Build Your Own Bunk Beds

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 2, 2016)

If you are looking for a great simple building project, then building your own bunk beds is the perfect one for you. Not only is this a fun and unique project, but you will also be able to make some great beds that your children will love for years to come. All you need to do is follow these directions.

Materials needed:

  • Tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Carpenter's level
  • Lumber (your choice): 70 inch by 4 inch by 4 inch square posts (Qty 4)
  • Lumber (your choice): 57 3/4 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch square posts, with an angle cut at one end (Qty 2)
  • Lumber (your choice): 2 inch by 4 inch by 14 inch slats (Qty 5)
  • Lumber (your choice): 40 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch boards (Qty 4)
  • Lumber (your choice): 81 inch by 2 inch by 4 inch boards (Qty 4)
  • 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 2)
  • 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 (Qty 2)

Procedure:

  1. Draw a plan. Whenever you begin any type of building project, your first step should always be to draw up a plan. This sketch will serve you as a blue print, and help you out during assembly time. After you have drawn out the sketch, you should also begin marking the correct dimensions on it. The dimensions listed here will allow you to build a bunk bed that will fit two full size mattresses on your bunk bed.
  2. Get materials. Once you have completed drawing your blue print, it is time to get everything that you will need. All of the materials listed above can be purchased at your local home improvement store or center. In order to ensure that you have the lumber cut to the correct dimensions, all you need to do is give the blue print you made to the lumber specialist. However, if you want to do your own cutting, then be sure that you get enough lumber to complete the job. Any wood will work for this project, though you may want to use pine. Pine is a strong, though relatively light type of wood. That being said, these bunk beds will be fairly heavy when completed.
  3. Layout pieces. After you have purchased all the materials needed, you need to begin laying the pieces to your bunk bed out. Laying the pieces out will allow for an easier assembly later on, and also gives you a rough idea of how everything should fit together. One way to look at this is the "dry run" of assembling your bunk bed. If you did not get your lumber precut, then this is the time that you should do that. Be sure that you carefully measure everything twice before making any cuts, and do not hurry! This will help reduce the possibility of mistakes.
  4. Assemble. Once you have everything laid out, it is time to begin actual assembly. Start with the lower box frame. As you build the rectangle frame, use your bed legs as a guide, being sure that you use a minimum of two screws at each corner. Also, be sure that you have about 18 inches space from the bottom of legs, to the bottom of the frame. Keep in mind that you should have the "legs" on the outside of the frame, since if you would not have enough space on the interior of the frame for them and the mattress. Once you have the built the skeleton of the lower frame, it is time to repeat the process for the higher frame. Measure 48 inches from the top of the bottom frame, to where you will begin assembly of the top frame. Repeat the same process as before. Once assembled, place the plywood platforms on top of each frame. On one side of the higher frame begin assembly of the ladder. Use the 57 3/4 inch 2 inch by 4 inch lumber, and the 2 inch by 4 inch by 14 inch slats to make the ladder. Be sure that you place the angled edge against the top frame, and screw tight. If you feel the need, you can also make some bed rails, though that is not really necessary unless the bed is for younger children.
  5. Sand. After you have everything assembled, it is time to sand the bunk bed down. This will help reduce the possibility of any splinters, and any children getting hurt while using the bed. To give the bed a more finished look, fill in any holes with wood filler, and sand it down to be completely level. In order to be positive that you have removed any and all snags, lightly drag some cloth over the wood. If it snags, then you know you still need to do some work.
  6. Paint or stain. Finally, once you have finished sanding the bunk bed, it is time to paint or stain the wood. While it is not completely necessary, it will provide a more "finished" look for your bed. Be sure that you allow enough time to let the paint or stain to completely dry between each coat. This will allow you get exactly the shade that you want.

Once finished, all that you have left to do is clean up, and install the mattresses. Congratulations, you have now finished building a bunk bed. Keep in mind that this bed will be extremely heavy when assembled, and should be completely sturdy. All in all, it is pretty much perfect for a couple of rambunctious children 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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