Farmhouse Bed for American Girl or 18" Dolls

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 11:27
Difficulty
Starter Projects
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Build your own American Girl doll bed to match our Farmhouse Beds, suitable for 18" dolls. This bed is slightly wider than traditional doll beds, to look more like our Farmhouse Beds.  Free step by step plans from Ana-White.com

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american girl doll bed

Photo by CPEEPLES

American Girl doll beds can be so expensive!  Have you thought about building your own?  For about $10 you can DIY your own doll bed, and paint or stain it any color you like!

Here's a few DIY photos from our amazing readers:

american girl doll bed

Photo by LBROWN

american girl doll bed

Photo by KROCHELLE

This project has been a reader favorite for over a decade! It's such a fun and easy project with big results!

Our free plans make it simple!  

American Girl Doll Bed Tutorial

Dimensions
Farmhouse Doll Bed dimensions ana white plans
Dimensions are shown in diagram

Preparation

Shopping List
  • 2×2 (3 feet total)
  • 2 – 1x3s (10 feet total)
  • 1 – 1×2 (8 feet total)
  • scrap 1/4″ plywood (you could even use sturdy cardboard here)
  • 1 1/4″ self tapping wood screws (SPAX brand or similar) OR brad nails (if you have a brad nailer)
  • 2″ self tapping wood screws (SPAX brand or similar) OR brad nails (if you have a brad nailer)
  • Wood Glue
Cut List
  • 5 – 1×3 @ 6″ (Headboard Panel)
  • 5 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Footboard Panel)
  • 2 – 2×2 @ 4 1/4″ (Footboard Legs)
  • 2 – 2×2 @ 11″ (Headboard Legs)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 12 1/2″ (Bottom of Panels)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 15 1/2″ (Top of Panels)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Top of Headboard and Footboard)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 19″ (Siderails) 2 – 1×2 @ 14″ (Bed Frame)
Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander

Instructions

Step 1

Panel Line out your panel boards as shown above. Notice how I rested the panel boards on a piece of 3/8″ plywood?

Step 2

That’s so you can easily line up the panel bottom board on center. Mark and predrill holes with a countersink bit into the bottom panel boards.

Step 3

And screw the bottom panel boards to the panel, as shown above. Use glue and 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 4

Legs Now attach the legs to the panel with 2″ screws and glue. Be careful to screw into the panel boards and the bottom.

Step 5

Attach top with the shorter screws or nails and glue.

Step 6

Top of Headboard Finally, screw the top of the headboard to the headboard, centering on the headboard. You only need 2 screws and glue here.

Step 7

See the size compared to the glue? It’s so cute!

Step 8

Footboard Now build the footboard just like the headboard.

Step 9

Here is both my footboard and headboard. I used scraps, and that’s why you see some pink paint on the legs. I’m not a big fan of waste.

Step 10

Frame Now screw the siderails to the frame as shown above. If you have a daughter anything like mine, a third support should be placed in the center. Place more supports if you are using flimsy material (ie cardboard) for the top.

Step 11

Assembly Now simply predrill holes and screw the frame to the headboard and footboard.

Step 12

Platform And just lay plywood on top.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
I filled all my holes with wood filler and let dry. Then I sanded with 120 grit sandpaper. Then I brushed on primer and two coats of Antique White by Valspar in Satin.

Comments

Julie (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 01:11

It's gorgeous! My two girls got American Girl Dolls last year for Christmas and they have been wanting beds for them. I can't wait to make these adorable beds for them for Christmas! Thanks so much for posting this.

Lisa (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 01:35

Ahhhh, I'm so disapointed that it's a doll's bed because I LOVE that blanket! It actually reminds me of my baby blanket (which I still use)! The whole thing is stinking adorable! Do you have any idea who made the fabrics?

And thanks for the hit about laying out the boards!

