Canopy Doll Bed for American Girls 18" Dolls

Beginner Projects
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I used the base of Ana's Farmhouse doll bed as a jumping-off point for my canopy doll bed. A free PDF pattern of the headboard/footboard is available on my blog here:…

This was my first time using Sketch Up, and I just got a crash course this afternoon, so you might have to overlook the slightly messy-looking headboard in the design plan pics! :)

My daughter loves her doll bed (it's used for her Build-A-Bear), and I hope you find this helpful.

18" tall x 22" long x 13.5" wide


Shopping List

1x6 (19" total)
2x2 furring strip (72" total)
1x3 furring strip (36" total)
1x2 furring strip (85" total)

Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

2x2 - cut 4 pieces @ 18" each
1x6 - cut 2 pieces @ 9.5" each
1x3 - cut 2 pieces @ 18" each
1x2 - cut 2 pieces @ 9.5" each
2 pieces at 18" each,
and 2 or 3 (depending on how many slats you want on the bottom of the bed--I recommend 3) at 10" each

Cutting Instructions

Once you've cut your two 1x6 pieces to 9.5", print the template from my site, cut it out, and trace it onto your board. Then cut it out with a jig saw.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Cut out the headboard with your jig saw and the template from my site. Then use wood glue and your 2" wood screws to attach the headboard to two of your 18" 2x2's. Place the bottom of the headboard 5" up from the bottom of the posts (2x2's).

Step 2

Repeat step 1 with your other 1x6 and two remaining 18" 2x2's, but this time place it up 3" from the bottom instead of 5". This will give the illusion of the headboard being larger without having to pay for a separate piece of wood.

Step 3

Now follow Ana's Farmhouse Doll Bed plans Step 10:

But your 1x3's will be 18", and your 1x2's will be 10". I chose to add the center bar, and the cut list accounts for that.

Step 4

Now attach the footboard to the base you just built. I made mine flush with the bottom of the footboard, so up 3" from the floor.

Step 5

Step 6

And finally, add your top railings. I chose to center mine on each post. You could bring them in flush with the inside or to the outside if you wanted as well. It won't affect the functionality of it at all.

Step 7

And the last step is to add the finials and decorative touches! I simply used Gorilla Glue to keep them on, and we haven't had any mishaps yet!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


meri (not verified)

Thu, 11/01/2012 - 05:40

Thanks! My granddaughter will love this for Christmas!

Jamien (not verified)

Sat, 12/15/2012 - 18:06

You might look at changing the plans to make the side rails longer. Just made this for my daughter for Christmas and it barely fits an 18" doll. Will look at selling it for an16" doll and get her something else for Christmas.

Duane (not verified)

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 14:11

I agree the side rails need to be about 20 inches long. Im building one for my daughters american girl doll and the doll is 18 inches long so there is no head room.