bed . . . well, I just got excited all over again about this plan!
So back to the drawing board, and we've got a simple workspace and storage space under the bed. I can just imagine baskets and bins filling up all those shelves
And you could even hide a CPU tower back there. I'm loving this plan! Living in a small home gives me an appreciation for clever storage solutions. Oh, and if you want to see what Pottery Barn Teen does with a similar bed, you can click here.
Today we will focus on the big bookcase. You can omit the bottom supports on the loft bed if you are going to be attaching the bookcase. The bookcase will give you all the support that you need.
Overall Dimensions are shown above. What we are building today is a simple bookcase that could be used without the loft bed. Composition is 1x12 boards with 1x2 and 1x3 trim and 1/4" plywood back. This bookcase can be made from solid wood for a natural stain finish.
2 – 1×2 Boards, 8′ Long
1 – 1×3 Board, 8′ Long
2 – 1×12 Boards, 10′ Long (Cut 2 Sides from one, and 3 Shelves from the other)
1 – 1×2 Board, 8′ Long (Cut 2 Shelves from this board)
1/4″ plywood 30″ x 38″ or larger
1″ Nails (for tacking down the back, could be 1 1/4″ nails too)
Since we essentially build chop-screw-paint, the instructions are pretty simple. Work on a clean level surface with good straight boards. Check for square after each step. Use self-tapping screws or pre-drill and countersink all of your screws. Be safe and have fun!
2 – 1×12 @ 56″ (Sides)
5 – 1×12 @ 36″ (Shelves)
1 – 1×3 @ 36″(Footer)
4 – 1×2 @ 36″ (Shelf Trim)
4 – 1×2 @ 9″ (Optional Shelf Supports)
This bed was very much inpsired by Pottery Barn Teen’s Sleep and Study Loft. According to Pottery Barn Teen, their bed was made of:
Panels: MDF with veneers
Drawer Box: Plywood
Shelves: MDF with veneers
This is also the most economical materials to buy.
Build the loft bed, but you can skip the bottom support on the side that this bookshelf will be installed. Loft bed plans can be found here. This bookshelf is designed for a twin bed. You can alter the bed by cutting all shelves and trim to 51″ long, assuming that your full size bed mattress measures 54″ wide.
BUILD THE BOX
Use the 1x12s to build the box as shown above. It is always recommended to measure and mark your joints on both sides of the joint so you know where to line the board up and where to screw. If you have a Kreg Jig™, you can drill pocket holes on the undersides of the shelves and attach the shelves to the sides. If not, 2″ wood screws and glue will keep everything in place. Don’t forget, we will also be adding a back that will hold the shelves in place and shelf trim.
Attach yoru footer as shown above. If you are using a Kreg Jig™, simple drill your pocket holes on the ends of the 1×3 and attach to the sides. Otherwise follow the instructions above.
Cut your back piece from 1/4″ sheet goods (IKEA gets away with cardboard, but I recommend either paneling, plywood or MDF) and tack on with 1″ nails and glue. Of course, if you have a nailer, you can use that to with 1 1/4″ nails. I’m finding I don’t mind my hammer, it’s a little quieter.
TOP SHELF TRIM
Just like the footer, attach the top shelf trim as shown above. Use glue and 2″ screws.
OPTIONAL: SHELF SUPPORTS
If you know these shelves are going to be taking some abuse, it would be a good idea to cut scrap pieces of 1x2s and fasten to the sides of the bookshelf under the top shelves. This will keep the top shelves from ever moving. The bottom shelf is attached through the grain to the back, and they are not going anywhere. But the top shelves are attached through the end grain, and a support like the one pictured above would add considerable strength to the shelves (and you already have the scraps laying around!). The 1×2 will be 9″ long if you inset your shelf trim pieces 1/2″.
Screw the bookshelf to the sides of the legs to stiffen up the loft bed. The bookshelf replaces the bottom support, so you need something to keep the loft bed legs square.