Surprise Birthday Bunks

Submitted by bigguygonz on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 17:35

As our youngest daughter's 2nd birthday was fast approaching, we were looking for options to eliminate the crib + twin setup we had in the girls room. I had always been a fan of the L-Shaped Bunks Arnold and Willis shared in "Diff'rent Strokes." The problem was that all the comparable beds at furniture stores were pushing $1000 for that sort of set-up, we didn't really need a twin bed for the 2 year old, and were a little worried with the two year old on ladders and falling off the top bunk while playing/sleeping with her 7 year old sister.

And so in doing my search I came across the junior loft plan from this site. At first, I disregarded it, since I had never taken on a project like this before, plus with only one bed and short railings, it didn't fit our needs. I kept going back because i loved the design. Then I recalled my father and I doing something similar when I was a young teen building a loft bed around a bookshelf/desk combo that my uncle had made. I figured if he could do it, so could I.

So I started tweaking with the plans. Flipping the stairs to the other side... easy. Increasing the rail height to double... no problem. Adding a toddler bed frame based on some mattress sizes I got off amazon... just some simple math...

Then $150 in wood, fasteners, paint, etc. another investment of about $250 in tools, and I was good to go. Over the next 3 nights, I slaved in the garage by myself, measuring, cutting, measuring again, PH drilling, then started sanding and assembly on Sat. By Sunday, I was ready to move the pieces up to the room for final assembly and paint, and about 20 man hours later, we had this beautiful beast and just in time for her birthday.

We had dropped our daughters off with their aunt for a few hours to get it set up, and when they came home the look on their face was priceless. Sure I could have spent less time and a little more money, but I have to tell you the feeling of accomplishment and our daughter's collective excitement made the whole thing worth it.

I'm super grateful to Ann White and her amazing site, and I'm looking forward to my next project, since my wife is now working on a list of stuff for me to make...


NOTE: The assembled bed came out incredibly sturdy with 2.5" PH screws & glue, however since it's carrying precious cargo, I added two 4" lag bolts (3/8) into each of the posts for a little added stability.

Estimated Cost
$150 in materials + $250 investment costs for tools
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
Whitewood, Doug Fir
Finish Used
Behr Paint - Milestone Color
Recommended Skill Level