Camp Loft Bed with Stair, Junior Height

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:45
Difficulty
Beginner
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Build your own loft bed plans with stairs all from 2x4 and 2x6 lumber!  This super sturdy and beautiful design features a platform for easy access, junior height loft bed plans free from Ana-White.com

wood loft bed with stairs

This loft bed has been built and cherished the world over for almost a decade.  Here's why-

  • It's inexpensive to make - about $50-$100 in materials
  • It's super sturdy and strong because of the 2x4 and 2x6 materials - the same materials we build houses out of
  • It's an easy to build design that is fairly quick to tackle
  • The platform with stairs make it very easy to access the loft.  The lower platform is at about the same height as a floor to mattress, so it's a very natural and easy process to go from the bed to the platform
  • This loft bed is a very beautiful piece that can go with just about any decor

I built this loft bed for my then four year old daughter.  At four years old, a loft bed seemed like a bad idea.  But with the stairs, it's really not that different than a regular bed - just the access is at the bottom.

The stairs are so much easier to use than a ladder.  And the platform is just right.  Instead of having to crawl down a ladder, you simply swing your legs off the bed (just like a normal bed) and they rest on the platfrom.  Then you stand up (with good headroom) and walk down the stairs.

The goal was to create a loft bed that mom and dad could easily crawl into and snuggle and read bedtime stories - and easily sneak out when the child drifted off to sleep.

 

 

We designed this bed to fit inside a room just bigger than 8x8.  Yes, 8x8.  It gave the room so much more useable space!

The window was previously the obstacle in the way of building stairs.  But with the lower platform, we were able to not cover the window. Now it's entertainment for the kids as they use it as a stage, and look out the window from it.

Under the loft bed stair platform, no storage is lost.  It's a great spot for a toybox or bin.

 

The best part about this bed is how easy and inexpensive it is to make.  That's all 2x4s and 2x6s (I'll share my finishing technique with you later this week) bringing the total cost of lumber up to about $50!!!  

 

 

Convert to Bunk Bed with Stairs Option

We also love this bed with a second bed under it to create a bunk system.  We have plans for a matching twin bed frame here.

NOTE: You may wish to increase the leg length by about 6" to give more headroom to the lower bunk - depending on how tall you make your lower bed height.

bunk bed with stairs

Photo SUBMITTED BY CAJSAWALLWORK 

 

Loft Bed with Stairs Plans

Dimensions
loft bed with stairs dimensions
Dimensions shown above. Fits twin.

Preparation

Shopping List
  • 15 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 4 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 ½” pocket hole screws
Cut List
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 65 ½” - legs
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 37 ½” -bed siderails on ends
  • 5 – 2x4 @ 37 ½” - guardrails on ends
  • 5 – 2x4 @ 75” - guardrails and base support
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 75” - bed siderails
  • 2 – 2x2 @ 75” - cleats
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 30 ½” - platform
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 37 ½” - platform
  • 1 – 2x4 @ 41 ½” - platform
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 20 ½” - platform
  • 12 – 2x4 @ 22” - decking
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 43” (both ends cut 45 degrees off square, ends NOT parallel) – to be trimmed down in later steps
  • 6 – 1x2 @ 7 ¾” (both ends cut at 45 degrees off square)
  • 6 – 2x4 @ 20 ½” - stair treads

This bed requires a slat system (1x3s, 1x4s or 2x4s or similar) or a bunkie board mattress to complete

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Instructions

Step 1

Build the ladder end as shown in diagram with 1 1/2" PHs and 2 1/2" PH screws. Use glue to fasten - these joints are permanent. If you are building this loft bed without the stair platform, add 2x4s all the way down to make a "ladder" for the kids to climb up.

Step 2

Build front end of loft bed same as ladder end.

