Building a Kids Bed

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2016)

I have noticed over the years that my children really seem to be able to put their beds through the paces. It honestly seems like every year, or every other year, we would need to purchase a new bed for our children. In fact, we never were able to pass one kid's bed on to the next, since they never seemed to last long enough to do that. At least that was until I decided to build a kids bed myself, and since then they have never needed to be replaced. In fact, the mattresses have needed more replacing than the bed. Here's what you do to make a great durable kids bed.


  • Tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's level
  • Lumber (your choice): 18 inch by 4 inch by 4 inch square posts (Qty 4)
  • Lumber (your choice): 40 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch boards (Qty 2)
  • Lumber (your choice): 81 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch boards (Qty 2)
  • Lumber (your choice): 1 inch by 1 inch by 36 inches square poles (Qty 4)
  • Plywood 3/4 inch thick by 40 inches by 81 inches (Qty 1)
  • Minimum of 31 screws #8, 3 inches long
  • Drill with screw head (Philips and regular) attachment
  • Hand saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • Paint or stain
  • Paint brush
  • Full size mattress


  1. Draw a plan. The initial step to building any kids bed is to draw up a plan. This will serve as your blue print, and help you during assembly time. Once you have drawn out the sketch, be sure that you begin marking your plan with the appropriate dimensions. If you use the dimensions of wood given here, then you will have a bed that will easily fit a full size mattress.
  2. Gather materials. After you have finished drawing your blue print, it is time to go and purchase the materials listed. You can get all of these materials at your local home improvement center, or home improvement store. Simply give your blue print to the lumber specialist at the store to get your lumber cut to the appropriate dimensions. While I used pine wood, you can use whatever kind you wish, just keep in mind that this kid's bed will be very heavy when finished. If you do not want the lumber specialists to cut the wood for you, then be sure that you get enough wood to complete the project.
  3. Layout pieces. Once you have purchased all the materials needed, get home and begin laying the pieces to your kid's bed out. This will allow for an easier assembly later on, and also give you a "dry run" for assembly. If you did not get your lumber precut, then this is the time for you to begin cutting the pieces down to size. Be sure that you make your measurements carefully and at least two times, before cutting anything. This will help reduce the possibility of any mistakes that you could make.
  4. Assemble pieces. Now that you have your pieces laid out, it is time to assemble everything. Begin by building the box frame. As you build the rectangle frame, using your bed legs as a guide, be sure that you also use a minimum of two screws on each corner. This will provide greater stability and support. Once you have built the rectangle skeleton, it is time to place the plywood down for the platform. At each corner of the platform, which should correspond with the tops of the legs, place two screws to hold it in place. Flip the bed over to begin placing the support bars in. Use one screw at each end to hold it in place initially, but use a minimum of three screws on the other side of the platform to join the two together.
  5. Sand. Once you have everything put together, you need to sand the kid's bed down. This will help prevent any splinters from injuring your children, while also giving the bed a more finished look. As you are sanding, be sure that you fill any holes with wood fill and allow it to dry completely. Be sure that you have completely removed any snags by lightly dragging a piece of cloth along the wood. If it doesn't catch, then it is finished.
  6. Paint or stain. After sanding the bed, it is time for painting or staining. Each method will provide a gorgeous look. Be sure to allow enough time between coats for the paint or stain to completely dry before applying the next coat. This will allow you to determine the exact color and shade that you wish to have for your new kid's bed.

Congratulations, you have now finished building a kid's bed. All that you have left to do now is to put your full size mattress on the platform you have made, and to then make the bed. Be aware that this bed will be extremely heavy once it has been built, and should be very sturdy. It is perfect for a rambunctious child to play around on.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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