Classic Bunk Beds

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 09/03/2010 - 08:37
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These bunk beds are unique because they are easy to build and can be assembled and disassembled easily. Ladder is integrated into the design.

Dimensions are shown above. Fits standard 39″ x 75″ twin mattress, shown with 6″ mattresses.


Shopping List

7 – 10′ 1×4 Boards
4 – 8′ 2×2 Boards
9 – 8′ 1×3 Boards (not including wood slats)
2″ Wood Screws
1 1/4″ Wood Screws
1 1/4″ Finish Nails
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Finishing Supplies
16 – 3″ Bolts with washers and nuts

Cut List

12 – 1×4 @ 37 1/2″ (End Rails)
8 – 1×3 @ 63″ (Solid Leg Pieces)
8 – 1×4 @ 80 1/2″ (Back and Front Rails)
12 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Trim Pieces between Rails)
2 – 1×3 @ 22″ (Trim Pieces between Rails)
4 – 1×3 @ 8″ (Bottom Trim Pieces)
4 – 2×2 @ 75″ (Use Metal braces for a stronger bed)
1 – 1×3 @ 55″ (Ladder Side)
2 – 1×3 @ 19″ (Ladder Rungs)
1 – 1×3 @ 13″ (Ladder Front Trim Piece)
6 – 1×3 @ 10″ (Ladder Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 35″ (Front Leg Trim Piece)
1x3s @ 39″ (Bed Slats, as shown with 34 total slats)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Build the Ends Build two of the ends as shown above. Best joining method is to use pocket hole screws from the insides of the rails into the legs. Other option is to use 2″ screws from the outside of the legs, with a countersink bit. Screws are recommended, because bunk bed are going to take lots of movement, and nails joints will eventually separate out.

Step 2

Build the Back Simply take two of the 1×3 legs @ 63″, and mark as shown in the diagram above. Glue and screw with 1 1/4″ screws the side rails to the legs. On this step it is very VERY important that you check and adjust for square. If the diagonals do not match up, push the outside corners of the longer diagonals together.

Step 3

Trim the Back After you have built the back, cut 1×3 pieces to fit the legs between the slats. You can nail these pieces on with a finish nailer and glue, using 1 1/4″ nails. TIP: Don’t cut these pieces prior to building – measure and cut to the opening, to get the exact fit.

Step 4

Bed Slat Supports If your child is heavy or you expect the bed to take a large amout of abuse, I recommend purchasing metal braces, and screwing to the inside of the bed. Otherwise, use 2x2s, 2″ screws and WOOD GLUE to attach the bed slat supports to the back slats, keeping bottom edges flush.

Step 5

Step 6

Rails and Ladder Rungs Mark the sides and the ladder piece as shown above. Glue and screw with 1 1/4″ the top bunk rails and the ladder rungs to the legs and the ladder side.

Step 7

Trim the Front As you did the back, trim the front, filling in all the spaces with 1×3 boards. Use 1 1/4″ nails or optionally screws and glue.

Step 8

Assembly Assemble the bed by bolting the four pieces together, using 3″ bolts and washer and nuts, four bolts per leg. If you plan on seldom assembly/disassembly of the bed, you could also use 2″ wood screws from the inside of the end legs into the back/front legs.

Step 9

Mattress Slats Your mattress should have recommendations for bed slats. Use 1x3s, cut at 39″, layed on top of the wood slat supports, according to the recommendations of the mattress. Screw down with 1 1/4″ screws.


Samantha (not verified)

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 08:19

I am IN LOVE with these plans. My only problem is my girls have double beds. I am thinking my husband might be able to make the changes, but I thought I would check if you already have those plans somewhere?????

Love your work Ana

Matt (not verified)

Sun, 11/07/2010 - 16:09

I started assembling this today. The plan calls for 7 1"x4"x10'. You need 10 total. Also the cut sheet does not include the 1"x4"x64" boards required for the front on the upper bunk. Personally, I modified the plans by increasing the length by 2 1/8 inches and increased by bottom height from 8" to 10 3/8". This is to accommodate a trundle ( So far the project is going pretty well. A good mitre saw is a MUST. I'll post back when I'm done.

Chelle (not verified)

Sat, 12/04/2010 - 14:05

I think we are going to be tackling this project in January. I'm a bit concerned about the 3" space between the bars, my kids flip and flop like crazy in their sleep. Has anyone tried modifying this for four rails across the top instead of three? And I'm thinking four on the bottom to make it match. By my calculations, that would make the space between the rails 1.25" (I think). Just wondering what it would look like and if anyone else had this concern.

Matt (not verified)

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 17:54

Definitely needed more wood. Shopping list only lumber for 7 of the 8 uprights; shopping list and cut list did not include 1X4s for the top bunk bed rails; and also needed 3 additional 1X4s for end pieces. I was also careful to cut the longest pieces first and use the cutaway to make shorter pieces...that part worked out pretty well with fairly little waste.