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.
Help Improve This Plan

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Comments

MominFlorida (not verified)

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 06:46

This will be my first build...can you tell me at what point do you sand and paint/stain this?? Before assembly, right? Not sure how that is supposed to work. Thanks!

Shanda McKeehan (not verified)

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 10:56

Thank you so much for this and all the other amazing patterns you have freely shared! My question is, do you have any recommendations on building this bed without using a Kreg Jig? I don't have one yet and my daughter is all over me about building this bed ASAP! Can I just use really long wood screws on the butt joints on the ends? I think I can figure it out but don't want the whole thing falling down while my daughter is sleeping :)

Shanda

Rainy (not verified)

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 21:59

Did you ever make this bed without a KREG jig? We are wondering the same thing but can't seem to find any answers.

Sarah U (not verified)

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 20:53

After it's built, how would you easily move it to another room or take it apart for moving? I love the bed, but we will be using it in an apartment and then probably moving it to a house after that....

Katie B (not verified)

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 09:12

The shopping list mentions 2 1/2" PH screws; the directions indicate using 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" PH screws. Which joints are okay with the 1 1/2" screws? IS it readily apparent as you build it?

Robohead

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 13:44

It's a little confusing at first, but the setting on your Kreg jig will be set for 1 1/2" thick wood, which is the thickness of your 2x4 and 2x6 boards. So you are drilling 1 1/2" pocket holes. The screws you use will actually be 2 1/2" long pocket hole screws.

Quintin79

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 22:01

A general idea for building anything is to use a screw/nail double the thickness of your lumber. I haven't reviewed the plans but I would assume, which is not the best thing to do, that 1 1/2 is for 3/4 thickness and the 2 1/2 screws are for the 2x4/6 lumber

Pammylaine

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 14:09

I think what you're talking about is step 5 or 6....she's saying she uses 1 1/2 in pilot holes and 2 1/2 inch screws.

If you're not talking about that, then I'm not sure.

Amber Ebert (not verified)

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 03:16

We put up our bed a couple of days ago after waiting a week for the poly smell to go away and my 4 year old son LOVES it. The only hiccup is that we made it as a full sized (thanks again Pammylaine) and our mattress was not available to measure since we were in the middle of moving and our household goods were in storage. With the full sized measurements the bed slats end up being 56 inches and our mattress is only 52 inches leaving a 4 inch gap that I worried little legs would slip through. We fixed this by making a high density foam bumper pillow to fill the gap since I am 9 days away from having a baby and don't have the time to modify the bed.