Step 3

Now here's where we skip the glue. To make this loft bed easy to disassemble, I did not use glue here. The inside width for the mattress area should be 39", insetting the side rails 1 1/4" from outsides. I did this so your PH screws have lots of board to grab into. This bed has NOT been weight tested or guaranteed. If you feel you need extra support - add metal brackets under the 2x6s. An alternative method is to attach metal bed brackets directly to the ends if you have those. Notice the cleat is added in this step to. I used 2 1/2" screws and glue to attach, screws every 6-8" all the way down. This bed is designed to work with a bunkie board, but we just used 2x6s cut to length as the bed slats.

NOT SHOWN: Add the fifth 2x4 @ 75" at the back base of the bed to support the legs at the bottom.

Step 4

Now we'll start building the stair platform for the loft bed with stairs.

Step 5

Attach stair framing to the loft bed legs.

Step 6

And then the decking is placed on top of the stair platform.

Step 7

The stairs are easy to build - just 45 degree angles! We went ahead and drilled 1 1/2" PHs along top edge of the stairs to connect the stairs to the bed later on.

Step 8

Then we added the stair treads. We also drilled 1 1/2" PHs along ends of the stair treads and attached with 2 1/2" PH screws just for extra strength. Everything gets glued.

Step 9

The bed was finished outside and then assembled in the room. TIP: We haven't found our bed needs it, but for extra support, you could add another 2x4 @ 75" (at $2 a 2x4, cheap insurance) to the base of the bed to further support the bottoms.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Comments

Candace (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 09:57

Is there enough clearance to put another twin bed coming straight out underneath this? Hope that makes sense.

In reply to by Candace (not verified)

Ana White

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:28

Hi Candace, there would be room, but I'd suggest making the legs a tad longer for a little more headroom. This bed is really a junior loft bed height.

You could just leave the platform at the same height, or add another tread to the stairs.

sands_mary

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 03:27

I made this for my daughter and she just loves it! I have been looking for what seems forever to find something like this for her and was beyond excited when I saw this! My boys even love it and want one for their rooms! Thanks so much for sharing!!!!
About iMacLand

dorothybushnell

Thu, 05/30/2013 - 22:53

I really like this bed, just one question though, it doesnt seem clear to me, what does the mattress sit on, wood slats, plywood, or is this planned for a box spring mattress on the bottom?
the greywood

Andrew Harkness (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 09:59

I really like this bed, just one question though, it doesnt seem clear to me, what does the mattress sit on, wood slats, plywood, or is this planned for a box spring mattress on the bottom?

In reply to by Andrew Harkness (not verified)

Ana White

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:32

Hi Andrew, what we did for the wood slats is cut 2x6s (had scraps, but you could also use 2x4s or even 1x material - just space closer together) to the inside dimension of the bed (for us it ended up being 39 1/2") and screwing down. We have a firm mattress and found spacing every 6" was fine, but every mattress is different so space your slats as necessary for your mattress.

They also sell what is called a bunkie board and also sell bunkie board mattresses - or mattresses with an included bunkie board.

Andrew Harkness (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:19

I was thinking that was the idea, but wanted to make sure I wasnt missing something. Thank you !

Woodworking Chemist (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:16

This is a great plan. I was planning to do the one with stair storage, but with parallel rails instead of perpendicular ones. I should easily be able to wrap it up in a few hours with this plan. Also, have you thought about adding a shelf or two under the mid platform to add some storage space. I think I may add that and use some cloth boxes to make a small dresser/storage area.

Great plan overall.

Theresa W (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 11:40

I was going to the lumber yard to get the materials to make my daughter the fort bed TODAY, then I saw this was just posted. I love the sturdiness of the 2x4s and the overall look. I am nervous that with the stair landing it will be too long for the space. Do you think I could meld the two together and basically make this bed but build in the ladder in the same side fashion as the fort bed? Her room would be better suited to the side ladder verses just building up the ladder on the end, though that would be tremendously easier. I've never built anything like this before but your detailed plans definitely make me feel like I can tackle this job.

Jaime Costiglio (not verified)

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:37

Ana this just might top the clubhouse bed, love how Grace can play underneath in her new 'fort' just like my kids do under the clubhouse bed. Who knew we were making another playspace AND a cool bed all in one. Love your design, you truly are a building genius.