Jaime (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 01:52

Ana you read my mind!!!! I've been trying to figure this out for weeks but I just couldn't get the dimensions small enough to make it look right. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I recently made a miniature quilt too (and was hoping to make the bed to go with it but I'm no furniture design genius like you) it's here on my blog. I'm off to the garage asap! You really are the best.
Jaime

http://thatsmyletter.blogspot.com/2010/11/t-is-for-trip.html

Amber (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 02:09

That is about the cutest thing I've ever seen and I am absolutely inspired to make a quilt for my own bed. That is fabulous. I think I'll have to find a friend with a kid in need of a doll bed.

Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 02:25

The way that thing is constructed (2" screws and GLUE!) Grace will be handing it over to her grandkids.

I love the quilt, too.

Lori (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 03:16

Ohh perfect. I am going to make bunkbeds from this plan because we have two AG dolls. Can't wait.

Melanie (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 03:36

The universe is playing a cruel joke on me! I love this site, but knew you had no doll beds. So, I have been searching the Internet for easy plans for a doll bed for my niece. I got frustrated & ended up purchasing a kit on E-bay. Yesterday. I'm soooo bummed!!

Kristal (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 03:48

This is so cute! What did you use for the mattress? A piece of foam or something? Did you just lay a piece of fabric over the mattress? We want directions for the bedding too! lol

April McCoid (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 03:58

My 2-year-old has a hand me down doll bed, which has worked just fine for the past few months, but after seeing this I don't think I can pass up such a beautiful project! Thank you SO MUCH for these plans!

Sophie (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 04:20

Ana, you have a spy in my house! I cannot believe how perfect your timing is, I have been searching for something to do with my scrap wood. And this comes hot on the heels of the easel, posted the very day my kids begged me for one. Actually, they said "make one Mommy, you're good at building". Thanks to you :-)

Jennifer E. (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 04:54

I LOVE THIS!!!! My daughter is only 2 years old and I want to make it for her... I don't think I can wait a few years until she's old enough to help me! =)

Amanda J (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 04:54

I don't even have kids and I want to build this!! This would be such a wonderful gift to give. It is sooo cute! I'd love a tutorial on the mattress and quilt too. Thanks Ana!

elizabeth (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:19

Thankyou I am so glad you posted this I tried to design one myself and it was a mess , just in time for christmas.

Debbie (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:21

My daughter was supposed to get an AG Bitty baby for Christmas (she got it early instead), any chance for a doll crib plans?

Stacy (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:25

Instead of building this bed with my daughter, I'm going to build it with my son. He begs all the time to build something and I think this would be a great gift for him to give to his little sisters! And his 3 girl cousins! Thank you so much!

jeanne (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:33

I actually want to cry about this post. I have 4 daughters and I feel so bad that I never attempted to make a crib for my now almost 12 year old's dolls. We bought a little pac'n play second hand one Christmas but I never made anything. However.... she does have a Build a Bear from Disneyland that might go nicely in there. But Little sisters 3 and 4 would have to have one too. Thanks for the plans. I hope that I can maybe get these in by their birthdays. :)

Michelle (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:39

What did you use for a mattress?? I can't wait to build this. I just pulled out some material I've had stored for months that will be perfect for a sheet and comforter. Can't wait!!

Kelly (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 05:45

I love this, thank you!! I can't wait to make it for my daughter! She's only 7 months so she won't be helping but maybe her big brother who is Grace's age can help. You are the most amazingly talented and giving person to create these plans and give them to us for free, you could make a killing selling these! I love that you understand your reader's desire to have great style on a DIY budget. Your blog is at the top of my favorites bar and I check it as often as I check my email!!! Love you and your blog!

All8 (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 06:13

This is just about the sweetest thing ever. I can't even imagine how many children will be thrilled to discover this under the tree Christmas morning. Ana, you're the best!

Marie (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 06:26

I love this! What's the "mattress" made out of? It looks like the fabric you have on the "mattress" is above the 1/4" plywood for the frame. Another piece of wood? Some foam?

Robin (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:00

This is amazing, I was just trying to figure out how to make my own but this is SO SO much nicer. I think I'm going to make the legs a little taller so I can put a trundle underneath for her to have her doll friends sleep over. If I can do this maybe I'll try the Queen Farmhouse bed for me!!

