Replacing Toddler Bed - Buy or DIY Low Loft Bed
My daughter was about 4 1/2 years old when I made the decision to replace her toddler bed. Replacement of the toddler bed was not a necessity, but I started to feel like it is time. My buying process began with looking at twin size kids beds to get ideas, and when I came across a picture of a low loft bed I quickly became excited about the upgrade. I had not previously seen a low loft bed, and thought that bunk beds was the only option of this sort. Having only one child, bunk beds were not even a consideration.
The low loft bed makes her room feel bigger
Buy or DIY Low Loft Bed?
I did a good bit of shopping as well as research when deciding to replace the crib converted to toddler bed with a new children’s bed for my daughter. My shopping led me to decide on a low loft bed due to the added space savings in a small room size.
Ultimately, I chose to build my own DIY Low Loft Bed for her room. I did so for a combination of reasons, ranging from monetary savings to design freedom (notice that the bed matches the woodwork), strength (this bed will support considerable more weight than its store bought counterpart), and even the creation of a parent child activity (she loves helping Daddy!).
Buying or Building a DIY Low Loft Bed
Of course now my shopping adventure began. I was pricing different beds, showing my daughter different low loft beds to make sure she would be excited, and yes she was. Of course, her immediate ask was for the one that was decorated like a castle. This was also quite a bit more expensive than what I was hoping to spend on a kids bed. Ultimately, my DIY low loft bed project ended up costing me almost $300 to make and quite a bit of time. As a do it yourselfer, I believe that we made really good memories of that daddy/daughter time.
Family Time and a Lot of Work - Building The Low Loft Bed Myself
I do have to admit that building the Low Loft bed myself did turn out to be a bit more work and more time consuming that I anticipated. However, I do feel rewarded every time I look at it, and even better MY DAUGHTER LOVES HER NEW BED!
After watching numerous DIY Low Loft Bed videos and looking at many build plans, I decided to customize my own plans. I am not going to outline them here, but I will provide some tips that may help you do it yourselfers.
DIY Low Loft Bed Build - Tips and Tricks
I went to purchase 2×4 lumber for the posts and quickly learned that this is not a good idea. While sorting through the 2×4’s I realized that most were not straight enough and would have to be cut down and sanded.
Ultimately, I decided to buy 2×6 lumber and cut it down to form the legs, base, and bed posts. The 2×6’s were much cleaner when ripped with a table saw. In fact, it would have been extremely difficult and a whole lot more work and sanding to get the edges straight using 2×4’s. After being ripped, the 2×6’s were glued, clamped, and screwed together to form strong support for the new bed.
While the legs and posts were made even, I did want to ensure that the slats would not slide. To accomplish this, I used my table saw to notch an edge into the board, then I added the angled piece at the bottom of that edge. I may not have needed to do this, but i wanted the extra strength it provided.
The lumber I used for the rails was all 1×4, and I made the slats using 5/8 inch carsiding. I did completely cover the frame with slats for extra firmness, and also since the area underneath is going to be a play area. I also decided that a bookshelf would be a nice touch to add to her bed, since she loves books and always looks forward to her nightly bedtime story. I built this from the remaining 2×6 lumber and cut it down with my table saw.
I did make some mis-calculations during this build, including the height of the bed posts. Fortunately I had them longer than needed, as it is easier to cut them down than to build them back up. Even better, these make great loveseats for her doll house!
There are several things to take into consideration when deciding whether to build a DIY Low Loft Bed yourself or buy one that can easily be put together. Overall my spend was just under $300 for this build, including a $150 mattress.
While I was planning to make the ladder myself, I was fortunate enough to find this one on craigslist for $10. I cut it down and we painted the steps, and it is perfect.
The Folding Mattress
When attempting to make the best use of small spaces, a folding mattress can be the solution. In this case, when my daughter has sleep-overs there will be space for the extra kids. As an added bonus, I can now use her bedroom as a guest room, without using her bed for guests.
Whether you choose to buy a low loft bed or build it yourself really depends on you. All in all, this was a fun project that saves/creates more space in my daughters bedroom, and most importantly makes her happy and excited to play in her room and even to go to bed!
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