Anna (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:00

So adorable! After ordering $150 of American Girl doll clothing, I wasn't looking forward to shopping for beds for the little people! I will be making three of these for under our tree this year.

Thank you!

Vanessa (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:49

My daughter will be getting her first American Girl doll for her birthday (from Grandma) and this will be the perfect thing to go with it! Thanks!

rachael (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 07:58

Ana- This is SO cute! I love this, I also loved the readers comment about having my son help make it for his sisters, GREAT idea! I have a few questions, what did you use for the mattress? It looks like you made a sheet, did you make it like a pillow where you sewed three sides, added in the padding and sewed it closed, or did you sew it like an actual sheet that doesn't have a bottom? Would you mind adding measurements of the finished quilt and pad? I may have to start the quilt before I have the bed done to get it finished in time! Thanks for your site--it is AWESOME!!!

Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 09:24

Kristal (and Marie) I actually used a leftover chair cushion pad cut down to size. It worked perfect, and the chair pads are 17 1/2" x 15", so I just cut the one side down an inch or two. The cheapest place to buy chair pads is walmart - about $5 each. Of course, you could simply sew a box cushion and stuff with foam as well.

Tami (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 10:47

Oh, I so need to work on figuring out bunk beds of this, my daughter has 2 dolls and has been living with 1 bed for the two of them for a while and really wants them to be bunks. I am thinking just doing a headboard on each end should give enough clearance for bunks.

Pam the Goatherd (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 10:59

My daughter is a senior in college and would still be thrilled to get this bed for Christmas! Her grandpa, my father, built her a trunk for her American Girl doll several years ago, which is the only furniture she has for her doll. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the other things you are designing for those dolls. I may have Christmas presents for her covered for the next several years!

Theresa (not verified)

Wed, 11/17/2010 - 15:49

Ana , I think this is the best plan yet. Think of all the children that will get a wonderful new doll bed. My favorite treasure was a doll cabinet . It was a place to store my dolls and hang my doll clothes on hangers. I still remember how much I enjoyd it . I dont know what happened to it. Maybe I should make another.

Michelle (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:42

Ana, I just finished building this bed, it is too cute for words! I didn't see how far up (from the bottom) to attach the frame, so I rested it (the frame) on top of a couple of 2X4 scraps, and tacked it in place with 2" nails. I then predrilled and screwed hands free, yippee!

I used scraps I had lying around, so mine needs some wood filler and sanding before I paint, but will be posting pics soon. Thanks again for more FAB plans, you're helping me fill my home with amazing, GORGEOUS, handmade furniture!

PRETTY PLEASE share your sheet/mattress/pillow/quilt patterns with us, my daughter is DYING to get her hands on this bed!!

Alissa (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:59

Wow, Ana, just... wow. You've outdone yourself with this plan (and that's saying a lot because all your plans are amazing)! This doll bed is SO cute! My two-year-old would go nuts having a bed this beautiful to tuck her "babies" into at night. I think I know what Santa will leave her under the tree this year... ;)

Bethany (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:28

When I was a little girl, I wanted a dollhouse SO BAD. We couldn't afford one, so I made one out of cardboard boxes. I even remember my mom taking me to get samples of wallpaper from the home improvement store for the walls. I played with that thing until it fell apart! I hope to have a daughter someday and it makes me feel so happy to know I can make things for her like this! This is sooooo adorable! :) Thank you for sharing. And Oh, P.S. I ADORE the quilt. You did a great job lining the squares up - that's no easy task for anyone without experience sewing!! Lol, or for me, and I've been sewing regularly since last Christmas!

Leigh (not verified)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:14

I totally jumped the gun! I built a farmhouse bed on Tuesday for my daughter's doll. I just made it up as I went and used some scrap bead board. Yours is way cuter though. I think I'll make it too, paint them both, and let my daughter decide which one she wants to keep and which one she wants to gift to her cousin.

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